Practicing Consistently

Practicing Consistently

Winter vacation is the perfect time to discuss ways to implement a consistent practice plan. Even though, as students, you are now just getting settled into your relaxing and recharging weeks off, it is a super time to make a plan to improve your flute playing.

Even though vacation is a great time to put in some of those long practice sessions, I ...

Basics of Playing - Articulation

What are the basic flute playing skills that I need to master?

Part 3 – Articulation

Over the past several months, I have discussed the importance of good tone and technique several times. That is because those skills are the ones that will take you from the bottom half of your flute section into the top half. Precise articulation, ...

Improving Your High Range

Improving Your High Range

Hello, Everyone! Welcome back to the new school year! It's time for all those new challenges that come with returning to our fast-paced, highly competitive world. In band classes, you will likely be asked to play higher, faster and more notes than you may be used to in the past. You may have to worry about chair auditions or challenges. You may be learning ...

Finding a Private Flute Teacher

OK, so you and/or your parents have decided that your progress in music will be aided by an investment in private flute lessons. Now, the question is, how do you find the best teacher for you? The following is a list of suggestions for ways to find the teacher that will best fit your abilities and goals.

1 – Compile a list of local teachers

Ask your band director, ...

Intonation - How to Hear It

Intonation – How to Hear It and Stay In Tune
Staying in tune is one of those challenges for wind players that we sometimes tend to forget about. It is much easier to notice if someone is playing a wrong note, rather than whether a note is in tune or not, especially in large groups of musicians.
We are often surprised when we get into smaller groups, that we are not able to match ...

Improving your low range

There are two types of problems that crop up in flute playing that are low range problems: 1 - “I can't play low notes at all” 2 - “I can play low notes, but no one can hear them”
Problem #1 is the one I am going to address today.
It is often the case that beginner flutists will have the difficulty of not being able to produce low notes beyond a certain point. ...

Successful Sightreading

Sightreading – what do I think about before I start? (a set of steps to remember)
We have all been in tough sightreading situations. Most often it happens during auditions or tryouts, when we are already in high-stress mode. You finish up the part of the audition that you have worked on, and are already evaluating your performance in your head, when you get handed a totally new piece ...

Basic Skills - Pt 2

What are the basic flute playing skills that I need to master?
Part 2 – Technique (fingerings and dexterity)
In the last entry, I discussed the importance of good flute stability and balance, as a way to facilitate better playing. This time, we are ready to jump into the real deal. For flutists, that is undeniably going to be speed and accuracy in finger technique.
I was ...

Basic Skills - Pt 1

What are the basic flute playing skills that I need to master?
Part I - Technique (flute stability)
As a beginning musician, the first skill that we all tackle is technique. What exactly is technique? In flute playing, it is generally referred to as the ability to lift and depress your fingers at the right time, and in the correct combination, to produce the notes that are required. ...

Pt 2: A Successful All-State Audition

Participation in an All-State Band or Orchestra is one of the best things to put on an application for college, if you hope to major in music in the future. It will distinguish you from other musicians, as someone who is not only qualified, but willing and eager to put in dedicated effort to succeed.
In my last blog entry, I wrote about the necessity of having a good quality tone. This time, ...