LFP 014 | How Your Lungs Power The Flute

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LFP 014 | How Your Lungs Power The Flute

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, you will learn about the role your lungs play in making your flute sound beautiful.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 014.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • How your lungs power the flute
  • The best way to breathe while playing your flute
  • Some exercises to improve your breathing
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening

Learn Flute Podcast 014

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Hello Hello, it’s time for episode 14 here at the Learn Flute Podcast. I’m Rebecca, and I can’t wait to teach you something new.
Learning to play the flute will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Because the flute is the most cool, the most fun, and the most beautiful of all the instruments in the whole world. We are  here to tell you, you can do it! And Rebecca will show you how, step by step all along the way. She’s a curly headed blonde with a talent for teaching. Introducing the Learn Flute Podcast

Take it away Rebecca!

Welcome Welcome to this episode. I’ve been having a good time lining up the future shows for this Learn Flute Podcast, which is companion to my Learn Flute Online dot com website because I know that you people out there in flute-learning land are going to get so much value from it. Today we’re going to be exploring more ideas to help you breathe more easy while playing the flute.

Now as I’ve said before breathing isn’t exactly the most natural skill for we humans when we are learning how to play the flute. I always find that funny to say outloud since of course, we’ve all been breathing since the very day we were born, right? I’m just always surprised at the funny things we do as we try and make those notes and phrases last longer.

Here’s what I mean – I’m sure you can relate. When you’re first learning how to play the flute, it’s super difficult to not just spray all of your air stream out all over the room. It’s kind of tricky to learn to capture the right amount (and at the right angle I might add) in that little tone hole.  

So what ends up happening is you end up using it all up within about the first half of a second and then there’s no more for the next note. So, you have to take a breath and start it all over again. This happens repeatedly until you’re pretty dizzy and ready to cache it in for the day.  haha right?

Ya, I know I’m right and that’s why I thought I’d let you in on another one of my little secrets. About 15 years ago I set out to learn to be a runner. Now, I have to say that I’m not exactly a natural at distance running. In fact, it has been and probably always will be a struggle for me. 

And that’s because I have a little issue with my lungs. They tend to get weak really fast. I have a lot of seasonal allergies and I even get asthma when I laugh too hard so I’ve had to learn to adapt and find out what works for my body. Now this is important to know because the day I decided to become a recreational runner was the day I changed the life of my lungs.

Everything started to change. First of all I had a lot of burning of the lungs moments and I had to learn to slow down to a manageable pace or I was going to croak from an exploded heart and lungs.  As I did this – slowing down to a pace I could handle, I was able to go on faster spurts where I breathed a lot harder, and then took it down a notch back to comfortable land.

It didn’t take very long at all for me to start noticing a difference in my flute playing My running had a drastic improvement as well. I’m totally serious about this too. I could tell that my lungs seemed ‘bigger’ and more ‘pliable’. When I went to take in a big breath to play my flute, I seemed to be able to take in more air than I could before. My tone became more resonant, and it really was quite an eye-opening experience.

Now, I have been one of these ‘on and off’ runners for many years now, and I want to tell you that it does make a difference in my playing abilities when I am running regularly and putting faster spurts in my training. My tone is much more clear and resonant, and I can last a lot longer for especially slurred passages.

During the times I’m not running as much – or if I’m kind of stuck on a plateau of slogging – thats  slow jogging – I do notice a decrease in these things as well. I tend to have more ‘bad tone days’, and long phrases really get the best of me.

Is this something you had ever thought of before?  I know I’ve been told and noticed it in my younger students also that the swimmers seem to really be naturals at the whole breathing subject.

All that exercise stretches the lungs a little larger than normal every-day breathing. So, it only seems like common sense that this would increase our lung capacity.

Now, not everyone can or wants to be a runner or a swimmer, but since we have to use our human body to operate this instrument, I think it’s important to notice that there are things we can do to increase our efficiency and make things even easier on ourselves. I think every person on this planet would enjoy having an easier time, don’t you think?

Definitely good for thought today, eh?

If you have any experience with exercise and flute playing, I’d like to hear from you! Just hop on over to the show notes at Learn Flute Online dot com forward slash and then the number zero fourteen because this is episode fourteen. 

I guess I should explain that the extra zero before the number is there because I wanted everything to line up correctly as I added more and more episodes to this show. I have over fifty recordings and subjects already lined up for this year, and I plan on reaching the triple digits quickly, so I decided to just start the numbers with three digits right from the beginning. I guess running a business like this has sparked a lot of pre-thinking on my part as I’ve learned so much in hindsight  also.

Well, that’s it for today I hope this was a fun subject for you to think about today. I, like you love to listen to podcasts as i’m working on other things or on a run especially. I find it really convenient to have these podcasts cued up and ready for me to consume. I hope you do too. 

If this podcast is something you enjoy and are getting some value from, I’d appreciate it if you’d show your love by leaving a rating and a comment.  This helps itunes, youtube, stitcher, google play, or wherever you are listening from keep the show live and up on the charts for you.

I want to let you know that I’m proud of you and your efforts in making music – which makes our world even more beautiful.
See you next time!


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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute and how your lungs power the flute.  Join us for the next episode.

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

11 thoughts on “LFP 014 | How Your Lungs Power The Flute”

  1. I started incorporating jump roping forward then back. I started with 25 both ways, then 50 and so on. Take rapid walk arounds in between. Gets the heart rate up quick and helps to expand the lungs.
    Love this pod cast! Student vawn

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    I am going through all your podcast from the beginning and I love them. They are so informative. You explain everything so well and clearly, that I rarely have any questions afterward :).

    Breath holding is another way to increase lung capacity and very easy to do at home. It is super effective. Stig Severinson, a freediver and a medical doctor, has increased his lung capacity to over 14 liters and hold world records. He draws his techniques from mainly pranayama and yoga exercises, especially breath holding, sports as well as from science.
    Please check out his website, http://www.breatheology.com and his book Breatheology.
    Free classes https://www.breatheology.com/shop/masterclass/breathing-discovery-masterclass/

    Your classes are phenomenal, rating 10 plus 🙂

    1. Neat! Anne-Marie, I know that there are many great exercises one can do to help their lungs. I have one boy who has practiced a lot and can go under water for a couple of minutes+… it blows my mind (and makes me nervous). He says he doesn’t even feel strange while he’s doing it. I’ll stick to exercise and flute playing. 🙂 ~Rebecca

    2. Thanks so much, Anne-Marie, for the link to Breathology. I’ve downloaded the book and am getting into it.

  3. Hi Rebecca!

    Well, if my email address doesn’t give it away, I am indeed a runner!! Haha. You are sooo right–cardio fitness definitely helps in playing the flute. And the element of discipline is another important aspect. Miss a few days, you can really tell!

    Keep up your great podcasts.

    1. Hey Margaret, running changed my ‘flute life’. Literally. I was having so many breathing problems. I just needed the lung exercise to strengthen them. I’m good now! (as long as I keep it up… I have my waves…and I know better now). Good post ~Rebecca

  4. I’ve been doing yoga and working out for many years and I am sure that this has helped with my flute playing! Hey, another great excuse to get moving and to keep moving!

    Thank Rebecca for all you do!

  5. Hi Rebecca,
    I’ve been doing ‘Peak 8’ interval training on the treadmill for years now. It is something I learned from articles about exercise from Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com). The purpose of Peak 8 is to gain the maximum benefits from a short duration of exercise (20 minutes or less) two or three times per week, activate your own HGH (if you fast for a certain period afterword) while preserving your lung function, since regular aerobic exercises tend to actually decrease lung capacity. Who knew? Sounds like you discovered that too with your sprinting.
    I was in the hospital about five years ago due to a lung problem. I was told by my doctor that my illness caused permanent decreased lung capacity in one of my lungs. Part of the reason I took up the flute was to increase the lung function I lost and then maintain it. When I first began studying the flute with you in December 2014, it was hard to even get a few quarter notes out before I lost my breath. As I progressed through the Gold level modules, you kept challenging me with longer slurred phrases, like Module 30, Ding Dong Merrily On High.
    I believe the combination of interval exercise with daily flute practice has normalized my lung capacity and those long slurs and phrases have become much easier and fun to play, like the Telemann Minuet in the Intermediate level. I took your 2016 tone study workshop and that helped me to identify the weaknesses I still had and correct it.

    Thanks for these podcasts! (Rate it a 10!)

    1. Awesome! You’re right on track here with these comments. I think many people don’t realize that they can teach their body new tricks — even new lung capacity. It’s like building muscles… consistent and proper effort are the trick. The rewards are great! Rebecca

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