Composing for the Recorder with QComposer

by Abby @ Quaver on February 12, 2013

in In the Quaver Classroom!,

Welcome back Georgia teacher Amanda Gonzales with a great original lesson plan for integrating Recorders into a Quaver classroom:

Recorders Rock!

All my 4th and 5th grade students learn to play the soprano recorder. Those who excel are given the option to switch to alto during their 5th grade year. During class I use the Recorder Karate method to help motivate students to practice. It is a great way to keep your students motivated to push through their repertoire.

But how can you take recorders to the next level with Quaver’s resources?

The answer is simple: QComposer!

I challenge my classes to cooperatively write their own class song to earn their Black Belt. Working as team to make creative decisions is a real life skill. As music teachers, this is something that we work on all the time. Once children have earned the Black Belt, they are ready to begin writing their own recorder songs and they are eager to do so!

QComposer makes writing songs for the recorder easy!

Once the song is complete, each class votes for the winning song. The winning song is they showcased during our spring recorder concert!

Here’s how we compose for the recorder using QComposer at

  1. Log in to and head to the studio, then click on QComposer
  2. You may either use the Melody Maker (uses preset melodic lines to ensure student success) or you can do it all on your own.
  3. Before we begin I list on the board all notes we know how to play on the recorder. For us, it’s B A G C D. I then circle G because I require them to begin and end the song on the note G. I also tell them that while we want the song to be engaging fun and interesting that they need to remember they will be playing the song, so let’s keep it realistic!
  4. As a class we take ideas and notate them into QComposer. This gives me numerous teachable moments where I can share how to write a good song. The students are very receptive because they want to win the contest!
  5. As we write the song we listen to the playback very often. We adjust and make changes as we feel needed.
  6. Lastly make sure you save your song, print a copy for you students and make an MP3. Any student who brings in a CD can burn a copy of the MP3 to take home. They love taking it home and sharing it with their family members.

As music teachers we strive towards teaching ownership of a song. There is a difference in a musician when the song becomes a part of who they are.

Using QComposer gives my students a sense of ownership that is indescribable.

I watch their faces light up as their song begins to take shape. Their excitement and energy and love for music writing is contagious! They are invested in this piece of music, and they are all eager to learn to play the song.

What about you – Have you found ways takes your current resources to that next level?

Thanks Amanda! Happy composing!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie February 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Amanda-This is a wonderful idea and a perfect way to have students work together! Thank you for sharing. I am inspired.


2 Rudene February 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Amanda, thanks for the great recorder idea. My students begin playing recorders this week and of course, I’ll be looking at new ways to incorporate Quaver into the lessons. I appreciate your willingness to share!


3 madeline April 18, 2017 at 8:28 pm

amanda this is fun!!!!!!!!!!!


4 madeline April 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm

this is fantastic


5 madeline April 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm

this will teach us a lot amanda


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