Submitted by Artie Almeida, Orlando, Florida

Idea posted January 7, 2002

I buy 54" shoelaces in bright fluorescent colors (that match the logo on our ensemble shirts) and tie them on the recorders as neck straps. The school supply store sells them for nine cents each. I tie one on each recorder I sell and the children wear them at all times during music class. If they go to the Orff instruments, move into groups, etc. they do not lose their recorder or accidentally pick up somebody else's and put it into their mouth.

I tie the lace just where the head joint meets the body. Then I tie the end as far back as possible to give lots of space for them to put it over their head. We talk about safety issues, such as don't wear this on the playground, getting on or off the bus, etc. where it could be a choking danger. They are to keep it in their backpacks until they are on their way to music.

The kids love the colors. I got the laces in blue, green, and hot pink to match the Yamaha fluorescent recorders. For all my school-owned garklein and tenor recorders, I got fluorescent shoelaces in a two-color diamond design. Kids love it. (Be sure to get the 54" size so they're long enough!)

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