Recorder Sessions with Julie Dean

Below is a range of  sessions for recorder players run by Julie Dean. From one-off lectures to short courses there is something for everyone who wants to develop their recorder technique and/or musical understanding, You can find out more about Julie by clicking here 

All sessions can be held in person or online via Zoom with numbers are limited in sessions to allow for as much interaction from participants as possible. 

Click here to email your request......

Example sessions:

All about Voicing/How a recorder works

Duration: 2 sessions of 1hr - 1hr15m

Standard: N/A

Prerequisites: None

Content:  These sessions demonstrates what is meant by 'voicing'. It refers specifically to wooden instruments but may be of interest to all players. In the session I will show you inside the recorder block, demonstrate how changes in the windway can affect the sound and how to spot problems with your recorder.

The second session will show you how to identify voicing problems and understand common problems that can happen. The end of the session will give you advice on how to look after your recorder including oiling.


The History of the Round and Catch – Playalong session

Duration: 1 hr 15mins

Standard: Open to all levels of playing.

Prerequisites:  None

Content: This session will go through the history of the Round, Canon and Catch. A simple line that repeats with staggered entries is a simple structure and too often thought of as children’s repertoire. However, these pieces can give a social and moral history of their age and there is a huge amount of musically interesting pieces including many pieces that have not been transcribed. As we go through the history of the genre we will play numerous examples with a recorder ensemble backing track. Warning: Some rounds have topics or lyrics highly unsuitable for children’s repertoire!


The History of Music Notation

Duration: 1 x 1 hour

Standard: Open to all levels of playing. No playing required

Prerequisites: None!

Content: Music notation is a written language that has evolved through the centuries. On this session we will look at some examples of music notation from the 9th/10th century up to the present day.

All examples will be displayed on the screen so no home printing is required however a booklet will be available


Volcanoes! Thule, the Period of Cosmography – Playalong session

Duration: 1 hr 15mins

Standard: Open to all levels of playing.

Prerequisites:  Music provided in advance, choice of SATB recorders

Content: With 3 volcanoes (that’s 3 more than the average madrigal!), this two-part work is full of fire and drama. In the session we will explore Thule, The period of Cosmography/The Andulusian Merchant by Thomas Weelkes. We will examine the word painting used by Weelkes looking at some of the musical (plus social and geographical) features by analysing selected excerpts. We will then be playing through the complete work.


Polyphonic Music from Codex Las Huelgas – Playalong session

Duration: 1 hr 15mins

Standard: Open to all levels of playing.

Prerequisites:  Music provided in advance, choice of A or T recorders

Content: The Codex Las Huelgas was written in the early 14th Century and was discovered in 1904. In this session we will cover a brief history around Las Huelgas, look at pages from the original manuscript and play some of the polyphonic pieces it contains. We will also gain a deeper understanding of the language and structure of medieval music.


Extended Techniques

Duration: Approximate 1 sessions of 1 hour

Standard: Open to all levels of playing.

Prerequisites: Alto/tenor recorder, all printed materials provided

Content: In this session you be introduced to all the weird and wonderful sounds that a recorder can make!

Many of it is used in contemporary repertoire/Avant Garde music and there will be plenty of examples to hear and try.



Bring Your Own Difficult Bits

Duration: 1 hour (4-5 players)

Standard: Open to all levels of playing. Beginner/Intermediate pieces with a simple step by step approach. Individual one to one ‘masterclass’ style feedback.

Prerequisites: You should bring an example from any piece of music that you find difficult. This could be finger patterns, rhythm, musical interpretations etc.

Content:  How to deal with a difficult bit is something we come across constantly!

By bringing your own example we can learn from each other and have a range of strategies for tackling our own difficult bits. Group numbers will be kept smaller to allow everyone to play.


SHORT COURSES Multiple sessions

'I Love Scales!'

Duration: Approximate 5 sessions of 1 hour. 

Standard: Open to all levels of playing. Players should be able to comfortably play a 2 octave chromatic scale on the alto recorder

Prerequisites: Alto recorder, all printed materials provided


Scales & arpeggios are the essential building blocks for all music but too often they are only thought of as an exam requirement at the last minute, then forgotten just as quickly. We’ve all got a scale book gathering dust in the corner with pages upon pages of up and down patterns. How very boring…

These sessions will give you a working understanding of scale theory, knowing how to play them, how to play the variants, how to practice them and how to make them work for you in the pieces we play. We will be also using scales as our basis to expand into various areas of other areas of theory, playing and practice technique. All music is provided. No scale book needed!

Make scales work for you and learn to love them!


All the essentials

Duration: Approximate 4 sessions of 1 hour.

Standard: Beginner/Intermediate

Prerequisites: Any size recorder, all printed materials provided


These sessions cover each of the main areas of basic technique. Giving you detailed guidance and individual advice to develop good basic technique

  • Holding the recorder, posture, fingers
  • Breathing
  • Articulation
  • Hitting the high/low notes, Q&A


Double Tonguing Trainer

Duration: Approximate 4 sessions of 1 hour.

Standard: Intermediate +

Prerequisites: Alto recorder. This course is suitable for more advanced players. Players should have good awareness of breath control and be comfortable playing faster notes. Some daily exercises are required to get the most out of the sessions and ensure progress with the technique.


Knowing how double tonguing works in theory is one thing, it can sometimes be more difficult in practice.

These sessions will introduce double tonguing using a range of daily exercises. Between sessions the exercises should be done daily to develop technique. At each session there will be a chance for personal coaching and feedback on the technique. Each subsequent session will develop and enhance the exercises to develop fluency and variety with double tonguing. The sessions will also demonstration how to apply the techniques to music in a controlled and well thought out way.

The maximum number of participants is low to allow all players a chance for individual guidance and coaching. All worksheets will be emailed throughout the course.