Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn more about why the natural way is the comfortable way to play the flute.
This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 053.
What this podcast will be all about
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- What muscles are made of
- How flute players are similar to athletes
- Why it is so important to take breaks
- What you can look forward to learning from listening
Learn Flute Podcast 053
Press the Play Button to Listen Now:
Hello Hello it’s me Rebecca here with another episode of the Learn Flute Podcast which is an audio lesson given by me, the expert at Learn Flute Online dot com where I show and teach you how to be really great on the instrument flute. So glad you’re here today! In fact, if you’ve had the chance to listen to episode number fifty two, then you’re in the perfect place because after I recorded that one, I decided the conversation just couldn’t end, and we’re going to take it a little deeper. The subject was all about realizing and learning that the natural position is the comfortable position to play the flute.
Today in episode 53 I’ll be taking it a step further and doing a little bio mechanics and science so it’s really obvious. Coming right up!
So, just to make sure we’re all on the same page, this is a continuation from episode 52 where we talked about understanding strain in flute playing. That last audio was titled The Natural Way is the Comfortable Way to Play the Flute – or something to that effect.
I talked a bit about anothing thing I do besides create awesome flute learning content for all of you, and that’s scholarship pageant coaching. Yup- it’s crowns and gowns, but for me and my students, it means college is going to get paid for. That is a huge deal, if you ask me.
I talked about one of my students who recently has been prepping for a new larger pageant and we’ve noticed a fair bit of what I call over trying in her body language. Yes, we flutists like to do everything just right. Haha I know you’re one of them too because you’re here listening right now. I don’t know what exactly what it is about flutists, but I think I’ve said it before- we like to have all our ducks in a row, and probably our shoes too. Well anyway, we tend to over try sometimes and that creates some strange tension in our bodies in places where it’s just unnatural. This unnatural positioning causes issues, and that’s what we’re going to dive deeper into today.
You may not have thought of yourself as an athlete, but I wanted you to go with it for a few minutes here because it’ll all make sense and be easier to understand. I actually took the liberty to go ahead and look up the definition of the word athlete today. It’s basically ‘a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise’.
Sooooo, could we, by that definition consider ourselves striving to become a person who is proficient in music by using forms of physical exercise? Yup, we can. So let’s explore this for a second:
I have all boys here at my home- I’m actually the only girl in the house. I’m recording in my home right now so I’m outnumbered, but that’s okay because we all like the same things. My boys all play the flute, as well as the fact that my boys all play football, basketball, snow ski on a high level, and run track as well. My husband was a really good college football player, and we’ve just combined all of our talents as parents, and helped our kids find love in all of them as well.
So with that being said, you can imagine that I’ve thought about this a lot. I also am a recreational distance runner myself, and I like to hike the mountains frequently, and I know that these types of sports tax the large muscles of the body quite heavily – whereas on the other hand practicing a musical instrument like the flute makes the same types of demands on the tiny muscles of the body.
If a football player sprains his ankle in the game, he’ll have to sit out for a few days while it heals- just the same as when a musician sprains a muscle in their finger, they may think that they just have a sore finger, when in reality it’s actually probably more of a problem than the football player’s sprained ankle even. It’s true! And, I’ll tell you why here right now:
I don’t know a ton of science, I’m a musician, and a super mom- but I did go to school… all the way through college, so I know a few things. Correct me if I’m wrong- but I know that the muscles are composed of tiny little fibers. Each fiber is individual, and any muscle actually depends on several little fibers to accomplish any one task. Right? When we musicians use our small muscles in our fingers, hands, and face, we may activate many many tiny fibers at the same time.
Speedy and rapid movements over and over in a repetitive way like we have to when we play our flutes engage those little fibers even more than usual- and if you think about how fast our fingers and face muscles have to move, then you can compare that to the movement a runner (for example) and what they do when running in a race- I mean, sometimes I run kind of fast– but it’s nothing like when my fingers are flying over my keys when performing or practicing something like a chromatic scale or something – you know – something really speedy.
Oh, and here’s another thing to add to this list – the blood vessels in our small muscles and fibers in our fingers and other places of our face or hands are much much tinier than those of our large muscle groups. The reason I point this out is because now we need to realize that we aren’t quite getting the size of blood flow that we get in our legs when running, because of the size of our blood vessels right? Which just makes our small muscles more vulnerable to injury.
Just because our hearts aren’t pumping so fast- like what happens when I am hiking up the mountain here- makes us not really fully realize that our muscles get tired! They get tired in just the same way a tennis player gets during an intense workout or a match, it’s just that we don’t notice because we don’t feel the same type of physical fatigue in a big way.
We need to learn to take breaks!
Pushing for hours on end without taking a break is just a good way to get injured in a strange place like our wrist or finger.
Basically, what I’m saying here is “put the flute down once in awhile and let your blood flow”! Haha Get the picture?
We don’t want unnecessary strains. It just messes everything up for us- making us feel slow and uncoordinated or sore in our next practice session. Ever felt that before?
We must remember not to stress ourselves out to the point of exhaustion – take breaks and always always practice with proper body positioning.
I’ll show you in the lessons in the membership area – no worries. And, you can always ask me questions. After all, I’m here for you!
Excited you were here today for this conversation- what did you think?
Let’s keep it going by adding a comment or question – it’s this community that’s so great. You’re all wonderful, and I appreciate your desire to learn how to play the flute beautifully.
Let’s learn even more later – bye now!
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.