Bird Chant Rondo

by Sara Glenie 

 After being inspired by Michael Chandler and Julie Scott’s  sessions at Vision 2020, I adapted Michael’s idea using the American capital cities to the bird names. These  ideas can be explored over a series of lessons with beginner recorder playersstarting with the notes C and then A.  

Bird Chant Rondo. – Score

Part 1 

  1. Show students the rhythms and get them to say and clap.  
  1. The class choose 4 patterns (4 bars) and decide which order to say them in. This becomes the A section of the Rondo for example- blackbird blackbird, honeyeater honeyeater, kingfisher kingfisher, seagull cockatoo  
  1. Working in small groups each group choose  4 patterns of their own.  They must decide on body percussion and gestures for each pattern. In one of my classes I was amused with one group, who made up gestures for King Fisher – they mimed a crown on their heads and then pretended to be fishing.  
  1. Perform patterns to each other. Everyone recites the A Section in between each groups performance.  

Part 2 

  1. Class revise all the  rhythms with a ‘dooh’ sound. Play rhythms on recorder playing C and then an A and then a mixture of both notes. 
  1. Accompany on tenor recorder or bass xylophone playing a simple bordun pattern using  F and C. 
  1. In the same small groups, practise playing your chosen pattern on recorder, using just the note C and then A and finally a combination of C’s  and A’s.  
  1. In each group one or two students play recorder, one or two play an accompanying part on percussion,  and some students perform movements.  
  1. Perform the piece as a rondo. Everyone chanting the whole class A Section and then each group one at a time performing their arrangements. 


There are lots of fabulous ideas in Michael’s book: Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday! By Michael Chandler (Sweet Pipes)