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Have you ever wondered how you can quickly Improve on your flute? In this podcast we talk about slowing down to speed up.
Learn Flute Podcast 106
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How you can improve on your flute:
Today I’m going to give you some specific skills that you can incorporate in your every day practice routine that will steer you towards quick improvement on your flute. Are you ready to rumble? Great- let’s get started!
Well hello there, and welcome to another episode of the Learn Flute Podcast. I’m Rebecca Fuller, the expert and instructor of all of the programs here at Learn Flute Online, and I am so happy you’re here.
This means you have a flute and you’re working on learning how to not only sound great on it, but also how to enjoy the process as well… right?
I’m here for you.
And today we’re going to take a little walk through what it takes to make sure you are seeing progress for your efforts.
Improve each day:
So let’s get started at the beginning and peek at what you should be doing yearly, monthly, and daily with your flute.
Now, I’ll have to mention that once a year, usually in January, I hold a nice online class for the members at Learn Flute Online where we map out what to focus on for the coming year.
The fall is also a perfect time to do this again. In fact, it’s a great idea to chunk up your year like this so that you can see and feel that you are moving right along.
So, if we took the first four months of the year and called that our “semester one”, then that means May, June, July and August will be our second semester leaving us with September through December as our third semester of the year … which is what we’re just about to start here at Learn Flute Online.
In fact, I should let you know that I’m always way ahead of this for you. I usually have the entire year mapped out before it even begins, so that by the time we reach our different semesters I’m all prepped and have new activities, lessons, classes, and modules all ready for you to participate in.
I also am really good at thinking backwards. This is a concept that would be really great for you to also think about. Let me explain.
Here at Learn Flute Online and also in my studio here in Utah, I watch and listen to my students very carefully. Instead of making a long list of songs or tunes, and making that our goal for the year, I look at skills that will enhance musical ability.
Now, these skills are listed out carefully detail on lists of mine and categorized into like a chronological order of learning.
Perfect Learning Order
If you’ve been here at Learn Flute Online very long, you’ll have noticed that the Level modules are set in perfect learning order. It’s the reason people have so much success with my program.
Moving through the modules by number is the way to feel comfortable and successful in the process – and confidence is everything!
So, when you’re a new beginner, we work on the what it takes to create things like the balance skills necessary so that all finger combinations are possible. Because Without this balance skill, virtually everything that comes after it will feel cumbersome and very laborus.
Once we get this skill in place, then, the next set of musical options become available to us to learn. And things just get easier and easier.
A little story:
Now, let me tell you a little story. Every year for the past thirty years or so, I and my students have participated in a flute festival type of a week where everyone is to perform two different pieces for a panel of adjudicators (and the word ‘adjudicator’ is just a fancy word for kind of like a judge).
Oh, sounds a little daunting, doesn’t it? Well, actually it really would be pretty scary if I allowed them to go into this experience unprepared, but since I have everything organized out for them, and we work on it systematically, and way before it’s time, then all my students need to do is just follow my weekly system up to the very day of performances.
And I do it with them, together – and you know what? We come out on top every single time. In fact, one hundred percent of the time my students have been asked to perform at the ‘best of festival’ concert at the end of the week.
Now, the reason I tell you this is not to brag… well, okay maybe just a little bit, but the real reason is because I wanted to highlight this next part of the story. I’ve had conversations with others and other teachers about why my studio always comes out on top, and for me it’s easy to see why.
Following instructions from someone who has the end in mind really is the way to go. What I mean is that there are some haphazard ways to learn, like bouncing around in method books or playing without any specific goals in mind.
But really, here’s just no reason not to succeed. We’ve got this. Let me help take you through the process so you can also be part of this winning combination.
First of all, in the fundamental modules which I call the Gold Level here at Learn Flute Online, and also in the Intermediate and Advanced levels, I’ve taken the time to design them with what’s coming in mind.
So, in each module you’ll find prep-work and specific short exercises that foster a specific skill that you’ll be using either right then (in the same module) or something coming up very shortly.
So, if you’re listening to this right now and already a member of these levels at Learn Flute Online, then you can remember not to skip anything I show you. Literally everything has a purpose. And, I have your success and your musical competence, and your educational well being in mind.
Improve your Confidence
So, now that hopefully you have confidence that I have the program set up correctly for you, what can YOU do to enhance your skill level even faster?
Well, I’d say the number one thing for you to do is to fully participate. Make the decision to be a part of our community. Notice I didn’t say to make a ‘goal’ to participate.
I said make the decision and then do it with us. You’re not alone in this journey. In fact, this is a global group of awesome people who are unified in their efforts to make really good music. Ahhh, doesn’t that just give you good vibes? It does me, for sure.
Learn Flute Online is not a faceless program that you come into. I’m here, and because I like this just as much as you do, I take my enthusiasm and I organize it so you can consume in your own time.
The information, the lessons, the skills, the music, the ensembles, the classes, the performances etc. are the fun part of journeying through this together.
So now let’s talk about some of these specific skills that you can use to really propel your time with your instrument in a forward direction.
The first one is to take your time.
Slow Down to Speed Up
Now, wait a minute. Did I just say opposite ideas back to back here? I said, we’re going to really propel and move forward, and then in my very next sentence I said you’re supposed to take your time. Yes, this is actually what I meant.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – learn to slow down so you can speed up.
Let’s take apart this skill now so you can really use it to your advantage:
Let’s say I have a fancy run to play, much like this beautiful run I play in one of the world’s favorites by Christoph Willibald Gluck called the Orpheus and Eurydice. You’ll find this piece in one of the modules in the Intermediate Level here at Learn Flute Online by the way. In fact, I go into great detail of the story of the piece and how it’s hauntingly beautiful story and key will grab hold of your attention and your heart as you learn to play it.
It’s a very popular piece of flute literature, and you definitely need to know how to play it well.
So anyway, in this story there are basically three pieces with three different moods, all wrapped into one. And at one moment in time, there’s an amazing run that sweeps you into a section of music that when internalized not only gives you the chills, but might bring you to tears as well.
So, when it’s time to learn how to play this passage, it’s important to do it so that it milks emotion.
We can’t do this if our hand position is cramped, our fingerings aren’t true, or our rhythm is just slightly off – and that doesn’t even mention all of the tone skills that I would love to show you.
What we have to do is take care of these things in minuscule detail and as slow as a sloth climbs a tree.
Literally every finger combination that moves from one note to the next needs to be met with precision, and it’s super-duper easy if it’s been studied, detailed out, and ever so slowly played and organized.
Playing in the chunks I show in the lesson is the best way to understand it. And the point I’ll make here is that by working it out slowly for the first few days is the fastest way to get it right.
Did ya hear that?
I said working it out slowly for the first few days is the fastest way to get it right.
Many people hear and see these runs as big hairy scary mashups of notes that they have to play at lightning speed over and over and over in order to play it right.
Well, you guessed it, practicing like this will only create a nice. hot. mess.
I understand that many times we’re in a hurry to learn. But, believe me- slowing down is still the fastest way to speeding up.
So, there’s the first thing I wanted to mention as you move through the program here at Learn Flute Online.
I have it planned out so you will not be wasting your time. In fact, statistics show that you’ll cut years off your learning curve by working on and sticking with the program here.
Roll with the Waves
The second thing is to roll with the waves in learning.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard me mention this before, but you know, we are human. At least I am. And as disheartening as it is to notice that we make mistakes and have ups and downs throughout our months, it’s also nice to know that we’re not alone, and we’re normal!
We’re totally not alone. I’m here. You’re here. We’re here in this moment of time together, and I’ve learned some things throughout my life that I’m guessing that you’re starting to get an inkling of also if you haven’t already… but, we are like bumpy, zigzag rollercoasters sometimes, and at times we’re as smooth as butter.
The important thing to remember is to keep putting one foot in front of another, and not let those zigzag moments rob your confidence.
I’ve noticed that a loss of confidence is one of the TOP reasons people stop pursuing their education in an instrument especially. And, it is true.
Things get busy, we have a couple of set backs, or two or three. And for some reason we feel like throwing in the towel. Does this sound familiar to you?
You’ve got this!
Well, I’m here to encourage you to keep your eye ahead, you’ve got this. I’m here with you and so is our whole community.
So what if time gets away with you occasionally. It’s not really a problem.
Just pick up, start somewhere simple, and then keep moving.
Our instruments are very patient with us. And they loved being used.
Well, it sure has been enjoyable to have you here today talking about music and flute fun. I like to think back on the days before I played the flute. Do you remember those days for you as well? We were kind of missing something, weren’t we?
It’s a fact in the music world that once you realize and feel that music gets inside you, that you will always have it be a part of you. Keep it. Foster it. Grow it. Enjoy it.
Hey, I love you all – and I’m looking forward to our next episode soon where I have some new fun for you. Reminding you to come into Learn Flute Online today and get your lessons. The videos are very detailed, very informative, and stuffed with high level information that you can understand and use at the exact level you are on.
You’re probably wondering how I did this! Well, have you ever played a dot-to-dot game? I’ve created basically the dot-to-dot flute program. It’s all numbered and pretty darn fun.
Thanks for being here again- I’m Rebecca Fuller and I’m going to be playing you out now with a Jules Mouquet piece that will get your heart racing and hopefully also inspire you to slow down in order to speed up this fall. I also hope that I’ve inspired you to do this for quick improvement on your flute.
See you next time!
Thank you for Tuning In!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about quickly Improving on your Flute. I can’t wait to see you for the next episode!