Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn 2 things I wish I’d known before starting the flute.
This is the Learn Flute Podcast
What this podcast will be all about
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- What to expect when learning how to play the flute.
- What to watch out for as you are beginning your instruction.
- How to train your brain as you are starting out.
- What you can look forward to learning from listening
Learn Flute Podcast
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Learning to play the flute is a super fun and amazing experience. It’s also exciting, and challenging. I am excited today to take a look back after my forty plus..
Yes, I said forty years- of playing this amazing instrument with 2 things I wish I’d known before starting the flute.
Hey there, it’s so great to have you here today. I hope you’re listening from somewhere really awesome, like perhaps your cozy, comfy home or perhaps you’re out on a walk right now or on your way to work.
No matter where you are, take a second to get ready to listen intently because I have some really great insights for you today that will help you enjoy your flute playing journey even more!
So with that, I’m Rebecca Fuller, your Learn Flute Online instructor and expert on all things flute here at Learn Flute Online and let’s dive right in to our subject for today which is a super good one and very relevant to anyone at any stage and level of their musical development.
In fact, it’s possible that you’re looking back on a few months or even a few years already of playing the flute and it’ll be fun to compare notes on what you wish you had known before starting.
So, think back to when you were a true beginner. When was that? Was it just recently? Or was it many years ago like me?
Just take a second and think back on those first days.. I’m guessing you were really, really full of anticipation and really had high hopes for yourself. Or perhaps you were kind of a little bit intimidated and not sure how it was going to go.
Well, either way doesn’t matter because now you’ve started, and you have me here covering your back and helping you along the way.
The fun thing is that inside our members’ walls of Learn Flute Online, we have such a supportive community of players who are strung out all along the learning timeline. Haha, it really makes it so much fun!
If you can picture a long long rope with like knots on it, like a whole mile long, and it’s leading to a happy park with you know bubbles, butterflies, and beautiful scenery, great food, music and company.
And as people show up and grab a hold of a knot on that rope.. As long as they keep holding on, the rope will pull them along to the park where the picnic is always happening..
And it’s actually fun along the way too because there are so many others who are also along for the ride. The hors-d’oeuvres are being served to everyone along the rope, and there are lots of welcoming smiles and conversations along the way.
Today we’re going to talk about those first days.. You know, way back (or maybe it hasn’t been that long for you) but those first days of playing the flute and how you felt and how knowing these 2 things I wish I’d known before starting the flute can help you get into a better mind-space as you continue on here.
So, before I get too far I want to let you know that you are totally and definitely NOT alone in any of your struggles haha the flute is kind of it’s own baby, and is unique in many ways.
The great news is that by learning your skills here at Learn Flute Online, you’re going to be ahead of the game because I have exactly what you need here all set in perfectly placed modules that show you and keep you on track.
So, let’s get going with our list right now by starting with number one: prepare your body and mind not to connect all the time at first. Haha, it’s something I don’t think people know about when they start a new instrument.
We like to think that we can just, you know think something and then make it happen, right? Does this sound familiar to you?
It’s definitely a thing.
I’m here to tell you that it does take time, education, patience, and practice to basically ‘earn’ the physicality and the sense of understanding the little things that actually make playing the flute much easier and effective in the long run.
At first, our hands, our lips, our breath.. we just kind of have a little bit of a struggle getting you know, getting together on the same page haha if you know what I mean… and guess what? It’s actually absolutely normal. Almost and basically ALL beginner flute players feel this way.
It feels like a bit of a mess when we’re putting all these details together, but within time and putting certain things in a certain order of thinking, you’ll come out on top – I promise!
In fact, if you find yourself beating yourself up for not knowing everything, no matter what stage and level you are in, just introduce your flute to a person who has never touched one before. You’ll get a quick glance that you actually know a TON already, and that you’re actually quite awesome.
Also, watching a seasoned flute player play looks so easy, especially if they’ve gotten to a certain level where they are fluid and fluent. The proficiency and skills just make the music flow and seem so easy, easy.
When we go to develop new skills in life and especially for an instrument that requires dexterity and using more than one body part at the same time, well we have to develop new pathways in our brain.
Now, I have a quick story for you now that will demonstrate this idea very quickly:
I live at the base of some really really beautiful mountains. It’s the Wellsville mountains which are part of the Wasatch Mountain Range here in Northern Utah, and wooohoo if you’ve ever seen any of my pictures that I post before, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
And everyone here where I live always says it’s their goal to climb to the top one day.
Well, I’ve done it before, several times in fact. Well, not as many as my husband though – he and my boys really like to get on the horses and go to the top and back often. It’s a spectacular way to train the horses for strength and endurance.
Well we also hike on our feet too. But, I have to say that this mountain looks all majestic and so pretty as a whole, and once you get climbing it on your own, it’s a whole new experience!
There’s some bush-whacking and some hand climbing, we call it, you know when you have to basically be on all fours as you claw and climb your way up a steep hill.
It’s a lot of hours of keeping your head down watching your step, and it’s also soooo fun to look up and enjoy the views and also see how far you’ve come.
..and of course, when you reach the top, the view is second to none, meaning that it’s incredible and quite breath-taking as you see down all sides. You can see way to the north, and down south, you can see over the top to the east and the west all the way down to the valleys below.
Since you’re standing at around ninety five hundred feet in elevation, you realize that you’ve really accomplished something amazing.
Well, getting to the top is so so hard and nearly impossible for those who go without a guide or some major study of how to do it first.
There are many people who have had to call search and rescue for help since they get stuck on cliffs with brambles and can’t find their way out. I see the helicopter coming every summer for these reasons. It’s really quite treacherous to try to do alone.
So, relating this quick story to our musical journey here we can realize that watching and listening to someone who is ahead of us on the path looks easy, kind of like when we take a glance at the pretty mountain at first without seeing all those little details and work that has gone into the climbing of it.
The trick is to realize how much faster you’ll be able to actually get from the bottom to the top when you have someone who knows the trail well and will guide you..
And as you take the trip over and over and get a little further each time, the trail will become worn in and start to feel like the back of your hand. You’ll get faster and do way less bush-whacking and wandering… because you’ve done it so many times before.
This is how playing an instrument like the flute is. It can feel kind of wild and full of insecure moments like when on the mountain, but every time you keep coming back and doing it again and again, you’ll be digging better pathways in your brain and your body which will make it easier and easier to get to your milestones.
And pretty soon, there are things that used to feel impossible the first time that will become pretty second nature for you. This means that you’ll just know what to do and your body will follow suit! Haha, how fun!
Now a quick side tip here: I have other podcast episodes that you can listen to that will help you also with this connecting of the mind and body journey.
The link is here in the description. One of them is talking about the importance of everyday practice and the other is all about tips on how to hold that slippery flute.
Okay, let’s move on to our second thing today on our list which is getting comfy with the instrument in our hands.
Now I wish I would have spent more time getting familiar with the flute and those first notes and what they exactly sounded like at first, because I really was just kind of glued to the idea that I had to look at a paper like a book showing me how or a paper or something to even know what I was playing.
Do you know what I mean?
Having a sense of the actual layout of the keys and what sounds the different finger combinations make, and really internalizing the sound makes playing by ear and memorization so so much easier.
When we’re playing and learning a new instrument like playing the flute, it’s very much like learning a new language. We seriously can only get so far by only reading it in a book.
I KNOW this first hand because you know at school I spent many years, I mean years all the way through high school and college, junior high- learning how to speak the Spanish language. And I learned in class from a textbook.
BUT, as soon as I would meet someone from a Spanish speaking country like Mexico, I would freeze up and I would feel like I couldn’t even understand them.
Now, hearing it and practicing it without looking at a book is KEY to this skill. Getting used to the little pieces and the parts of our sound and pitches is a big deal in becoming fluent. And I wish that I had known this even better at first.
Each note on the flute is like a letter in the alphabet, and the combinations of those notes we play form words then these words can be used to make sentences and different phrases that mean something as a whole and can be played in different ways each time for inflection and emotion. It’s really super cool actually!
So I suggest you start playing games with yourself and your flute right away no matter the stage you’re in.
What you can do is hit a series of random notes while you record them on your phone. Then do it again. And then do it again. Then listen back to these recordings and see if you can get more and more successful at listening and naming the pitches that you hear.
It’s fun, and I think you’ll surprise yourself either in the fact that you can’t name basically any of them, or perhaps you’ll hit way more than you thought you could. It’ll be fun and it’ll help start training you to know the sounds that the flute makes so that you’ll become even faster and faster at getting to where you’re wanting to go in the music you’re playing.
Not everyone is gifted with perfect pitch or a super sense of sound when they’re born. Usually these things have to be introduced, coddled, and fostered like little baby kittens over time. And for those who take the time and get the education.. The rewards are absolutely HUGE.
Here’s a quick tip also to help you on this path as well. I have other podcast episodes available for you to listen to and learn from just like you’re listening to this one today.
The links are in the description here, the first one is a trick to developing your ear even if you don’t have one, and then the next episode is about a fancy trick to playing on tune that everyone can do so quickly. I’ll show you!
Well, I would love to take some more time and continue this list in an upcoming episode because these things I wish I’d known before starting the flute are so important to development, especially if you are an adult who is going at it alone perhaps… let me tell you something:
You don’t have to do this alone, and you definitely don’t have to wander aimlessly up the mountain day after day trying to find the trail. I’m here for you and I have the path already set. So come join in and I’ll help you become the amazing musician and person you know you and want, wish, and can be.
So with that being said, it’s real, it’s been fun.. And it’s been real fun getting to talk about and know you better.
Let’s continue again soon. I make these episodes bite-sized so that you can listen as you clean the house or take a walk. You know, getting away from the daily normal and just come and join in here.
Learn Flute Online is an amazing place to be. We spent some time today going over just two things I wish I’d known before starting the flute, but honestly I can think of a little important list of others as well. So until next time..
Be flutie! Bye now.
Thank you for Tuning In!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about what flute brands are good. Join us for the next episode.