Greetings and welcome to another Flute Friday! Today is a special day as it marks my 200th flute blog! The past 100 blogs have featured of some of my best content with topics ranging from practice and performing tips, practice blueprints, astrology-based themes, and other reflective pieces written straight from my heart. To commemorate blog number 200, I have compiled an index of my past 100 posts. This is a great resource if you are new to my blog and would like a snapshot of my content or a faithful follower wanting a quick way to reference your favorite posts. A similar index was previously posted for the first 100 blogs on the following blog: 100th Blog!!!
Enjoy! If you have any suggestions for the next 100 blogs, please comment below!
FLUTE BLOGS #100-200
Blog #101 – What’s Your Sign, Jean Pierre? This blog is a continuation of my previous “What’s Your Sign, Wolfgang” posting, addressing how the astrological sun signs traits of some of our most famous flute virtuosos may have influenced their approach to the flute. It’s okay if you do not believe in astrology. I only offer these as fun, possible explanations on how different personalities manifest through flute playing. Perhaps you will see some of these same traits in your own flute playing!
Blog #102 – Flute Meme Friday – Part III. I have collected 20 more flute memes for you to enjoy or even share with your students! This is just a friendly reminder that we do not necessarily need to take ourselves so seriously all of the time.
Blog #103 – Forever Young – Adult Flute Students. In this blog, I will be discussing the unique issues that crop up for adult flute students and how flute teachers may best support older students to effectively set and attain all of their flute playing goals. You are never too old to learn to play the flute!
Blog #104 – The Flute Quiz. Today’s post is my version of a pub quiz for the flute! This is a great exercise to give to your students in preparation for a studio masterclass or a fun, Friday scavenger hunt activity. You could also use it simply to test your own knowledge of flute related topics.
Blog #105 – Top 10 Collaborative Music Making Tips. I am including my Top 10 Collaborative Music Making Tips for everyone out there making music in groups. Practice these tips in your ensembles to strengthen your non-verbal communication skills and successfully fit your flute voice into larger collections of sound.
Blog #106 – Top 20 Flute Jokes. Today’s post is a collection of the top 20 flute jokes I have found on the internet (rated G, of course!). None of these jokes are meant to offend so please do not take them personally. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves once in a while, right? Enjoy and remember to laugh a little whenever times get tough.
Blog #107 – Scale Exposure Therapy. Today’s blog is a review of 4 other scale books that I have come to love over the years whenever I need to spice up my scale routines with something new. If you feel yourself entering a scale rut or are just in need of a break from good, old T&G, test drive some of these other options to rejuvenate your daily practice routine. It’s okay! Taffanel and Gaubert will understand.
Blog #108 – Suggested Flute Repertoire List. Today’s blog will feature a sample repertoire list for those of you searching for new pieces to try, listed according to compositional era. If you are searching for a new piece to sight read and possibly add to your next program, I hope today’s post will help you find a new, inspiring work to incorporate into your practice routine.
Blog #109 – Top 10 Flute Teaching Tips. Today’s blog features my Top 10 Teaching Tips based on my own teaching experiences and what I have valued over the years. I really hope these tips help you reevaluate how you interact with your students and inspire you to encourage students to follow their dreams. Help your students along their paths and always remain a beacon of hope rather than locked doorway to another dimension.
Blog #110 – Short Cuts – Orchestral Excerpt Edition. Short cuts in orchestral excerpts are literally lifesavers at auditions when your physical and mental facilities are being put through the spin cycle. They are also great for performance time when the spotlight may hinder your ability to BRING IT! the same way you do in rehearsals. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful that these short cuts have been available to me during my early career years and hope they can help you as they have helped me.
Blog #111 – 20 Reasons to be Grateful that you play the Flute. Happy Thanksgiving! In the spirit of the holiday, today’s blog features 20 reasons to be grateful that you are a flute player (as if you needed more of an incentive to play the flute).
Blog #112 – The Value of Free Online Resources. Today’s blog is a bit different than most of my other blogs. There are no Top 10 or Top 20 lists today. No practice tips or teaching suggestions. No product recommendations. No stories about stage fright or strategies for dealing with anxiety. Today, I am simply on my soap box.
Blog #113 – Flute Playing Snippets. Sometimes all we need is a few words of advice to get us thinking in a different direction. Today’s blog features a few snippets of encouragement and inspiration for various aspects of playing the flute. These are simply the first thoughts that come to my mind when I think about each category. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to add your own snippets in the comments below.
Blog #114 – Holiday Flute Music. In the spirit of the Holiday season, today’s blog is just, well, plain fun. No how-to’s this week. No soap boxes. No repertoire lists. Today we are simply going to listen to Christmas music. Below are 20 YouTube videos of flutists playing Christmas carols and other Holiday tunes. Enjoy these as you wrap presents or enjoy some hot chocolate by the fire. You might even be inspired to add your own video in the comments section or upload to YouTube.
Blog #115 – Stage Stories. I will be teaching a course at the Davis Arts Center during the Spring 2018 semester entitled Stage Stories. If you are in the Davis/Sacramento area, and want to learn about the many ways that classical music tells a story, please check out my class offering below.
Blog #116 – 30-DAY TAFFANEL & GAUBERT EXERCISE #4 CHALLENGE. Make January 2018 your month of scale and articulation mastery! Enjoy this 30-day challenge and please comment below with your progress, challenges, and successes as you complete this challenge.
Blog #117 – 2018 Reading List Recommendations (Biographies). In today’s blog, I have tracked down 10 wonderful biographies of composers and flutists to add to your 2018 reading list. I hope they inspire you as they have inspired me. Enjoy!
Blog #118 – Learning Something New. Today’s blog is devoted to some of the things I have learned in the short 3 weeks I have been plugging away on the guitar. I hope they help you to understand your own students a bit better and encourage any beginners to keep going. Anything great requires time, dedication, and a bit of elbow grease. You can do it!
Blog #119 – Flute Accessories. Today’s blog is devoted to those of us in need of a bit of retail therapy to freshen up our daily practice environment. Go ahead! Order that wonderful new gadget or beautiful new silk cleaning cloth. Even the smallest item can bring a smile to your face (and some zip to your routine).
Blog #120 – Schedule C. Today’s blog is devoted to helpful tips for private flute teachers as we all prepare our Schedule C forms. I am obviously not a tax consultant – just a girl with experience filling out these tedious forms. If you have specific questions regarding this or any other form from the IRS, please consult a licensed CPA.
Blog #121 – Flute Pitch Tendencies. There are a host of very good resources online to help you understand the natural tendencies of the flute and the modifications that can be made to bring certain pitches back to planet Earth. Today’s blog features a handful of these resources for you review and distribute to your students. These have helped me immensely in my own career and I hope they will do the same for you.
Blog #122 – Grit. As coaches, we must find ways to encourage our students to reach for the next level despite whatever obstacles, personal or professional, stand in the way. Today’s blog is dedicated to all of us that have overcome hardship and to any students who may facing their own tumultuous circumstances. If you believe you can, if you put in elbow grease, if you tune out the haters, if you keep working towards greatness no matter what, you will eventually achieve your goals.
Blog #123 – Astrological Practice Habits. In the spirit of the flute and astrology, today’s blog features a look into the practice habits of each of the 12 astrological signs. Every sign approaches the world a bit differently. Where do you fit? Do you show these characteristics in the practice room? Have you noticed other signs displaying these common astrological traits?
Blog #124 – Interpreting Debussy’s Syrinx. In today’s blog, we will take a closer look a Debussy’s Syrinx for flute seule and examine how Debussy uses notes in place of brush strokes to create a musical version of a painting.
Blog #125 – 50 States, 50(ish) Summer Masterclasses. I mention summer masterclasses periodically in my monthly flute horoscopes (published in The Flute View Magazine) and was inspired this week to compile a list of summer music opportunities for the upcoming masterclass season. When I began researching for today’s blog, however, I assumed for sure that there would be at least one masterclass or band camp available in each of the 50 states. I quickly discovered that summer opportunities were not easily found in a Google search for a handful of states (including Alabama, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and West Virginia). If you reside in these states and know of a summer festival, masterclass, or band or orchestra camp in your area, please comment below and I will be sure to add them to the following list. If not, I hope today’s post inspires you to connect to other local flute teachers and start your own summer masterclass!
Blog #126 – Music Audiobooks. Today’s blog features 10 very good audiobooks about music that are currently available on Audible.com.
Blog #127 – Top 20 Dos and Don’ts of Recital Prep. Today’s blog features my top 20 Dos and Don’ts of recital preparation. Number 19 is probably the most important tip and I urge all of you to enjoy the process. No matter what happens, have fun! If making music is not fun then we are going about it all wrong.
Blog #128 – Practice Blueprints: Repertoire 101 – Gavotte by F.J. Gossec. If you are relatively new to the flute and motivated to start learning repertoire or if you are a teacher searching for creative ways to introduce repertoire to your beginners, today’s blog will help point you in the right direction. We all need a good place to start and can accomplish amazing things with a well-outlined plan.
Blog #129 – Practice Blueprints: Repertoire 101 – Menuet by Bizet. If you are a teacher, today’s blog will also help you identify some of the musical priorities to discuss with your beginners. You may even add your own creative exercises to address any of the below musical elements. Grace and beauty is the name of the game for this work. Never let the technique distract from the beauty buried within the manuscript.
Blog #130 – On the Cusp. Today’s blog will take a look into how the unique characteristics of cuspers manifest in our flute playing lives. Whether you are a cusper or not, I hope to leave you with better understanding of some of your flute playing colleagues who fall within these very special astrological zones.
Blog #131 – Top 5 Flute Recording Recommendations. In today’s blog, I will share my top 5 favorite (and highly recommended) flute recordings. If you are searching for new inspiration, spend some time with these masterpieces (and a pair of earbuds). Listen for new ways to approach tried and true repertoire that you may not have considered before, or simply soak in some beautiful flute music under the summer sun.
Blog #132 – What is a Shakuhachi? In today’s blog, we will be examining the Shakuhachi. I hope to leave you with a new appreciation for this instrument and encourage you to find fresh inspiration buried deep within its sound.
Blog #133 – Practice Blueprints Repertoire 101 – Siciliano, Sonata No. 2 in E-flat Major by J.S. Bach. Today’s blog is a continuation of the Practice Blueprints – Repertoire 101 Series (Are you all still enjoying this series? Please comment below!). The Siciliano movement from Bach’s Sonata No. 2 in Eb major is an excellent introduction to Baroque repertoire and often one of the first pieces I assign to beginners just learning to subdivide sextuplets (they are really not as scary as they look). This piece was requested by one of my readers (thank you!) and I encourage anyone searching for practice blueprints on a particular piece to please comment below or send me a direct message so that I can discuss your piece on an upcoming blog.
Blog #134 – Scammers. Scammers on the internet have been known to pose as parents searching for a private music instructor for their hypothetical children, requesting lesson rates, contact information, and lesson locations. Some of these scam emails are more convincing than others and it may be easy to fall into their trap if you are desperately seeking students.
Blog #135 – Top 10 Reasons to Attend the NFA Convention. If you are on the fence about whether to attend the NFA Convention this summer (aka. wondering if it is worth the money and time it will take to get there), today’s blog will give you 10 reasons to consider purchasing a ticket. If you are a poor college student like I was, look into conference funding in your college departments. Some schools set aside research funding for students to attend conferences like the NFA. And remember that as a student, you do qualify for discounted membership and convention registration rates! Attending the NFA Convention will likely give you fresh new inspiration to kick off the new academic year with renewed ambition, determination, and of course style.
Blog #136 – Flute FAQs – Flute Forum Edition. Today’s post is a spin on FAQs, featuring some of the questions posted on the Flute Forum group page. I hope they give all of my readers some insight into questions that might have also crossed their minds at one time or another.
Blog #137 – Blood Moon / Mercury Retrograde and your Flute Playing. I had a different topic originally selected for today’s post, but the energy of Friday’s Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse/Mercury Retrograde reminded me that everybody’s lives might be a hot mess this weekend. Perhaps an explanation from your favorite flute astrologer about how the eclipse will make its way into your flute playing for the next 6 months might be a bit more appropriate today.
Blog #138 – Tips for the Pit. In today’s blog, I will discuss some of my best tips for performing in the pit. Remember to remain flexible and do your best to enjoy the show.
Blog #139 – Does this thing Really Work?! Flute Products Review. In today’s flute blog, I will be reviewing some of my favorite new things in a “does this thing really work?” style post (inspired by the YouTube series popularized by Grav3yardGirl). There are some great flute accessories out there! If you are in need of some major retail therapy (thanks Mercury retrograde..), I hope one of the products below speaks to your needs. Happy shopping!
Blog #140 – Flute Polls. Today I thought we would have a little fun! I have created a series of super easy-breezy flute polls below for all of us to compare notes on our flute playing experiences. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions as most of the answers are simply based on preferences. Have fun with this one and if you would like to elaborate on any of your answers, please comment below!
Blog #141 – Flute Meme Friday Part IV. I thought today would be a good time for another installment of Flute Meme Friday. 10 more flute memes posted below! Enjoy, have fun, laugh a little, and leave the marathon practice sessions for next week.
Blog #142 – Solo vs. Flute & Piano Performances. While I was at the NFA Convention this year, I attended a wonderful recital of solo flute works that really made me appreciate the differences between performing solo pieces versus repertoire written for flute and piano. The two approaches are so very different, but we often take some the nuances for granted, particularly when we are teaching others. In today’s blog, we will look at some of these differences and how to better approach performing works from each of these scenarios. Remember to adapt to the role you play and embrace the spotlight when it is your time to shine.
Blog #143 – Flute Attitude Dos and Don’ts. In today’s blog I will be discussing a few Dos and Don’ts when it comes to having good “Flute Attitude,” based on some of my observations. Bottom line: we should encourage each other no matter what level, celebrate our differences, and continue to embrace all of our shared knowledge and flute playing experiences.
Blog #144 – Abstract Thinking (and Writing). In today’s blog, I will be discussing some of the basic guidelines for constructing a convincing abstract. I hope this topic will be useful to those currently trying to boil down completely brilliant ideas about the flute into 300 words or less.
Blog #145 – Flute Meme Friday: Animals and Flutes. I thought we would take things a little easy this week and simply enjoy a few pictures of animals playing the flute! Have fun and relax this weekend. Leave the cram practicing until Monday.
Blog #146 – Announcement: Flute Friday Hiatus. I am pleased to announce that I will be publishing a Critical Edition of the Altes Method with Oxford University Press! This project is based on my culminating DMA paper, expanded and improved of course, with the objective of bringing this wonderful pre-French Flute School collection in it’s original form out of the archives and into flute studios everywhere. Hopefully even yours! As I will transcribing and writing away on this book for the next several months, I will need to temporarily step away from Flute Friday postings. Flute Friday will appear intermittently during this time. Please follow me on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) for updates on future postings.
Blog #147 – Sacramento Summer Flute Immersion. I will be teaching at the Sacramento Flute Club’s Summer Flute Immersion at American River College from June 21-23. Would you like to kick off the summer by diving head first into flute study? Are you interested in learning more about some of the crazy techniques discussed on this blog?
Blog #148 – It’s a Small Flute World After All. For those of you that follow my Facebook or Instagram pages, you will likely know that my husband and I are Disneyland fanatics. At a recent visit to the Happiest Place on Earth, I noticed a number of representations of characters playing the flute on the It’s A Small World ride. Way to represent, Disney! However, there seemed to be a bit of inconsistency in the position of the flute relative to the body. Perhaps this was intended to add to the playful and whimsical nature of the Disneyland environment or maybe we are meant to face our preconceived judgments of what is “correct” and “not correct” and simply co-exist with the “not correct” for a while. Of course, they may have just had it wrong. But what is “right” and what is “wrong” after all? Okay, I’m getting too philosophical on a Friday evening… For the purposes of this post, I am going to classify the flute positioned to the right of the character as “traditional” and to the left as “non-traditional.” What do you think? Do you think these inconsistencies were created on purpose?
Blog #149 – Four-Week Flute Boot Camp. One of my New Years’ Resolutions for 2020 is to get back into proper flute playing shape! I have devised the below plan as my own personal four-week Flute Boot Camp. On this program I will review some of the basic fundamentals, revisit etudes with which I previously had a love/hate relationship, re-ignite my passion for practicing pieces that I love, re-memorize pieces I have forgotten, and learn new repertoire to take me well into the new year. If you are in the same boat, you may want to use this plan as an example to devise your own four-week Flute Boot Camp. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to organize your Boot Camp. Simply select exercises and repertoire that you know you will practice (and love) and new pieces that will inspire you.
Blog #150 – Thoughts on Failure. This week’s blog post will be a bit more reflective than instructive. In an interview earlier this week, I was asked the question, “Explain a time when you felt that you had failed at something.” I mustered up some courage, put my pride aside, and began to discuss my music career. I would like to share my answer with you this week because I think there is a good lesson here for those of you who may also struggle with disappointment in your own music careers.
Blog #151 – Imperfect Balance – Hand Position Correctors. Several years ago, I was reading through Madeline Bruser’s book, The Art of Practicing; A Guide to Making Music from the Heart, and was intrigued by her discussion on the various ways to adapt instruments to our own individual practicing needs. It is true – No two performers are alike. We all have different sized hands, fingers, elbows, embouchures, everything! For centuries, we have been contorting ourselves to fit the instrument, resulting in physical ailments ranging from permanent blisters to Tendonitis. Luckily, instrument makers and accessory manufactures have found clever ways to modify the standard flute to make it easier and affordable for those of us struggling to reach the G# or key or finding perfect balance between our imperfect fingers. In today’s blog I will be discussing some of these accessories and modifications and other options available to make your instrument work better for you.
Blog #152 – Virtual Concerts – Keeping the Music Alive. There has been a lot of discussion about practicing “self-care” while we try to conduct business as usual under quarantine. This may be easier said than done for musician around the World, but what we can do is support each other by keeping the music alive. The following is a list of concerts available to view virtually this weekend from performing groups around the globe. Please check them out and add “attending a virtual concert” to your list of self-care activities. Support the arts, support our colleagues, and let’s continue to support our craft!
Blog #153 – Top 10 Self Care Tips for Flutists. In today’s blog, I will discuss my top 10 self-care tips for flutists. This is a great opportunity to use music as a form of relaxation.
Blog #154 – Top 10 Quarantine Practice Challenges. In today’s blog I will discuss my top 10 Quarantine Challenges to spruce up your practice time. Give them a try! You might find some new and interesting connections between pieces you had not noticed before (thanks Quarantine!).
Blog #155 – Virtual Masterclasses and Summer Programs 2020. Below is a list of masterclasses being held virtually that are still accepting applications for performers and auditors. I encourage those of you looking for summer learning opportunities to check out these programs. Summer can still be a great time to learn a lot from the most prominent flutists in our field through virtual formats.
Blog #156 – Flute Meme Friday/Saturday, Part V. These are very challenging times. With all of the tension and anxiety in the World over the past few weeks, I figured we could all use a break to simply chuckle at a few flute memes. I give you Flute Meme Friday, Part V (I think).
Blog #157 – Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #1: Idaho). The next few weeks will feature a new series on my blog: Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions. We will start with the state most near and dear to my heart: Idaho.
Blog #158 – The Myth of the Magic Formula. I attended a wonderful panel discussion today on Tips for Entrepreneurial Musicians that really hit home and inspired me to share with you today some of the experiences and lessons I have also faced in the ongoing struggle to find a flute “career.” Many of the stories were eerily similar to my own and echoed some of the same questions I have asked myself for years. What today’s session helped to finally understand (and accept) is that I am not alone. I was never alone. If I could turn back the clock and tell my college-aged self this, I would.
Blog #159 – Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #2: Texas). Today we will be continuing our Practice Blueprints – All State Audition series with good, old Texas. All-State auditions in Texas are intense (Don’t mess with Texas!)! The repertoire is quite difficult and the state is very large, making competition for spots in All-State groups fierce.
Blog #160 – Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #3: Illinois). Today we will be continuing the Practice Blueprints – All-State Audition series with Illinois. I have really enjoyed the Fluting with the Stars Masterclass series offered by the Chicago Flute Club this year and was therefore inspired to select Illinois as the next state on the Practice Blueprints list.
Blog #161 – Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #4: Florida). We will continue the Practice Blueprints – All-State Audition Series this week with Florida. Auditions across the state will start today (September 11th) and continue through September 25th. Although most of the prep work may already be done for students auditioning into these groups, the below will serve as a few last-minute ideas for those still in preparation mode.
Blog #162 – Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #5: Oregon). Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday. We will again be continuing our Practice Blueprints-All State Auditions series this week with Oregon. Oregon has a special place in my heart as my husband and I were married in Yachats, Oregon 10 years ago and still visit at least once a year. We also briefly owned a beach house along the Oregon Coast where I taught young flute students and participated in the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA).
Blog #163 – Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #6: California). I will be continuing the Practice Blueprints All-State Audition series this week with my home state of California. California is indeed a huge state with a couple of hotbeds for creative musical talent – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The musical culture in this state is creative and forward-thinking. That does not mean that competition for spots in All-State ensembles will be any less fierce! There are numerous talented young musicians in California with unique backgrounds, world-class teachers, and superior skills and talents.
Blog #164 – Don’t Throw your Tart in the Bin – 10 Lessons on Competition Recordings. Today’s blog will be a bit more reflective than instructive, but there are a number of important lessons to be learned for those of you in similar circumstances.
Blog #165 – Rampal’s Astrological Chart. Today we will be discussing Jean Pierre Rampal’s astrological chart.
Blog #166 – What’s the Frequency, Fido? In today’s blog, I will discuss the connection between the flute and hearing sensitivity in dogs. Disclaimer: I am so not a veterinarian – just an overprotective dog mom. If you are reading this and know something animal sciencey that I don’t, please comment below! A lot of us flutists are proud puppy owners and would love to know more about updated hearing data.
Blog #167 – Flute Meme Friday – November 2021 Edition. Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! I think it is high time for another Flute Meme Friday, don’t you??? Let’s close Scorpio season with a few laughs (We Scorpios need to lighten up sometimes too).
Blog #168 – Top 20 Grateful List. Today I am sharing the top 20 items on this list. I encourage you to create your own lists! We have a lot of reasons to celebrate our passion and resilience as artists. What are you grateful for?
Blog #169 – Dr. G’s Flute Gift Guide. In today’s blog, I will share a few gift ideas for the flutist in your life. These are some of my favorite things and I hope you will enjoy them as much I do! (*Please note – none of these items are sponsored. I’m just a superfan!)
Blog #170 – All State’s All-State Band Info. Today’s blog features general info and links to resources for all-state band auditions and festivals from all 50 states. Want a fun challenge for your studio? Ask students to prepare all-state audition material from another state and hold mock auditions during your next studio masterclass. Want to attend another state’s all-state festival to compare notes on all-state experiences and/or repertoire? Are you a band director searching for a new way to model your state’s all-state process (or at least reboot the all-state website)? This blog is for you! Hopefully, at the very least, this will be a good resource for navigating your state’s all-state processes now and in the future.
Blog #171 – Top Flute Blogs. In today’s blog, I will introduce a handful of my favorite flute blogs from around the internet. Check them out below!
Blog #172 – 30-Day Flute Challenges for the New Year.In today’s blog, I offer suggestions for various 30-day challenges to tackle tone studies, improve technique, conquer super intimidating etudes, master new (and old) repertoire, and work on various other challenging elements of flute playing that allude even the best of us. Dare yourself this month to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much better your flute playing is by the beginning of February!
Blog #173 – Moyse’s Astrological Chart. Today we will be discussing Marcel Moyse’s astrological chart.
Blog #174 – As Light as Air – Articulation Exercise Recommendations. In today’s post I will be discussing some of my favorite exercises to practice lightening and simplifying articulation. The first part of this list includes my recommended never-fail, gold standard exercises. This is followed by a list of exercises that can be used to diversify your articulation practice or focus on specialized articulation challenges. You may choose any combination of articulations to use for many of these exercises, but a good place to start is by practicing your toos, coos, and too-coos. For more ideas on articulations to practice and some of their suggested uses, please see my blog “You Say Potato, I Say Potatho” https://racheltaylorgeier.org/2014/02/28/you-say-potato-i-say-potahto/.
Blog #175 – Fixing a Faulty Trill – Dr. G’s Top Five Trill Etude Recommendations. In today’s blog, I will highlight my top five favorite etudes to work on trills. Remember that one of the best ways to improve trills is by taking the pressure off of the trilling key. To do this, use a slightly firmer grip on the depressed key adjacent to the trilled key (for example, put slightly more pressure on the 2nd finger of your left hand while trilling a middle register G). Like everything, practice makes perfect (even when it comes to trills!).
Blog #176 – Burpees for Burgers – Getting Back into Flute Playing Shape. In today’s blog, I will discuss some of my best advice on how to get back into flute playing shape. The road ahead may be long and filled with lions and tigers and bears (oh my), but with a bit of optimism and a plan, we can all find our way back to the Emerald City of our flute playing.
Blog #177 – Flute Polls. I have compiled a number of flute polls on various questions we flutists receive from time to time. You may notice that some of the options include an “other” response. Please feel free to expound on any of these “other” responses in the comments section of this post. I am fascinated to see how we all answer! This may become a recurring type of post if it gains enough popularity.
Blog #178 – Fluteboxing. In today’s blog, I will take you on a deep dive into flute beatboxing: The background, the key performers, and the videos that make it a famous new-ish flute genre.
Blog #179 – BOOK REVIEW: The Top Octave Book – Playing with Artistry by Patricia George. In today’s blog, I will be reviewing this book, discussing, among other things, some of my favorite elements on the design of the studies, the creative warm-ups and exercises, and the flexible nature of the entire work (Please note: This is not a sponsored post. Just supporting a book I am enjoying). Thank you, Patricia George, for creating such as wonderful way to work on my Achilles heel!
Blog #180 – A Sleight of Lung – Circular Breathing. In today’s blog, I will be looking at circular breathing – what it is, how to do it, what resources are available, and if it is worth learning. For all of you fellow shy or rebellious breathers, hopefully this post will inspire you to try something new!
Blog #181 – Playing from the Heart – Lessons from Irish Music. It was refreshing to see performers free themselves from the crushing need to play the notes “correctly” and just, well, play! I walked away with many valuable lessons about Irish music and playing from the heart. In today’s blog, I will be sharing some of these lessons. Irish music isn’t just about playing fun jigs on tin whistles – It is also about connecting with others in new and meaningful ways.
Blog #182 – Getting Experimental: Singing and Playing on the Flute. Hey there musicians! Spring has finally sprung! And I am so glad to be back for another guest post this Flute Friday. My name is Aleah, and I’m going to be talking about the benefits of singing and playing.
Blog #183 – Top 10 Flute Rock Cover Videos. Below are my top 10 picks for best flute cover videos. We definitely need more! I think one of my pet projects after I complete my book is to find my leather jacket and record a few Gn’R cover tunes. Gotta make Slash wish that he played flute! Happy viewing and ROCK ON!
Blog #184 – Practice Blueprints – Chant de Linos. This week we are revisiting the Practice Blueprints series with a bang. Chant de Linos is a super difficult work not for the faint of heart. Chalk full of technical gymnastics and crazy abrupt changes of mood, this work is intended for an unapologetically intense flutist looking for a challenge who is not afraid to test their performing endurance. In today’s blog, I will offer a few helpful hints for tackling this, pardon the pun, Herculean feat, hopefully taking the scaries out of learning such a technically difficult but beautifully virtuosic piece.
Blog #185 – Feel Good Flute Friday. Today’s blog is all about warm fuzzies. Below I have complied a number of affirmations and journal prompts to help you feel good about your flute playing. Use a few affirmations this week to remind yourself that you are flute playing rock star! Grab a cup of chamomile tea and reflect on your most important flute playing memories and performing values in a journal prompt. Make this week all about positivity and optimism. After all, flute playing should make you feel awesome and happy – So let it!
Blog #186 – The Gizmo Key. Today’s blog is somewhat of an op-ed. Lately I have spent some time thinking about the gizmo key on my flute. What are all of the possible uses for this key? Am I paying enough attention to this handy-dandy device? Is it as necessary as everyone seems to suggest? In today’s blog, I would like to chat about what exactly this key is and how to best use it.
Blog #187 – Solo Sunday – #1 Syrinx (Claude Debussy). Today marks the beginning of a new series on this blog entitled Solo Sunday! As I have discussed in previous Flute Friday posts, I do not have a lot of flute videos circulating on the web, and one of my goals this year is to record more. Cue in Solo Sunday! I will release a short solo flute performance on Sundays for the next five weeks. I may continue this series if successful or update release dates moving forward. Today’s solo is Debussy’s Syrinx.
Blog #188 – Business Writing for the Busy Flutist. In today’s blog, I am sharing some of my best business writing tips for the busy flutist. Looking to streamline and restructure your outgoing emails? This blog is for you!
Blog #189 – Solo Sunday – #2 Danse de la Chèvre (Arthur Honegger). Greetings and welcome to a new Solo Sunday. The second installment in this series, today’s video features Danse de la Chèvre by Arthur Honegger. I have also previously posted a Flute Friday blog entitled “Barnyard Dreaming,” analyzing of this wonderful piece, which may be found here: https://racheltaylorgeier.org/2015/10/10/barnyard-dreaming-danse-de-la-chevre-by-arthur-honegger/
Blog #190 – Practicing Improvisation. In today’s blog, I will offer a few suggestions on how to practice improvisation. Ditching the rules is not really as scary as it sounds! You might even be surprised at the music just waiting to escape from your soul.
Blog #191 – Solo Sunday – #3 Kokopeli (Katherine Hoover). Greetings and welcome to a new Solo Sunday! Today’s video is Kokopeli for Solo Flute by Katherine Hoover. I love this piece because it sounds haunting and almost ethereal, like walking into a forest on a misty evening – You know there are secrets in the tress but cannot see the path in front of you. Spooky!
Blog #192 – Headjoints 101. In today’s blog, we will look at some of the basics of headjoints. Bottom line: a headjoint will sound different for different players. The best approach is to gather your list of sound wants/needs and try everything. The perfect headjoint may not look the way you expect.
Blog #193 – Solo Sunday – #4 El Bachiano for Solo Flute (Raimuno Pineda). Today’s video, El Bachiano by Raimundo Pineda, is a newer piece (2017) and a spicier spin on the famous Bach Partita. I worked on this piece late last year in preparation for a competition and absolutely fell in love with it. Doesn’t it just make you want to dance? Well, that is the point (see the description from the composer below).
Blog #194 – Violin Transcriptions. In today’s blog, we will sit back, grab a cold drink, and enjoy a handful of the most famous transcriptions of violin works, comparing various videos/recordings from renowned soloists on each instrument. What do you think are the biggest difference between transcriptions?
Blog #195 – Solo Sunday – #5 Mimosa for Solo Piccolo (Hong-Da Chin). Greetings and welcome to a new Solo Sunday! I am switching things up a bit today with a video featuring a piccolo solo (who doesn’t love the piccolo, am I right??). Today’s solo is a newer work by Hong-Da Chin entitled Mimosa for Piccolo Solo (2009) and yet another piece I fell in love with in preparation for a contest earlier this year.
Blog #196 – Do-it-Yourself Duets – Acapella App Reviews. In today’s blog, I will be reviewing three acapella apps to create these types of Do-It-Yourself Duets (not sponsored – although I should be). These are great to use for fun, as assignments for your students, or as a handy way to perform small ensemble pieces on various social media outlets.
Blog #197 – Rock(stro) and Roll! In today’s blog, we will look a bit more closely at the Rockstro position – What it is, where it came from, how to do it, and the possible benefits to applying the Rockstro or Modified Rockstro positions to your daily routine.
Blog #198 – Brace Yourselves – Playing with Braces. Wishing that I had a better frame of reference from the player’s perspective, today I would like to share a few tips that I have gathered from the teacher’s perspective. Braces are not easy but keep in mind that in most cases they are not forever. And the best part is that your embouchure will be even better by the end which often makes your sound even better than it was pre-braces.
Blog #199 – Flute Poems. In today’s blog, I am featuring a handful of poems that discuss the flute, including one at the end written by yours truly. Enjoy!
Blog #200 – 200th BLOG! Flute Blog Index.