Recorder Repair: Student-Created Tutorials

by Cherie Herring on March 9, 2014 · 9 comments

in 1:1 iPads, Aurasma, Flipped Classroom, SMART Notebook Music Lessons, Teaching Ideas, Technology Resources

The Recorder Repair Shop is Open

One of the unforeseen benefits of having my recorder students send in videos via email, is the ability to see incorrect fingering or other struggles that might otherwise go unnoticed in a large classroom. When I realized that I needed to send back a video with directions to fix the problem, the Recorder Repair Shop was created.

At first, I made a few of the helpful videos, but as soon as I noticed a student playing a piece really well, I challenged him/her to create a Recorder Repair video to help other students with the tricky parts of that piece. It’s always better if the students do the teaching. These students were not always my most advanced students, but they demonstrated mastery of a particular piece and it was nice to reward them with a way to teach other students.

Recorder Repair Board

Recorder Repair Bulletin Board / Additional videos are added daily

Recorder Repair Shop Image

Each image, if scanned by Aurasma, will trigger the teaching video.


Here is the text of an email that I sent out to each selected student:

I have a challenge for you….
Would you be willing to make a teaching video for the Hammond Music Students? You can make as many as you’d like, but I want you to pick one thing that you do well and explain the secrets to it. Here are some ideas:
  • ​​​How to Master high C (fingering changes from B to C)
  • How to Master low E without squeaking
  • How to Master high D
  • How to Master the first 4 notes of “Oh, When the Saints”
  • How to read music (Telling the difference between G and B)
  • The secret to playing with good tone
  • How to Master high C and high D and still hold on to the Recorder
  • How to Master low D  - the fingering and soft blowing
  • How to practice until you get it.
  • How to blow the spit out ( ugh!)
  • How to remember to play with Left hand on top and Right on bottom
  • How to play an F# – maybe go from G to F#  (fingering for F# is 1-2-3 on top and 2-3 on bottom)
  • Demonstrate how to play the 3rd line of Ode to Joy
  • Demonstrate the difference between the 1st line and 2nd line of Ode to Joy
  • Demonstrate how to play Ama lama
  • How to Master “Old MacDonald”
  • How to Master playing low F – regular. (fingering for F-regular is 1-2-3 on top and 1-3 on bottom)
  • Mastering the tricky spots in “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”
  • Mastering the tricky spots in “Supercalifragi – thingy)


The video only needs to be a minute or so long but your fingers need to be seen in the video. I’m going to attach it to Aurasma and when anyone has a problem with a recorder skill, they will go to your picture and learn how to fix the problem.
You might start by saying something like this:
  • ​​If you want to play B to C on the recorder, this is how you do it. (Show the fingering)
  • Here’s a helpful hint (tell how you learned to remember the fingering)
  • I had trouble at first until I learned to (blah, blah, blah)
The idea it for you to be the teacher for 1 minute and explain how to play the recorder from a kid’s point of view! For each teaching video you send me, I will award you with a GOLD bead! Think of everything you have taught yourself … now it’s time to teach someone else! Remember, teach them 1 thing and keep it simple. 
SMILE, movie star!!!​
It wasn’t too many hours before the videos came rolling in! For the first time, I was able to attach student-created videos to future emails as needed. This made all the difference in the world because it wasn’t me doing the teaching, it was the students. There were even times when the Repair kids created a video demonstrating a fingering and they got it all wrong. I quickly created a fix-er-upper and sent it back and they were able to fix the repair video. In a large class of recorder players, so many of these boys and girls would go unnoticed no matter how hard I try to notice each one.

The Recorder Repair Shop works on many levels

It gives a spotlight to the students who are playing correctly – no matter the level. It builds them up and gives them confidence. It gives a voice to my shy students. The children surprise me with the way they problem-solve things like remembering left hand over right, or fingering from high C to high D. It creates a resource for students to find answers to problems they are having. At the moment, I have these on a bulletin board and students can scan the images with the Aurasma app to watch the Recorder Repair video. I also have them linked on my site under the “I need help” section.  In the future, I will introduce new fingering or other topics by showing the Recorder Repair videos during class. I notice that the kids get completely quiet when one of their own is speaking! Imagine that!
The images above can be scanned with the Aurasma app if you join my channel: “Hammond School.”  Or, if you would like to see a few, look at this one or this one or this one.

Do you want a copy?

If you would like a copy of my SMARTNotebook file that contains all of the frames for these images, just email me. All you will need to do is insert the picture of your students and perhaps change the title. They are perfect trigger images for Aurasma. Why re-invent the wheel? I’ll happily share it with you!
I know that other subjects use student-created tutorials, but in my music room, I’ve never tried it like this before. I’m hooked!
What about you? Have you had your students create tutorials to share with others? How did they access them? What were they teaching?
Sharing is caring!
Have a great Monday!!
Cherie Web signature 11
Recorder Repair Shop Long simple image

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

kirsty March 15, 2014 at 2:09 AM


Would it be possible for me to have a copy of this please – it’s a great idea. Email is

many thanks



Diana Hefner March 25, 2014 at 1:16 PM

I would love to have a copy of you Recorder repair shop. Thanks, Diana


Kate April 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I would love a copy of your recorder repair shop!! Thanks!


Sherri July 15, 2014 at 11:12 AM

What a great idea! Could I have a copy of it, please? I don’t have a smart board but would like to take what you’ve created and adjust it possibly using QR codes instead to link students to the help videos. Thank you so much for sharing!


Cherie Herring July 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Hi Sherri, I just sent you an email with a few ideas. Thanks for dropping by!!


Bethany Wessel August 7, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Hi Cherie!
You’ve truly inspired me with all of your great ideas and use of technology! My music class will finally have some access to iPads on a regular basis, so I’m putting up your “Mustache You a Question” bulletin board and just printed out all of your pics for that. I don’t have a SmartBoard, but would love to use your frames for the Recorder Repair video idea, if I can. Thanks so much!


Cherie Herring August 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Hi Bethany!
Thank you for the kind words. I’m so excited for you!! You will be amazed at all of the ideas that come once you embrace the technology as a tool for learning. For me, iPads give me much more control of my classroom – but in a different way. Now, about the Recorder Repair frames… they are in SMART Notebook and that software allows the layering of images and frames in a unique way. I though about exporting them as a PDF, but that won’t really help you create the pictures because you can’t layer them correctly. I can’t do it this weekend, but next week, let me try exporting the images as .png files and you might can layer them in another program. I wish it were just as simple as sending the file, but if you don’t have SMART Notebook software, it won’t work. Now, You could have the kids create the videos, store them in the cloud and link them via QR code. That would work. Aurasma is a tricky app because each picture has to be unique and thats where my frames come in. The kids can still make the movies, edit them in iMovie or just send them to you and you can link them via QR codes. What do you think about that? – Cherie


Bethany Wessel August 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Sooo…exciting news! I was just told today I’m getting a SMARTboard! I’m so, so excited…so I definitely want to take advantage of whatever you can send me!


Cherie Herring August 8, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Yippee!!!!!! I’ll send you several links via email right away!! Be sure to read the blog post to save time. I am thrilled for you, Bethany! Stay in touch and let me help you along the way.


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