1. Make a Sound

Gina Luciani introduces you to the recorder and its woodwind family and teaches you how to make a sound on the recorder.


Recorder Tips

Hand Position

Left Hand
The left hand always goes on top with the left thumb covering the back hole. The left pinky finger never touches the instrument. Imagine that you are holding a fancy tea cup.

Right Hand
The right hand goes on the bottom and the right thumb can rest of the back to help balance.


How to Make a Sound


Cover your teeth with your lips, nice and tight. Then, place the mouthpiece into your mouth (still keeping your lips over your teeth).

Blow softly.If no sound is produced, blow a little more air.If your recorder squeaks, try blowing a little less air for a “just right” balance.


Instructional Video and Vocabulary

Meet Gina


Breath and Posture

Gina shows you how to take nice deep breaths and just the right way to sit so that when you play the recorder you can produce a great sound.

Musical Instrument
A musical instrument is an object that can create musical sounds.

The recorder is a musical instrument that is part of the woodwind family.  It is made of wood or plastic.

Woodwind Family
The woodwind family is a group of musical instruments that make a sound by blowing air into a hollow tube.  Originally, all these instruments were made of wood, but now they are are made of of metal, plastic, and/or wood.  Instruments in the woodwind family include the recorder, flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon.

The flute is a woodwind instrument that produces high, lyrical sounds.  It is now made from silver, gold or platinum, but was originally made of wood.  Unlike the recorder, the flute has keys the open and close holes to change the note.  Gina is a professional flutist (someone who plays the flute for a living).

The bassoon is one of the biggest members of the woodwind family.  Because it is bigger than the flute or the recorder it can play lower notes.

Posture means how you hold your body.  In music, good posture means shoulders back, sitting or standing up straight, feet flat on the floor, and rib cage open. Having good posture will help you produce the best sound that you can.

You breathe every day, to do i so you already know how!  But in music, breathing well will mean that you can play longer and produce better sounds.  To take a really good breath, you want to take in air through your nose and feel your chest fill completely with air.  When you can’t fit any more air in, slowly let all the air out. Repeat.  When you’re taking these big, deep breaths, don’t forget to keep your posture.

The mouthpiece is the part of a woodwind instrument that you blow into.



1.0 Artistic Perception
Listen to, Analyze, and Describe Music
1.4 Describe music according to its elements, using terminology of music.

2.0 Creative Expression
Apply Vocal and Instrumental Skills
2.2 Use classroom instruments to play melodies and accompaniments from a varied repertoire of music from diverse cultures, including rounds, descants, and ostinatos, by oneself and with others.

3.0 Historical and Cultural Context
Diversity of Music
3.3 Sing and play music from diverse cultures and time periods.

4.0 Aesthetic Valuing
Analyze and Critically Assess
4.1 Use specific criteria when judging the relative quality of musical performances.
​Derive Meaning
4.2 Describe the characteristics that make a performance a work of art.

5.0 Connections, Relationships and Applications
Connections and Applications
5.1 Identify and interpret expressive characteristics in works of art and music.
Careers and Career-Related Skills
5.4 Evaluate improvement in personal musical performances after practice or rehearsal.

• MU.CR.2.4b. Use notation to document personal or collective rhythmic, melodic, and simple harmonic musical ideas (e.g. chords).
• MU.CR.3.4b. Present the final version of personally or collectively created music to others and explain their creative process.

• MU.RE.7.4a. Explain how music listening is influenced by personal interest, knowledge, purpose, and context.
• MU.RE.7.4b. Demonstrate and explain how musical concepts and contexts affect responses to music.
• MU.RE.8.4a. Demonstrate and describe expressive attributes and how they support creators’/ performers’ expressive intent.
• MU.RE.9.4a. Apply teacher-provided and collaboratively-developed criteria to evaluate musical works and performances.

• MU.PR.4.4aDemonstrate and explain how the selection of music to perform is influenced by personal interest, knowledge, purpose, and context
• MU.PR.4.4c. Read and perform using notation (e.g. syncopation).
• MU.PR.4.4d. Demonstrate an understanding of musical concepts (e.g. physical, verbal, or written response–understanding of musical concepts and how creators use them to convey expressive intent).
• MU.PR.5.4b. With an appropriate level of independence rehearse to refine technique, expression, and identified performance challenges. –
• MU.PR.6.4a. Perform music with appropriate expression, technique, and interpretation.
• MU.PR.6.4b. Demonstrate performance and audience decorum appropriate for the occasion.

• MU.CN.10.4b. Describe the roles and impact various musics plays in one’s life and the lives of others.
• MU.CN.11.4a. Explore and describe relationships between musics and other content areas (e.g. dance, visual art, dramatic arts, literature, science, math, social studies, and language arts).
• MU.CN.11.4b. Describe how context (e.g. social, cultural, and historical) can inform a performance

Creativity and Innovation

  • Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts.
  • Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively.
  • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work.
  • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Use Systems Thinking: Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems.
  • Make Judgements and Decisions: Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes.

Communication and Collaboration

  • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts.
  • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions.
  • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade).
  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams.
  • Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal.
  • Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member

Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Incorporate feedback effectively.
  • Deal positively with praise, setbacks and criticism.
  • Understand, negotiate and balance diverse views and beliefs to reach workable solutions, particularly in multi-cultural environments.

Initiative and Self Direction

  • Set goals with tangible and intangible success criteria.
  • Balance tactical (short-term) and strategic (long-term) goals.
  • Be Self-directed learners: Go beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand one’s own learning and opportunities to gain expertise.
  • Reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress.

Leadership and Responsibility

  • Guide and Lead Others: use interpersonal and problem-solving skills to influence and guide others toward a goal.
  • Leverage strengths of others to accomplish a common goal.
  • Inspire others to reach their very best via example and selflessnes.
  • Be Responsible to Others: act responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind

Social and Cross-Cultural Skills

  • Interact Effectively with Others: know when it is appropriate to listen and when to speak.
  • Work Effectively in Diverse Teams: respond with an open mind to different ideas and values.
    Productivity and Accountability

Productivity and Accountability

  • Manage Projects: set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressure.
  • Produce Results: Demonstrate additional attributes associated with producing high quality products including the abilities to: work positively, manage time and projects effectively, multi-task, participate actively, collaborate and cooperate effectively with teams, respect and appreciate team diversity, be accountable for results.