Consistent Ways to Cut Your Learning Time on Flute

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In this episode, you will learn about how to have a consistent mindset and cut your learning time on flute. 

Learn Flute Podcast 113

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Podcast Transcript

Hey there, it’s me Rebecca having fun and doing what it takes to show consistent ways to cut your learning time on flute. Let’s discover what this means today in this episode of the Learn Flute Podcast – let’s get started!

I like to say good habits are like the ultimate pot of gold to musicianship. We are sure to succeed when we are consistent with a certain list of skills like posture, beautiful technique, and thorough preparation.

We spend many hours in the practice room striving to find that special space where we feel like we can have more effortless fun playing music.

We love our instruments, but mostly we love when we have skills to enjoy music even more.

So, how can we achieve these zen-like musical abilities without it feeling like it might tortorously take the rest of our lives?

Ahhh, well this is what we’re going to discover today. I got you!

It’s snowing and melting, snowing and melting here where I live right now which means that we are in like a pre-spring phase of the year.

This is a great time to take a good look at what we can adjust in our schedules to make sure that we find a routine that fosters consistency in learning.

So, there are a few reasons I bring this up right now and that’s because right now here at Learn Flute Online, we’re in the middle of recital preparations.

Yep, we have a lot of opportunities for growth here, and this is just one of them. There are literally dozens and dozens (I might even say hundreds) of flutists who step up to the plate each year and decide they’re going to take on the challenge of perfecting a piece for public display within our Learn Flute Online community.

I’m always so proud of them. We take a couple of months to go through a special process that gets them ready, and it’s a major time for growth and improvement. Those who have participated in past years say that it’s become their number one goal each year, and that they keep it in mind during the other months.

It’s like a way to measure and celebrate the success of all of their previous efforts.

It also feels really good when you and others see a tangible version of the sum of what’s gone on behind the scenes for months.

In order to get to this stage, some important things do have to happen, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.


You might have noticed that I titled and started this episode with these words “Consistent ways to cut your learning time on flute”.

I placed the first word “consistent” there on purpose. Haha, you know it. We musicians must find some consistency in our routine or we will suddenly look back and find that nothing groundbreaking or major came from the months previous. 

It’s really easy to get swept away with the wildness of our lives, but I”m here to attest to the fact that you will not have regrets in doing this for yourself.

Even if we’re not the speediest learner. Creating a sort of consistency is  monumental in learning an instrument. 

For me, it’s been different depending on the stage of life I’ve been in. It has never been realistic for me to think I can be exactly the same and have the same schedule every day forever. I was a different person as a teenager, as a college student, as a young mother, as a mother with teenagers, and as an empty nester with grandchildren.

I hope you can see the point right now that a change in schedule is inevitable and .. it’s just fine.

When we take charge of our own education in things like playing the flute, and other growth-based hobbies, we learn valuable life-skills as well: like when we find ways to overcome obstacles in learning. Because you know, stuff comes up.

Something goes wrong with our bodies, or our instrument, or sometimes our time just gets hijacked for a little while. And learning how to navigate these hours, days, weeks, and months is a fact of life.

Coming out positively and successfully on the other side also builds a type of self esteem that lets us know that ‘we can do it’ and stay to the course.

I often times feel my commitment being tested. You know what I mean? I bet you do. No worries, pursuing something like musicianship causes us to grow into better people. I’d like to become a better person… Wouldn’t you?

Developing potential is not for the faint of heart either. We’re focused on a bigger picture here. It takes hundreds and thousands of small skills to equal one large proficient musical selection. 

And the good news is that these skills are all reusable – I often say that learning musicianship skills is like using building blocks or bricks to create something grand. When we build a strong foundation, the sky is literally the limit. Like having endless bins of lego.

So let’s get back to talking about consistency that I’ve been mentioning. This is a life-skill and I have to deal with this every single day of my own life, so I’m guessing you do too.


Let’s imagine we have a piece of paper right now split right down the middle like we’ve folded it tall style and then traced that line with a thick marker. This page is divided into two distinct sections.

On the left, you’re going to place a label at the top titled the word “fixed” and on the right side you’ll write the word “growth”.

I recently did some studying on growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets. I have always found this subject fascinating and I’d love to go through some of these things right now with you because having a goal such as musicianship is not as short and simple as deciding one day to, for example, go out and buy a new pair of shoes.

There is a definite process involved here and it’s good to wrap our minds around how we should view this process. 

As I’ve studied and looked at these I find myself a mixed bag. And, I can definitely see easy areas where I would like to improve in my life.

Now, let’s look at our paper here: we have the left side, which is our fixed mindset, and our right side, which is our growth mindset. 

Here are some examples: Someone who tends to have a fixed mindset usually will do whatever it takes to avoid challenges, whereas someone with a mindset for growth views challenges just as new opportunities. And that’s all. Just a new time and space to have a new experience. 

Many people who are also in a more fixed mindset will also shy away from things they don’t know how to do yet whereas people who are more open or growth minded will acknowledge and embrace the fact that they don’t know everything … yet.. And that’s okay.

The next one on the left side of the paper here in the ‘fixed mindset’ category is that some are just unable to handle criticism or feedback.. And perhaps you can immediately see that the right side of the page would be the opposite of someone welcoming feedback as a means to course-correct and straighten the path to achievement.

This one is oftentimes hard for people. We like to be right. I know I do. Haha, my husband often jokes that everyone feels they drive the right speed. 

It’s really not something we humans like to do.. Pointing out our flaws and course correcting and also admitting that there are things we do that are keeping us from being as awesome as we could be. 

Why is this so difficult?

I don’t know, I don’t have the answer. It’s okay because I’m going to give you some examples today and we’re going to continue talking about this for a little bit to help our mindsets, and helping us be more consistent with certain skills here, in flute learning especially. 

So here’s a real life example in general flute practicing that keeps us in a fixed mindset (that’s the left side of the paper): let’s give this person the number of practicer #1  as they work over and over on a piece that is supposed to be performed at tempo 120. Over and over they go. Trying to get it all lined up at this supposed perfect tempo, just grilling it over and over.

In the meantime, there are a lot of missed fingerings, inaccurate or uneven rhythms, and a whole lotta tone issues. But this practicer #1 cannot be bothered to fix anything because they have the final tempo 120 stuck in their mind as the most important thing. 

On the other hand practicer #2 (on the other side of our paper here) knows that the sum is equal to the parts included in music. So starting very slow and laying an even foundation is the main goal for this practicer.

Now, I’m going to ask – who do you think actually reaches the stage of a polished piece at tempo 120 first?

You’d be right if you said practicer #2 because practicer #1 is just going to stay a hot mess for a long time. Haha, and believe me, I’ve seen and had enough hot mess situations myself over my lifetime to understand this one very fully now. 

I don’t know if any of these examples have hit home for you yet, I know as I go through these I feel it. Learning these things about ourselves will help us become the person we need to be in order to achieve our dreams – especially in music because precision, determination, and consistency will win the race every time (not that this is a race, but you know what I mean).

Let’s dive into another for our list which I feel is especially good for striving musicians to think about. 

On the left side here where we are still talking about our fixed mindsets, we can write these words” viewing effort as non-fruitful”. This means that someone with this type of thinking assumes that there are people who just do things right without effort even, and that if they themselves put in effort, it probably won’t even amount to anything because they couldn’t just naturally do it. -or- they feel that it takes too much effort to succeed at all.

On the right side of the page in the growth minded-set area, we can say that these people are focusing on the process instead of the end result. Believing that following the process will be part of the fun, and within time get them to the desired results.

These people are willing to continue putting one foot in front of the other, and I like this mindset if you couldn’t guess.

It’s the reason musicians have so much fun enjoying the journey. And there have been and are billions of budding musicians all around the globe.

So, of course we could continue discovering more of these mindsets right now, but I think the ones I’ve mentioned here kind of hit the nail on the head and perhaps some of the reasons for inconsistencies on the path to where we want to go.

I do like living a happy, fulfilled life. My dreams are part of me just as your dreams are part of you. The act of pursuing these makes us feel good and helps us find fulfillment.

Circling Back: 

Okay so let’s circle back to where we started today in this episode, and that’s consistent ways to cut your learning time on flute.

Striving to have a growth oriented mindset is important, especially as you enter and follow a program that someone who is ahead of you has laid out for you. Haha, it’s me! I have been laying the path for you here.

Use your new skills to continue – this is where you’ll find consistency.

Moving forward with new challenges as there’s no way anyone was actually born with this knowledge or these skills. We learn to analyze our own playing, and we can take this as feedback and course correction which will keep us on the path as we continue moving and humming along.

These mindsets I’ve mentioned here are the reasons you, and we (because I’m not exempt here), will continually find success. Even in the smallest measures, it is there.

Wahoo what a fun day and episode. I hope you’ve been enjoying these as you dive into yourself and learn to achieve. I have the path for you here at Learn Flute Online, and I’m so glad that you’re with us.

In the members area I’ve taken the guesswork out of flute playing and I’ve laid a yellow brick road, if you will… in fact, the learning modules in the levels are numbered. It’s like a dot to dot game – just follow along in the order presented, and then use our growth mindsets we talked about today to learn new things, enjoy new challenges, course-correct, and of course, savor the journey because we really can make pretty music right from the beginning.

You can do it!

I’ll help you.

I like being here with you, and I’m happy that you are with us. I always say that Learn Flute Online is the best place for learning how to play the flute – we’re always here for each other. 

If you find this or any of the other episodes of the Learn Flute Podcast helpful, and you know someone who could benefit from this knowledge and community, don’t hesitate to invite them to join us. 

We’re having fun ‘together’ from the privacy and comfort of our own homes, on our own schedules.


I’m Rebecca Fuller, and I’m going to play you out now – have fun this month as you work out the consistent ways to cut your learning time on flute.

I’ll see you soon!

Thank you for Tuning In!

Please consider subscribing and taking a minute to leave a review and rating for the podcast on iTunes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about consistent ways to cut your learning time on flute.  Join us for the next episode!

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

13 thoughts on “Consistent Ways to Cut Your Learning Time on Flute”

  1. Excellent podcast. Since I have been a somewhat accomplished player in the past, before an injury, I tend to be impatient and think if I play something, everything I could do will return tomorrow. I am learning now that I am starting again and need to develop that beginner’s mind. A new mindset. This podcast really drives that point home! Thank you

    1. I’m so happy you have this realization, Suzanne. I agree that it’s hard to be patient with ourselves. I totally get it. The best way to continue moving along is to make sure we move along at the proper pace. This keeps us motivated and enjoying the journey. Thanks for your comment today. Keep it up. Rebecca

    2. Suzanne, I so relate to your story. Once I barely needed to “learn” a new tune. I had a complete mind-muscle map between sounds and how to play them (fingers, breath), so learning to play a tune was simple, and most I played from memory. A year of heavy-duty medication put an end to that! I am with you in the beginner’s mind set, carefully rebuilding my muscle-memory map. So, isn’t this a great podcast?

  2. Rebecca, this podcast has done me a world of good, and has encouraged me to get organised in my practicing. Starting slowly is crucial. There is no point in going too fast if this make you hit wrong notes, as this will weld in the mistakes into muscle remedy. I need weeks of careful practice, and intervening sleeps, to develop fully operational muscle memory.
    I’ve developed a star system for learning a new piece. For one star I study the piece, get to understand it, listen to various version on YouTube. I find that if I learn to whistle the tune or sing it I can find parts which I don’t know well and work on them so that I know all the notes. Up to now I haven’t picked up my flute. For two stars I start to play it, identifying areas which need special attention. I work on the hard parts slowly enough to make sure I only play the right notes, so muscle memory gets a good start. For three stars I’ve put in between 50 and 100+ repeats of the hard parts and can play them reasonably reliably, but still reading the music. For four stars I am at the point where I can play it through, where the whole piece, including the hard parts, is becoming automatic, and I am enjoying it. Five stars marks the move from being able to play the notes into making it into a piece of music with expression and feeling.
    You are a great teacher!

    1. Hi David, this is a fabulous comment post. You are understanding and doing such a great job with your training. I love your star system! It’s perfect. You can pick this up and add my shapes system for polishing and preparing a performance piece (sent to recital participants here at LFO). So awesome! Thanks for being here today and enjoying the podcast. Rebecca

  3. This was a great episode, Rebecca. You really had me thinking about how I do things at different times or or just different days. At times when my mind is fixed on a goal, I am not enjoying myself as much and I’m more self-critical. When I get into the growth mindset, I feel more at ease, more playful and patient with myself. I found this episode very helpful and will go back and listen again in a while to remind myself of the best way to approach (flute)life.

    1. Awesome, Helena. You are very right. I am the same way. I often get worried about how much ‘time’ I have to accomplish something and it seems it takes me longer (and without joy) when I focus on this issue. When I just dive in and take it as it is happening with an open mind, I have more fun and almost always accomplish things even faster. It’s interesting! Thanks for the comment. It’s great having you here! Rebecca

  4. I loved this podcast. I have areas in my life where I can use the concepts here.
    Having an open mindset opens possibilities.
    We sell ourselves short with fixed mindsets.
    Take the time to take learning bit by bit.
    An overwhelming piece won’t seem so big.
    Thank you, Rebecca!

    1. Yes, Kathy you’re right. More possibilities is a great thought. Keeps us on the positive. I am guilty as well when I look at the different mindsets. It’s fun to see what happens when we chunk things down and just keep moving. 🙂 Rebecca

    1. Yessss. You got it, Melony. More successes in any size give us confidence. More self confidence keeps us humming along. Keep it up! Rebecca

  5. Rebecca: An excellent podcast – parallels my outlook on life. To me the journey is always more enjoyable than the destination. Enjoying myself (with the flute).

    1. Hi Ken, you’re right. We all have lessons to learn here. Enjoying the journey IS the destination most of the time. You’re doing so well. Thanks for being here. Rebecca

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