This article was kindly written by one of Rebecca Fuller’s advanced students:
I was a band student for almost 3 years before my first real flute lesson. At my first lesson, I was expecting Rebecca to give me tons of flute solos and begin teaching me how to play all the fancy trills. But I couldn’t have been more wrong…
To give a little background, I started playing the flute in seventh grade as soon as they offered band at school. At the time, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the band because my older sister played an instrument and I remember going to performance after performance wishing that I could play an instrument too.
This was only the beginning!
Like many of you, I would guess, I chose the flute because of the beautiful sound and elegant, shiny look.
Not long into the school year, I knew that the future of my flute career was left up to me because my band teacher was a french horn player and didn’t know a thing about the flute.
In fact, a new student added into the class about two months late who wanted to learn the flute, and I was assigned to teach her how to play! After only a few months of having a flute myself, I can assure you that I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
Fast forward two years and I was looking for ways to become a better flute player. I had somehow learned to finger most of the notes and to my knowledge make a decent sound, but I wanted to become a GOOD flute player. So I had the idea that I needed a real flute teacher to teach me how I could improve.
Luckily, I found an amazing flute teacher who had taught band students before and knew exactly how to help. You can imagine how nervous I was to go to my first lesson. I wanted to sound the very best I could in front of a real professional flute player so she would give me new music that would impress everybody in my band class.
My first real flute lesson was nothing like I thought it would be- it was so much better!
I put my flute together eagerly and the first thing Rebecca asked is for me to play a scale so she could get a sense of my playing ability. I was a little disappointed because I didn’t think she could learn anything from a boring old scale. But, I smiled really big and played the best C scale I had ever played in my whole life. (In reality, my fingers fumbled a little bit, I played a wrong note, and had to take at least 7 breaths- but I tried hard.)
Instantly, Rebecca started teaching. She explained that the flute could be dainty and elegant and at the same time bold and brilliant. We needed to do something about my small and airy tone. So she helped me relax my cheeks and round my lips, then asked me to try again.
I blew the first note and noticed a night and day difference! I literally had to stop and take a minute to stop smiling because I was so happy for the change.
And this was only the beginning!
Stay tuned to hear the more of the lessons I learned in my first real flute lesson, as a band student. – S. K.