How to Know Which Size of Flute You Should Use
Please watch the video below and read the article included. Good luck!
I recently had a nice dad email me over the choice of flutes for his young daughter. They are going to be learning online from me. We were lucky enough to be able to meet since they were in my area on vacation.
This young girl is 8 years old very petite. Learning on a flute that is too big would be a big mistake, so we are sizing her very carefully.
For younger learners the curved head flute is the best option because of arm length. Until these kids grow enough this type of flute offers the best of both worlds. They are actually still playing on a full-size flute as far as fingers go. The lip plate is the exact same size as on a straight head. A curved-head flute in great condition plays just as well as a straight one.
There is a great way to decide if a student needs a curved-head flute or not. Without having both a straight flute and a curved flute in your possession to try, how can this be determined?
There is a great way to decide if a student needs a curved-head flute or not.
Take a yard stick or a measuring tape and place the 0 end under the exact middle of the lips. Next pull the tape measure or yard stick to the right of the student (as if it were to be the flute).
Have the student then place their right hand index finger on the measurement 16″.
Look closely at the angle of their right arm. The elbow is bent at a possible 90 degrees, more or less.
If the angle of the right arm with the elbow being the point is LESS than 90 degrees, the child can use a straight flute.
If the arm angle is MORE than 90 degrees, the child is reaching too far and it will be too difficult for them to play a straight flute. This young student needs a curved-head flute.
*Note, if the child is very young (3, 4, 5 yrs.) there is a real possibility that the student needs even a smaller flute. There is one brand available as far as I know. I have been using them for 14 years. It is a Jupiter Prodigy 313S. I do not recommend learning solely online if your child is this young. Seek a good Suzuki Flute teacher who is accustomed to teaching students this young and working with their parents. I do this in my studio, but do you live close enough?
My absolute favorite curved-head flute is the Jupiter 515S Deluxe Standard Flute. It is very durable and has an amazing big sound. It is also available for a very reasonable price from an online catalog instrument store. It also includes a curved and straight head so the student can move to the straight flute when they are tall enough and ready. All pieces are kept in the same flute case.
Here is a link to the exact flute I am talking about: Rebecca’s Recommendation Jupiter 515S
Here’s the final difference. I just went and measured a straight flute vs. this curved-head flute. The distance between the middle of the lip to the right index finger on a straight flute is 16″. The distance on a curved-head flute is 10″. That’s 6″ that we have to play around with.
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