LFP 086 | A Peek Inside the Hymn of the Month Club

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LFP 086 | A Peek Inside the Hymn of the Month Club

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, I introduce the Hymn of the Month club and give you a peek inside.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 086.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • What the Hymn of the Month Club is all about
  • What you will learn in the Club
  • Some testimonials from fellow flute students in the Club
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening

Learn Flute Podcast 086

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Podcast Transcript

This is episode number eighty six of the Learn Flute Podcast, and today I thought we’d take a peek inside the Hymn of the Month Club. I think you’ll like it so let’s get started. Be right back!

Well hi again and welcome back. My name is Rebecca Fuller, I’m the expert and instructor of the LearnFluteOnline.com website and programs designed to help the good people in this world who are learning how to play the flute do it in an easy, organized, systematic format that ensures complete success.

As you may have heard from the introduction of this podcast, we are going to be taking a little peek inside the Hymn of the Month Club. You might not ever have heard about this before so let me give a little background for you.

Inside the membership doors at LearnFluteOnline.com, there are a lot of pretty cool flute learning courses.  Where the main fundamentals is a membership section that is called the Gold level where there is 70 full modules filled to the brim with learning and fun to take someone from the beginning all the way up to a very fluent level of playing ability. 

The next section in this membership area is the intermediate and advanced levels. These are super cool and it’s because all the fundamentals have already been learned so we can just really move on and do some super fun skills like double tonguing and more advanced finger patterns, rhythms, and we can really start putting a lot more style into our music.

Now speaking of style, that brings me to point out some of the other features of my online programs, and that is the variety of mini courses that I have available. Now these courses are not open at the same time because, well I am just one person, and it takes a lot of time and energy to keep things running the way they should be here. So, I usually open enrollment for each of these many courses one at a time so that I can be attentive and take care of things properly- making sure that the learning is high-level and extremely educational.

In these mini courses there are different genres of learning like for example Irish and folk music, which is super fun one that I usually open in the month of March just before St. Patrick’s Day. If you are interested in that Irish style of music do not forget to keep an eye on your email during that time so you can join that course.

Another genre taught in these courses is the one that we’re going to be talking about today. And that is a course along the lines of hymns and gospel music. You know, the churchy stuff. Now, I’m hoping that you realize how important an instrument like the flute is to these sacred genres.

It’s an instrument that is smooth and beautiful and is able to reach inside your soul and awaken the spirit of music as well as the spirit of love. and for these reasons I feel it’s important for every flute player to study this style specifically.

Let me give a little explanation  as to how this mini- course works. First of all, The actual mini course is called “hymns for flute players”, and there are some special things that we learn, kind of as a base and fundamental to this style.

We learn specific techniques and skills for learning how to play with a super smooth style. It’s important that we learn how to read different markings in the music to keep things very legato, and how to use certain technique or technical skills such as vibrato in very specific ways that will draw a listener in and keep the style correct.

We learn how to use our tonguing, we talk about tone, and articulation in very specific ways that create the correct ambiance needed to sound fluid, fluent and confident.

Now there are also a lot of other skills besides what I’ve mentioned here in this course, and now I can get to the focus of the rest of this podcast which is to let you know what’s going on inside the sister section of the course, which is fun to talk about because it’s essentially “the next level” from what we have done in the basic course. This is the “Hymn of the Month Club”, and what’s so nifty about it is that this is the place where I take one specific piece (a hymn), and use it as a tool to teach you something really special. 

It’s actually something I get asked about quite often- and that’s “how to take a basic melody and turn it up a few notches” in creativity and level of playing ability.

You know, a lot of people can open a Hymnal and play straight from it, but for those of you who know exactly what I’m talking about you’ll be very fully aware that the music is pretty straight and kind of boring when played on an instrument where you can’t hear the lyrics… It’s one thing to sing the piece where you can hear the words, but another to play it on an instrument like the flute. 

Basically the melodies are kind of boring sometimes, and we want to know how to jazz them up a bit and add some tasteful interest.  Well, this is the exact place where I teach how to do this. Again, it’s the “Hymn of the Month Club”. And, it’s fabulous!

I’ve been adding to this course for about thirteen months now at the time of this podcast recording, so I’ve had time to get really personal with the fun students enrolled as well as the amazing and inspired hymns chosen for each month.

I’ve used a super accompanist for almost every single month, and if you are able to join in this club, you’ll be able to know what I’m talking about when I say that he is really perfect choice for what we’re doing in there. His name is Ori, and he takes special care of each and every single piece we’ve studied so far. He is gifted in the way that I’ve been able to give him specifics for what I want done with the piece (the flavor, the feeling, the tempo, the form, the style, everything), and he comes back every single time with the perfect rendition to compliment what I’m doing on the flute. 

We then get to record this for you students. It’s fabulous. Oh, did I mention that he’s accompanying me all by ear? This makes it even more personal and a lot like what you might come across should you play with an accompanist at your church. I love it.

Let me give you a few examples of what we’ve been up to so you can understand the coolness of this CLUB. In the first month, we studied a piece nicknamed “Be Still My Soul” which is actually an old traditional melody called “Finlandia”. It’s timeless and perfect for where we’ve started here.

We start by studying the style and form of the piece, and take care of the normal housekeeping type things in order to play a melody correctly like time, rhythm, and key- then we get to move on to adding new little nuance type skills that make it unique and special.

The idea during these sections is that the students learning will be able to grasp each skill I teach easily (because I try to only use one skill at a time), and then use it enough times in a repetitive, but very tasteful manner, to the point where it’s easy, fluent, and feels really normal. Then this skill can be added to a “quiver of skills” that can be drawn from any time, in any place, with any piece, in order to make it special, unique, and appropriate.

So, in Be Still My Soul, we added some little grace notes that have a fun fingering feel. We also added them in the exact same spot of each measure to give a comfortable, yet fluent feeling.

Then on the last part of the arrangement, we’re able to take the simple melody and broaden it into something that feel so interesting and more exciting not only to play, but to listen to as well.

It’s during these parts where we get to show off our dynamic range and invite those ‘goose-bump’ moments in. I love it, and so would you.

I thought it would be fun to add some of the testimonial type messages I’ve received from actual students who are enrolled in these Hymns for Flute and Hymn of the Month CLUB so you can get an idea of what they really think. I have time for a couple of them here.

This first one is from a nice student named June, and she says in her message to me (which I thank her for, by the way- it’s so nice to receive comments like this- it lets me know that we are really hitting the nail right on the head with what we’re trying to do). Anyway, June says:

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for your message. I really like all of the hymns and find the arrangements both moving and uplifting spiritually. It’s very hard to find flute friendly arrangements in hymn books that are not too difficult to play so your selection has fulfilled a need there. It has made this genre of music not only more accessible to flute players but also to those who listen and worship with them.
I especially appreciated ‘Abide With Me’. 

As it happened, I was writing a course assignment about Henry Frances Lyte when you sent it through. Playing our arrangement helped tremendously especially after I had discovered the original tune (and others) for the hymn. It’s easy to see why this one (by William Henry Monk) has lasted so long, as it catches on to to the feelings and emotions expressed in the words.
Many thanks,

Well, you’re welcome, and thank you June. I really appreciate you sending me this. I guess I should mention to everyone here that we do a little bit of background history on each piece we play also. I feel it’s important to give credit to where the credit is due for sure. Someone worked very hard to make sure these pieces have been usable and passed down through the generations. It’s really neat for sure.

I love that June is finding lateral learning also and comparison in her life alongside learning how to play the flute and especially in this Hymns Club also.

I’ve received so many great comments about these courses, and I’d like to read another little snippet from another friend named Jim who has been in the course for about a year now. He’d made some important discoveries about his own learning style and playing that is really helping him shape himself as a musician and a person as well. He says, “

When I signed up for the hymn of the month club, I knew I was in a little over my head. But, I was good with that. I’d rather aim high and fall a little short, than to not aim high enough. We all tend to fall victim to the limits of what we think we can do. Sometimes it’s a whole lot better to just DO, and save all that thinking for later.

I’m very pleased with the results. In the past year, my tone, range, and articulation has improved dramatically. More important, I’m much more confident in my abilities. That’s key. Much like a lot of things, the hymns have become a tool. Can I play them all perfectly? Nope. But every month, I learn something new.. something new to add to my bag of tricks.

Bottom line? The monthly hymns have changed my thinking. I’ve gone from someone who “fools around a little” on flute, to a more serious student. I have learned how to make those hours of practice a fun and rewarding part of every day. Most of all, I’m becoming a player.. and I’m very proud of that.

He then goes on to explain some of his favorite pieces we’ve studied, and that he is now able to doodle around while I play certain melodies. By “doodle around” I mean that he is now able to pick out higher or lower harmonies that serve as a descant or duet with what’s already going on in the melody.

Ahhhhh- it’s like payday for me as a teacher!

I’d like to go on and on about this subject, but this podcast is here to serve as a taste of what we can do and learn as a flutist. Basically, opening new doors and finding a whole other world is pretty exciting for sure!

Thank you for being here today – there’s always something new to discuss. I could go on and on about how versatile and fun flute learning is.

I hope you’ve been able to get yourself into the learning areas at LearnFluteOnline.com because it’s there just for you. I invite you to join.

Let me know what you think of today’s episode. We’ll see you next time!

Thank you for Tuning In!

Please consider subscribing and taking a minute to leave a review and rating for the podcast on iTunes.

I hope you’ve enjoyedA Peek Inside the Hymn of the Month Club.  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.

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