Nothing but the toot at Biddenham Upper School in Bedford

a special group of woodwind musicians visited Biddenham Upper School
a special group of woodwind musicians visited Biddenham Upper School

It was an instrument that brought fear to the ears of parents and neighbours up and down the land... and perhaps an evil air of intent from little ones as they took their first breaths into playing music.

Yes, it’s the not-so-humble recorder and students at Bedford’s Biddenham Upper School were given the chance to learn all about the musical versatility of a range of recorders and woodwind instruments during a recent visit.

Georgina Murphy, Biddenham’s head of the Music Department, invited her former tutor, Professor Ian Wilson, to visit with some of his students and demonstrate its versatility.

Prof Wilson is the principal recorder professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

As well as showing the children the instruments they gave two performances, which they hoped would inspire the students to play the recorder themselves.

Prof Wilson said; “We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the students who were very keen to learn more about our instruments.”

Far from being one type of recorder, there are in fact, more than 40 different varieties, which vary in size from six inches to six feet long.

Prof Wilson added; “They are great instruments to play both in their own right or part of a larger ensemble and produce a wide range of tones and notes.”

Professor Wilson is also Head of Woodwind at Eton College and is the visiting recorder specialist at the North East of Scotland Music School in his hometown of Aberdeen. He is a founder member of the recorder quartet The Flautadors, with whom he has recorded four albums of British repertoire spanning more than 500 years.