Photo of drinking straw being played

Demonstrating the relationship between length and pitch

We would just like to say thank you for the great opportunity and thank you for teaching us new things!  All we want to say is THANK YOU!”

“Thank you, Fontanella for taking the time to come Westdene School and teaching us more than we ever knew about the recorder.  You are also very good playing Pink Panther and The Simpsons.  I loved all sized recorders from the tiniest to the 7 foot GIANT one.  Thank you!”

Schools’ Concerts and Workshops

Fontanella have made a huge musical impact on school children across the country, many hundreds of whom have benefited from their projects and workshops. As well as delivering many one-off events and presentations in schools, the ensemble has devised several larger-scale recorder-based education projects in association with organisations and promoters including the Brighton Early Music Festival, York Early Music Festival, Southampton Turner Sims Hall and London’s Centre for Young Musicians. These have included local composers, school children, teachers and music centres in projects designed to raise the profile of the recorder in schools as well as developing musical creativity in the community.

Schools’ Concert: Blown Away!

Renaissance woodcut recorder iillustration

This children’s concert is a celebration of the recorder family in all its shapes and sizes across the centuries, proving just how versatile an instrument the recorder is. Featuring recorders of all shapes and sizes ranging in size from just six inches long to over seven feet tall, Fontanella will play everything from medieval dances and Tudor court music, through baroque masterpieces, up to music from the present day. Includes popular favourites by Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart plus Fontanella’s own arrangements of jazz classics and TV themes – and even a world premiere by an audience member!

Workshop package: The Elizabeth Project

Celebrating the life and times of Elizabeth I, The Elizabeth Project ties in perfectly with the wider curriculum and offers young recorder players the opportunity to perform in public alongside professional players, in Pete McGarr’s inspiring new childrens’ work, Dance Daze.

Consisting of a flexible set of short, inventive pieces with an imaginative and funky backing track, Dance Daze offers opportunities for the newest beginner as well as more experienced groups of players up to around Grade 5.

The Elizabeth Project can range from simple single day workshops focusing on one age group, to larger scale events incorporating several groups of players or schools. Typically a final concert will include both Fontanella and workshop participants performing together on stage in a mix of Tudor music and music from Dance Daze  – an inspiring experience for players of all ages. Participating groups are offered unlimited access to download the sheet music and music files for Dance Daze

Cartoon image of Elizabeth I

Teacher feedback:

It was a really well conceived piece, managing the technical limitations of some players in a musical and imaginative way

Brilliant idea! It was good that children of different abilities were involved. They enjoyed playing with such a large number of people, listening to Fontanella, and working with lots of different recorders’

More information Elizabeth Project Pdf

Other education projects

The Real Dick Whittington

Cartoon of recorder-playing cat by John Minnion

This special show features Fontanella with guest storyteller Neil Ruckman. In a 45 minute re-telling of the famous Dick Whittington story, Fontanella provide a live Tudor soundtrack featuring music for all the characters including the benevolent Mr Fitzwarren, the Ship’s Captain, a rich Sultan and an angry Cook, as well as for Dick Whittington himself – and of course his black cat! Full of fun and beautiful music and all performed from memory enabling free movement from the musicians, this show has proved a hit all over the country.


The Pedlar’s Dream & Tattercoats

Holborne Fairie-round music extract

These two interactive programmes involving participation from children are built around two old English folk tales, told by storyteller Neil Ruckman. The participants create their own soundtrack with the help of members of Fontanella, using special sound effects and simple tunes. Culminating in a grand performance in front of an audience, this is a great fun way to develop creative skills and promote literacy.The Real Dick Whittington and The Pedlar’s Dream or Tattercoats can be arranged as an inclusive package for schools and arts organisations.


Woodhouse Recorder Week

Photo of girl playing recorder outside in sunshine

Woodhouse Recorder Week is a summer course for advanced recorder players aged 16-25, with day courses for aspiring players under 18, recorder teachers, and observers of any age. There are masterclasses, plentiful solo and ensemble performance platforms, lectures, seminars, professional concerts and great recreational opportunities. Led by members of Fontanella and other internationally respected visiting tutors, Woodhouse Recorder Week is the perfect place to realise your recorder potential! Visit the website for more information.