Our OCRS Recorder Workshop was two weeks ago and we had 22 of the 40 people in attendance. It was wonderful to be able to bring members of the Central Coast Recorder Society, Southern California Recorder Society, San Diego County Recorder Society, and the Long Beach OLLI recorder group together to learn and make music together. Both Anne Timberlake and Miyo Aoki carried through the theme of the workshop “Make a Joyful Noise” by emphasizing the role that singing, breath, articulation, and phrasing bring to recorder playing. In the Intermediate Technique Session, Anne stressed the importance of breathing through “inviting in and allowing out” with a “low and loose” relaxation so important in singing. She also had us work on achieving a clear resonance through the playing of long tones. What was different this year was that this was less a day-long playing session, but rather there were fewer pieces of music and what was selected was worked on for a longer period of time in order to understand each piece better and what was important to achieve the beauty and musicality intended.
Workshops, in general, can give you the tools and knowledge and broaden your sense of what is possible. But, it still takes dedication and work based on these principles to achieve your goals. This can and should be uncomfortable to some extent or what is the point? The value of an extended workshop is enhanced if you have a goal, a focused goal, to learn something new be it a style of music, playing a new size of recorder, or improved articulation and/or tone. There is also the opportunity in a multi-day workshop to have the down-time to talk to, listen to, and learn from fellow students and faculty in a more relaxed atmosphere. But you have to go. There are a number of workshops listed here in the newsletter from a single afternoon, to day-long, weekend, and week-long opportunities to learn and be inspired. The first time is always scary and filled with anxiety, as with any new endeavor. Just do it, you will come back inspired.
I want to thank several people who collectively made the workshop possible, run smoothly and whose commitment and dedication is much appreciated—Gloria Martin, Lee Waggener, Bill Waggener, Gwen Rodman, Susan Mason, and Carol Jacoby.