This article gives ideas for starting recorder classes with young children. There are three sheets of simple two or three note songs that are suitable for supporting early recorder work.

Arrangements for Recorder Trio

Originally for two descants and one tenor these arrangements can be played on any three suitable instruments.

Pease Pudding Hot – Arranged for two descant recordes and a tenor there are four different arrangements of this simple song in various keys and with varying levels of skill requirement.

Music Score below

Sound Files below

Non Nobis Domine – Arranged for descant, treble and tenor recorders this well established canon has the 2nd part entering in a fifth below the 1st after one bar, and the 3rd part entering in an octave lower two bars later. The melody is Mixolydian with that characteristic “flat seventh”.

Arrangements for Recorder Quartet

The following arrangements of traditional songs for recorder group were originally made for an adult group in York. The group comprised four friends, one of whom was a beginner. As a result these arrangements are made for two descant recorders (one of which only contains a few notes, mostly B A G,) one treble and one tenor. While these arrangements were made for the above instrumentation they would work with any ensemble that is able to play the parts. Please note that the descant parts sound an octave higher than written. Keeping the octave distance in mind, brass groups that would work well could be two trumpets/cornets and two treble clef reading tenor brass (trombone/baritone/euphonium). A suitable woodwind group could be two clarinets and any two of tenor sax or bass clarinet. This would also work with three Bb Clarinets and a Bass Clarinet with the tenor recorder part being play an octave lower. Other combinations are likely to work as well.

Keel Row – This piece is ideal for practicing the alternate fingering for B on the descant recorder. (See Recorders – making a start with young children Para q above)

Music Score below

Sound Files below

Children’s Song Suite – The three movements of this suite are Long Legged Sailor, Suogan and Hot Cross Buns. Descant Recorder 1 only contains the notes B A G.