The Recorder & The Music Curriculum


The Recorder And Music Curriculum: To learn, take back and pass on.

Format: On-line
Course duration: 20 hours
ENROL €89.00

About the Course

Let us take you aboard a musical journey into learning the recorder, teaching you to play an instrument with a long and rich history that goes back to ancient times.

Over the years, the recorder has become a popular instrument in music education, and now you have the opportunity to become a skilled player, if not a virtuoso!

Presently, you are probably recalling your own primary school days with memories of First Class and sounds vaguely resembling the tune of “Three Blind Mice” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Of course, we’ll begin back with the nursery rhymes, before sweeping through the Christmas classics, traditional ballads and classics through time. By the time we finish you’ll probably be thinking of advertising a solo concert!

It's all online, in your own time and at your own pace. It is step by step, using video & audio lessons, taking you all the way from blowing your first note, onwards to a competent rendition of ‘Scarborough Fair’ etc. and through many more firm favourites.

Loreto Desmond

We are delighted to have Loreto Desmond as the author and presenter of this course. Loreto is a primary school teacher and principal. She has a masters degree in music education and has a long history of teaching the music curriculum and the recorder to young children and indeed to trainee teachers.

She is uniquely positioned to present you with the ideal combination of skills to learn and teach the recorder and the understanding of how it can be used in a rich and rewarding way to meet the requirements of the music curriculum.  

Loreto has also written two books on the recorder and we are delighted to say that you will receive these two Recorder Manuals and a Descant Recorder FREE by post to accompany and support your online video lessons. 

Manuals and recorder FREEThrough completing the course, you will acquire the competence, confidence and skill to resurrect the joy of Recorder playing in classrooms throughout the country, developing and grounding a new generation of Descant Recorder players in today’s schools.

By course end, our expert tutor, Ms. Loreto Desmond will have you playing like a pro, equipped with everything you need to confidently step back into your classroom and begin teaching the Recorder to your students, infusing every day with the joy of music.

Here is a little introduction from Loreto herself. Click play to watch. 

Enrol today and discover a whole new pleasure & skill set. 

It is truly up to us to unearth the next generation of Recorder players, and firmly replant it into classrooms across the country.


The online format of this course enables you to study at a time and place that best suits your own needs. 

You can access your course anytime until March 31st 2024.

Within this highly interactive web based course, a dynamic learning experience awaits, where you can interact with your fellow course participants through the in-course chat forums and communication tools provided by the CPD College learning system. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors actively support each course, providing expert interaction, guidance and feedback for all participants on chat questions and assignments which call for critical reflection, self-analysis and a reasoned response. 

On successful completion of your course, you can download and print off your CPD record and certificate of completion.

We look forward to welcoming you to your course.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of this e-learning course are:

  • To prepare teachers to plan, arrange and deliver an exciting, comprehensive and rounded music scheme, supported by their growing ability, competence and confidence to play an instrument i.e. the Descant Recorder.
  • To outline tasks and activities that build musical skills, enabling children to explore, listen to and respond in a variety of ways to sounds, notes and music.
  • To explore the range of curriculum methodologies and strategies that drive great lessons.
  • To grow children’s understanding and knowledge of the underlying musical concepts & elements
  • To detail a solid lesson plan structure and approach to music lessons.
  • To teach the teachers to play the Descant Recorder to a standard that will enable them to return to the classroom, equipped with the skills, techniques, materials and tunes to roll out Recorder lessons to their pupils.
  • To use the Recorder in two specific ways, to provide all children with the experience and simple enjoyment of playing tunes, and to support work with children around the elements of music i.e. notes, pitch, tempo etc.
  • To plan and utilise cross curricular opportunities to integrate literacy, mathematics and music.
  • To assemble and furnish a library of collected music materials & resources to support and feed children’s’ music making, responding and composing.
  • To map digital resources to curriculum expectations and have teachers do the same within schemes of work.
  • To review, plan and action points for improvement in their ‘Teacher Practice in Music’ as part of the SSE process.


01 -  INTRODUCTION & BASICS: Teaching recorder makes acquiring literacy in music simple, easy and fun. Every child should be able at the end of 6th class to pick up a simple sheet of music and be able to make sense of it, play a suite of tunes, entertaining oneself and anyone within earshot. Loreto takes you through fingering, breathing, time signatures, reading music on the staves , your first notes B, A, G & C while playing tunes such as ‘The Bee and the Ant’, ‘Hot Cross Buns’, ‘Sleepy Head’, ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ etc. We conclude with contextualising the place for the recorder within the wider primary school music curriculum, particularly within progression across the classes in the ‘Listening & Responding’ strand.
02 -  STARTING TO PLAY: The next series of notes and time signatures are taught e.g. D, Breath marks, F#, E, Low D followed by a suite of practice tunes that incorporate these and previous notes, in order to polish and embed the skills through playing.  Tunes you will play include: ‘The Dancing Snowman’, ‘Irish Lullaby’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘River Valley Ramblers’, ‘Marching up and Down’, ‘Clair de la Lune’, ‘Yankee Doodle’, ‘Anna’s Song’ and more. We conclude with looking at progression across the classes in playing percussion and melodic instruments. 
03 -  PROGRESSION & PRACTICE: we progress onwards to the next level in Recorder playing focusing on skill elements and tunes that embody, exemplify and help acquire key skills. We continue with looking at silent beats & rests while learning to play ‘Hayden’s Tune’, ‘Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’, ‘Frére Jacques’, ‘Laura Lee’, ‘Bobby Shaftoe’, ‘Jingle Bells’ and more.  We conclude with sample lessons & activities encompassing listening / responding activities across the classes.
04 -  CONFIDENT PRACTICE: From up beats to quavers and playing C#, we keep the music and beat going with ‘The Robin’s Wedding’, ‘Siobhán Ní Dhuibhir’, ‘French Folk Song’, ‘Alleluia’, ‘Molly Malone’, ‘Michael Finnegan’, ‘Misty Morning’, ‘American Folk Song’ and more. We conclude by looking at the central role of the voice and song singing in the music curriculum. Song singing is an ideal way of engaging large groups in enjoyable and fulfilling music making and skill building. Huge opportunities for cross curricular work and integration. 
05 - READY TO TEACH: From High E and dotted crotchets to playing the slurs technique, we continue with tunes such as ‘Oró sé do Bheatha Bhaile’, ‘Brother John’, ‘Doodle Deirdre’, ‘Morning has Broken’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘Roddy McCorley’,  ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angles’ and more.  We detail a range of activities to teach & explore composing & improvisation skills with children. We review the resources that a teacher / school enthusiastic about music education would typically possess and our Recorder course concludes with a further suite of well-loved tunes.