Hot Cross Buns


My daughter has begun a rite of passage.  She is beginning to learn how to play the recorder as part of her 3rd grade curriculum.  She is so proud of her very pretty purple recorder.  It is like her new best friend, and she is so excited to learn how to play it.  Yesterday, she came home with the sheet music for “Hot Cross Buns,” the standard first song that every kid across America learns to play on recorder in 3rd grade.

I have a special connection to “Hot Cross Buns.”  It does not delve back from childhood…no, it is a recent adult connection.  The blog below is from a post I wrote called “First Songs to Learn on the Recorder.”  It is my #1 most viewed blog that I have ever written.  I wrote it on February 19, 2013, and to date, it has had 5,755 views.

It only goes to show just how many children and parents are looking up information on how to play the recorder.  So, knowing that it is second semester 3rd grade curriculum, I thought I’d repost this blog today.  Here you go and Happy Top 10 Tuesday!


Today’s Top 10 Tuesday music activity will involve using the recorder.  Here is a picture of a standard Yamaha recorder.


You can find them in music stores, sometimes even in drug stores or by conveniently clicking HERE to view one on for purchase.

Recorders are a great first instrument for elementary school children.  They are simple to play and are a perfect way for children to learn basic music theory with a hands-on approach.  Several weeks ago, I wrote a Top 10 Music Activity called “First Fingerings on the Recorder.”  (Click HERE to see the lesson.)  In this lesson, I taught the fingerings for the B, A and G recorder notes.  I also included simple songs utilizing the three notes.  Today, it’s time to expand on the lesson.

Recorders are usually not taught until the middle of the year in 3rd grade or the in 4th grade.  This activity is age appropriate from 3rd grade and up.

The Activity

I found a great interactive recorder fingering chart online from a website called Music K-8 Kid Tunes.  Here’s the web address:  What I like about this site is that it shows the music notes on the scale and tells the name of the note.  When you click on the note, it shows you which holes to cover on the recorder and plays what the note should sound like.  Here is the link to the fingering chart:


Have your child practice each of the notes on the interactive fingering chart.  Once they’ve completed practicing each note, it is time for a simple song.  One of the most popular songs taught first on the recorder in “Hot Cross Buns.”  This song is so often used because the fingerings are among the easiest to switch back and forth to, and like in my first lesson plan I wrote for recorder, it includes the “B, A, and G” notes.  Here is the sheet music/lyrics for “Hot Cross Buns,” which I found for free on a website called


If you are parent who does not read music.  Here is a quick lesson on how to play “Hot Cross Buns” from Youtube.  (Click HERE to watch it.) I encourage you to have your child follow along with the sheet music while they are listening to it, however, so they associate what it looks like and what it sounds like.

Once your child is confidently playing “Hot Cross Buns,”  it is time to introduce new notes and songs.  Click HERE for an excellent PDF document from  It has 12 different songs introducing one new note in each song.  Getting through each one of these sheets and practicing the fingering will take some time.  Patience is important, and my opinion is to only practice for 10-15 minutes every day.  This will avoid frustration.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top 10 Tuesday music activity.  For a complete list of the musical instruments under $40 that will help to promote music education in the home, click HERE.  For an archive of previous Top 10 Tuesday music activities, click HERE, and until next Tuesday,practice, practice, practice and play on!


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