Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.
Today is all about celebrating the awesome work of other flutists from around the world! I received a somewhat jarring comment on this blog a few years ago criticizing me for sharing super-secret tips about flute playing on my weekly Flute Friday posts. “Why give it away for free???” This really made me pause. Why should we keep the ins and outs of flute playing locked away from the larger global community? Are flutists like magicians with secrets that may only be revealed to the “chosen ones” in our studio practices? I personally think that music can sometimes be intimidating to others, especially when learning a complicated instrument such as the flute, and I would like to do what I can to help my fellow flutists navigate their studies regardless if they can afford to take private flute lessons or not. Keeping our community exclusive (as we may have in previous generations) does not really work anymore in today’s super connected world. I am certainly not alone in these thoughts! Are you sitting down? Mine is not the only flute blog on the internet (*gasp*). A number of other professional flutists post on a regular basis about flute-related topics, some similar to those discussed on this blog and some very different and quite interesting! In today’s blog, I will introduce a handful of my favorite flute blogs from around the internet. Check them out below!
1. Flutetune.com https://www.flutetunes.com. Okay, I know this is not technically a standard type of flute blog, but it is a fantastic resource for your students! This site not only hosts a number or free scores, but also contains a fabulous blog series featuring a “Tune of the Day.” These posts include a PDF copy of the sheet music and a recording to play along to. How fun! I also really like that this site includes links to other flute articles (including posts on how to practice, flute harmonics, and flute vibrato), flute scale PDFs, fingerings, an online metronome, and staff paper PDFs. Everything is literally in one place!
2. Jennifer Cluff – Canadian Flutist and Teacher https://jennifercluff.blogspot.com. I have really enjoyed this blog over the years and I think have even recommended a post or two as resources on my own blog. This is a great blog that covers a number of practice tips and interesting flute topics. Her newest post, “Top Ten Secrets of Great Flute Playing,” features a really wonderful PDF for your beginning flutists (regardless of age). Practical, purposeful, and fun. Excellent flute blog!
3. Hannah B. Flute https://hannahbflute.com/blog/. This is another great blog and I particularly enjoy the way that posts are laid out visually. Hannah does a great job of posting new topics once a week and asks some of the tough questions that we are often afraid to ask (such as “Is historical performance practice necessary?” and “Do you need to take intermediate flute lessons?” I also really like her post on “9 Self Care Tips for Musicians.” There are not enough blogs out there about how to keep going when the flute playing gets tough. Thanks Hannah!
4. Practice Room Revelations Blog (Jolene Madewell) https://www.joleneharju.com/practiceroomrevelations/. Not only do I like how these blogs appear on the page (so you can see a bunch of archived posts at once), I really enjoy the recurring theme of mindful flute playing on this blog. This blog reminds us that flute playing is not just about playing the notes, but also involves musical self-discovery and a greater awareness about we, the performers, fit into the bigger picture of creating music. Although this blog has not been updated since June 2020, I still recommend checking out some of her posts on mindful teaching and practicing. My favorites include “How I Regained Confidence in my Playing (After Becoming Too Afraid to Play),” “What did you Notice? Guiding Student to their own Revelations,” and “The Power of Choosing Enjoyment Over Fear.” Check it out!
5. Doctor Flute Blog – Musings on the Flute https://doctorflute.com/blog/. I absolutely love this blog! The topics are always super practical and include some straightforward, easy to follow tips. Dr. Angela McBreatry is also very good at advertising her posts on social media to encourage a broader dialog on the subjects of the week. Some of my favorite recent posts on this blog include “5 Ways to Improve Technique,” “5 Things That Ruin Tone,” and “What is Nuance?” Awesome, practical flute blog!
6. Dr. Jessica Quinones http://jqflute.com/blog/. I really enjoy the way that this blog tackles the difficult questions about navigating tough times in our flute playing careers. Like I have mentioned on this blog before, flute playing is not always puppies and rainbows and seems to get even more difficult with advanced knowledge and experience. Some of my favorite posts include, “You are getting so much right,” “The easiest, simplest, happiest way to be a musician is this..,” and “Rough times happening? Oh look, there you are making gold out of it. Here’s 3 heartfelt observations about your playing to get you through the storm.” Thank you for your honest observations and helpful tips, Dr. Quinones!
7. The Flute Coach https://www.theflutecoach.com/blog/. This is a really great blog with a number of popular flute topics for everyone. I really like this approach to discussing new, better ways to do things rather than the same old same old. I also really like her ideas encouraging the broader use of technology in the studio environment. Some of my favorite recent blogs include topics such as, “Should We Bother Setting Goals,” “Updated for 2020: Why You Should Convert to Digital Flute Sheet Music,” and “How to Transition your Flute Studio to an Online Model and Build Resilience in Challenging Times.” Another excellent flute blog!
8. Kim Collins Flute Studio Blog https://www.kimcollinsflute.com/flute-studio-blog. Calling all fellow longer post enthusiasts (like myself)! I really enjoy the longer, more in-depth blog posts on the site. Kim Collins goes beyond surface details and basic tips to discussing the larger “why” in each topic. The writing is wonderful and the honest interpretations are a breath of fresh air in a profession that sometimes focuses too much on the “rules” and not enough on the humanity. Some of my favorite recent posts include “Unsure of Your Musical Future? You are NOT Alone,” and “Our Comfort Zone: the Ins and Outs.”
9. Marlene Metz Hartzler Blog http://marlenehartzler.com/category/flute/. What I love about this flute blog is the variety of topics. This is not just a blog for performers or a blog aimed at teachers, but a blog for all of us! I really enjoy some of the posts written during the pandemic (that we all can still use in our practices moving forward)” including “Virtual Music: Teaching Lessons Online: The Good,” “Flute in Quarantine: Pandemic Safety,” and “Teaching Generation Z.” She also discusses topics such as Music Therapy, Flute Acoustics, and Talent vs. Hard Work. Great blog with a bit of everything!
10. Bret Pimentel https://bretpimentel.com. This blog is basically the inspiration for today’s blog (thanks Bret!!). Although not exclusively a flute blog, Bret Pimentel’s woodwind blog contains fascinating posts for woodwind teachers that apply to literally all of us. Some of the more recent blogs that I have been enjoying include “Preparing a Focused Mind,” “How to Have a Good Lesson,” and “Shaping a Phrase.” What I love the most about this blog, however, is the monthly “Favorite Blog Posts” series which features the work of other woodwind bloggers from around the internet. My posts have been periodically featured here and I am always grateful to end up on his monthly favorites blog posts!
Do you have a favorite flute blogger? Do you have your own flute blog? What topics and layouts interest you the most? Are you interested in blog collaborations? Please comment below!
Happy fluting! (And blogging)