Author: racheltgeier

As Light as Air – Articulation Exercise Recommendations

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! As we reach the final days of January, the momentum we had at the beginning of the month to tackle that list of New Year’s Resolutions normally dwindles (especially if we set goals that are a bit too lofty on unreasonable timelines). This is a great time to reevaluate and seek out new, better resources to reach our goals. Was working on articulation on your list of flute resolutions this year? If so, today’s blog is for you! 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/.

Articulation Exercises – The Gold Standards

These are my very favorite, no fail exercises. Memorize them! Mix and match during your typical daily warm-up and you will see your articulation improve tenfold in record time.

1.  Taffanel and Gaubert’s 17 Daily Exercises, Exercise #4. Are you sick of me recommending this exercise on my platform yet? We all know and love this one, am I right? I’ve been practicing this exercise for decades and it is forever burned into my brain. Exercise #4 is great because it functions as a basic canvas to try any combination of articulations. The basic articulations to use on this exercise are toos, coos, and too-coo (I recommend alternating your articulation on key changes). I really prefer practicing my coo’s on this exercise to strengthen the back of the tongue. Another great idea is to practice one of the MANY scale games devised specifically for this exercise. Please see my blog “Scale Games – Are they Really “Fun”?” for a listing of available scale games or devise your own, practicing a new articulation each day https://racheltaylorgeier.org/2013/05/28/scale-games-are-they-really-fun/.

2. Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Felix Mendelssohn, Scherzo Excerpt (Found in Orchestral Excerpts for Flute by Jeanne Baxtresser). This is a very standard orchestral excerpt requested at most orchestra auditions. The challenge of this short segment is to keep your articulation super light while taking breaths at appropriate places that do not interfere with the momentum of the line. My favorite way to practice this excerpt is using “chirps” or articulation-less puffs of air. This is great for working on projection using only your air. Switch back to double-tonguing after playing once on chirps and you will notice a world of difference.

3. Sonata No. 4 in C Major, II. Allegro by J.S. Bach. This is also another great one to memorize! I use this movement to practice various approaches to double tonguing. Some of my favorite syllables to use on this exercise are uka-tuka (which helps develop the back of the tongue) and duk-ky (which I learned from Keith Underwood back in the day as a way to keep articulation crisp and light).

4. Trevor Wye Practice Book of the Flute, Articulation. Articulation II (Page 10). Although the instructions in this section indicate to single tongue all of the mini exercises, you may mix it up with a combination of articulations to fit the line. What I like the most about this particular exercise is that the emphasis changes on Page 14 from duplets to triplets, allowing you to fine tune your single, double, and triple tonguing all with the same basic melodic outline.

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Articulation Exercises – Various Approaches

The next set of exercises are taken from various other exercise books and can be used to address specific issues in articulation or function as an interesting melodic canvas to practice your favorite articulations. Be creative with these etudes! Try out all of the articulations listed on my blog “You Say Potato, I Say Potatho” https://racheltaylorgeier.org/2014/02/28/you-say-potato-i-say-potahto/ or any others that you come across in masterclasses or your own flute lessons.

1.  Karg-Elert, 30 Studies, Opus 107. Exercise #24. is a great exercise to practice alternating quickly between double and triple tongued patterns. Pick your favorite or experiment with new syllables. The name of the game in this etude is to remain flexible, keep your eyes moving forward, and plan ahead (mark all duples and triples in your score).

2.   Koehler, Eight Studies, Opus 33. Exercise #5. This etude is perfect for practicing embouchure flexibility while refining your articulation. Essentially patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time #work. There are huge jumps from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high. Remember to move your lips slightly forward for the high notes and back for the low. This is a great challenge for any double-tongued articulation. I also recommend practicing some of your coos on this exercise for an added challenge to strengthen the back of your tongue.

3.  Koehler, 12 Studies, Opus 33. Exercise #7. Get ready to practice those triple-tongued syllables! This exercise demands light articulation but also a flexible plan as slurs interrupt many of the patterns in unexpected ways. Indicate in your score where you will use double tonguing and where you will use triple tonguing. The octave jumps are not as wide as in the previous example, but many will still require some embouchure flexibility. And finally, do not forget about accents and tenuto marks. This etude requires juggling many techniques at once. Happy juggling!

4.  Moyse, Grouping of Keys (Op. 125) by Furstenau. Exercise #16. This is the perfect exercise to practice your triple tongued patterns. Triples dominate two pages of varying articulations amongst complicated accidentals and key changes. Remember to circle those accents and hit them hard with a “Too.” Like the Mendelssohn, this is an excellent etude to practice your “chirps”. Quite a workout!

5. J. Donjon, Pasquinade (Etude en MI Majeur), No. 6. (Found in The Modern Flutist, Southern Music Company). This etude is great for practicing your various double-tongued passages! Not only does it feature various accidental changes but it also includes quick 16th note trills and requires a bit of embouchure flexibility (particularly in the final measures). Again, musical multi-tasking! Take this etude slowly at first to master the accidentals. Then add the trills. I recommend using a duk-ky syllable combination to keep your articulation as light as air.

6.  Boehm, 24 Melodious Studies for Flute. Exercise #19. This is a great canvas to practice all of your most favorite double-tongued passages as quickly as possible. Word of warning – the accidentals are a bit complicated. You may want to begin by slowing the tempo waaay down and practicing a few variations on single tongued syllables to both learn the notes and refine your single tongue technique. I recommend experimenting with a “tut” articulation, which will set the tongue in a proper place for each subsequent note. When you are comfortable with the notes and articulation, switch to a double tongue syllable combination. This is a great exercise to refine your uka-tukas or to try out one of the more complicated multiple articulations such as ta-ka-da-ga-ra-ga-ya-ga (challenge accepted!).

7.  Cavally, Melodious and Progressive Studies. Exercise #9. This is another great exercise to practice your various triple tongued syllables. Be very careful, however. There are certain groupings that work better as duples rather than triples (the opening measure is a good example). I suggest practicing a du-gu-du (or du-gu for duples) articulation on this etude as the tempo is a bit relaxed. Try connecting each note to the next for a fluid type of articulation.

8. Andersen, Twenty-Four Progressive Studies for Flute, Opus 33. Exercise #11. Another great exercise for your triple tonguing! This one moves fairly quickly and requires a very light articulation. I am reminded of the Mendelssohn in this etude. I recommend practicing your “chirps” or uka-tukas on this one. The wrench in the mix this time, however, are the grace notes. Remember to also keep these light and swift and avoid lingering so long that you rush the subsequent articulations.

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What are your favorite articulation exercises? Do you have your own Gold Standard exercises that you practice every day? What is your go-to syllables to practice single, double, and triple tongued passages? Are there any exercises not listed here that you would also recommend? Please comment below!

Happy Fluting!

Moyse’s Astrological Chart

Welcome to another Flute Friday!  

https://unsplash.com/photos/E0AHdsENmDg

This week is a little different than last…My name is Aleah! Thank you for featuring me as a guest on your site, Dr. Geier! Before we get started, keep in mind that this article is for entertainment purposes only. Astrology is a great way to have fun and help understand the things around us- but it’s important not to take it too seriously. Now, onward! 

“flautista i compositor” Photo owned by: Cccrrriiissst

Moyse was born on May 17th, 1889 in Saint-Amour, France. His mother was unwed, and she had run away to this small and quiet town in order to give birth to him. She passed away only a week after he was born, so he was adopted by a widow named Josephine Perretier, and raised alongside her two daughters. (Marlboromusic.org/archives).

Moyse grew up around a plethora of choir, reed organ, and flute music. He eventually studied under the tutelage of both Gaubert and Taffanel. He also studied at the Paris Conservatory. He is known for being a soloist and principal flute of several Paris orchestras- as well as a fantastic teacher. He said he taught his students to play the music- Not the flute. The way he crafted melodies and tone colors still baffles many of us classical flutists today. 

According to the Moyse society, Marcel Moyse had “A profound effect on the flute playing of the twentieth century”. His books De La Sonarite, Games et Arpeges (This one is a personal favorite of mine), and 20 Exercises and Studies for Flute are still widely used. 

Let’s see what the stars have to say about this virtuoso and his musicianship. 

This is Moyse’s natal chart and primary placements:

Moyse’s Sun Sign was Taurus. People with their sun sign in Taurus are very grounded, as it is an Earth sign. They are often described as having solid traits and being consistent. They are hard-working, while still being able to enjoy the finer things in life. Taurus’s love to surround themselves with art, and that is exactly what Moyse spent his life doing. 

Marcel Moyse has Taurus sun written all over him, from his multiple publications and solo works to his great dedication in his studies. He was able to do it all while remaining attentive to detail. Moyse was known for being extremely diligent in all that he did- And it’s written all over his chart, too. Another interesting (yet little-known) fact about Moyse is that he was studying carpentry and sculpture at the same time he was learning flute and solfeggio. 

People with a sun in Taurus always read a little bit firey to me, despite technically being an earth sign. It seems that he was indeed, a bit bullish! He loved music so much, that, when he was a child, he stole over 30 bottles of wine from his grandparents, in order to sell them for opera tickets. 

From 1916-1918, Moyse was asked to perform during Nadia Boulanger’s music classes. He felt the need to prove himself even more to her, so he tried out to be the first flute at the Paris Opera. He received the position but ended up turning it down because he was too busy with traveling, and his other performance obligations. Those who were close to him often said he was hard to deal with. Like fire signs, Taurus’s can be very stubborn, and love to show off at least a little bit (As a Leo-sun, Aries-moon flutist, who am I to judge?!) 

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Moyse’s Moon Sign was Sagittarius. Moon signs can tell us a lot about a person’s emotions that are hidden under the surface. A Sagittarius loves their freedom. They are creative and spirited and don’t want anything or anyone tying them down or holding them back from their wildest dreams. Those with moons in Sagittarius often shy away from commitment in romantic relationships, or, only find themselves happy when those close to them don’t hold on too tight. They love change and travel. 

Moyse met dancer and singer Celine Gautreau in 1911 when he was playing the principal flute in a version of Don Quixote. According to Malboromusic.org, she was dating both Moyse and the composer of the piece at the same time! She ended up choosing Moyse in the end, and they married in 1912.  It seems that Celine’s feisty nature and artistry were enough to intrigue Moyse!

Though Sagittarius is a fire sign, it is mutable. Those with a moon in Sagittarius often make great teachers. His passion for teaching lead him to found the Marlboro school of music after he and his wife moved to Vermont in the 1950s. With a moon in Saggitarius, it all checks out! 

Moyse’s Mercury was Gemini. Those with Mercury in Gemini have “artist” written all over them. Whatever creative endeavor they embark on, they do it with grace. They are witty and well-learned. Mercury is all about communication: Those with Gemini placements often come across as intimidating- And who wouldn’t be intimidated by one of the best flute virtuosos in the world?! 

Moyse’s Venus was Taurus. He has double Taurus energy! Venus shows how we love. This placement suggests that Moyse was stubborn, yet trustworthy and consistent in his personal life. 

Moyse’s Mars was in Gemini. Mars shows how we get things done. I think it is really interesting how he has double Taurus and double Gemini in his chart. The dualistic symbol of Gemini in Mars shows that people with this feature are great multitaskers. Moyse did a ton of musical multitasking throughout his life: Often jugging teaching, writing, and performances all within a short period of time. Throughout his life, he wrote 37 books, played in the premiere performance of Stravinksy’s Rite of Spring, held the position of first flute at the Opera Comique, and was a soloist under Prokoviev, Strauss, and many others. 

Lastly, 

Moyse’s Jupiter was Capricorn. This placement shows discipline, maturity, and an extremely strong work ethic. There are so many places in his chart that show that he is hardworking and driven. This final placement is the icing on the cake! 

Learn More About Moyse

I have found the website https://www.marlboromusic.org/ to be extremely informative when it comes to learning more about Moyse. If you are interested, check it out! 

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I hope everyone had a good New Year. Stay safe, and keep fluting! 

About the Author: 

Aleah Fitzwater is a classical flutist and music educator with a passion for arranging pop-punk and alternative songs for flute choir. She also teaches people how to digitize sheet music with optical music recognition on the ScanScore blog: https://scan-score.com/en/scanscore-blog/ 

You can find more of her multi-genre fluting on Youtube, Instagram, and Spotify under Aleah Fitzwater, and AleahFlute.https://aleahfitzwater.com/ 

30-Day Flute Challenges for the New Year

Back in 2018, I was fascinated by the various 30-day challenges making their way through social media. One of my most popular blog posts at the time, the 30-Day Taffanel & Gaubert Exercise #4 Challenge, was based on this idea and has since inspired many flutists to jump-start (or at least reimagine) their T&G scale practice game. This year, as you begin to take action steps on some of your most important new year’s flute playing resolutions, I encourage you to consider adding a 30-day challenge to your to-do list. Incorporating a 30-day challenge can be like a flute boot camp not just for your scale game but also for a number of other facets of flute playing (ex. tone studies, repertoire, sight-reading, etc.). This may be the very thing you need to quickly get to the next level in your flute playing! Also, who doesn’t love a challenge?!?! 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!

30-DAY FLUTE CHALLENGES

TONE

  • One Register per Week Trevor Wye’s Practice Book for the Flute, Book 1 Tone, is perfectly set up for a 30-day challenge. For the first week, practice only the exercises listed for the low register (approx. pages 7-12). For Week 2, practice only the exercises listed for the middle register (approx. pages 13-17). During Week 3, grab a bottle of water and some ear plugs, and work on only the exercises listed for the high register (approx. pages 18-21). For the final week, work on the flexibility exercises on pages 28-33, which will combine all of the work you have done previously in the month with increasing embouchure flexibility throughout all of the ranges. Your tone will improve tenfold during this program! Success stories are encouraged below.
  • Slow Movements Only – If you are sooo over tone books, you may want to switch up your tone studies for examples from standard repertoire. Pick four slow movements from your favorite works (for example, Poulenc Sonata – Movement II; Mozart Flute Concerto in G Major – Movement II; Burton Sonata – Movement II; Prokofiev Sonata – Movement II) and play through each one over the course of a week. Concentrate on retaining the same quality of sound and power of projection from note to note. Connect all of your notes as if they are all on the same string. How beautiful can you make each movement? Four movements, four weeks!
  • Tone Color Challenge – This is a great challenge to help you think more creatively about sound. The first step is to create a color spectrum (please see my article in The Flute View, Rainbow Score, for a simple color how-to). Once you have your color plan in place, select a few of your favorite slow orchestral excerpts (Brahms 4 and Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun are good examples). Play through these excerpts each day with a different tone color for 30 days. You may discover along the way that your Debussy sounds a lot better with a purple tone color than it does in yellow! This is a great way to master your unique tone color plan and experiment with new ways to organize your sound.

TECHNIQUE

  • 30-Day Taffanel & Gaubert Exercise #4 Challenge – Select a new articulation each day to use with your Taffanel & Gabuert Exercise #4, #1, or really any of your favorite exercises from this book. You may even want to create your own articulation plan for the 30 days. Go for it! Add some extended techniques or harmonics for a bit of a challenge.
  • Taffanel & Gaubert Challenge #2 – This is a bit broader of a challenge for your Taffanel & Gaubert game! Practice one study per day (ex. #1 on Monday, #2 Tuesday, etc.), alternating the articulation each day. There are excellent suggestions at the top of each exercise, but you may also create your own articulations (ex. slurs on Mondays, slur two/tongue two on Tuesdays, coos on Wednesday, etc.). When you get to the end of exercise #17, start again with exercise #1. Remember: Use a different articulation each day.
  • The Flutist’s Vade Mecum by Walfrid Kujala – This book is perfect for a 12 (or 24) WEEK challenge! There is already a challenge outlined at the back of the book (thanks Wally!). If you are an advanced player (college and up), I recommend playing through one key per week, cycling through all of the studies gradually throughout the week. If you are a less experienced player (or a player with less available practice time in general), cycle through a new key set every two weeks. These exercises require a lot of mental flexibility and stamina but will gradually whip your technique into great shape.

ETUDES

  • Karg-Elert’s 30 Studies (Opus 107) – Easy peasy! 30 days, 30 studies. Practice one study per day. Some will be easy. Some will be super challenging! At the end of the 30 days pick one or two (or more!) to record yourself playing on video. Share on social media if brave (or just use for yourself to identify ways you may improve).
  • Kohler’s Virtuoso Studies for Flute (Opus 75) – Since these are a bit more challenge than the Karg-Elert, I recommend learning (or re-learning) one study per week (extending the challenge of course from 4 weeks to 10 weeks). Video record yourself playing each etude at the end of the week. Like the Karg-Elert, share on social media if brave.
  • Paul Jeanjean’s Etudes Modernes – These etudes are super challenging (and have tormented a lot of us for decades). Start by practicing one new etude per week. You will likely want to give up on these halfway through the book. Your 30-day challenge is simply to keep plugging away even when you’d rather ditch Jeanjean for Karg Elert. Jeanjean teaches us how to have grit in the face of challenging repertoire!

REPERTOIRE

  • Bach 12 Sonatas Challenge – For the first 12 days of this challenge, practice the opening movement of each of the 12 standard Bach Flute Sonatas (Book 1, Book 2), one movement each day. For the next 12 days, practice the slow movement from each sonata (again, one movement per day). For the last six days, select either your favorite dance movement or final movement from the sonatas in Book 1 (#1-6). This will give you a nice introduction to the Bach flute sonata style and structure. You may even discover some interesting parallels and/or themes between movement types.
  • Telemann 12 Fantasies Challenge – This is similar to the Bach challenge outlined above. Start by practicing the opening movement (or section) of each fantasie for the first 12 days. Master it! Then move on to the slow sections or movements for the next 12 days. Finally, record yourself playing your favorite six fantasies (one fantasie per day) for the remaining six days. Post your recordings to social media (even add a hashtag if you’d like: #drgs30daysoftellemannchallenge).
  • Memorize (or Re-memorize) One Piece Per Month – Pick out your favorite 12 pieces (even if they are just single movements from standard repertoire). Concentrate on playing from beginning to end without stopping. Playing along with a recording or an AI system such as SmartMusic will be very helpful as you learn cues in the music surrounding the flute line. At the end of the year, you will have 12 pieces memorized to be performed whenever an opportunity arises.

OTHER

  • 30 Days of Improvisation – Challenge yourself to improvise for at least five minutes a day at the end of each practice session for 30 days. You may improvise over a simple drone or using clever improvisation programs such as Walter White’s improvisation tracks: https://walterwhite.com/product-category/wwshop/walterwhitelongtoneaccompaniment/
  • 30 Days of Sight Reading – This is a fun way to involve the others in your life! Gather up all of the etude books you’ve purchased but never had the time to practice, old books that you hadn’t played all the way through, or even head to your local music library to check out etude books you have never even heard of. Pick one book each day and let your family members or other non-flutist colleagues decide which exercise you will sight read that day. Place it on your music stand, hit “video” on your smartphone’s camera, AND GO! You don’t have to share the video if you don’t want to – but it will come in handy as you review what happens to you and your flute playing under pressure. You will get great sight-reading experience and learn a lot about yourself during this challenge!
  • Sunday Night Living Room Recitals – This is another great way to involve your family in your flute playing! Prep a set of solo works, etudes, and pieces with AI accompaniments during the week. The duration and complexity of the program is up to you! For the next four Sundays, schedule a time in the evening for a mini-recital in your living room with your family and/or friends in attendance. Record your performances for an extra bonus! Play different repertoire each week. I find it most intimidating to perform for loved ones, because playing well for them means far more than playing well for an audience of strangers.

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Which one of these challenges are you most excited to try? What areas of your flute playing could use a 30-day challenge? Share your stories below! I would love to know how any/all of these challenges go for you (the ups, the downs, the struggles, and of course the triumphs!).

Happy Fluting!

Top Flute Blogs

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!

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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)

All State’s All-State Band Info

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Earlier this year, I resurrected the Practice Blueprints Series with a discussion on all-state audition preparation tips and general info for successfully navigating the all-state process in a handful of states. While writing these blog posts, I was fascinated by how differently each state varied their all-state format and required audition repertoire. This had me wanting a handy resource to quickly compare all-state requirements from, well, everywhere. Behold – the fruit of these labors. 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.

ALL STATE’S ALL-STATE BAND INFORMATION


Alabama

Website: https://alaband.org/all-state-festival/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: October 31-November 9, 2021 depending on district

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CfVC8pqyj_UVt3r5quEFHaDmPZJW6M4H  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 6-10, 2022; Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL


Alaska

Website: https://asaa.org/activities/music/music-all-state-music-festival/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: 22-Sep-21

Audition Repertoire Link: Flute – https://asaa.org/wp-content/uploads/AS-2021-FLUTE.pdf  

 ; Piccolo – https://asaa.org/wp-content/uploads/AS-2021-PICCOLO.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): November 18-20, 2021

West Anchorage High School, Anchorage, Alaska


Arizona

Website: https://azmea.org/high-school-regional-festival/  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: March 14, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: “same as the All-Regional auditions.” *Please see your band director for more information

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): TBD – Last Festival April 9-10, 2021, May 1, 2021


Arkansas

Website: https://www.asboa.org/ClinicMaterials/2020Revision/Revision2020.html

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: February 5, 2022; Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Audition Repertoire Link: Set II – https://www.asboa.org/ClinicMaterials/2020Revision/SR%20Complete%202020%20REV.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 17-19, 2022 Hot Springs Convention Center


California

Website: https://cbda.org/all-state-ensembles/auditions/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: 11:59 PM on December 1, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/13Lu3ux0sz2szYl4AY1vTkz6gCKQGpfQM  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 17-20, 2022, William Saroyan Theatre, Fresno, CA


Colorado

Website: https://arts.unco.edu/music/all-state/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: November 30, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://arts.unco.edu/music/all-state/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 7-9, 2022, University of  Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado


Connecticut

Website: https://cmea.org/student-events/all-state/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Feb 5, 2022; North Haven High School

Audition Repertoire Link: https://cmea.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/HS-WWinds-Brass-Audition-Repertoire.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 31-April 2, 2022

CT Convention Center

100 Columbus Blvd

Hartford, CT 06103


Delaware

Website: https://www.delawaremea.org/20212022-allstate-info

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 8-15, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bP3MXc88uPYJMNflqFz3q_6AUUsHjbceKqfgPfwM7QE/edit  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 24 – 26, 2022, Dover High School, Dover, DE


Florida

Website: https://fba.flmusiced.org/all-state/audition-requirements/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: September 18-25, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://fba.flmusiced.org/media/2016/all-state-requirements-2022-symphonic-band-woodwind.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 12-15, 2022, Tampa, Florida


Georgia

Website: https://www.gmea.org/asb-audition-information

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: District Auditions – December 11, 2022; Final Auditions January 8, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/14oSt_76SGuqU83gPYoBcBI0tkO3hHUvr  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 3-5, 2022; The Classic Center, Athens, Georgia


Hawaii

Website: N/A String All-State Orchestra Only


Idaho

Website: https://www.idahomusiced.org/events/allstate/allstate.php

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: Audition Registration Closes – Midnight, October 15, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://idahomusiced.org/forms/allstate/AllStateAudMusic/Flute.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 2-5, 2022, Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), Nampa, Idaho


Illinois

Website: https://ilmea.org/imec

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: All-State Audition Recordings Due – Friday, December 17, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://racheltaylorgeier.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/794d6-topost-2022wind26percussionall-stateauditionmaterial.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 26-29, 2022, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL


Indiana

Website: https://www.indianabandmasters.org/All-state/all-state.html

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: January 9, 2022 starting at 1:00 PM

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.indianabandmasters.org/All-state/audition_etudes/1_flute-piccolo.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 11-13, 2022 at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


Iowa

Website: https://ihsma.org/all-state-audition-information-2021/

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: October 23, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://ihsma.org/all-state-audition-information-2021/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): November 18-20, 2021, Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State Center, Ames, Iowa


Kansas

Website: https://ksmea.org/hsband/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Jan. 8, 2022 – Salina-Lakewood Middle School

1135 E Lakewood Circle

Salina, KS

Audition Repertoire Link: https://ksmea.org/hsband/excerpts/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 26, 2022 – Century II Concert Hall, Wichita, KS


Kentucky

Website: https://kmea.org

Audition Type: Unknown *Please see your band director for more information

Audition Deadlines:

Audition Repertoire Link: *Unknown – please see your band director for more information

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 2–5, 2022, Kentucky International Convention Center, Louisville, KY


Louisiana

Website: https://www.lmeamusic.org/all-state/band/

Audition Type: Live (Videotaped)

Audition Deadlines: Date, time, fees, and location for the 1st round audition are set by the District Director for his/her district; Wednesday, January 12, 2022 (midnight) – Deadline for District Directors to submit their district’s 2nd round audition videos to the Band Division Chair.

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.lmeamusic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/All-State-Band-Auditions-Set-IIe.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 13-17, 2022, Baton Rouge, LA


Maine

Website: https://mainemmea.org/boc-all-state-festival/

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: Please see your band director for due dates.

Audition Repertoire Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QwNfbB16Q3lVCtEiGgogAnORlyiwyRo15Tf2fS3T5h0/edit  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): TBD (2022)


Maryland

Website: https://www.mdmea.org/all-state-auditions

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: October 27, 2021 at 11:59pm

Audition Repertoire Link: https://94f25311-6754-4534-b1d6-0b7479dbf12e.filesusr.com/ugd/793987_a1bf53cd7e464ce8b360360393664bac.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 4-6, 2022 (Virtual)


Massachusetts

Website: http://www.massmea.org/newsevents/all-state-festival-concert/auditions

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: 5:00pm on Saturday, January 22, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: http://www.massmea.org/sites/default/files/public/audition/2022/2022-All-State-Virtual-Audition-List.pdf; http://www.massmea.org/sites/default/files/public/scales/Flute.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): TBD (2022)


Michigan

Website: https://www.msboa.org/Events/All-State.aspx

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: Late October (Please see schedule: https://www.msboa.org/Portals/0/2021-2022%20All-State%20Audition%20Schedule-Master_1.pdf )

Audition Repertoire Link:  Unknown

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 28, 2022 – DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI


Minnesota

Website: https://mmea.org/events/all-state/auditions/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: March 11, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://auditionsolos.com/state_lists/MMEA_2022.htm; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N3DihF978iwS-Ei9O0gQ_Sl41X4JFOgJ/view  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): August (Summer Camp), February (MMEA Midwinter Clinic) (Performance) Dates TBD


Mississippi

Website: Marching Band All-State Auditions Only – https://www.misslionsband.org

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: November 13, 2021, call backs November 20, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.misslionsband.org/auditioninfo.htm  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): Canada: Date TBD


Missouri

Website: https://missouribandmasters.org/missouri-all-state-band/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: December 5, 2022 Hickman High School, Columbia, MO

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OwJGOx2Y8SlDV76k5yQDn8IC-A8qDWXL   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 26-29, 2022 – Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach MO


Montana

Website: https://www.mhsa.org/page/show/2173367-festivals

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: June 13, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://cdn4.sportngin.com/attachments/document/0153/0703/Audition_Materials-Set_B_2021_1_.pdf#_ga=2.137231344.1996054389.1639173934-774582277.1639173929   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): October 20-22, 2021, Great Falls, MT


Nebraska

Website: https://www.nmeanebraska.org/2021-all-state-band

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: September 25, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.nmeanebraska.org/band-audition-materials  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): November 17-19, 2021, Lincoln, Nebraska


Nevada

Website: https://nmeamusic.org/nmeaevents/all-state-music-festival/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 24-27, 2022 (based on district area)

Audition Repertoire Link: https://nmeamusic.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2021/10/2022-Nevada-All-State-Band-Audition-Information-FINAL.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 7-9, 2022 Reno, NV (UNR)


New Hampshire

Website: https://nhmea.org/festivals/all-state-music-festival/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: November 20, 2021 at Manchester Memorial High School

Audition Repertoire Link: http://nhmea.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2021/09/2021-2022-All-State-Audition-Requirements-9-14-21.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 7-9, 2022 Concord, NH (Concord High School, Grappone Conference Center)


New Jersey

Website: https://njmea.org/all-state/hs-band/hs-band-auditions/  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 22, 2022 – J.P. Stevens High School, Edison, NJ

Audition Repertoire Link: https://mea.nafme.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/07/2022-All-State-Bands-Solos.png ; Scales: https://njmea.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/06/ASB-Scale-Requirements.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 25-26, 2022 (Rutgers University, New Jersey Performing Arts Center)


New Mexico

Website: https://www.nmmea.com/all-state/   

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: November 5, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: Unknown *Please see band director

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 15, 2022, Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho, NM


New York

Website: https://www.nyssma.org/parents-students/the-all-state-process/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Spring 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: NYSSMA Level VI solo *Please see band director (must have score of 98 or higher)

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): December 2-5, 2021, Rochester, NY


North Carolina

Website: https://www.ncbandmasters.org/auditions  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: March 5, 2022 Atkins High School, Winston-Salem, NC

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.ncbandmasters.org/11-12-solos-and-scales   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 29-May 1, UNC Chapel Hill


North Dakota

Website: https://www.ndallstate.org  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 6-7, 2022 Bismarck State College, Bismarck, ND

Audition Repertoire Link: https://f48a7b0b-85c0-4eb5-b673-bbd8b3161235.filesusr.com/ugd/c00551_c3621b3d8ff64b6dbd3397810ad5da02.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 24-26, 2022, Bismarck Event Center


Ohio

Website: https://app.getacceptd.com/omea  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: 31-May-21

Audition Repertoire Link: https://app.getacceptd.com/omea  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 2-5, 2022, Cleveland, OH


Oklahoma

Website: https://okmea.org/all-state/symphonic-band-and-wind-symphony/  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: November 6, 2021 (First Round), December 4, 2021 (Second Round) – District Sites: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1foO4tUY11IIUTfB1w0WAuVBASleRrGXf/view  

Audition Repertoire Link: (Second Round) https://drive.google.com/file/d/12lfe2B0b-ovhrk-yK7kEG2DBuiIG9r2R/view ; Scales – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X3D253xsTlPfVAJh-x4xi5nYMetGHmJ3/view  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 19-22, 2022, Cox Business Center, Tulsa, OK


Oregon

Website: https://www.oregonmusic.org/All-State-Audition-Application-Info.html  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: October 4, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.oregonmusic.org/files/All%20State/2022%20AllState%20and%20Conference/HS/SymphBandAudition_Materials-2022%20(1).pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 13-16, 2022 Eugene, OR


Pennsylvania

Website: https://www.pmea.net/pmeaall-stateinformation/  

Audition Type: Recorded (video)

Audition Deadlines: February 3, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Audition Repertoire Link: (Login Required: https://www.pmea.net/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pmea.net%2Fat-large-excerpts%2F)

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 6-9, 2022 Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, Poconos


Rhode Island

Website: https://www.rimea.org/allstate  

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: November 20, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.rimea.org/pdf/member_handbook/allstate_winds_sr.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 28, 2022, VMA Auditorium, Providence, RI


South Carolina

Website: https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/auditions/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Regional Auditions – January 2022 https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/site-information/  

Audition Repertoire Link: (Login Required) – https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/auditions/audition-requirements/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February-March 2022 (Regional – https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/site-information/)


South Dakota

Website: https://www.sdhsaa.com/activity/all-state-band/  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 2022 – Please see schedule at https://www.sdhsaa.com/Handbook/FA-AllStateBand.pdf  

Audition Repertoire Link: Etudes: https://www.sdhsaa.com/FineArts/ASB-AuditionEtudes.pdf; Scales: https://www.sdhsaa.com/asb-audition-scales/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 24-26, 2022, Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center – SDSU, Brookings, SD


Tennessee

Website: http://www.tnmea.org/all-state *unclear from website if All-State is scheduled for 2022 convention

Audition Type:

Audition Deadlines:

Audition Repertoire Link:  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 27-30, 2022, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, TN


Texas

Website: https://www.tmea.org/band/all-state/

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: *See band director for regional audition schedule

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.tmea.org/band/audition-material/   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 9-12, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas


Utah

Website: https://www.umea.us/all-state-band  

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: November, 21, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PTcXCoOf1PyiGl0HeJFxWDNOs7WkXmp8Ciq5DzxhC54/edit   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 12-14, 2022, Abravanel Hall, Salt Lake City, UT


Vermont

Website: https://www.vmea.org/all-state-music-festival  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 15, 2022, CVU (Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

Audition Repertoire Link: Repertoire – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fqU1_Ux7xo_tpLwITu1Gw4G7SL_p48Z6/view; Scales – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uVwWEKdKuUXa_VfkfU49FJH22lf6QhPY/view   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): May 5-7, 2022, Chittenden County


Virginia

Website: https://www.vboda.org/index.php/all-virginia-band-and-orchestra.html

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: February 26, 2022 – James Madison University

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.vboda.org/documents/All-VA/Etudes/2022%20All-VA%20Wind%20Audition%20Requirements.pdf (Etudes posted February 2022)

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 21-23, 2022, Christopher Newport University


Washington

Website: https://wmea.org/all-state/wmea-all-state-audition-materials/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: October 7, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://wmea.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2022WindsPercussion.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 17-20, 2022, Yakima Convention Center, Yakima, WA


West Virginia

Website: https://www.wvallstateband.com  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: December 3, 2021 – University of Charleston (Charleston, WV); December 4, 2021 – West. Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.wvallstateband.com/requirements   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 3-5, 2022 Clay Center, Charleston, West Virginia


Wisconsin

Website: https://wsmamusic.org/hs-honors/auditions/

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: February 5, 2022, Februrary 12, 2022 (see https://wsmamusic.org/hs-honors/auditions/ for regions)

Audition Repertoire Link: https://wsmamusic.org/files/2021/08/FluteHSH-.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): June 18-21, 2022 Camp, October 27, 2022 Concert


Wyoming

Website: https://wyomea.org/programs-events/all-state-music-2022/  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: November 6, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://wyomea.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/09/2022-All-State-Band-Audition-FlutePiccolo.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 16-18, 2022, Rock Springs High School, Rock Springs, WY


What does the all-state process look like in your state? In what ways could you improve this process by reviewing the process in other states? How does the repertoire in your state compare to that in other states? Please comment below!

Happy Fluting!

Dr. G’s Flute Gift Guide

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Shopping for the holidays? Have a flutist in your life on your gift list? Want to give your loved ones some good ideas for new flute gear on your own wish list? 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!)

1. Win-D-Fender https://win-d-fender.com/product/win-d-fender/ $50.  I have discussed this device in previous blog posts and I am forever a fan of the Win-D-Fender. If you like to practice outside in the warmer months or live in an area where air conditioners and/or heaters run constantly indoors, this is the flute add-on for you! The Win-D-Fender helps to retain sound and projection despite how the air is circulating around you. I used to love to practice outdoors in the summer when I was young and this handy, dandy contraption would have been perfect for my daily sessions.

2.  PiccPocket https://win-d-fender.com/product/piccpocket/ $75. This is a relatively new device also offered through Win-D-Fender that seems to solve the problem of trying to carry both your flute and piccolo at the same time. You’ve probably been there – trying to carefully balance both instruments on their stands in your hands while tucking your music under your arm and praying that nobody bumps into you while you walk at a glacial pace onto the stage. Wouldn’t it just be easier to put your piccolo in a sling, freeing up your hands to carry your music? I think the PiccPocket is a great alternative. I, myself, have been forever traumatized by an instance in my youth where I fell down a flight of stairs trying to carry both of these instruments to a performance. Save yourself the headache with this convenient sling.

3. Fluterscooter Flute Bags https://www.fluteworld.com/product-category/case-covers-and-bags/fluterscooter/ $120-250. I have owned a beautiful Fluterscooter bag in Spring Lilac for years and absolutely love it. Gone are the days when instrument bags only came in boring, standard black matte varieties. If you want to upgrade your gear and add a bit of personality to your flute game, I recommend purchasing one of these case covers. The Red Patent Leather Bag is one of my favorites (and can be spotted from across a room). They are much larger than you’d think, with lots of room for cleaning clothes and other flute accessories. The velcro straps inside the bag hold your case in place safely and securely while the soft insulation keeps your flute cushioned and protected.

4. Crescendo Flute Backpack https://crescendo-bags.myshopify.com/collections/the-flute-section/products/flutes-laptop-gigbag-single-compartment $262. Okay, so I did not pay for this one myself but won this bag at the NFA convention last summer. I had no idea how cool this bag actually was until it arrived in the mail! This is perfect for a college student or flutist (like myself) living in a very bike friendly community. There are super insulated pockets for both your flute and piccolo as well as a separate compartment for your laptop or ipad, and outside pockets for all of the little things. The thing I like the most, though, is that the bag is large enough to hold bigger scores or those oversized music folders we lug around for orchestra concerts. Definitely a good investment!

5. Lyricraft Engraved Instrument Stands (with Corresponding Pegs) https://www.fluteworld.com/product-category/instrument-stands/lyricraft/ (Stands: $144.95-$194.95, Pegs $24.95-39.95). I had had my eye on these for years after seeing some of my fellow flute choir members use them in rehearsals. These stands are absolutely beautiful! The engraving is stunning and adds a bit of class to your set up. The base is on the heavier side but is quite solid (nothing is knocking this stand over!). The pegs are interchangeable. Simply order the ones you need and switch them out as necessary. The pegs themselves are also very solid and feature a moisture-wicking material on the outside. I finally purchased a double-pegged version over the summer and absolutely love it! Total upgrade from the collapsible stands I was using.

6. Sempre Flute Cleaning Cloths https://www.sempreflute.store/collections/all?page=1 $18.99-23.99. I was introduced to this company over this summer when a friend gifted me with the very beautiful Rouge Artist Series cloth (that consequently coordinates in color quite well with my Flutescooter bag). I was blown away by the quality of this cloth and its ability to shine up my flute in a flash. The thicker fabric is super durable and the designs are stunning. Check them out! I am totally converted.

7. Peak Music Stand https://www.fluteworld.com/product/peak-music-stand-sms-20/ $45.95. I purchased my Peak Music Stand in 2007 and it is still in excellent condition! I love this stand. I’ve used it for everything from daily practice in my home studio, to flute choir rehearsals, to orchestra performances, to performing outdoors, and everything in between. It is light, easy to assemble, comes with a sturdy carrying case, and looks just as good as the bulkier Manhasset metal stands. I will never buy a different stand!

8. Thumbport and Thumbport II https://www.fluteworld.com/product/thumbport/ $19.95. I have always been a rebel when it comes to the placement of my right-hand thumb (much to the chagrin of my teachers and definitely at the expense of my tendons). This little device helps to give my thumb a convenient and consistent place to land. It simply clips onto your flute and can be removed and placed conveniently in your flute bag when not in use. It also comes in various colors if you’d like to add a bit of personality to your gear.

9. Music Folder https://www.fluteworld.com/product/concert-folio/ $18.95. This music folder is super durable and fits a surprising amount of music in a variety of sizes. If you like to keep all of your music organized in one folder, this is the product for you. Stylish and practical, I have used this folder for a number of years. I find that it fits better in my various carrying bags than the standard orchestral folders. I also like to keep everything in one place without seeing a clutter of scores on my stand.

10. FluteWorld Gift Certificates https://www.fluteworld.com/product-category/gift-certificates/ $5-$750. Most of us use FluteWorld at some point or another to purchase music, recordings, instruments, and various accessories. This is a great gift idea for students or if you have a flutist in your life that you know is saving up to purchase an instrument. This may help them make a dent in their savings journey. We all just like having an excuse to give our gear a makeover and FluteWorld has a great selection. Happy shopping!

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What is on your flute gear wish list this holiday season? Do you have other gift ideas to recommend? What is your favorite flute accessory? Please comment below!

Happy fluting!

Top 20 Grateful List

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! This week I have been reflecting on some of the things I am most grateful for as a flute player, particularly over the past year as our industry has made our way through a pandemic. 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? 

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com
  1. Flute Talk Magazine. It was announced a few weeks ago that Flute Talk will be discontinued. I am so very grateful for the many years this journal was in publication. Flute Talk was the inspiration for many things in my younger days (including this very blog). Thank you for all of the articles and priceless advice over the years!
  2. Win-D-Fender.  I was lucky enough to try this device out at a past flute convention and loved it! If you are an fan of practicing outside (or not a fan of trying to project through powerful air conditioners), check out this clever flute accessory: https://win-d-fender.com
  3. Flute Overhauls. I was very fortune this year to have both my flute and piccolo overhauled by the talented John Gil in Sacramento and now they both play like a dream. Thanks John!
  4. YouTube Piano Accompaniments. I know I know…nothing beats the real thing, but thanks to YouTube, we now have simple piano accompaniments for some of our standard repertoire on YouTube. This is a great resource if you are working on memorizing (or re-memorizing) the works we all know and love.
  5. Connecting with other Flutists via Social Media. I have met many wonderful flutists at conventions over the years and thanks to outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, I can stay connected to these folks every day. It is wonderful to see what my colleagues are up to (and fun to share cute pet photos!).
  6. Community Flute Societies. These are also great for meeting and connecting with flutists in and around your own community or even those in larger cities. Many of the societies, such as the Chicago Flute Club, offer regular masterclasses that can be attended online from anywhere.
  7. Flute Masks. Although not fail-safe just yet, these have helped many of us and our students return to live rehearsals and performances. What is your favorite flute mask?
  8. Stylish Flute Bags. From Fluterscooter to Crescendo, there are a number a very colorful, stylish, and useful flute bags on the market today. I, myself, have a lilac Fluterscooter bag and was fortunate this year to win a Crescendo flute backpack at the NFA convention. I love them both!
  9. The 2021 National Flute Association Virtual Convention. Although the live convention is irreplaceable, this year’s virtual convention was absolutely wonderful! I was so very happy to experience the lectures and performances online this year from the comfort of my home studio. I also really enjoyed having the ability to chat virtually with my colleagues, some of which I have not seen in years.
  10. Youth Solo Competitions. These drove me to be the best flutist I could be when I was young and the best, most supportive judge I can be as an adult. I was fortunate to judge two of these competitions virtually this year and very much enjoyed all of the performances I reviewed and adjudicated. I am constantly impressed by the young talent out there today!
  11. Electro-Acoustic Flute Pieces. One of my very favorite parts of the NFA Convention this year was the gala concert featuring new, interesting works for the flute. Some of the electro-acoustic pieces featured here were wild but very cool! I love seeing the flute featured in non-traditional ways. 
  12. The Flute View Magazine. Shameless plug here: I love writing for this online publication! The Flute View always features fabulous articles highlighting what is new in the flute world and what we can reimagine in the future. I am super proud to be one of their monthly contributors.
  13. Any Video Performance by Jasmine Choi.  Okay, I know we all have our favorite performers and nobody has exactly the same taste, but Jasmine will always be Queen to me. Her performances are #fluteplayinggoals!
  14. Flute Players who Love Astrology. I publish monthly flute horoscopes in The Flute View and I am always grateful for other flutists who reach out and share their own love of all things tarot and astrology with me. I love hearing about horoscopes that come true or how they have come to understand more about themselves as performers by studying astrology. Yay to shared interests!
  15. Flute Players who Understand the Struggle. I am so grateful to have connected this year with flute players who, like myself, have struggled to build their careers along traditional lines. We are not alone! The world needs more flutists who have the courage and tenacity to do something different with their flute lives. Playing the flute does not need to look the same to everybody.
  16. The Bond of Flute Choirs. Playing in a flute choir is fun! I was fortunate to perform with the Professional Flute Choir at an NFA convention a couple years ago and loved it!  The people I met were great and the repertoire we performed was fabulous!  I have also played in local flute choirs for several years and really respect the bonds that are formed when we just play music and have fun. Isn’t that what it is all about anyways?
  17. The Creativity Behind Cleaning Cloths. I know this sounds weird, but have you checked out all of the super fun and useful cleaning cloths on the market these days??? From Sempre Flute to Beaumont, there is a style and fabric for everyone. I love being creative with my flute gear!
  18. Fancy Wood Flute Stands. I have a confession – I had been using cheap, utilitarian, foldable instrument stands since I started playing the flute in 6th grade. I hadn’t updated my instrument stand game until last summer when I invested in one of those super fancy stands with a large wood base and interchangeable flute pegs. I love this set up! Not as light as my old system, but very solid (aka nothing is tipping this one over) and very beautiful.
  19. Free Virtual Masterclasses. I have audited so many excellent masterclasses via Zoom this year that I would have otherwise had to pay beaucoup bucks to attend in person in the days of yesteryear. From Keith Underwood to Carol Wincenc, I have soaked up so many wonderful tips from the experts that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to under normal circumstances.  I hope platforms like this continue in the future!

And finally…..

  • Our industry has survived a pandemic! I know – We aren’t out of the COVID woods quite yet, but isn’t it inspiring to see the ways we have come together to do things differently and survive a very difficult, unpredictable set of circumstances? I am very proud to be part of the global flute community and hope that we can take some of the lessons we have learned during this time into the future.

What are you grateful for in your flute life? Do any of the above resonate with you? Please comment below!

Happy Fluting!

What’s the Frequency, Fido?

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Today’s blog is inspired by my precious English Bulldog, Patty. My husband and I adopted Miss Patty about a year ago. As first-time dog owners, we have been a bit overprotective when it comes to our pup (what she eats, what noises she makes and why, etc.). Prior to adopting Patty, I typically practiced my flute and piccolo in my home office with the door shut, as to not disturb the rest of the household. One Friday a few weeks ago, I moved my practice session to the living room (which has a much higher ceiling and significantly better resonance) while Patty slept in her favorite green chair across the room. As I was belting out a few high C#s, I started to wonder if the sound and frequency of my playing could potentially hurt my pup’s ears. If so, how will I know if she experiences any pain or hearing loss? 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.

So, first thing’s first – There is not very much research on the impact of loud noises on dog’s ears. Bummer! Most of our understanding is based on comparisons with human hearing thresholds as the structure of our ears is similar (outer ear – pinna – ear cannel – eardrum). One of the most significant differences, however, is that a dog’s ear canal is longer and deeper than a human’s, allowing dogs to funnel sound more efficiently than humans. Loud noises may effect dogs in two ways – physical pain and/or hearing loss. As we will see below, is it unlikely that flute music (or piccolo music) will cause a dog physical pain, but hearing loss is a different story. It is important to carefully monitor your dog’s behavior if you are practicing in close proximity. Are they hiding? Are they covering their ears? Are they howling? Dogs experiencing pain will most likely run away from the sound, hide, or cover their heads. If you notice this, you should move your practice behind closed doors ASAP or plan to move your daily sessions off-site. If your dog is howling along to your playing, you may have more than just an adoring fan. The modern dog’s ancestor, the wolf, howls to other wolves in the wild to communicate to other pack members where they are or to warn off other animals from moving into their territory. They also howl to assemble the pack (Patty joins in a similar howl chain when the neighborhood dogs start yipping in the backyard). This behavior is ingrained in a dog’s genetic code. They may be trying to communicate with a sound from what they perceive to be another pack member. Or they may be howling along to something that you can’t even hear as dogs can pick up higher frequencies than the human ear (overtones, perhaps?). Dogs also surprisingly have a sense of pitch and may howl in a different pitch to individualize their own howl against the cacophony of other sounds. If your dog is howling along to Ibert, you are probably okay. If they are covering their ears or cowering in the corner, they are likely experiencing pain. Poor pups! Time to move your practice elsewhere ASAP.

And now for some science – Sound is generally measured by loudness/intensity and frequency (or pitch). Sound intensity refers to the number of decibels a sound emits. A dog barking is roughly 60 decibels while fireworks are around 140-150 decibels. According to the article, Piccolo Playing and Noise Inducted Hearing Loss by Kelly Wilson, The Noisy Planet website (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders) states that any sound over 85 decibels can damage hearing in humans. Again, we don’t have much research on where dogs fall on this spectrum, but it is safe to assume that if it can hurt our ears, it can hurt theirs as well. A sound registering 90 decibels over an 8-hour time period can cause serious damage while sounds at 140 decibels or higher can cause pain and immediate hearing damage. When it comes to sound frequency, according to Pet Dog Owner, humans can hear sounds from 64-20,000 Hz while dogs can hear from 67-45,000 Hz. Sounds can become uncomfortable for dogs around 25,000 Hz. The rule of thumb is the higher the frequency and the louder the noise (or higher the decibel), the more discomfort it will cause your pup.

When it comes to the flute, Kelly Wilson outlines in her article that the flute ranges from 92-103 decibels and the piccolo from 90-106 decibels. Elsewhere on the interwebs (particularly from hearnet.com), this can also range from 85-111 decibels for the flute and 95-112 for the piccolo. These are both above the 85 decibel threshold for potential hearing damage. As far as frequency, the flute ranges from 262 Hz to 2096 while the piccolo can reach up to 4096 Hz. Although these are not comfortable frequencies for humans, they are within the comfortable ranges for dogs.

All dogs are different. The science suggests that our flute/piccolo playing is unlikely to cause physical pain to dogs but the decibel level may eventually lead to hearing damage. Some dogs may also have behavior or emotional sensitivity to certain sounds. Again, it is important to monitor your dog if you practice in the same room or nearby. If they are experiencing pain, stop your practice immediately and relocate to another safer location (possibly off-site). If they seem cool, you are not necessarily in the clear as they may eventually experience a degree of hearing loss. Protect your pet if possible, and practice in another room. If they howl along to your sweet flute tunes, don’t panic – It’s just in their nature to sort out pitches and differentiate their voice from Bach’s. An after-practice treat is also a good idea (Patty’s note).

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Do you practice in close proximity to your pet? Does your pet howl along to your playing? What other behavior does your pet exhibit while you practice? Please comment below.

Happy fluting!

Rampal’s Astrological Chart

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday!

In honor of Halloween, today’s blog will be a departure from the normal discussions of the shoulds and should-nots of flute playing (or if either of those things are even necessary anymore). We are going to have some fun with astrology! As many of you may know, I publish a monthly flute horoscope column for The Flute View (check out your horoscopes here if you are curious what the stars have in store for you:  https://thefluteview.com/sections/dr-gs-flute-horoscopes/). I find astrology to be fascinating and, at times, somewhat comforting (particularly if the world is spinning in directions that I do not understand). I always like to remind my readers (and my tarot clients) that I am not a witch or Voldemort, so please keep this in mind as you read today’s post. This is all for entertainment purposes only! I use astrology and tarot merely as a tool to understand people, places, things, and circumstances a bit better while also seeking creative solutions to problems I may have not yet considered. Okay, disclaimer over. Now upward into the stars!

Today we will be discussing Jean Pierre Rampal’s astrological chart.

Jean Pierre Rampal was a legendary flutist and teacher, inspiring generations of flutists not just on traditional French flute playing techniques, but on how to truly be an international flutist icon. Rampal was, has, and will always be #fluteplayinggoals (as the kids say). He began life as the son of flute teacher (Joseph Rampal) and was somewhat of a prodigy. He began playing the flute at the age of 12, eventually studying the Altes Method at the Marseille Conservatoire where he would go on to win first prize in the school’s annual competition in 1937 at the age of 16. Although quite talented at an early age, Rampal was encouraged by his parents to attend the Marseille Medical School to become a doctor or a surgeon (aka professions with a bit more stability than music). That was short-lived, however, as he was drafted for forced labour in Germany during the Nazi Occupation of France in 1943. He instead fled to Paris where he avoided detection by frequently changing his lodgings. While in Paris, he studied flute at the Paris Conservatorie with Gaston Crunelle, winning the coveted first prize in the conservatorie’s annual flute competition in a short four months (1944). Rampal received his big break in 1945 following the liberation of Paris, when he was invited by composer Henri Tomasi, conductor of the Orchestre National de France, to perform the Ibert Flute Concerto on French National Radio. In 1945 terms, Rampal essentially went viral! Thus began a series of performances, first in France in 1947, then in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. He joined the Vichy Opéra orchestra in 1947 and later served as principal flute at the Paris Opéra (1956-62). He joined the faculty at the Paris Conservatorie in 1968 (and needless to say the flute-playing world has not been the same since!). On the chamber music scene, Rampal founded the French Wind Quintet in 1945 and the Baroque Ensemble of Paris in 1953. Some may suggest that his popularity was in large part due to his expansive list of recordings (like a YouTube superstar before the days of the interwebs). Rampal was also well-regarded for his authentic interpretation of 18th-century music, editing several works by Baroque composers. His autobiography, Music, My Love: An Autobiography was published in 1989. Rampal died of heart failure on May 20, 2000 in Paris, France at the age of 78. French President Jacques Chirac led the tributes, saying “his flute spoke to the heart. A light in the musical world has just flickered out.” Flautist Eugenia Zukerman observed: “He played with such a rich palette of color in a way that few people had done before and no one since. He had an ability to imbue sound with texture and clarity and emotional content. He was a dazzling virtuoso, but more than anything he was a supreme poet.”

He was to many of us (myself included) the penultimate master of flute playing!

So, astrologically speaking, was there anything written in the stars that suggested he would be the best flutist in the World? Let’s look a bit deeper into some of his placements to answer this question.

For my fellow astrology experts, here is what Rampal’s natal chart looks like:

And what some of his primary placements are:

Let’s start with some of the basics:

Rampal’s Sun Sign was Capricorn. The Sun represents who a person is at the very core of their personality. Capricorns are extremely hard-working and realistic. They have the ability to act on their ambitions with the fire of an Aries but stick to it with the persistence of a Virgo or a Taurus. Capricorns get things done correctly and on time. They demand recognition for a job well-done and do not spend a lot of time on things they may find frivolous. They like to pare things down and often take pleasures in the simple things in life but appreciate quality rather than quantity when it comes to their surroundings. They may be a bit stubborn sometimes, but it is usually with a personal goal or good cause in mind (some may call this “strong-willed.”). Dependable, honest, responsible, and a very hard worker. Rampal clearly meets all of these Capricorn bench-marks just by looking at his long and successful career. When he was interested in something (such as Baroque music), he worked incredibly hard to edit the score and perform all of the details with the sensitivity of a master craftsman. That takes a degree of grit and persistency that often alludes other signs.

Rampal’s Moon Sign was Aries. The Moon represents how we deal with emotions. I sometimes like to think about the Moon as the personification of the whispers we hear in our own heads at night. How do we deal with the way we feel? A Moon placement in Aries suggests that Rampal may have loved to live in the moment. Whenever there was something he wanted, he would likely make it happen ASAP. Efficiency and speed are two very important values to people with this Moon placement (which we can hear just by listening to his 16th notes!). These folks do not waste time and do not like to wait for things to happen. They are quite independent but rarely sulk if they do not get their way. They just move on to the next thing!

Rampal’s Mercury was in Capricorn. Mercury represents the way that we communicate. For musicians, this could even be tied to the way that we communication non-verbally through our music. We have already discussed many of the general characteristics of a Capricorn, but when it comes to this Mercury placement, it suggests that Rampal appreciated structure and order in his communications (and in his music – which would explain his interest in editing Baroque compositions). Folks with Mercury in Capricorn are resourceful, reflective, and deep thinkers – they notice everything! Although this placement may lead to some skepticism and sarcasm, they do still possess a very sharp sense of humor (even when explaining the flute to Miss Piggy on the Muppet’s Show – Still one of my favorite clips of all time).

Rampal’s Venus was also in Capricorn. Rampal had a lot of Capricorn in his chart! This explains so much – always hardworking, reliable, dependable, and prolific. But at the core a flutist with clear convictions. Venus represents how we love. A person with Venus in Capricorn wins us all over by showing us their responsible side. We can trust them no matter what! They are goal-oriented, witty (I dare you to find a masterclass video where he was not witty!), savvy, and self-controlled. Nobody can get the best of them. They may not be all puppies and rainbows all the time like a Cancer, but rather enjoy to win others over by showing them how practical and realistic they can be when it matters the most.

Rampal’s Mars was in Scorpio. Mars represents how we take action (or how we get things done). As a Scorpio Sun myself, I can spot another Scorpio from a mile away! Scorpios like to get to the bottom of whatever it is that interests them. They throw themselves into activities with concentrated energy and incredible willpower. Tell us that something cannot be done and we will find a way to prove you wrong! We will research tirelessly for hours, or in Rampal’s case practice all of the things until they are completely transformed into something better, but will do so quietly and away from others. You will never see us sweat – we are calm and collected to the outside world. Didn’t Rampal prove to his parents that he could not only thrive as a musician (rather than a doctor) but indeed become the best flutist on Earth? Very Scorpio in Mars!

And Finally,

Rampal’s Jupiter was in Libra. This is a beautiful placement. Jupiter represents luck and grace. Someone with Jupiter in Libra attracts good fortune by being fair-minded. They treat others with equality and are fantastic promotors and mediators. They value relationships and find it comforting to relate to others. They use charm and grace to achieve all of their goals. This speaks to Rampal’s approach as a teacher. Generous and altruistic, he was a sensitive teacher that knew how to listen to others. A dreamer with a fantastic imagination – This is how he will continue to inspire generations of flutists now and in the future.

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Do you enjoy these astrology-based blogs? Is there another composer or performer that you would like me to discuss? Are there other ways that you believe Rampal embodied his astrological placements? Please comment below.

Happy fluting and Happy Halloween!