Recorder playing – building technique and ensemble skills with Helen Hooker

Ref: S2D29449

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About this course

If you are an elementary player this course focuses on improving technique and building ensemble skills. Learn different styles of repertoire from Renaissance to the present day.

Course Description

The focus of the course will cover two elements – technique and ensemble skills. Each day we will work on elements of basic technique, including posture, breathing, tone production, fingering and articulation. While it won’t be possible to hone every aspect of technique in a single weekend, the aim is to give you the information you need to continue improving at home.

Alongside technique we will explore some simple consort music, developing players’ listening and ensemble playing skills. All music is provided by the tutor and will be carefully tailored to suit the needs and abilities of all players present.

This course is aimed at those who can play the recorder fairly fluently but would like to expand their ensemble experience. It would be advantageous if you are able to play more than one size of recorder in order to create a balanced ensemble for the weekend. The repertoire we play will encompass a variety of different styles, from the Renaissance up to the present day. The course is not suitable for complete beginnners.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All music will be provided. This will include some handouts for students to take away with them to aid further study after the course

What students need to bring

  • The tutor asks you to email her three weeks prior to the course to indicate your level of ability, details of recorders you play/own and will bring, musical experience, sort of music you regularly play/enjoy playing and any aspect you especially need help with. Email this information to her via [email protected]. This will help her select music to suit everyone’s requirements.
  • Please bring:
  • Your recorders
  • A music stand, essential (and clip on music stand light, if you have one)
  • A soft pencil and rubber for annotating music

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pencils, notebooks and rubbers


Helen Hooker

Helen Hooker studied the recorder at Trinity College of Music and now enjoys teaching, performing, conducting, writing and arranging for the recorder. Helen performs regularly and released her first solo CD, Helen and Friends, in 2010. Helen teaches on residential courses throughout the British Isles and recently published her first recorder eBook.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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