Recorder Department Conservatorium van Amsterdam

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





Recorder Department of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam

- Study Programs, Program Structure
- The BLOK system
- Overview and schedule of activities
- The Amsterdam Recorder School


A strong interest in early music, paralleled with a steadily growing contemporary repertoire, has given the recorder a completely different dimension over the last 50 years. The international image of both styles, in combination with a real professionalism in pedagogical fields, have challenged aspiring recorder players ever since. This period of development has seen the recorder (blockflute) programmed as a solo and chamber instrument in specialized contemporary festivals all over the world. It is a recognized and appealing instrument for composers of all styles, not only because of the wide range of instrument-types, but mainly because of the great abilities and flexibility of the professional player.

Insight into this enormous variety of literature, supported by solid and profound background information, and above all, a highly professional instrumental education, is what the so-called BLOK system offers to serious and motivated recorder students. Besides further digging into historical and traditional subjects, a thorough exploration of contemporary literature and techniques is of major importance.

The BLOK (block) was founded in the 70's by Walter van Hauwe and Kees Boeke and has become a conception for numerous recorder players around the world. From the very beginning the BLOK attracted students from all over the world and it typically contains about 10 nationalities every year. Having studied in Amsterdam seems for many students to be a guarantee for becoming recognized professionals, and many of them have since managed a good and satisfying living as professional and successful recorder players.



About the BLOK system

The Recorder study programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam is planned in blocks ('BlokfluitBLOK'), concentrating all lessons in one week each month, during which attention is paid to all aspects of the study.

One of the main ideas behind the whole system is to develop the student’s feel for professionalism and responsibility. Hence:
* There are 10 BLOKs per season (academic year), each 5 days in a row, in which all activities take place.
* The student participates in as many activities as possible and is, in principle, always attending the lessons of others, where he/she can pick up whatever appeals to him.

Besides the BLOKs, there are incidental lessons, workshops and masterclasses.

Some BLOKs are sometimes focussed on a specific aspect/theme, meaning that most of the material used in such a BLOK will deal with this theme. In between the BLOKs the student is expected to participate in as many ensembles as possible, to work on his own projects, to prepare his papers for lectures, follow theory subjects, etc. etc.

Actually you can compare the whole situation with a non-stop masterclass where all students, beginners as well as advanced, are working closely together in a non-hierarchical set-up.

All students and ensembles bring their own specific problems; the auditors just listen to the discussions, eventually take part and finally subtract what makes sense for them, after which they form their own opinions.

The teacher, rather than only solving problems, advises and controls the 'self-cleaning' ability of the student(s) and introduces new, fresh problems. Confrontation with these problems force the students to take responsibility for their own study and development as artists.


Every year the BLOK sets up a so-called ‘task-force’. Pairs of students are, for that particular year, responsible for tasks such as:

  Publicity tasks, collecting posters, announcements
  Lay-out and editing of concert programs and posters
  Collecting the latest information about:
  Editions and Articles
  New compositions
  CD’s & DVD's
  International Magazines
  Collecting library information (facsimiles and new publications)
  Taking care of the Renaissance instruments
  Taking care of the Paetzold instruments
  Taking care of the Electronic equipment
  etc. etc.

Everybody is automatically involved in discussions about diverse subjects, enabling the student to gain varied information about how to formulate ideas and strategies which are very helpful for further educational insights.

The BLOK embraces a large spectrum of activities, including individual lessons, ensemble lessons, technical sessions, historical and methodical information, lectures and projects, consort music, electronics (see Program Structure).

All activities of the BLOK are, in principle, open to public.


home | studies | schedule | e-mail

©Copyright 2009-2018 BLOK Amsterdam


Early Music
(solo and ensemble)

(solo and chamber music, live electronics)

Technique classes, Historical Development, Arrangement, Methodology