Home schooling
January 12, 2017 posted by littlewhitecottage

Learn to play the descant recorder – Lesson 1

Here’s what we did for week 1

Recorder session



To learn how to hold the recorder properly

To make a sound and learn the first note ‘B’

For our first lesson we learned that we need to hold the recorder with our left hand at the top. We learned to hold our thumb and first finger up to make the shape of an ‘L’ whichever makes the L is our ‘lovely left hand.’

We took the recorder apart and put it back together again. This is to show that it can be taken apart and that this is nothing to worry about. We saw that the side with the many holes goes at the front lined up with the gold writing and mouthpiece and the single holed side goes to the back.

We opened our books and saw this page:


We looked at how to put our fingers on the recorder to play B. First finger on our left hand covering the first hole on the recorder with our thumb covering the thumb hole on the back. If you can’t seem to make a bice sound or the recorder squeaks a little have a look at your finger pad and see if you have a circle on it. If you don’t move your finger/thumb over the hole, press gently and then take another look. If you’ve a circle then your thumb/finger is in the right place.

Over blowing doesn’t make a nice sound so we should try to imagine that there is a candle at the end of our recorder and that we must not blow it out.

We looked at the lines and dot. Music is written in a special way using 5 lines. (This is called the stave) We counted the lines to make sure! We also looked through the rest of the book to check that all the other pieces of music had 5 lines. They did.


This is our note B. It’s in the middle of the 5 lines.


This squiggle is called a treble clef. There are 5 different clefs that different instruments can use. The recorder (and more instruments than not) use this one. We will learn more about this treble clef in a few weeks.


We looked at the next page. This page still only uses the same note B but does have some rhythm to learn on it. The best thing to do is to read through the words and tap the rhythm of the words. Do this before playing the notes on the recorder as it will help getting the rhythm right.


Once you’ve got the rhythm then find your note B checking that it is the right note by gently playing it. It it is then have a go at playing the note B in the rhythm you’ve just clapped.

We then finished our recorder session by learning that the plastic pole in our recorder bag is a cleaner. We cleaned our recorders (if you can put some cloth threaded through the eye at the top of the cleaner that would be great) and put them bag in their bags.

Theory of Music 20 mins.


To be introduced to a 1 beat note and rest

To write our own 4 beat rhythms and clap them

For this week we learned that a 1 beat note is called a crotchet. Here is what a crotchet looks like.


To write our own crotchets here’s how we do it.

Draw a straight line down.


Then draw an oval shape coming off the bottom down to the left.


You may not be able to do this perfectly for a little while but it’s good to know how to do it properly from the very start.

We then wrote a crotchet in our 4 beat rhythm cards.

Here’s how to make your very own rhythm card.

Fold a piece of A4 paper in half lengthways. Tear down the fold. Then fold each part in half and in half again to divide the strips into 4 equal sections, as per the photo.


Now you can draw a crotchet in each of the 4 spaces. Each space is worth 1 beat and you can only write something that equals 1 beat in them.

Here is a 4 beat rhythm card filled with crotchets.


We learned that we can also show how to have a silence in our music making. This is called a crotchet rest or a 1-beat rest. The rest means you literally do that rest for a beat and make no sound.

Here’s how to write a crotchet rest. Draw a line downwards and then another in the opposite direction.


Then one more downward line in the opposite direction to the line you’ve just drawn.


Then a big squiggle just like in the photo.


This is what one looks like without the red lines.


We then wrote another 4 beat rhythm card of our own using crotchet and 1 beat rests. We remembered to write just 1 crotchet of 1 rest in each section of the rhythm card. Here’s mine as an example.


That’s it for week 1. We covered an awful lot as we had to learn a bit about the recorder first. This won’t happen every week!

Happy playing!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Facebook Comments