Popular since medieval times, the recorder is a great instrument suitable for absolute beginners to professional musicians. By the age of six, most children will have developed enough fine motor control to play a recorder, which is why recorders are widely considered the best choice to introduce music to elementary students. Other factors making recorders a great choice as a beginning instrument include low cost, durability, light-weight, ease of transport, and tuning stability. Because recorders are so technically simple to play, students will be able to spend more time and attention on learning to read music. The recorder is an excellent introduction for students who wish to continue onto band.

Naturally, a large selection of educational material has been developed around the recorder, in a number of methods. Famed composer Dr. Carl Orff popularized the use of the recorder in his "Orff Shulwerk" (a.k.a. "Orff Approach") programs. 

Empire carries a complete selection of recorders, accessories, and educational materials. We are the exclusive distributor in Canada for the Aulos brand of recorder which is considered to be one of the finest lines of recorders in the world. We carry the sopranino, the smallest of the recorders which is tuned in the key of F, the soprano, the most popular beginning recorder, tuned in the key of C, the alto, tuned in the key of F, the tenor, tuned in the key of C and the bass tuned in the key of F, plus a selection of Aulos baroque flutes. We also carry Suzuki soprano and alto recorders, and Emus soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders including a selection of bright and sparkly coloured recorders which are favourites with young children.

Recorders come in two types of fingering, "German" and "English" (a.k.a. "baroque"). It is generally teacher preference which fingering is chosen, however, if progression to playing the larger recorders is anticipated (such as in an ensemble), the English/baroque fingering is the one to choose since it is the common style available for the alto and traditionally the only style for tenor and bass. 

What is the difference between recorder fingerings? The German-fingering is slightly easier to learn in that each finger is removed in succession when playing the scale making it more intuitive when compared to the English/baroque fingering, where the low F is played by holding the middle finger of the right hand up and all the others down.

How can you tell a German fingering recorder from English/baroque fingering? Easy! On German fingering recorders, the fourth hole from the top of the instrument is larger than the fifth hole.  On English/baroque fingering recorders, the fourth hole from the top of the instrument is smaller than the fifth hole. 

We carry a large selection of popular music for the recorder including The Windsong Series for Recorder, Orff or Kodaly. This very popular series in recorder teaching emphasizes easy learning through simple progression. Empire offers a number of recorder and book packages as well as recorder and neck strap packages.

Please take a look at our range of recorder products below and place your order online. If you would like more information or have any questions please contact us.

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