Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn that the natural way is the comfortable way to play the flute.
This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 052.
What this podcast will be all about
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- What is Overtrying
- What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- How to avoid Carpal Tunnel
- What you can look forward to learning from listening
Learn Flute Podcast 052
Press the Play Button to Listen Now:
Hey y’all, it’s Rebecca again here for a new Audio Podcast all centered around subjects to help take your flute playing to the next level. Are you ready? Great. Let’s get started. Today we’re going to take a dive into some experiences I’ve had in my professional life that showed me that the natural way is the comfortable way to play the flute. Stay tuned! You’re going to need this and like it.
Well welcome back! It’s time to check out this episode – which is actually number fifty two. Hey, I made it. I have been recording these for exactly a year now, weekly. How about that? If you’re just joining me today for your first time, then I give an extra welcome to you, and let you know that I am happy you are learning how to play the flute. You have come to the right place to learn how to play it really well.
I know that you self-motivated learners are wanting to do the best you can, and I’m here to help show you the way. I’ve been teaching well, if I count right it appears that it’s coming up on about twenty nine years now. Whoa. Yes, I am that old. But, to be fair, my first set of students were started when I was just fifteen years old. I took it very seriously though. I never missed a lesson and I wanted so badly for everyone to succeed, so just like now- I pulled out all the stops.
Well, fast forward all the years and through a lot of professional training and many hundreds of students. You’re here now listening with me online. It’s kind of fun! I’ve had the privilege of working with students who have climbed to really high heights in the flute playing world. I have taught students who have won national flute competitions and are now high level studio musicians in both the freelance world as well as the professional world. That’s another story for another time, but for now let’s focus on you.
If you have been following the module lessons I’ve set for you, then you’ll know a bit more about this and will be getting some in-depth training as well in the membership area, so if you haven’t had time to get yourself into the membership area- please do so today. You won’t regret it at all.
I want to tell you a little story about something I do (besides what you see me do)… I have had a full studio of students for many years (as I already explained), and one thing I really like to do is help my students find opportunities to perform and use their talents especially on with their flute. You know that the more you use it, the better it gets, right? Boy, we could do a whole episode on that also!
Well, anyway- I happen to know quite a bit about the pageant space. So, I am always hooking my students up with opportunities to snag themselves a large scholarship. I explain to them that there’s a lot of money out there that’s just waiting someone who is willing to go through all the hoops to get it. I also tell them that I will personally show them how. They always jump on board, and we literally just go-for-it!
At this time, I think the most scholarship money I’ve had someone win in a pageant is somewhere around the twenty thousand dollar mark. That’s kind of a lot of dough for dressing well, answering questions, and playing a pretty song on stage, don’t ya think?
Well… haha I’m making it sound easy here, but really it’s actually one of the most trying and ‘growing’ time in a person’s life.
Well… I”m going to skip past all the details I could share now for a few hours, and just move right to the meat of the subject.
Just last week I was talking to one of my students who is preparing for a big state pageant- after winning the local pageant and already pocketing some good money for future college tuition, and I noticed something crazy in her pictures from the last pageant. Her left elbow was so high in the picture and videos that she looked like she was flapping her wings as she played.
So, picture this- in fact, if you have your flute out get it up right now as if you are ready to play and then take your left elbow and raise it like six inches without moving anything else. Can you see what happens? Well, if you don’t have a mirror and can’t see it, I bet you can feel it! Your wrist is now bent and there’s a lot of pulling on a certain couple of muscles that run up your hand and then down your arm. Ouch Ouch Ouch. It goes clear into my elbow. That’s definitely going to hurt within time if it stayed that way.
So, I took some time to explore this phenomenon with my student, because she certainly hasn’t been known to hold her flute in crazy positions before. What we found was that in her effort to quote TRY really hard at this performance, she felt like she had to also quote LOOK like she was trying hard as well. So, she put her body in some unnatural positions to demonstrate what she was feeling.
I thought so.
But, at the same time, I completely understand. I have taught so many ages throughout the years, and one thing I have really noticed and understood is that there are some personalities and (not common in the wee youngsters), but in the teens and older arena, people tend to do something I call ‘overtrying’.
Overtrying is a response we have to really wanting to do a good job, but sometimes in the meantime we end up trying so hard that we put our body parts in unnatural positions. Now, you may be wondering why this is such a big deal that I would take a whole episode to talk to you about it.
Well, hopefully you’re putting two and two together here and deducing that unnatural hand or arm position puts unnecessary strain on muscles. What happens from bent wrists is a common disfunction in the body that ends up being called Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Have you ever heard of it?
If you have, it may be because you have a friend or relative who was a bank teller or a gardner – something that requires a lot of repetitive use of their hands. What happens is that when doing something over and over and over for months and years it does some damage to the tiny little muscles in our body unless we are positioned in a way that is completely natural and how our bodies were set up to move in the first place. So, if the bank teller using the number machine – not sure if they have those nowadays because everything has gone so digital where I live, so let’s say the grocery store check-out lady or man – but if they wiggle their fingers over the keypad with their wrist bent – usually because they are standing over it rather than being on the same level as the machine – then they end up with this awful syndrome that requires a lot of therapy and in many cases surgery to correct. It causes numb fingers and hands and all sorts of bad things. And, it would still come back if the repetitive motion in the wrong position continued to happen.
I learned all about this fortunately when I was eighteen years old at one of my first big teacher training events when I met a fellow flutist who was also a jazz pianist at night and on weekends. She gave me the speech, and I listened. I listened very carefully, because I never ever wanted to put my love for playing the flute in jeopardy by messing up my muscles.
Whew! That was kind of a long explanation for what I wanted to get at which is that the natural way is the comfortable way to play the flute. And, if it doesn’t feel comfortable- then there’s something unnatural happening…
Now, don’t worry because I address many, most, and I hope all of the things you need to know and feel as you practice and learn to play the flute. It is all in the membership in the lessons. We’ll make it all great!
Thanks so much for being here today for this episode. I appreciate you sticking around and learning with us. Now, these audios are going to be posted in a couple of places for you learners so that you can use this information to your benefit. Remember that I’m your biggest cheerleader!
Come in and take a lesson today at LearnFluteOnline.com. I’ll be waiting there for you.
And as usual, let’s keep this particular conversation going by having you ponder on your experiences and let us know what you think here in the comment section. After all, this is here for us in the flute learning community- I Love your effort.
I’ll be seeing you again soon!
Thank you for Tuning In!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute why the natural way is the comfortable way to play the flute. Join us for the next episode.