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Teacher preparation: 
Read up more about Sopranino recorders. Familiarise yourself with the fingerings used. In all these lessons, German Fingering system is being used  because it is easier to master  by a very young child. If you prefer to use Baroque Fingering system instead, please make changes in the instructions about fingerings on the Exercise sheets regarding the notes B and B-flat.

To arouse pupils' interest, you could show them the different recorders that are available, like the descant, treble, tenor or even bass. Explain to them that if they learn the Sopranino recorder well, they will find it easier to play the treble recorder when they are older.

[a] Pupils to recognize / feel  beats in melodies. 
[b] Pupils to listen to tapes or CDs of recorder music.
[c] Pupils to practise correct posture while sitting or standing. 
[d] Pupils to understand how to hold a recorder properly.
[e] Pupils to be able to produce a pleasant tone for one  pitch (E note).

Resources: Sopranino recorders , Exercise sheet, Beat Circle chart (make your own)


Tuning In:  Teacher shows the Beat Circle chart. Pupils clap to the beats while teacher points to each circle. Teacher varies the speed. Pupils sing to "tu" a simple tune, clapping the beat, while the teacher points to the beat on the Beat Circle.

[1] Show pupils the various different recorders (e.g.. descant, treble).
[2] Tell them more about recorders.
[3] Play a tuneful piece of recorder music for listening.

[4] Demonstrate proper posture when sitting / standing to play recorder.
[5] Demonstrate proper way / hand positions to hold a recorder.
[6] Explain how to get a nice tone on the recorder by blowing gently (use E note) / Show the correct fingering to get the sound.
[7] Each pupil to try out playing on the recorder. Teacher to listen and check that every single person is able to achieve at least a good sound. Check for air leakage or improper blowing if sound is squeaky.
[8] Introduce the note "E" on the staff.
[9] Imitation activity : Teacher plays some rhythms as indicated on the Exercise sheet while pupils follow on the recorders.  (note: Do not distribute the Exercise sheet this lesson.)

Summary: Ask for volunteers to demonstrate the following:
[a] proper posture 
[b] proper way of holding a recorder
[c] name the letter of the note that they have learnt

Practice points:
Pupils must practise to get good sound on E note with proper hand positions. ( 5 - 10 minutes a day )

  • Choice of listening piece should be short and melodious.
  • Getting the basics right from the very beginning is very important to ensure speedy progress.
  • Be positive and always praise good effort.
  • Setting rules and expectation is important at the beginning.
  • Encourage pupils to try not to eat anything before their recorder lessons to minimise drooling problem.
  • Do not distribute the Exercise sheet during first lesson because if most of the children can't read music, the music sheet becomes a distraction rather than a guide.
Exercise Sheet No.1

Beat Circle Chart

( You can enlarge the Beat Circle Chart. Point to the dots with a steady speed to demonstrate beats. Point to two dots for each minim or half note, one dot for each crotchet or quarter note and quarter rest, and four dots for the semibreve or whole note.)

Copyright 2002; Lynda Shen, All Rights Reserved