recorder music book
Why learn to play recorder?

soprano recorderRecorders:

  • Affordable.
  • Easy to learn and to play--you can make good progress in just a few weeks.
  • Good choice for any beginner (child or adult) with no music experience.
  • Real instrument that is child-sized (soprano recorder).
  • Give you confidence and skills to learn other instruments.
  • Perfect instrument for music education in schools and in homes.
  • Enjoy social playing as an adult by joining or starting a recorder group.
  • Portable: take on trips or camping.
Musica Antiqua, Penny Gardner is on far right
peripole recorder, courtesy of Peripole, INC

What is a good recorder? Aulos recorders are an excellent choice for individuals.
You'll want a Baroque recorder (not German).

For bulk purchases, I recommend the baroque Angel soprano, blue case, from Peripole. It is an excellent recorder, at a great price. They also have an excellent, affordable alto. Their specialty is serving schools and music educators, so if you are ordering in bulk, PERIPOLE gets my highest recommendation.

sopranino recorder

Recorders have a limited range so it works well to play in a group or consort that includes the main members of the recorder family. Recorders are either C instruments or F instruments, depending on what is the lowest note on the recorder. Soprano and tenor recorders are C instruments with the tenor sounding an octave lower. Sopranino, alto, and bass recorders are F instruments. Sopranino is smaller and therefore higher than a soprano recorder. Alto is an octave lower than sopranino; and bass is an octave lower than alto. The graphics below are not in scale.

soprano recorder soprano recorder

Sopranino is a good choice for a young child or a child with small fingers. It is very high pitched and is played sparingly in a consort. Sopranino is an F instrument so use the alto method to learn.

tenor recorder
bass recorder
bass recorder with bocal
alto recorder

Soprano recorder, a C instrument, is the most ubiquitous and affordable of recorders. Schools use the soprano. It is child-sized, just over a foot long, fitting the hands of most children age 8 and up. Learn soprano using the Nine-Note Recorder Method.

recorder consort

Considered by many to be the most pleasing instrument in the recorder family, the alto recorder is an F instrument. Knowing how to play alto makes learning bass recorder easier--the main difference is reading treble or bass clef.

Tenor recorder is a C instrument. Teens and adults who know how to play soprano, can automatically play tenor recorder.

Aulos bass recorders have a choice of blowing directly into the recorder or blowing into a bocal. The low tone of this F instrument is beautiful and adds depth to a consort.
Use the new Nine-Note Recorder Method for BASS
to learn to play.

Recorder buying tips: The model numbers usually reflect the quality of the instrument. So a recorder with a model number of 300 will be a better instrument than a 100 model. A well-made plastic recorder is generally better than a low-end wood recorder.

Left: Photo of soprano, tenor, bass, and alto recorders, in true scale.

teacher-written elementary music curriculum