100 Days of Flute Practice

100 Days of Flute Practice

Every year beginning on January 1st I ask my studio to begin a 100 day contest.  During this contest students must remember to practice each and every day without missing a single one. Hard? For some.  But, you’d be surprised at the number of winners I have each year.  The first year was a test to see who could actually do it, and of the 30 students I challenged I had 2 winners.  I gave …

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Starting Over in Performance

Start Overs?

  I was involved in a 4 hour master class yesterday at a University here in Utah.  During the master class on 2 different occasions, students had troubles with the entrance into their performance pieces.  The first time, the student just continued on after all the blurping at the beginning, and continued to blurp the whole song long. (blurp = messing up) The second student however, blurped (on the 3rd note and not able to …

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To Bow or Not to Bow

To Bow or Not to Bow?

I get this question every once-in-a-while.  Do I bow or not at the beginning and the end of my performance – or just the end? Answer:  It depends. If your audience is applauding as you enter the performing area (ie; stage), then yes, you do bow.  It is your courteous acknowledgement of their applause. If your audience is not applauding when you enter, you do not need to bow. (unless your teacher told you to) …

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What IS That Song

What Is That Song?

  When I first started teaching flute many years ago, I had the benefit of teaching part time in a nice music store in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.  The staff there was very friendly and knowledgeable.  One thing I did often was walk into the sheet music section of the store and find my friend Roger.  Roger seemed to know everything. He always knew! I remember using him as my “What Is …

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The metronome for flutists

The metronome for flutists

So, I have an older son (18) who used to only use the metronome in practice if I told him he had to.  He didn’t fight me on it, he just didn’t prefer it.  I used to explain to him the benefits of letting it help him find a steady beat.  I also encouraged him to learn to “feel” it within his body or use his foot… or arms… or anything to help him keep …

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The Best Age for Learning the Flute

The Best Age for Learning the Flute

  The best age for learning the flute is: (drum roll…..) Almost any age!   I began my middle son when he was only 2 years old.  He cried and begged every day for me to “poot” with him.  (poot meant flute)  He was jealous of the time I was spending with his 5 year old brother while practicing.  So, I did it.  I purchased a plastic baroque recorder and we began lessons right away. …

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Song Choice for Flute

Song Choice for Flute

  “Song Choice”.  For some reason I feel like American Idol is coining this phrase.  But, I’ve been using it for years. When choosing a piece to practice or perform, where should we turn?  Well, it depends on if the choice is ours or our teacher’s.  For the sake of this article, the choice will be ours only. I have students who consistently bring Disney Music books to the lesson after Christmas Holiday.  They are …

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A Very Motivating Practice

A Very Motivating Practice

As a musician, flute teacher, and mother of professional musicians I have learned a thing or two about motivating others to get their practicing done effectively. My family and I (excluding my husband) perform a lot.  My boys actually have been paid to perform since they were six years old. (true!) Sometimes several times a week. This has gone in waves over the years, but I tried to count the performances we were involved in a …

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Can a 9 Year Old Practice the Flute Alone

Can a 9 year old practice the flute alone?

  Can a 9 year old practice the flute alone? Yes. And no. Children are so darn smart! I have had 24 years of experience teaching children under the age of 10 (and over, but that’s not the subject here).  Children are so darn smart!  I know they can do many, many things, but one thing I know is that they are really good at shortcuts.  Especially boys.  🙂 In my experience, when a child …

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