Recorder Department Amsterdam Conservatory

Conservatorium van Amsterdam
Oosterdokskade 151
1011 DL Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel +31 (0)20 5277550
Fax+31 (0)20 6761506




The principal-study teachers Jorge Isaac and Erik Bosgraaf plan their tuition in blocks ('BlokfluitBLOK'), concentrating their lessons in one week each month, during which attention is paid to all aspects of the principal study.

Next to the individual and chamber music lessons, a rich amount of activities take place, such as:
Technique lessons
Chamber music
Historical development
Arranging for recorder ensemble
Student Concerts
Annual project
Special themes
Lecture: An afternoon with...

see also:
Subsidiary subjects
Free space electives


Technique lessons (teachers: Jorge Isaac & Erik Bosgraaf)

Four group lessons take place every BLOK, each one of them will be devoted to specific technical problems encountered in recorder-playing. Repertory knowledge, stage presentation and organizational skills are also discussed in these lessons.

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Chamber music
(teachers: Jorge Isaac & Erik Bosgraaf)

Without neglecting the training of individual players (possibly as soloists), the programme devotes a great deal of attention specifically to ensemble in the broadest sense of the word. The contemporary repertoire in all its diversity ('classical contemporary', particular jazz styles, improvisations, electronics, etc.) and the historical literature (Baroque chamber music, English and German consort repertoire, etc.) will be performed monthly by widely divergent groups and combinations of instruments, the results of which will be featured regularly in public concerts.
The BLOK has a unique collection of Renaissance instruments, most of them made by the Dutch recorder maker Adriana Breukink.

All members of the recorder ensemble The Royal Wind Music, conducted by Paul Leenhouts, studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

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Methodology (teacher: Jorge Isaac)

In the methodology classes, pedagogical aspects will be examined in greater detail using theoretical and analytical approaches.


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Historical development (teacher: Erik Bosgraaf)

The historical development of the instrument will be studied by means of treatises, the historical recorder literature, instrument construction and iconography material. Throughout the entire academic year at least once a month, students who, in their second year of study, have specialised in the field of methodology and historical development in a particular area will give public lessons and lectures. This specialization will eventually be concluded with a paper/teaching method in conjunction with the conclusion of the practically oriented part of the course.

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Arranging for recorder ensemble (teacher: Erik Bosgraaf)

The vast musical literature, varying from e.g. a medieval frottola, an English consort song and a fugue by Bach to a composition by Kodály, Berio, Reich or Thelonious Monk, offers the performing recorder player innumerable possibilities of extending the repertoire in a meaningful way. Additionally, attention will be given to the arranging of literature suited for use in current music education, as well as sequencers and music notation software programs (Score, Finale or Sibelius).
Students will demonstrate what they have learnt in the Performance Practicum and Arranging courses in a group performance, which will be evaluated.

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Electronics (teacher: Jorge Isaac)

The lessons are designed to provide the student with the necessary technical skills and aesthetics understanding for live performances that involve music and electronic media.
It provides the opportunity and the encouragement to learn about the combination between acoustic instruments and a network of electronic processing devices (live electronics).

Special focus is devoted to the notion of how to make use of (live) electronics, and to encourage the student to find his/her own path of creativity, informed by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the creative possibilities of sound.
The BLOK has a complete set of electronics for the recorder students: computer, speakers, microphones, mixing board, effects, MIDI equipment, audio interfaces, cables, etc.

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Student Concerts

The Recorder department organizes about 20 student concerts at the Conservatory every school year.
Two student concerts take place on the Thursdays of every BLOK. Lunch concerts (performed by 1st and 2nd year students) are scheduled at 12:30 hrs, while evening concerts (3rd, 4th year and master students) start at 19:30 hrs.
Every June we celebrate the end of the school year with a Final Concert at the Amstelkerk in Amsterdam, presenting the high-lights of the season.

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Annual Project

A 3-day major project with a guest-teacher or institution, which is in general about extra-ordinary subjects (i.e. film, theatre, dance).

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Special Themes

One of the 10 ‘BLOKs’ will focus on a specific aspect/theme, meaning that most of the material used in such a ‘BLOK’ will deal with this theme (i.e. Medieval Music, Contemporary Chamber Music, Baroque Concerti, Tuning systems, etc).

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Lecture: An afternoon with...

One day workshop with an instrument-maker, or a composer, or a performer.

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Subsidiary subjects
In principle, recorder players take piano as a subsidiary subject. The student may request, if possible, to substitute piano with harpsichord or organ. For recorder, see also the information on the projects of the Early Music Department. In their third and fourth academic year, recorder players will take the subject of harmony in historical performance and continuo playing.

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Free space electives (third and fourth year Bachelor's Degree)
- 'Live Electronics': teacher, Jos Zwaanenburg
- Contemporary Music Through Non Western Techniques: teacher, Rafaël Reina
- Music Theatre and Stage Performance: teacher, Jorge Isaac (Master students only)
- Historical Performance: baroque instrument as a subsidiary subject (baroque and classical flute, gamba, etc.)
See also the general information on 'free space' electives in the electives programme of the Amsterdam School of the Arts (AHK). Additionally, students must choose from the AHK selection (theatre, Film, Art History and Musicology).
In co-operation with the Early Music Department a special study as ‘Baroque Wind Player’ is developed, in which the student can concentrate on at least two baroque wind instruments (recorder & traverso, recorder & baroque oboe, baroque bassoon, any combination).

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Early Music
(solo and ensemble)

(solo and chamber music, live electronics)

Technique classes, Historical Development, Arrangement, Methodology