Young musicians shine at third-grade recorder concert

May 22, 2023

ROCHESTER — Third-grade students at Rochester Memorial School showed off their skills at a recorder concert held during the school’s “STEAMapalooza” event on Thursday, May 18.

“The boys and girls behind me have been working really hard,” said Rochester Memorial School Principal Derek Medeiros, who stood in front of students holding recorders. “This is just another true example of our wonderful music department.”

Students played third-grade staples like “Hot Cross Buns” and “Merrily we Roll Along.” The concert finished with a rendition of Beethoven's “Ode to Joy.”

“We’re positive that Beethoven himself would be proud of our performance if he were here today,” said one third-grade student.

According to music teacher Sue Audette, when students successfully learn to play a particular song, they are given colored belts that are displayed as tassels that hang from their recorders. Learning to play “Ode to Joy” earned students a black belt. 

Students at the concert held their instruments high when asked to show off their tassels, receiving cheers and applause from the audience.

“Our students definitely worked so hard. Those belts are very motivating,” said Audette, who added that there are still some belts students have yet to receive. “And there’s one more belt coming their way … called the composer belt” that is awarded if a student writes and plays their own original music.

According to some third-grade students who spoke throughout the concert, this year they learned how to read notes and rhythms, how to play and count eighth-notes, and how to play high and low notes on the recorder.

When these students enter fourth grade, they will have the option to learn flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion instruments.