A typical day features five tutored sessions:

9.30am Permanent Groups. You will meet with the same consort of 5 or 6 players every day. We welcome applications from both individual players and preformed groups. Individual applicants will be formed into compatible consorts by the tutors.

11.30am Ensembles, Lectures and Workshops. You can choose from three options each day. Please note that the larger sizes of viols and recorders are usually very welcome at this session.

4.30pm Non-permanent groups. As the name suggests you will be with a different group of players each day. Options include:

  • recorder consort
  • viol consort
  • broken consort
  • consort songs
  • trio sonatas (440 or 415)
  • one-to-a-part polychoral works
  • renaissance wind band
  • playing from facsimile

We will do our best to give you a variety of these options during the course, and when you apply you will be invited to select your four favourites.

7.15pm Choir. Everyone welcome – no experience necessary.

8.15pm Tutti. The whole course gathers to work on a large-scale work for voices and instruments under a different tutor each day.

In addition to the tutored sessions, there are many opportunities to play informally.


There is a minimum expectation that all players will be competent on their instruments and comfortably able to hold their own, usually one to a part. This is so that all can enjoy playing in groups, large and small, with any combination of participants.

Recorder players are encouraged to bring and be competent playing soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders. Larger recorders are always warmly welcomed.

Viol players must be able to play more than one size of viol and be happy to read in C, G and F clefs.

The course operates at a=440, except by prior agreement with other players in small groups.

Acceptance of students is provisional. If we find it impossible to accommodate you within a compatible group we will, of course, refund your deposit.


An extensive library is provided for participants for tutored sessions and informal music making. Sheet music will be available for sale from Jacks, Pipes and Hammers. The Early Music Shop offers instruments, CDs and accessories for sale. Please contact them before the course if there is anything in particular you would like them to bring.

Keep an eye on the website for further announcements about other shops.