A Flute Skills Check-up: How Do You Rate?

It’s time to gain a little reality on your music competence. Are you on the path to where you want to go? There are certain things you should be accomplishing to get to the point where playing the flute is easy and fun. Let’s do a flute-skills check-up: How do you rate?

Novice Level:

If you haven’t learned proper assembling and cleaning skills, for example, then it’s time you get there and know that your instrument is part of your musicianship.

Solid tones, folk-tunes, and proper holding of the flute are on this level as well as a few simple scales.

Practice sessions are short, usually under twenty minutes.

Beginner Level:

Once we can balance the flute well and play with solid tone (consistently) we are on our way out of the folk-level and into the pieces that require flute articulation.

I want to help you become the best flutist you can be.

Understanding and demonstrating the ability to play (and also read) slurs, tongues, staccato, legato, are all part of learning to make our music interesting to listen to.

At this level we also should be able to make it through at least 6-9 major scales and the easiest minor scales and arpeggios.

Practice sessions are longer due to know-how and enthusiasm, usually thirty minutes +.

Intermediate Level:

The intermediate level is fun fun fun because we have many of our fundamentals solid so that we can really soar through more repertoire than we even have before. Learning a new piece in one day is totally do-able and fun!

This level becomes a bit more segmented with low-intermediate, medium-intermediate, high-intermediate, and advanced-intermediate levels.

At this stage, we should have learned all 12 of our major scales in one octave, and have most of them in two octaves as well.

The chromatic scale is a breeze (whole range of the flute), and music with more complex rhythms, speeds, and phrasing are the focus now.

Musicians on this level who are really striving to be good will be practicing for about an hour + per day.

Advanced Level:

The word “advanced” in the music world is quite hazy since it all depends on who is determining the boundaries.

Some elementary schools have an ‘advanced’ class, and so do some universities. These are worlds apart, but in the scope of most music in general, I’d say that Advanced music is what you would hear people in the performing world use.

All major and minor scales (in all octaves) are a breeze, and music with both super fast and super slow speeds are being practiced with new techniques such as double and triple tonguing as well as super long phrases.

At this stage, musicality is everything. Learning where to place vibrato and dynamics is just one of the focuses, for example.

Practicing is ninety minutes + on this level, with study sessions between.

There are many, many other skills and techniques to check-up on in the flute-learning world… but for starters – how do you rate?

Leave a comment here so we can keep the conversation going and help you become the best flutist you can be.

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

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller



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  • Madelaine Lee

    Reply Reply October 2, 2018

    I’m definitely a beginner! I know many people here are very very good, but I’m just excited to play anything with a clear solid tone, even if it’s just “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” 🙂 I’m greatly aspiring to be able to play some Irish Folk for my sister when I visit her in Ireland come Springtime. She’s paying to fly me out!! I’m very interested in your Irish music course. I’m confident I will be ready to sign up in March. Is there anyway I could know how much it will cost so I can save the money?

    Wishing you all joy!

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply October 4, 2018

      Hi Madelaine, it’s not every day that someone pays your way to Ireland (!). You’re definitely going to have a nice solid tone by then. Go Tell Aunt Rhody is great!How exciting for you. The Irish course will be available in March. You’ll looooove it! The course price has stayed the same for the past couple of years. I’ll email you the details. 🙂 ~Rebecca

      • Madelaine Lee

        Reply Reply October 4, 2018

        I know! My sister had to move to Germany for her husbands job, so she took a job dog sitting for the sole purpose of occasionally flying different family members out to visit! (and we are going to Ireland instead of Germany because it’s a little cheaper) Yes, go telll Aunt Rhody is great fun! I WILL love the Irish course and I look forward to your email!


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