Recorder playing – building technique and ensemble skills with Helen Hooker

Ref: SWE08912


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About this course

Aimed at elementary players with limited experience of playing in groups, this course focuses on improving technique and building ensemble skills. Repertoire will encompass different styles, from Renaissance to the present day. It is advantageous if you can play more than one size of recorder.

Course Description

Repertoire will encompass different styles, from Renaissance to the present day. It is advantageous if you can play more than one size of recorder.

This course is aimed at those who can play the recorder fairly fluently (elementary level players) but would like to expand their ensemble experience. It is not suitable for complete beginners. 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 isn't possible to hone every aspect of technique in a single weekend, the aim is to give players the information they 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 the students present. It would be advantageous if students 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.


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, 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.

What students need to bring

  • Your recorders, a music stand, a soft pencil and rubber for annotating music.
  • No specific preparation is required. However, it would be helpful if you could email the tutor via with details of your level of ability, so that she can bring music to suit everyone's requirements.

Available to buy

  • The tutor will also have some handouts to take away to aid further study after the course, these will cost around £3 to cover printing costs, which should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.


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.