The Delightful Companions w/ Rachel Begley
Tuesdays 2-3:30 PM ET, Wednesdays 8-9:30 PM ET
Event Type(s)
Online Event
Event Description
A unique opportunity to take an 8-week online course with a small group of up to 8 like-minded players, featuring rewarding experiences playing recorder ensemble music at YOUR level, together with personalized guidance directed at YOUR playing and practice!

Dear recorder friends,
This Fall I am offering a new kind of online recorder class, with a format that is probably quite unlike your other experiences on Zoom…  And it might just be the perfect fit for you!
When I listen to recorder players’ reactions to online recorder sessions, especially virtual playing meetings, there are two comments that I hear over and over:
  • The music is too easy!
  • The music is too hard!
So my new classes will be especially geared to these two types of player:
  • The experienced player who wants to be challenged both technically and musically, and is looking to take their playing and understanding of the music to a new level
  • The insecure or inexperienced player who wants to work more slowly, to spend time gaining greater familiarity with a piece, to feel more comfortable playing ensemble music, to develop and widen their playing skills, and to gain greater fluency on their recorders
Does this sound like you?
Other comments that I hear from all levels of player include:
  • The class is a once-and-done experience
  • The class rarely goes in depth with any single piece
  • I generally only get to play one part in any piece
  • I don’t love the music selections
  • The recordings aren’t always good
  • I’m just one of many
  • I’d like some feedback on my playing and ensemble skills
So my new classes will address these concerns too.  In fact, there will now be two series of classes - two courses, in fact: one for experienced players, and one working at a gentler pace.  
Each course:
  • has a weekly online class of 90 minutes, taken for a “semester” consisting of the months of October and November (8 classes)
  • Focuses on a limited selection of pieces, received in advance to allow time to prepare and practice
  • Will include all the parts for all the pieces, so the pieces are learned in depth
  • Will address technique, ensemble playing skills, style and more
  • Uses excellent recordings of professional recorder players
  • Will take place on ZOOM, and will feature both muted and UNMUTED playingHas a limited number of participants - a MAXIMUM of EIGHT (8) players per class
    AND most importantly,
    Every player gets the opportunity for PERSONAL attention to their individual playing
I’ll repeat that, because this is what makes these classes so special
and so different from what we usually experience:
EACH class has no more than 8 participants,
so that EACH player can get advice,
specific to their individual abilities,
for improving different aspects of their recorder playing!  
Does this sound like something you'd like to be part of?
If one of the things you like about a Zoom class is being muted so that others can’t hear your struggles, please be assured that a large chunk of each of these classes will be playing along with recordings, with everyone muted of course.  However, there will also be segments when each participant will play a short section of the piece unmuted, in order to be given advice and direction for their playing and practice.  There will be opportunities for questions as well as group interactions, and we will also use the breakout rooms to work in pairs (a very rewarding experience).  And finally, there will be a recording available after each class, for those who wish to take the class again (or for the first time, if they had to miss it), as well as for practicing along with the recordings, if desired.  
What are these classes?  
Bach Quartets
For experienced SATB players, we will be doing a deep dive into four vocal quartets by none other than JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH!  We’ll address various technical aspects essential for playing Bach’s more challenging music, as well as looking at Bach's music in terms of baroque style, making interpretive decisions, and gaining mastery of all the parts.  The music is taken from arguably his finest vocal works: the St Matthew Passion, the Magnificat, the motet “Jesu meine Freude”, and the B minor Mass.  
The Delightful Companions
Named after a recorder tutor published in 1686, this course is for insecure or inexperienced players of at least two sizes of recorder (SA or AT), ideally SAT or SATB.  We will be learning a broad selection of easier pieces for recorder ensemble.  It will include Renaissance, Baroque and modern works, vocal as well as instrumental music, faster numbers in addition to slower ones. We will work at a comfortable pace, and learn all the parts we can, practice changing instruments, work on technique and reading skills, and more.
And when?
Each course features a weekly class that will be 90 minutes long and be offered on two different days, with one session taking place during the daytime hours and the other during the evening, offering the opportunity for those whose activities or time zone make one or the other challenging if not impossible. You will be assigned to one or the other - no switching!  And if you really want to take part in a class but can’t make either of the days, let me know: I may be able to add an extra session at a different time/on a different day if there is sufficient interest.  
Bach Quartets
will be held October through November 2022
Tuesdays 11-12:30  ET
Wednesdays 6-7:30 ET
The Delightful Companions
will be held October through November 2022
Tuesdays 2-3:30 ET
Wednesdays 8-9:30 ET
The cost for the “semester” is $300, which includes:
  • all of the music
  • irst-class audio recordings to play along with
  • 8 classes and  8 weeks of practice guidance
  • unlimited private access to recordings of the classes (through the end of 2022)
  • guided ensemble playing and individualized personal direction
  • a dedicated community of up to 8 like-minded players
  • teaching by one of the most experienced online recorder teachers in North America.
  • classes comprising ensemble music coaching, musicianship, performance practice, technical work, and more, with mini private lessons sprinkled on top!
If you don’t already know me, among other things I’m the Music Director of the North American Virtual Recorder Society, and, when I get away from the computer screen, I’m also an active performer and teacher based in New York.  My website is sadly rather out of date now, thanks in part to my activities in the brave new world of virtual recorder teaching!  However, the recordings are still good, and the details of my earlier career years have not changed!  For a “historical perspective” of yours truly, see
How do I sign up for the classes?
Don’t wait!  Email me!
We will set up a quick Zoom call so I can make sure that you are a good fit for the class.  Once you are accepted and assigned a class time, you’ll be sent a bill.  And once the  bill is paid (there are a number of options), you will be sent the music and the Zoom link.  
***Classes begin October 4 / 5 , SO DON’T DELAY!!!***
***Remember each session is limited to EIGHT players!!!***
Any questions?
Email me!
If either of these courses interests you, please let me know ASAP!  
And if you would like to take part in similar courses featuring multiple classes in the future, please give me an idea of what sort of music or what aspect of playing or playing level you would be most interested in.  There will be a series of individual workshops in December featuring Christmas and other seasonal music, and in the new year I plan on holding another series of classes like I am doing this Fall. Requests are always welcome!
Please share this with other recorder players!  Spread the word!
I look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully to your joining us for this very special musical experience.
Best wishes,
Contact Person

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