Submitted by Diane, New York

Idea posted August 12, 2002

My PTA purchased over 100 recorders, because the students could truthfully not afford them. However, I could not let the students take them home. This only created an urge for them to ask to stay longer for music and come at lunch to practice.

I put their name on the outside of their bag in permanent marker (which will come off if rubbed with finger nail polish remover) and put them in clear plastic boxes with their class name on it. If a student dropped from our school or is not in our school the next year, I simply cut off the ribbons and sterilize the recorder in my dishwasher, as we are not allowed to use Sterisol on recorders since it was proven to not kill TB germs and is different than barber combs when it is put in the mouth. (Not to mention that the germs slide down the recorder in the saliva and may infect the recorder next to it.) I used to have them march to music and try to sterilize their recorder in a bucket of Sterisol, including wiping it with a paper towel, in a record amount of time, but the school nurse (as well as our fine arts director) put a stop to it!

At least every child is performing and motivated to learn to play, including special education students. I had a concert with 101 recorders that made the TV station! It is a real hit!

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