Recorder Lesson: Green Sally Up

In this excerpt from Recorder: A Creative Sequence*, Alan Purdum shares his lesson for soprano recorder, Green Sally UpStudents use low D and E for playing and improvising, and experience the jazz elements in a children’s hand clapping game.

*Copyright © 2014 by Cedar River Music. Used with permission. The third volume in the Creative Sequence series, Recorder is a sequential curriculum of folk songs, games, and creative student activities to incorporate the soprano recorder into the music classroom.

About Alan Purdum

Alan Purdum

Alan Purdum is retired from Grand Valley Schools where he taught elementary music, and is the recorder instructor for Orff Schulwerk (Music and Movement Education) teacher-training classes at Baldwin Wallace University. He is the author of Recorder: A Creative Sequence, a manual for teaching recorder to children. Alan recently retired as minister of music at Howland Community Church in Warren, is a member of the Rosewood Consort, and plays bass with the Greenville Symphony and the Alliance Symphony. He participates in community theatre as an actor and musician; and is a freelance bagpiper.


Teaching With Orff

Thank you, Patricia. We hope that you’ll share your classroom experience with us! – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

Dave Turner

curious as to why SX plays A#/B on the B7 chord. Wouldn’t A natural be more appropriate?

Alan Purdum

The use of Bb (A#) and B natural together emphasizes the bluesy roots of “Green Sally Up” and sets the xylophone up for improvisation in the E minor blues scale (E GABbB DE–La pentatonic on E with an added “blue note”, the flat 5). Jazz pianists often use this sort of voicing, playing the fifth of the chord simultaneously with the flatted fifth. Later, after the students have learned Bb on the recorder, they can revisit this song and play it with a Bb in the melody as well.

You might want to try the arrangement both ways (with A/B, then with A#/B) to see which you prefer.

(The score shows A#/B because my notation program balked at writing Bb/B which I would have preferred.)

Devon Nelson

Thank you so much for sharing this! I think it will be an easy and accessible way for me to introduce jazz into my curriculum. Much appreciated.

Naoko Wicklein

I shared the lesson with my 4th and 5th grade students. They loved the piece, and they learned it so quickly. I can’t wait to do the improvisation part now. Thank you so much for sharing this.


If I were to strum an acoustic guitar along………what chords would work?

Thank you!


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