You might find my answer to the question of ‘what is the difference between a student flute and a professional flute’ kind of surprising.
I consider a professional flute to be the flute that is owned and played by a professional (someone who gets paid to play). Haha, that’s probably not the answer you wanted, but here are more specifics that will help you especially if you are in the shopping quest for a new flute of a higher level.
Student model flutes usually have these attributes:
- Less expensive
- Made of nickel and plated by silver or some other shiny color
- Usually have the offset G key
- Usually have only a C foot
- No fancy extra keys or designs
Even with the above list, it’s important for you to know that even Intermediate, Advanced, or Professional line flutes can have the offset G, less fancy extra keys, and a C foot.
There are also flutes made of all sorts of materials nowadays. I’m always surprised when I attend the national flute convention and see flutes in all rainbows of colors and material makes. It’s kind of fun to see the creativity!
Professional model flutes can (and usually) have these characteristics:
- More expensive
- Way more expensive
- Can be found in either offset G or inline G
- Usually have a B foot joint
- Found with all the bells and whistles,… or not
- The silver or even gold content % is much more than any student model
- Oftentimes hand-made by a flute ‘craftsman’ rather than stamped out in a factor
Playing the flute is one of those hobbies that carries over the generations.
All of this being said, you do not need to be an actual paid professional to own and play a professional line flute. So, if you have the money and resources to get a diamond-studded golden flute… go for it! But, remember that your actual playing ability won’t be enhanced by the fancy plating on the instrument. At all. Sorry. You still need the skills of a professional flutist to sound like one.
Playing the flute is one of those hobbies that carries over the generations, and is really awesome. Like golf clubs, flutes can get as fancy and expensive as you want. Take the advice from a great flute instructor, and practice like crazy. A higher level flute will reflect your efforts unlike a student flute will.
This would be a great place to discuss this subject of the difference between a student flute and a professional flute. What do you think?