Recorder Grade 1 | £12.00

Topic And Grade

Recorder & Music Theory, Grade 1

About The Course

This course is being redesigned - DO NOt PURCHASE YET.  There are no lessons available yet.  A notice will be posted when a lesson becomes available.


Welcome to my online recorder course.  This course is still in development but the aim is to start from the beginning with both playing and music theory.  This would be of benefit not just to complete beginners, but also to more advanced players who want to refresh their musical knowledge or who wish to start at a higher level.

The course is not intended to replace in-person lessons with a teacher, but to enhance the learning experience by providing a supplement when only having online lessons, or a combination of online and in-person tuition.

This course covers the requirements of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College Grade 1 Music Theory and practical recorder syllabuses. The theory components consists of the following topics:

  • The beat and note values
  • Simple time signatures and bar-lines
  • Notes on the stave: treble and bass clef
  • Rests
  • Tied notes and dotted notes
  • Semitones and tones
  • Accidentals and cancellation
  • Construction of the major scale
  • Degrees of the scale and intervals
  • The tonic triad
  • Frequently used musical terms and signs

Practical and theory components are integrated into each lesson, however, lessons dedicated completely to either theory or playing are also provided.  Where possible, musical examples for the practical component will be on the list of pieces in the examination syllabuses, otherwise supplimentary examples are provided either within the lesson or as a downloadable document.

Each lesson will contain visual and audio examples for both F (treble) and C (descant / tenor) instruments, with which the student can play along.  The reason for this is to introduce both C and F fingerings from the start.  The early grades allow examinations to be taken on a descant recorder, but later examinations expect the student to play both C and F instruments.  Rather than trying to tackle more technically difficult pieces with no prior knowledge of F fingerings, you can be learning both at the same time or easily return to earlier lessons and play the examples for F recorder.  Of course, you may not be taking exams and wish to only play C or F instruments.  That is your choice.


Playalong Audio

Playalong audio exercises are a main feature of the course.  Exercises in the lessons dedicated to music theory will contain playing along audio for both F and C recorders.  There will also be lessons dedicated to playing.  These will consist of tunes with keyboard accompaniment to play along with on C and F instruments.  The student can read these from the computer screen or print off the score for their chosen instrument.



Fingering diagrams for both F and C instruments will be provided as shown below.

A stave at the top of each diagram shows the note for both F and C instruments.  Treble on the left and descant / tenor on the right.  In this example the fingering (thumb and first 3 fingers down) is C on a treble and G on the descant / tenor.




T = Thumb

Left Hand fingers numbered 1, 2, 3



Right Hand fingers numbered 4, 5, 6, 7

Filled-in circles represent closed holes.





The lessons may use the following terms for recorders:

C recorder: descant and tenor.

F recorder: treble (also called an alto).


Quizzes and Worksheets

Each lesson, unless a purely practical lesson, will have an accompanying quiz and worksheet.  A button will be found at the end of each lesson to start the quiz, otherwise you can access quizzes from the side menu bar by clicking the Quiz menu item.  A link to download worksheet documents will be at the end of each lesson.  Completing quizzes and worksheets is not mandatory to complete the course.


Supported Devices

For ease of use, a desktop or laptop - either Mac or Windows is recommended.  iPads and other tablets will be adequate too but mobile phones are not recommended.

You will need a good internet connection and devices than can play mp3 audio.

For ease of reading the score examples, you may wish to enlarge the display.  Please click [here] for help with this.

All graphics are in a format to avoid distortion when expanding the display.



For practising, it is recommended you have the following tools:

  1. A metronome: any electronic metronome or a metronome app on your smart phone, for example, MetroTimer, which is available for either IOS or Android
  2. An electronic tuner: any device or app for your smart phone, for example, insTuner, which is available for IOS or Android.
  3. A thumb rest for your recorder. In the UK, these are available from the Early Music Shop. Click here for their website.  There will be a video in Lesson 1 explaining more about thumb rests.

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