The 7 Super Motivators for Flutists

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In this episode, you will learn seven super motivators for flutists that will help you each practice moving forward! 

Learn Flute Podcast 127

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Podcast Transcript

Learning and playing music is a bunch of fun.. Until stuff gets in the way, moves your schedule, and then suddenly motivation needs a perk-up.

Know what I mean?

Yah, I do. Well, today we’re going to make a list of the seven super motivators for flutists. Take notes – we’re moving up!

Happy happy day, everybody! I’m Rebecca Fuller, your instructor and expert on all things flute and particularly in the world of music learning and strengthening our level and abilities.

This podcast is here for you to take from and enjoy as you strive to become a better person and musician both.

I am in an especially good mood today because of not only the subject we have on tap, but also because it’s my favorite time of year.

Yah! It’s all about the weather and the colors outside, and my favorite activities..

Besides music and learning, of course.. I like hiking in the mountains and it’s just been gorgeous this year.

We’ve also been really having a fun time inside our member’s area – learning new things, challenging and reviewing older fun, and also enjoying the idea of our new collaboration project.

Yep, we are a large group of learning flutists, led by yours truly, and we’re based all around the world. So, getting together to play duets and trios or any type of flute choir session isn’t really an option for us…

Or is it?

If you’ve been here at Learn Flute Online for any given amount of time, you’ll know that I have lots of tricks up my sleeve, and one of them is that I’ve invented a way for us to play together.

I hope you’ve been able to participate already, or even just listen to our ensemble projects of the past.

You know, I spend a lot of time on these projects.

I plan, I create, I arrange, I write, I record, I organize, I gather, edit, and I polish.

After this process… voila! We have a really cool collab video, that I like to call it, that we can put out on youtube for our family and friends and also to enhance the mood of, and color the world.

It’s so much fun.

You know, I have always enjoyed music in a social way. But, it’s not always necessary to have and be part of a group.

No, not at all.

I’d say that most learning musicians are doing it on their own.

Now here at Learn Flute Online, you can choose your adventure by participating as you wish and finding satisfaction in learning from your own home and on your own schedule… and I like to say… And in your pajamas, if you wish!

I’m in my jammies half of the time as I create and write music for you. So there’s that visual haha!

Anyway, it’s important and motivating for me to be relaxed when I create music and lessons for you.

I’ve tried it all ways, and I have learned this to be true. I kind of get in like a zone when a few things are in place for me.

These would be different for everyone, I’m sure, but for me, If I have a big project where I’m going to be creating, composing, and arranging something I have to first have cleaned my room.

Yep! I really do, I have to make space for the creativity fairy to come and visit me. I clean my office and I make sure that I don’t have a big load of distracting items lying around.

Now this is me.. So what about you? Have you ever stopped to think about your best recipe for music and motivation?

Well today we’re going to go through the seven super motivators for flutists, and I’m positive you’ll find value in this episode because anytime we humans set out to accomplish something big, we tend to start with gusto, and then oftentimes fall a little flat over time unless we have a true plan and something that will keep us on the course.

It’s just human nature.
So, let’s get going right now on this list. Of course you can take notes, thanks for asking!

So first of all, note that this list is not going to be a complete comprehension of what we can do to keep ourselves motivated. And the reason I say this is because there’s probably a never ending supply in my brain that I could come up with.

So today, I’ve decided to keep it to a nice and tidy seven.

Are you ready? Great! Let’s get going.

I like to bring this same subject around more than once every year because it’s very important for us to keep ourselves moving along, and having some outside help is key most of the time.

I’m here to point out some easy, easy easy ways that you can find and keep motivated to keep on the learning path, and especially here at Learn Flute Online, I like to call this our path of succession because I do have a perfect procedure or an avenue, I guess you can say, that is a great way to make sure that progress is inevitable.

Having a set path

So, what I’m starting to get at is that having a path is really important.

Really important.

If we find ourselves floundering and kind of wandering in circles, it’s because we’ve forgotten to follow the path.

Here at Learn Flute Online our lessons are set in modules for us. They’re also set in levels, and within each level are chunks of milestones.

Within each milestone there are numbered lessons in progressive order. I’ve taken great lengths to create and make these lessons for you in an order that will make sure that you progress.

Having and seeing progress is a HUGE HUGE part of feeling motivated, you know, a way to keep learning and moving along.

So, we can take this first tip today as being something like staying on the path that your teacher (that’s me), has set for you.

Wandering aimlessly is a good way to start feeling lost. Let me take you through this space and help you navigate the wide wide world of music. It’s big, exciting, and fun!

Set goals and achieve them

Okay now, I think this first one was pretty easy to understand so I’m going to quickly go onto the next one in our list which goes right along perfectly with our path that is set for us here, and that’s to set goals and achieve them.

This is actually going to be easier than it sounds because I’ve done much of the work for you.

In the lesson modules here at Learn Flute Online I have a perfect set of exactly what to accomplish within the module. It’s laid out right there on the page as a checklist, all ready for you to read, and then tick the box as you work on, understand, and complete the task.

Of course some of these tasks are quick and easy, and some of them take a little longer to accomplish and really feel like you can check the boxes of progression off.

It’s really satisfying and motivating to physically see the progress with your eyes. And if you’re a list maker, like I know some of you are, then you know how good it feels to cross things off.

An example of this type of goal setting is as easy as making a task list for your day at home, like you probably usually do.

We do need to remember that it’s nice to have someone like me to set the goals for you, especially when you’re not sure what to do next, but allowing yourself to set your own goals can actually strengthen your desire to actually accomplish them..

Unless you’re shooting too far for where you are, which happens.

There are different types of goals, and I’d say that one of them is looking really really far away, and then the other is staying really close to where you are now. So you can have small, incremental successions.

A far out, big picture of a goal would be something like “I’d like to be able to play a Bach Sonata”. (which is a great goal)

Closer-up goals that will help us get to the big picture goal would be, “to learn, say, baroque ornamentation and articulations”.

And then we need to zoom in even further with these goals like learning exact articulation phrases that will be needed for a Bach Sonata.

These articulation phrases will be found in a multitude of types of music, so it’s going to be fun to be able to practice and use as we solidify these skills for long-term use.

So, a quick recap of the first two items on this list today is to have a path and to be able to set goals for achievement.. Being able to physically see the items being checked off feels really good in any subject.

Have a plan to use what you’ve learned

Okay, let’s move into our next super motivator for flutists, and that is to actually have a plan to USE what we’ve learned.

Okay okay, I know that basically all learning musicians don’t plan to play in the symphony, and that’s totally okay.

In fact, it’s more than okay. Keeping music fun and not your job is a great way to make sure that it stays in your life in a positive way, forever.

So, what I’m talking about here right now is that even as an amateur musician, we can use music in a very rewarding way by planning to perform it in some capacity.

Okay, don’t get jittery here because I don’t mean that you have to stand on a stage with a big audience to accomplish this. But it’s true that in order to find motivation with what we’re working on, we do need to see the point of practicing, other than because we should just practice.

Creating a direction for ourselves is a big deal and will keep you on a motivating path.

Let me put it this way- this is a new thought, and a new direction to think of this- I remember having a conversation with one of my students quite a few years ago.

He was younger, like about fourteen years old or so, and just really kind of poked along at his lessons.

I mean, he did what I asked, but it seemed to just always barely be the bare minimum and I had to pull him along every step.

So as I was talking with him about music and whatever we were learning at the moment, I mentioned a deadline to him and I could tell by his demeanor that he seemed really surprised. So I dug into this a little further. And what he told me has always stuck with me.

He said he was homeschooled and that his parents didn’t believe in deadlines.

When he had an assignment he was allowed to take as much time as he needed to complete it.

Ah okay, I was beginning to see the bigger picture here.
I can certainly understand to a degree what his parents were trying to do, and take the pressure off of him by allowing him to have open-ended assignments for school.

But, I was also in dismay because this explained why he had so many holes in his learning style, and needed me to pull and prod him along, every step.

In music we have a constant need for deadlines, if you will. As a close-up example, think about it- Every note that is placed in the time-space continuum has an exact placement.

It must land in that spot at the correct time and in the most delicate manner or the melody will not be “correct”, right? It won’t even sound right. And each note expires after we’ve played it.

As a farther out example, we’re almost always learning a song, tune, melody, or a piece of music in order to be able to play it and to have it for our own… not just the first measure, or one or two phrases of it.

We want it all. So, ultimately our goal is to do what it takes to play the whole thing.
So, There’s a need for deadlines in every moment of music. And, it’s just really not that fun if it takes sixteen years to learn one piece of music.

I would be really slow to learn also if I was told to just make sure I had something done by the year, say, twenty fifty.
Giving ourselves deadlines by creating a reason to have something done and learned is a BIG huge deal to motivation.
Think about it.

Here at Learn Flute Online, we have a few activities each year. And we have ensembles and challenges to participate in and we also hold a recital week, just for example.

Each of these activities has a hard deadline. If you miss turning it in, you won’t have been able to fully participate and receive the reward.
So, it’s very motivating to get yourself in gear and accomplish what is set.

You will learn more than you ever would have before, without this deadline. And you’re welcome!

Okay, motivation is the reason for doing something, and also the desire or the willingness to do it. So, some positive pressure and setting yourself up with a deadline, a performance, or a challenge end is a big deal.

It’s another way we can keep ourselves going.

We have an open mic group here at Learn Flute Online, and it’s been really fun part of our program to see who steps up each day, week, and month, and see who posts their home progress performances.

We all love it!

It’s another driving factor that keeps us on our quest here. It’s very motivating to see others on the same journey.

You can take the challenge also. Just keep listening and learning here. You’ll find the opportunities that will make the difference.

Now a little side note here is that we can treat ourselves with some grace also as we navigate the rest of our lives at the same time, you know as it goes with these deadlines.

But, that’ll have to be another subject for another day.

So let’s see, where are we on our list now?

Number one was to have a path, number two was to set goals, number three was have plans with deadlines, and I just started to touch on number four which is to participate as much as possible in the subject of music and flute.

Participate as much as possible in the subject of music and flute

You know that you don’t have to shower, get dressed, and drive to a university, pay loads of money for expensive workshops in order to see and hear amazing music nowadays.

The internet is here for us now, and boy, are we lucky! It just takes a few clicks to have a master performer right in front of our eyes.

And if we can’t hear very well, all we have to do is turn up the volume. It’s so easy.

Participating in music can happen on all sorts of levels. Listening to it is one of the biggest ways because first of all, music is to be enjoyed by our ears, and then what happens after it passes our ear drums?

Yah, it goes on a straight path to our hearts.

Our mind gets a charge as our neurons zing around in our brain creating pathways of understanding, and we have chemical reactions that happen within our bodies with endorphins and other positive outcomes.

Basically, music is what we were drawn to when we thought we might like to play the flute, and the novelty of being able to use an instrument in our own hands to create it, was intriguing to say the least.

I’m so glad you’re here, participating at Learn Flute Online and with music in any capacity is very motivating.

Reward yourself!

We get to number five then reap the benefits as we reward ourselves in music learning.

Yep- creating or even just taking a moment to recognize what music and learning to play the flute has done for you is a very motivating moment.

Now, you don’t have to go as formal as creating a point system or putting stars on a calendar when learning, but rewarding yourself physically is another fun way to continue on this path of motivation and fun.

You know every year of my entire teaching career (which is going on around thirty five years now), I’ve held a one hundred day challenge for my students.

We usually begin on January first, but I’ve had many many take the challenge on their own at other times of year. The gist of it is to not miss any days of practice for at least one hundred days in a row.

Yep in a row.

And after this time is up, if the challenge was organized and met, then the winner is allowed to choose a prize.
The prize is not up to me as the teacher though, it’s up to the person who accomplished this great challenge.

And it could be anything from an outing with friends and ice cream, or a trip to Hawaii..
It’s been a yearly motivator for many of my flute students.

Do you think you could incorporate rewarding yourself into your home learning?

I bet you can!

One rule I have for you though is to be sure to only plan a reward that you understand will not be given unless the said goal is fully accomplished. So think about it and be really wise in your choosing.

If you’ve taken on this challenge before, rewarding yourself, I’d LOVE to hear what you’ve done for yourself.

New ideas are always great to hear about!

Alright, let’s move into the next motivator for flutists which will be a good one that I want you to really take to heart.

Playing music that you love and that sparks something within you

So number SIX is Playing music you love and that sparks something in you is something you should strive for in your monthly lessons and learning here.

Now, okay let’s talk about this fully for a second – I know that there’s no way that I myself can have organized and set up your perfect top ten list of songs all the time in the lesson modules for you here – and there are reasons for this: the first being that you are unique each month and year of your life.

One day you’ll tell me that you only like classical music, and the next you’ll tell me you only like jazz.

It’s true – this is how we work as we live and evolve in life.
So, the lessons here have loads and loads of skills in them including beautiful melodies and all the fun that goes along with it.

You then get to take these skills you’re learning and make music in many sideways genres and areas – basically you can use your skills learned here to play all sorts of music you love.

You’ll find that some could be too challenging and foreign feeling as you try to play something you thought you’d love, and this really just means that the more you progress and the more you can look forward to coming back to these melodies later on, after learning more skills here at Learn Flute Online.

If you’re like me you have sparks that fly out of the speakers and land in your soul. And, you must play these melodies when this happens.
Enthusiasm and motivation is there in these cases, and you’ll surprise yourself in how quickly you can learn a piece of music when you’re feeling motivated like this.

It’s a cool phenomenon, and I can’t wait for you to experience it if you haven’t already!

Already we are winding up our list now and going to end it with taking a step back and noticing improvement over time.

You know, it’s one thing to go through the motions of what our teacher wants us to do, but if we don’t actually ‘feel’ and notice the improvement ourselves, we definitely won’t be as motivated to continue on.

So, the improvement is there – it’s been made.

In fact, you’ve listened to basically this entire podcast already today, and in doing so improvement has happened already.

You’ve probably had a few thoughts and wondered about some new ideas for yourself.
This is advancement in its own way. It’s the beginning of something new, and it’s definitely how you’re either going to hop on or keep on the learning train.

I like to take time at the end of each year to sit and list out the accomplishments of the year because it’s so easy to get caught up in learning and looking forward all the time, and forgetting to turn around and see where we’ve been.

What we’ve done is amaaaaazing!

You are amazing, and I love that you’re here with me on this journey.

You know, I like putting together these podcast episodes for you. I especially like it when you let me know how any of the ideas we talk about here at Learn Flute Online and in these podcasts can help you on your journey.
It’s a great day to learn from home.

As I play you out now, I’d like to remind you to take this list of the seven super motivators for flutists and make a concrete plan for each one this quarter.

You got this – I can’t wait to hear of all your successes to come!

See you on the flipside – over and out, until next time.


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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the seven super motivators for flutists.  We’ll see you in 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.

4 thoughts on “The 7 Super Motivators for Flutists”

  1. I like the idea of rewarding myself when I have accomplished a task. Far too often I get scattered and that is made worse when life gets in the way and I miss a day or two of practice. I think I need to be specific on a small goal so I can jump back in even if I miss some days of practice due to life, injury or illness. Keep my eye on the end product and not be hard on myself is hard for me, but I can see that attitude will help me in the long run. This podcast makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you!

    1. Hi Suzanne, yes keepin’ on keepin’ on is the way to go. We all have waves in life. Don’t give up the dream, and definitely don’t beat yourself up over missing some time. It’s not a big deal in the long run. You got this! Rebecca

  2. This was a really good podcast and the topic spoke to me. I almost missed that very important seventh motivator; step back and notice improvement over time. It is so easy to look at the current work on my music stand and think about what is frustrating me, looking at what I can’t do (yet!) instead of what I can do. It is important to include those past accomplishments as motivators for future challenges. That’s a conversation Rebecca and I just had recently, so that one should have really jumped out at me on the first listen!

    1. Hi Katy, yes yes we do forget to step back and pat ourselves on the back for what we’ve learned. Fluties can be very stern on themselves – we need to play with patience and grace as much as possible though (sounds easier than it is I understand) so that we can keep our chin up and continue. The most fun is found when we allow ourselves to be ‘in the moment’. Enjoy the music you are making – you’re wonderful! Rebecca

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