April 2023

Navigating the ARS Website

by Ruth Seib

The ARS website includes a large amount of information, including informative web pages, past issues of American Recorder magazine, directories of members, teachers, and businesses, a large library of downloadable music files, and much more. So, how do you find what you’re looking for among all of this? 

One of the best ways to use the site efficiently is to take 15 or 20 minutes to click through the various menus at the top to familiarize yourself with the topics covered. For example, both the “Community” section and the “Publications” section have abundant helpful resources for both new and experienced recorder players. Many features on the ARS website, including searching for Chapters and Teachers, Video Technique Tips, our Online Beginner Classes, Frequently Asked Questions, Resources for Beginners and Teachers, and much more, are available to anyone. However, some features of the website, including Music Library files and archived copies of American Recorder Magazine, are available specifically for ARS members only. (Remember, your first year of ARS membership is just $25.)

Often, the quickest way to find something is to use the gray search bar that appears at the top of every page on the website (on a phone or tablet you may need to click the Menu icon to see the search bar). This search bar specifically searches content on our website, and it is powered by Google, which means that it’s very fast and very thorough – but it also displays advertising from outside our website at the top of the search results. Don’t worry – each of those results is labeled as an ad and it’s easy to scroll past them.

Here are some examples of how you might use the search bar, and other website tools, to find answers to questions: 

Is there an article on Josquin des Prez in a past issue of American Recorder magazine?

Type “Josquin” in the search bar. Here’s a perfect example of why you don’t want to enter more text than necessary – while references always include “Josquin,” the following words are variously spelled “des Prez,” “des Pres,” and even “Desprez.” Searching for “Josquin” will find them all.

Results of this search may include some references outside of ARS, but scrolling down will reveal compositions in the Music Libraries, chapter newsletters, an event in the calendar, and various issues of American Recorder magazine. To further refine the search, you could type “Josquin magazine” in the search bar, and most of the results will be issues of AR. Note that when you click on one of these links to a magazine, you’ll see the entire magazine as a .pdf file. If you want to go directly to mentions of Josquin in that magazine, you’ll need to use the search tool in your browser or .pdf viewer. Review the more detailed instructions at the end of this article to see how this works.

Which teachers offer online lessons?

There are two ways to approach this question. The most direct way is to go to the menu item “Our Community” and click on “General Directory Search.” There, one of the categories in the left column is “Offers Online Instruction.” Select that category and follow the search instructions. But the Search Bar can help you here, too. Type “Online Recorder Lessons” in the search bar and you’ll also find a page on our website that includes things to consider in preparing for online lessons, along with a link to the teacher list.

Are there any upcoming online classes for beginners?

Again, you can find this information via the menu “Resources,” then “Online Recorder Lessons” and “Free Online Classes for Beginners,” but the search bar will also work, leading you to this same page.

Are there any ARS members near me?

The Member Directory is the best search tool for this (“Our Community,” then “Member Directory” – be sure you’ve logged in to the website as only members can see information on other individual members). But if you type “member directory” in the search bar, one of the results will also take you to this webpage. Here’s another search tip – if you enclose the words “member directory” in quotes when you type them in the search bar, the search results will favor pages where these words appear together, such as in our actual directory search page.

How do I find out if there is an ARS Chapter (or Consort or Recorder Orchestra) in my area?

The best tool for this search is the General Directory Search, under “Our Community.” Anyone can use this tool, whether an ARS member or not. In the left-hand column, “Chapters” may already be highlighted, or you can select another type of group. Following the directions at the top of the page, enter your criteria, and then click “Search.”

Is there any play-along music from the Renaissance in the Music Libraries?

Once again, the search bar can take you to specific pieces but there’s a better way to do this search. Navigate to the Music Libraries (“Resources,” “Music Libraries – Search and Download”). Select the Play-Along Library from the list of libraries, and then in the Search area, use the “Style” dropdown to select “Renaissance/Baroque/Classical.” At the same time, you can include other criteria such as Difficulty Level, Keywords, etc.

How do I oil my wooden recorder?

This is a perfect job for the search bar. Type “How do I oil my wooden recorder” in the search bar and results will include a page on our website (“Care of your Wooden Recorder”) as well as links to numerous issues of American Recorder that include discussions on this topic.

To search within a specific magazine or other .pdf file

When you click on a link to a .pdf file, such as a specific issue of American Recorder magazine, the .pdf file will either open within your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.) or in a .pdf reader (such as Acrobat Reader), depending on the settings on your computer, tablet, or phone. Each of these has a tool to allow you to search for a specific word or words within the file, but each browser will have its own method for doing this In Firefox and Edge, this tool is called “Find in (on) page” and is accessed by a menu, typically in the upper right hand corner of the browser. In Firefox, the menu displays as a “hamburger” (three stacked horizontal lines) and in Edge the menu displays as three dots. Clicking on that menu opens a list of selections, including “Find in (on) page.” In Firefox, the actual search bar may open at the bottom left corner of the screen, while in Edge it will likely be in the upper right. In Chrome, you may see a magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner, next to the printer icon. Hovering on that icon you’ll see “Find in Document.” In Safari, click on the Share icon (the square with an arrow pointing out) at the bottom of the screen. Scroll past the Share options to the Action menu and select Find on Page. If your .pdf file opens in Acrobat Reader, look for the magnifying glass icon which will open a “Find” box. In each case, type the specific word or words you’re looking for into the search box, and then use the arrow indicators to advance from one result to the next.

Happy Searching!

Ruth Seib, of Oakland MD and Englewood FL, is an ARS Board member. In her dual positions as Website Coordinator and Assistant Treasurer, she serves on the Communications and Finance Committees.

She is a proud member of the Sarasota Chapter and the Sarasota Earlye Musicke Consort in Florida, as well as the Marsh Mountain Consort in Maryland.

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