Recorder Lesson -Hero

New Orleans Music for Recorders

GRADE: 3-5
TOPIC: Recorders
DISCIPLINE: Music General


In this six song collection, students will learn and perform New Orleans music on the recorder. Select from a solo version, solo with note names version, and/or a duet version.



  • Recall historical, cultural, and prominent singers, songwriters, and performers related to New Orleans music.
  • Discuss song meaning and significance to the city of New Orleans. 
  • Read and play New Orleans music on a recorder. 
  • Perform a New Orleans song on a recorder.
  • Recognize music as a tool for recognizing historical figures and music traditions.



National Core Arts Standards

MU:Pr5.1.5b Rehearse to refine technical accuracy and expressive qualities to address challenges, and show improvement overtime.
MU:Pr6.1.5b Demonstrate performance decorum and audience etiquette appropriate for the context, venue, genre, and style.



Teachers should familiarize themselves with the song list and sheet music. Each song contains historical background on page three of the handout. Students should be able to properly hold a recorder, identify the notes, and hold basic positions 一 resting and playing position. 





  1. As a class, generate a list of songs that students hear on special, important, or annual occasions related to their community, culture, or daily life.


  1. Tell students New Orleans music is not only an art form, but a tradition and a way of life. The musical genres that influence New Orleans (like jazz, gospel, R&B, and blues) are vast, but they meld seamlessly. In New Orleans, music is also about tradition and a way of life. Music is a part of every major life event, from Mardi Gras to weddings, celebrations, and funerals. 


  1. Break students into groups. On chart paper have them divide the page into quarters. Groups will designate the following words in each square: Who, Where, How, and Why. As students collaborate, play the New Orlean Music for Recorders Playlist. They’ll respond to the following prompts below:
    • Square 1: Who do you listen to music with?
    • Square 2: Where do you hear music?
    • Square 3: How do you share music?
    • Square 4: Why is it important to pass on music traditions?


  1. Have students share their work with the class. Discuss with how anyone of any age can pass on musical traditions. Tell them they’ll become part of the greater music community passing on New Orleans music traditions by learning songs on the recorder. 



  1. Select a song for students to start with. Students should already know how to hold a recorder, identify the notes, and hold basic positions 一 resting and playing position. This collection of songs represents a range of ways New Orleans music intersects with daily life. Each song features three versions: one solo version (the melody in standard notation), one solo version with note names (standard notation with supporting letters above the notes), and a duet version, for classes ready to learn two-part harmonies. 


  1. Distribute the complete New Orleans Music for Recorders collection or select specific songs from the list below:


  1. Allow time for students to practice and rehearse as a class. Teachers should provide group or individual feedback. 



  1. Organize a class performance for an audience. Ask students to reflect on their experience learning and passing on New Orleans music traditions.



Used with permission. Portions of this work are based on the National Core Arts Standards Copyright © 2015 National Coalition for Core Arts Standards/All Rights Reserved – Rights Administered by SEADAE.

© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

Meghan Swartz, Curriculum Developer and Music Artist Liaison
Mark Braud, Curriculum Developer and Music Artist Liaison
Dr. Felicia Lively, Elementary Music Consultant
JoDee Scissors, Content Producer



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