You are ready to show up and be an even better flute player than you are right now. Congratulations! Now, let’s get you to be first chair in band.
Here’s a little blueprint to help you become the flutist who sits in the first chair position.
It is more important to feel like a First Chair Flutist than it is to actually be one.
First of all, I’ll give a disclaimer that occasionally it may not work out so perfectly for you. Even if you do absolutely everything right. First chair can do with seniority- you know, the Senior Class player who has been there for 4 years already and the director just ‘feels’ she/he deserves it out of loyalty. There are also several hundred other factors (and opinions) that can go into placing a first chair flutist, so don’t feel like you’re failing just because you’re not first chair. It is more important to feel like a First Chair Flutist than it is to actually be one.
Let me say that again (it’s that important):
First of all, let me tell you that it is much, much more important to ‘feel’ like a first chair band member than to actually ‘be’ one. After you believe, then you’ll feel excited to take the proper steps to making it happen.
The advice I have here will prepare you for the confidence of playing first chair.
As in any endeavor in life, you have to believe to achieve most of time, so let’s get you on the page of ‘believing’ you can become the first chair player.
All you need are some tools and guidance to be first chair in band to help you along your way:
- Can you play the ‘test’ material perfectly? If not, then you need to realize that there is a level of preparation that needs to happen before you should expect to be the best.. in short, I’m telling you to practice your guts out so you are over-prepared and will have no issues performing the test material in front of your classmates and teacher.
- Ask the teacher about the next opportunity to move-up in chair. You may just blow him/her off her seat when you ask her to ‘test’ you again. He/she will find you an opportunity and then watch you closely.. just because you are telling them you ‘want’ first chair may be one of the reasons you actually ‘get’ to be first chair in band.
- Play your scales every single day. Perfectly. If you can’t do this, then you again have some serious practice to do. The good news is that once you know those scales, you get to use them foreverrrrrrr. Scales are always tested, and you’ll find the finger patterns in every single piece you play. You’re going to become great, so put this on your daily checklist!
- Be a happy part of the program. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t be the snooty player who ‘acts’ better than everyone else. Help cheer on your fellow flute-friends! They’ll love you for it, and actually ‘vote’ you into first chair. It happens all the time!!
Well, these are just some things to think about next time you find yourself wondering why you sit where you do in your band program.
Read and and implement these strategies on how to be chosen as first chair in band. I’m here to tell you that you deserve it if you want it!
Now, go get it.