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  • When I joined the NAVRS chapter, did I also become a member of the American Recorder Society?
    No. The ARS works for the benefit of recorder playing and recorder players in general, and while its Board inspired the founding of NAVRS and provided support as it became established, we are a chapter of the larger organization and membership in the American Recorder Society is separate. ARS membership provides access to many benefits including their publication, American Recorder, along with a music library and educational opportunities. You can learn more about membership here: Benefits of Membership - American Recorder Society. The application can be found here:
  • What is the annual membership fee used for?
    The membership fees are used to pay a very modest honorarium to the Music Director for their year of service, to cover the costs associated with our website and our Zoom account, and to meet other operating expenses that arise in the course of our activities during the year.
  • Will I get the music ahead of time? When?
    Music will be available via a link provided once you have registered for the event, approximately one week in advance of the playing meeting or workshop.
  • What is the format of the playing meeting?
    The virtual “doors” will open at 1:30 pm Eastern. We use the time before 2:00 pm Eastern to get to know one other in small groups and to build connections within our community. The music begins at 2:00 pm eastern.
  • Can I be a member of a local ARS chapter as well as NAVRS?
    Absolutely. One of the many benefits of our virtual chapter is the ability to be a member of multiple chapters.
  • Is there a fee for each playing session and workshop in addition to the membership fee? Why?
    NAVRS has a small annual membership fee with separate fees for each playing meeting and workshop. NAVRS holds 12 playing meetings and 12 workshops each year, and the separate fees for each event give members flexibility in their involvement with chapter activities, allowing them to decide in which sessions they participate. Current fees are listed on our homepage
  • Do I have to let anyone know I am coming to the playing meeting or workshop?
    Yes, please. Members interested in attending our events must register on the NAVRS website ( This helps us to plan appropriately and to ensure that all who want to participate in the event as it happens live can do so.
  • Do I have to have Zoom or be proficient in it to be in a playing session?
    No. Purchasing a Zoom license isn’t required. A link to the Zoom session will be provided when you register. We provide an overview of Zoom and how to use it on our website (in the Everything You Need to Know section) and if anyone needs any support, it can be provided prior to the start of the session.
  • Who runs the NAVRS chapter?
    An Executive Board elected by the membership guides the chapter. This group consists of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Music Director. The Music Director is appointed by the Board for a limited term. The current Executive Board and Music Director are listed on our homepage NAVRS Bylaws
  • I missed the playing meeting. Do I get a refund?
    NAVRS records every playing meeting, so even if you miss the event live, you can still watch a recording of it (and play along just as you would in real time) for a week or so afterwards. All those who signed up for the playing meeting, whether they attended live or not, will be sent a link to the recording within a day or so after the event. Because we offer the opportunity to watch the recording for a limited period after the event, NAVRS does not issue refunds.
  • Who leads the playing meetings and workshops?
    The Music Director selects the teachers for our sessions from among the finest online recorder professionals in North America, and generally, each workshop and playing meeting will feature a different teacher, enabling a wide range of playing and learning experiences. Our guest leaders are featured on our homepage
  • Is it okay if I don’t play all the recorders (soprano, alto, tenor and bass)?
    Of course! We have members who play only the alto, for instance. Many players ultimately want to branch out and learn to play other sizes of recorders, but it’s okay if you don’t, or don’t yet. Music at our playing meetings is generally offered for both C instruments (soprano, tenor) and F instruments (alto, bass), which makes it possible for all players to take part. In addition, the format of our playing meetings allows you at any point to select the instrument you want to play, so the choice is always yours. And remember, because you are muted, no one can hear you, so it’s actually a fantastic opportunity to try out a new instrument when you’re ready.
  • How do playing meetings work?
    The sessions are via Zoom, and all but the teacher are muted. There is no need to feel self-conscious or to worry about your playing as no one can hear you! The music is approached piece by piece, working on various elements together before culminating in a successful “final performance” of each one. Generally, the session leader begins each piece by presenting information, both about the music itself and putting it into context, followed by a first play-through the piece, either with the teacher playing a single line or with a recording. In the process of working on the piece, players will be guided in their approach to playing and understanding the music and given tools to improve their playing. Pieces are sometimes looked at in greater detail, allowing for a deeper understanding of both the music and the skills it requires. A number of play-throughs with the recording is normal, allowing players both to gain familiarity with the music and to become more comfortable playing it with the recording. Some teachers present a few pieces in greater detail, with multiple play-throughs, while others aim at a broader musical experience, presenting a larger number of pieces, though each of these may only receive one or two play-throughs.
  • Why does NAVRS exist? Why a virtual recorder society?
    Since the Spring of 2020, Covid has affected all of our lives, and has changed how we interact and socialize, at least temporarily. This has particularly impacted the recorder playing community, and in lasting ways. In 2021, at the recommendation of the Board of the American Recorder Society, NAVRS was founded in order to provide online playing and learning opportunities for recorder players throughout North America, along with supporting an online community of recorder enthusiasts. Our virtual activities and our virtual community are designed with three types of players in mind: those who have no local ARS chapter, those who are unable or reluctant to take part with their local recorder community for whatever reason, and those who simply want additional recorder playing opportunities. A virtual recorder society uniquely provides opportunities for players of every age and stage, no matter where they are.
  • What are the differences between the various NAVRS activities?
    The heart of our program of activities is our series of monthly playing meetings. These sessions generally feature a variety of pieces and are for with a wide range of playing levels. They take place on Saturday afternoons (Eastern time), generally the fourth of the month unless there is a holiday. Our schedule is fixed for the year. Our monthly workshops are more focused, both in terms of topic as well as in the level of playing expected, and are often the result of member requests. We don’t restrict the workshops to players of a specific level; everyone is welcome, even if they find the music too much of a stretch. Our workshops take place on Sunday evenings (Eastern time), but there is not a fixed week of the month on which the workshops take place. Our workshops are often scheduled at short notice (two months or less), allowing for greater flexibility in securing the best teachers. We also offer two annual presentations that are free to members, promising to broaden and deepen our knowledge of all things recorder in a non-playing format, as well as special events like our Open Mic Night.
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