Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn about a few things that make the flute unique. As well as whether or not you need a left handed flute.
This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 016.
What this podcast will be all about
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- Whether there are left handed flutes or not
- How to recognize your learning style
- A few things that make the flute unique
- What you can look forward to learning from listening
Learn Flute Podcast 016
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Hey, it’s me Rebecca here on the Learn Flute Podcast with episode sixteen!
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!
I’d like to welcome you today to this episode of the Learn Flute Podcast where I’ll be discussing an interesting question from a listener who wrote in to my email at Learn Flute Online dot com. She says, “ Hello Rebecca, my son is interested in learning the flute now that he hears me play, he is left handed and my question is does he use a regular flute or is there one for left handed people?”
Well, first of all thank you for sending in this question because I honestly don’t know if I would have thought to address the question of “are there special flutes for left handed people or not?” But, I can totally see why you are asking it especially if you are familiar with the guitar instrument which CAN to be different depending on which hand you are dominant in.
The answer here for the flute is ‘no’, we don’t actually use a flute that has everything wired differently for left hand,- that is widely available anyway. But I can tell you that it’s because it’s completely not necessary.
When we play the flute we use both hands equally, unlike the guitar where one hand does the picking and strumming and the other hand does the string pressing on the neck so they are different skills for each hand. It’s not impossible for a left handed person to learn to play a right handed guitar, but apparently for some people they find it easier to have one that is strung the other way so they can use their left hand for the picking and strumming part.
Anyway, with that all being said let’s take a quick close up look as to why it doesn’t matter so much for the flute. The flute is unique for a few reasons, and one of them being that we actually hold the instrument – the whole instrument to the right side of our body, so in order to play it we have to cross our left arm over our center and over to the right side.
Now, this is kind of cool because it gives us some cross brain practice here every single time we play our flute. I’m not sure if you’ve ever done any brain studies in learning, but I have and I find it absolutely fascinating that we do have more parts of our brain stimulated when we are crossing a body part from left to right or right to left for example.
I’ve had several,.. (well many in fact) of students who have been told they have some learning problems or deficiencies. I’ve always had a good time proving to them that they don’t actually have a disability at all, they just have a different way their brain is wired, and that it is easy to connect the ‘wirings’ for lack of a better term with some simple daily exercises. All of which I teach while showing the student how to play the flute. It’s actually a lot of fun, and it totally works.
Now obviously I can’t give just one fix-all right here and now in this short podcast episode for the brain things I was just talking about, but I hope I spark something in you listeners that helps you identify anything about your own learning that you can fix up with some good old fashion cross-brain patterning… which (again) happens every single time we play the flute.
I always have said that flute players seem to be pretty intelligent human beings.. haha I’m not really tooting my own horn here, I’ve just noticed that there’s something special about an accomplished flute player that is pretty awesome.
I attribute this to many different aspects of learning to play this instrument, but really I do believe that holding our flute on the right side of our body and using our left hand crossed over facing inward, combined with our right hand facing outward does something cool to our brains after years of practice. It’s pretty neato.
Well anyway back to the exact question of having a flute for left handers.. I said that no, there aren’t flutes for lefties, but I guess I should mention here that there are some traditional flute instruments that can be held on either side of the body- like the Irish flutes. It seems like some of the old professionals held their flutes on the left.
Now, I’m not entirely sure if this is because they were left handed or not, but it sure doesn’t seem to matter for them. Their right hand is on top and their left is on bottom – which is opposite of how we play the modern flute, and it still sounds just great because it’s not really about which hand is where, but what sound is coming out and if there is a nice emotional connection with the music or not.
I should mention here also that There is one company who is making modern flutes in a quote left handed version, and I commend them for their efforts. In my many years of experience, I’ve not ever noticed once that a student say there is anything uncomfortable or tricky to learn about the flutes we have readily available.
If you remember back to your first few days and weeks of learning how to play the flute, you’ll remember that it’s tricky enough to get the hang of, and becoming a flute ambidextrous is what just happens within a little time no matter what is naturally dominant.
We have to use both hands equally anyway, so just feel confident that it’s not a problem for any righty or lefty to become a great flutist with what we have available.
So, again there’s some food for thought today. Now If you are a leftie, I’d love to know your thoughts on this- as usual, you can leave a comment here and depending on where you are listening to this, don’t forget that you can come over to the LearnFluteOnline.com website and find even more information and the video lessons to help take your flute playing to a whole new level.
It’s a pretty fun skill or hobby to have, and we all know that there’s nothing like a well played instrument to spread joy and happiness here in this world.
Have a fabulous day, I’ll see you next time!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute and what left handed selection is for left-handed flutist. Join us for the next episode.