JUNIOR RECORDER SOCIETY
“Talking about the JRS, it's hard to know where to start --- perhaps by saying that I have nothing but fond memories of it. I suspect it's been more beneficial to us alumni than we know, especially to those of us going into music of one sort or another. The ensemble skills I developed during my time with the JRS have helped me again and again. Ensemble skills are largely intuitive, and you learn them without realizing it.” (Comment from a former member)
The Junior Recorder Society provides a unique opportunity for youth to deepen their music education by playing recorder in an ensemble setting with peers.
JRS was founded in 1997, and was incorporated into Voices of Music in 2007 as one of our core youth outreach programs. Co-founders Louise Carslake and Hanneke van Proosdij grew up in England and The Netherlands where, as children, they played the recorder in an ensemble and discovered the joys of creating beautiful music with friends.
JRS offers this opportunity to young recorder players in the East Bay. Besides playing the wide and diverse repertoire for recorder ensemble, JRS explores music through improvisation and composition, as well as listening and movement games. The program is aimed at children from third through tenth grade and they are placed in ensembles according to age and ability. It is an ensemble program in addition to students’ regular recorder lessons. Most students stay in JRS for five years, and some even as long as ten years.
In 2020, JRS shifted to be virtual and students participated from all around the country and even internationally! Starting in Fall 2021, we will have both a monthly in-person program in the East Bay and a biweekly Virtual JRS program running parallel to the school year.
Group 1 requirements: know low D to high G with F# on soprano
Group 2 requirements: play two recorder sizes comfortably, and can hold a line on your own
Group 3 requirements: play at least SATB and have strong rhythm skills
“What we appreciate about JRS is that the kids get a good amount of ensemble experiences at an early learning stage which is not always the case. In addition, the introduction to the recorder’s unique ranges in different voices made our son open his ears.” (Comment from a parent)