Moosical Recorder


Hi music lovers!  It’s Tuesday and time for another Top 10 Tuesday musical activity!  Today, we will be learning about playing music with feeling.  This activity is intended for Kindergarteners – 3rd grade children, and your child should be able to blow through a recorder and cover the holes with their fingers.  It is not necessary for them to know any notes at this point.

To complete the activity, you will need  two items:

(1) A recorder.  I’ve seen cheap ones at the Dollar Store.  They certainly do not have the same quality as a Yamaha Recorder, but for this activity, they are fine to use.  If you want a good recorder, you can either purchase them at a music store or click HERE to see one on  Here’s a picture of the Yamaha recorder:

(2) The book “Misery Moo” by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.  You can find the book at any library or book store or click HERE to view it at  Here’s a picture of the book:

In the story, Misery Moo, a lonely old cow, has a miserable life and a miserable attitude to match.  He meets a little lamb who tells him to “Be happy.”  Throughout the story, the cow wallows in his sadness, and the lamb is always an optimist.  Each time Misery Moo complains about his life, ask your child to play the recorder sadly, and each time the little lamb gives his happy wisdom, ask your child to play the recorder happily.  Instinctually, your child will most likely play slow breathy quiet notes for sad melodies and fast-tempo louder notes for the happier melodies.  Point this out to them, and it will be the perfect example of how music is played with emotion.

As a next step to this activity, play happy and sad songs to your children to illustrate the different sound and characteristics of these different musical styles.  One great example of a happy song is “Shiny Happy People” by the band, REM.  Click HERE to go to Youtube to hear the song and watch the video.  It is written with an upbeat tempo and is the epitome of “happy.”  REM also wrote one of the saddest songs of all time, and “Everybody Hurts” is the perfect example of this.  It’s tempo is slow and is sung with deep heartfelt angst.  Click HERE to go to Youtube to hear this tear-jerker.

As your children become little modern-day Mozarts, they will start becoming aware of distinguishing patterns in music.  Emotion is a large part of how music takes on its shape and dimension, and so it is an important lesson to learn.  Hopefully, they will learn to express themselves musically and use music as another outlet for their emotions.  It’s worked for all the great composers, and that is one of the many beauties of this art form.

I hope you have all enjoyed today’s Top 10 music activity.  Don’t forget to come back every Tuesday for more activities  that will help you share the love of music with your children.  To learn more about Top 10 Tuesdays and to read the complete list of Top 10 musical instruments under $40 that will help promote music education in the home, click HERE.  Until next week….play on!


One response »

  1. Pingback: Shiny Happy People, #486 « Tucson Songstress

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