Friday, March 7, 2014

Recorder: Playing Low E

Wow!  I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post.  I'm such a slacker!  :)  Here is a short one for now.  More posts are planned for after my concert next week.

Over the years I've come up with a couple of things that really work when teaching recorder; as well as a few that completely flopped!  :)  I've recently started working on Low E with my 4th graders and something I find them repeating to each other are my directions on how to remember the fingering for this pitch.

When we learn it, I describe the fingering as G plus bunny ears.  I've tried G plus two and a number of other ideas but bunny ears seems to stick.

(And a sneak peek at the backdrop for our concert!)

Add bunny ears for low E.  We still have a bit of work to do on finger position but what you really want to avoid is below...

Some students will tend to tuck their fingers back behind the recorder or curl them up.  This makes it harder for them to change pitches later on.

Just thought I'd share this little recorder tidbit.  What are some of the recorder tricks you use with your kids?


  1. I also use bunny ears and have for then last several years for low E... that visual reminder really helped my students to remember to use the two fingers like one unit!

    1. It's amazing how such a simple visual helps them! :)

  2. At our state conference this year, I learned an awesome method for teaching this from the presenter, Lisa Sullivan. She actually starts students out on pitches E and G using the book "The Napping House". Students play an E/G pattern each time you hear "where everyone is sleeping" in the book. These are the very first notes they learn on the recorder. The amazing part is that after they've got the hang of it, they're able to play all the songs they learned in the past because they're based on so/mi. It was definitely a lightbulb moment for me :) I tried it out with my kids in the middle of the year (since I didn't learn about it till then), and they loved it!

    1. Oh, I like that idea! It makes sense to start with E and G from a hand position stand point. I always teach them home position; where every finger will eventually go but we don't get around to E until a couple of months later. Interesting idea, thanks for sharing!

  3. You're welcome! I ended up writing a post about it :) You can read it here:


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