How to use a music stand for flutists
“I just received a new music stand. Can you tell me how high I should position it?” is a question I received this week which sparked this article on how to use a music stand for flutists.
Flute players are a bit unique since it is best if we practice and perform both standing instead of sitting. I understand that it’s possible that you may be learning how to play in a classroom or band/orchestra setting where order needs to be kept by having everyone unified in carefully positioned chairs.
Learning how to use a stand for flute playing is actually quite important!
This isn’t really the best for us flutists, but we can deal with it. Here’s a good rule of thumb for you:
- If you are practicing at home or in a place where you are not ‘performing’, then you should raise your music stand as high as your face is. This will prevent you from kinking your neck and looking downward at your sheet music.
- If you are rehearsing or performing with a group then you should lower your music stand quite a bit. Your entire chest on up should be clearly visible by the audience. If you are positioned sideways the rule still stays – keep the stand lowered. Imagine that if you could move your body forward without bending at all your elbows (while in playing position) could easily float over the top of your stand.
- If you are performing solo, you’ll want to remove the stand entirely and have your piece memorized. This is proper performance etiquette. If memorization is not an option, then memorize as best as you can and move the stand down by your belly-button. Stand back at least three feet from the stand, and keep your head level, chin up as you perform.
It’s important to remember that moving your body position to accommodate the height of the stand is not desired for flutists because it hinders tone (a lot).
You’ll want to learn how to read the music from the top of the page on down just by moving your eyes.. not your whole head.
Those little silver foldable stands are so short, and don’t even hold a decent sized book. So, invest a little bit of money in one of these stands: http://amzn.to/1RluPJF you won’t be sorry at all.
Learning how to use a stand for flute playing is actually quite important, and I’m glad to be able to share this knowledge here with you today. I also have video lessons and tips on this very subject in the members area of my teaching website: https://learnfluteonline.com
Come join us!