Earlier this week, I was perusing new flute music collections at my local instrument shop while my husband, an avid drum enthusiast who often likes to “shred” in our garage, shopped for a new kit. We, of course, were located on opposite sides of the store – Me in Orchestra Snob Land surrounded by walls of beautiful violins while he jammed in Cool Kid Land, adorned with walls of electric guitars in all shapes, sizes, and colors and walkways lined with various other intense-looking rock band equipment. It made me pause for a moment – Why are the classical and rock genres so often separated from each other (both physically and psychologically)? Are there ways that we can bridge the gap between the two worlds? Luckily for flutists, a way has been chartered via beatboxing. “What the heck is beatboxing? Is this some weird new fad the kids made up?” you may ask. Yes and no, but one thing is clear – It is definitely here to stay. 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.
What is it? – According to Wikipedia, flute beatboxing is the “production of stereoscopic flute tones (producing two separate sounds by humming while blowing into the flute) combined with vocal percussion and aural prestidigitation (slight-of-ear).” Uhm, okay… Sounds like a science experiment or a magic trick, right? To put it more simply, flute beatboxing is really an integration of flute playing and percussive techniques. Needless to say, it requires the utmost coordination.
The Basic History – The group RadioActive has been credited as hosting the first ever beatboxer on the pan flute (see video below), but others suggest that Tim Barsky was the first beatboxing flutist as evident by a 2001 recording (below) that resurfaced in 2006 (thanks YouTube!). Shortly thereafter, flute beatboxing went viral when performer Greg Pattillo released two very important, well-known flute beatboxing videos: Inspector Gadget and the Super Mario Brothers Theme. These two videos still hold the most views of any flute beatboxing videos on YouTube, Inspector Gadget at 31 million views and Super Mario at 26 million views. According to NoteStem, the “combination of a culturally popular melody, hip-hop style rhythms, and the apparent virtuosity of the technique led [Inspector Gadget] to be a popular video among many..” https://www.notestem.com/blog/flute-beatboxing/ Check these videos out below! I must admit that I posted both of these to my MySpace page back in the day. He is still considered by many as the best flute beatboxer in the industry today. I am definitely a Greg Pattillo fan for life!
The Key Performers –
Tim Barsky – Barsky is originally from Boston, Massachusetts and is now based in the Bay Area. A graduate of Brown University with a degree in Islamic and Judaic Religious Studies, he also studied at the Berklee School of Music with Chasidic folklorist and archivist, Fishel Resler. Barsky was trained as a Jewish storyteller and his theatrical works have put him front and center in the Bay Area theater scene. His theatrical piece, The Bright River, achieved cult status in the Bay Area and he was awarded the Gerbode Playwright’s Grant in 2007 for his work, Track in a Box, a hip hop and circus-based play. A former line-producer for the Burning Man Arts Festival, Barsky is a member of the Hybrid Project at San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts and has taught beatboxing in San Francisco juvenile facilities. Serving as both the Artistic Director of City Circus (2007-2010) and Co-Founder of Vowel Movement Beatboxers, he has been featured as guest lecturer at The Royal College of Art in London, Stanford University, Oberlin College, and appeared as featured speaker at the American Press Institute.
Greg Pattillo – Greg Pattillo was originally from Seattle, Washington and is now based in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Times has described him as “the best person in the world at what he does.” Holding Bachelors and Masters degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Pattillo studied with Joshua Smith, principal flute of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Pattillo was the founding member of the Collaborative Arts Insurgency and the 16th and Mission Thursday Night series for performers in San Francisco. In June 2007, Pattillo was named one of 21 winners of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s “Music Under New York” Program, giving him an official permit to play music in the New York City Subway. In May 2010 he premiered a Concerto for Beatbox Flute by Randall Woolf with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra (video below). He currently performs with Project Trio, a flute/cello/bass chamber group featuring Eric Stephenson on cello and Peter Seymore on double base (check out their videos here: https://www.youtube.com/c/freedomworksfilms).
Other Key Performers include Nathen “Flutebox” Lee who performs with groups such as The Prodigy, Asian Dub Found, and his band The Clinic. Check out his video below (so cool!):
Pattillo’s Beatboxing Notation – Greg Pattillo has created a notion system for flute beatboxing that adds a staff-less percussion line below the flute line using letters to indicate basic beatboxing sounds. For example, the bass drum sound is indicated by a letter “B” and back beat kicks by the letter “P.” This system is based on notation used for drum kits, specifically those relating to the hi-hat, snare rimshot, and bass drum. His method book, Beatbox Flute Method Book, can be purchased from the Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company here: https://www.flute4u.com/Pattillo-G-Beatbox-Flute-Method-Book.html. If you are looking to expand your beatbox study even further, Tilmann Dehnhard has also published a beatboxing etude book, available for purchase here: https://www.musiciansupply.com/shop/c/p/Flute-Beat-Boxing-Tilmann-Dehnhard-x17245091.htm
Do you beatbox on the flute? Interested in learning more about this style and its origins? Want to join the Greg Pattillo fan club (obviously yes!)? What are your favorite beatboxing videos? Any good tips on getting started with beatboxing? Please comment below!
Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! Since this is a holiday weekend here in the States, I thought we might do something fun today. 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. Please let me know if you enjoy it (either by commenting below or sending me a direct message: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please Note: All polls close on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 11:59pm. I will discuss some of the results in next week’s post.
I have been working on a book for well over three years now. A majority of this time was also devoted to a full-time day job, which made finding time to practice in between these, and all of my other life responsibilities, quite difficult. As I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a rough draft of my book, I can begin to find my way back to regular flute practice. Optimistic? Yes. Intimidated? Also, yes. I am like an athlete that has traded in burpees for burgers – Completely out of shape and in need of some newfound practice motivation. My story is not unique. Many of us, for one reason or another, fall off of our flute practice routines and struggle to get back on the horse. We need a plan to get back to our full flute playing awesomeness (or at least a few tips to help us get back on track). 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.
GETTING BACK INTO FLUTE PLAYING SHAPE
First things first – Schedule a clean, oil, and adjust (COA) for your instrument. Fighting an uphill battle with an instrument that has fallen into a state of disrepair is like strapping 10-pound weights to your ankles before climbing 20 flights of stairs. Totally avoidable. Fix those leaky pads and troublesome keys. Make your flute play perfectly before you dive into regular practice routines again.
Block out specific practice times in your weekly schedule and commit fully to those practice times. That means no phones, no TV, no internet, no distractions of any kind (unless emergencies, of course). Find a place where you will not be interrupted and bring only the exercises and repertoire that you intend to practice for that session. It is very easy (and tempting) to pull up an old, easy favorite that you love but that does not necessarily challenge you. Getting back into shape also means getting out of your comfort zone.
Build up practice durations slowly. You don’t need to begin with a grad school 4 hours per day. In fact, that is the best way to burn out and burnout will likely lead you to abandon ship for Netflix and wine. Start with 10 minutes. Then 20 minutes. Then 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes is comfortable, practice 30 minutes every day for a week before upping your routine to 45 minutes. This makes practicing seem totally doable and not a huge commitment when you are starting back up after a break.
Keep a practice journal. No, I don’t mean just a list of how much you practice each day (like we all did in middle school for our band directors). Keep an actual notebook on your music stand with your goal(s) for the day, things to work on, ideas that spring up while you are practicing, what you are struggling with, what you enjoy, and any wins you have during your session.
Set a single challenging, yet achievable, goal for each practice session. Note that I said a single goal – not 40 different goals. This will help keep you focused during your session and help build back your skills gradually. More than one goal may be overwhelming and, if you are a perfectionist (like myself), not achieving every goal on your list may be discouraging during an already discouraging time. Start small yet realistic.
Meditate before each practice session. I know what you are thinking: Why be a buzzkill with a meditation before jumping into some Taffanel and Gaubert? Remember that embarking on a new daily routine will activate your inner critic who will no doubt tell you lies like, “you are too out of shape,” or “how did you let this happen??” or “you will not get back to your former glory.” Uhm, SHUT IT, inner critic! A simple guided meditation for 5-10 minutes will help clear your mind and give your inner critic a time out. Perfect way to start your session with a positive growth mindset. Remember, you are building your skills back (better than before!), not simply hopping into a musical time machine.
Start with technique. I know – It sounds crazy. What about long tones??? What about scales?? Don’t worry – they’re next! This is a bit of a mind trick and some clever musical motivation. Find your etude books and play through various exercises from a couple of mid-range difficulty collections. The Karg Elert 30 studies, Op. 107 or the Furstenau Grouping of Keys are good options, but you may select others that better fit your ability and skill level. Technical exercises will work out your fingers muscles and help your brain remember standard melodic patterns such as scales and arpeggios. This is your starting point. You will be able to identify exactly what your limitations are now and energized by the new challenges that technical studies provide. If an exercise is too difficult, find an easier one and work up to the more challenging etudes. Be patient with yourself and use this time to identify clear future goals.
Next, move on to harmonics. Harmonics are great for reconstructing your low register from scratch. There are a number of great etude books on the market that dive deep into harmonic exercises (future blog topic FYI) but as you are just starting back up the best ones to practice are those on page 6 of the Trevor Wye Practice Book on Tone. Simple, straightforward, easy to memorize. Make these a part of your daily warm-up routine and your low register will be in great shape in no time!
Long tones – Start with the middle register. Playing in the middle register requires less work from your embouchure, which you will be strengthening back up gradually. Again, Trevor Wye’s Practice Book on Tone is a great resource because it contains separate sections for the low, middle, and high registers. Once you’ve spent some time refining your middle register, move on to the low register exercises (if you’ve been practicing your harmonics on the daily, this register should be sounding good and ready to work more closely on). Save your high notes for later – these require more gymnastics from your embouchure.
Octaves. Once your long tones are in good shape and your harmonics are kickin’, add a few octaves to your daily routine. Start on a low G and make your way to a middle G, high G, and higher G, and back down before moving chromatically up the chain to a G#. Remember to let your embouchure do the hard work and avoid relying on your air to play in higher registers.
Redefine your vibrato. After taking time away, your vibrato may be all over the place. Add some simple vibrato exercises to your daily routine. My favorite exercise was taken from a Keith Underwood masterclass in my youth and is as simple and as useful as they come. Begin with a middle/high range B natural and descend chromatically for four notes (B natural, Bb, A, Ab), placing 8 beats of wide vibrato on each note. Then begin again on a Bb and follow the same patten descending chromatically four notes, but this time with 7 beats of vibrato on each note. Repeat starting on an A with 6 beats of vibrato, Ab with 5 beats of vibrato, G with 4 beats of vibrato, and Gb with 3 beats of vibrato each. Start again with 8 beats of vibrato on F and continue the same pattern into the low register. Really listen to your vibrato and work to create a vibrato that is integrated into your sound rather than one that sits on top of the sound.
Become better friends with Taffanel and Gaubert’s 17 Daily Exercises (especially Exercise #4). This is the best exercise to play to redevelop your articulation chops again. Start with slurs only so your fingers know where they are going. Then practice your “too”s (single tonguing), both tenuto (connected) and staccato (short). Next, move on to your “coo”s to strengthen the back of the tongue. Finally, practice your “too-coo”s (double tonguing) on all of the scale patterns. Make this a daily habit (they are called “daily” exercises, after all).
Schedule days to focus only on intonation. Why? Because working on intonation is frustrating (let’s be honest). Schedule periodic days where you patiently work with your tuner on intonation. What are your natural tendencies for each note? How can you counteract these tendencies (ex. aiming your air differently, using more/less air, etc.)? Be patient with this process. Mastering intonation is tricky but an essential part of flute playing.
Add improvisations to the end of each practice routine. As you are packing your music up at the end of your routine, spend a couple of minutes improvising. Play from your heart. This is what music is all about anyways! Walter White has created some very fun tracks to improvise along with if you need a little improv inspiration: https://walterwhite.com/product-category/wwshop/walterwhitelongtoneaccompaniment/. I highly recommend these if you are new to improvising or just want to make it a bit more fun.
Record yourself. I know it is intimating. Recordings are mirrors for your ears that you may not want to look into. But listening to yourself on play back is the best way to identify things you can work on (and even things you don’t even know you are doing). If it is scary, keep it short in the beginning – a couple minutes here and there. Once you are comfortable analyzing your sound on an audio recording, move onto video recordings using your smart phone’s camera. This will give you even more information about how your posture changes when you play and if you are holding yourself in ways that may be detrimental to your flute playing.
Dig out those old lesson notebooks and look for great gems of advice from your past teachers. You saved these, right? There may be a few very helpful tips buried in there that you completely forgot about. Or reoccurring tendencies in your playing that you can work on now before you fall back into bad habits. Learn from the past!
Set some performing goals. Okay – don’t freak yourself out at the beginning. The beginning is for restructuring your fundamentals and technique. But as you become more comfortable with the practicing process, add a couple of short term and longer-term performance goals to your radar. Perhaps you’d like to perform a recital in 6-8 months or audition for a local orchestra in the Fall and a not-so local orchestra come Spring. Write down your goals and anticipated deadlines. What are the action steps needed to make these into reality? Take the first step!
Watch and and listen to the pros. Spend some time on YouTube watching performances from your favorite professional performers. What can you learn from them? How do they make seamless tone color changes? What does their articulation sound like? Can you emulate it? What are they playing? Is there a great new piece that you could add to your repertoire? Take notes.
Attend free (or nearly-free) online masterclasses. These are great for gathering new ideas from the pros, often for a very nominal fee! These also provide good opportunities to ask questions from the experts and connect with other flutists in the chat box. The Chicago Flute Club features many of these types of masterclasses in the Fluting with the Stars Series: https://www.chicagofluteclub.org/page-18172
Take a couple of lessons from professional flutists. These can be formal lessons or not-so formal get-togethers (for example, if you are already at a professional level, you may ask another professional flutist to listen to you perform an etude or piece of repertoire and request some honest yet constructive feedback). Private teachers can help give you some great advice and help you with any specific challenges you may face. They are also great at suggesting ways to structure your practice routine to best work for your individual needs.
Look for new fundamental exercise books. There are new etude books published every day! Once you are comfortable with your good, old standards, look into newly published books to freshen up your routine. Check out Flute World for some great new options or simply spend some quality time on Google. Or, you know, email me for suggestions (of course)!
Speaking of adding something new to your routine, find a new interesting piece to work on. Working on a new piece is a great challenge and adds a bit of newness to your routine. Flute boredom is cancelled! Listen to a few recitals on YouTube or out in the world for some great new ideas or hit up your local flute community for some recommendations.
Always celebrate your wins! As you make progress, reward yourself for any wins. This could be mastering a new piece, performing an audition, or recording a video of your playing from start to finish. Rewards could be new flute accessories or concert tickets to a local orchestra. Whatever motivates you to achieve your goals!
Have you fallen off your flute practice routine? What techniques help you get back to your best flute playing life? Are there any tips listed above that work well for you? Are there any missing from this list? Please comment below!
Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! This week’s blog will be similar to last week’s discussion on recommended etudes that isolate certain flute playing challenges. One of the items on my own list of New Year’s flute resolutions is to tighten and improve my trill game. Although they seem so basic, it is super easy to fall into the trap of playing lethargic or uneven trills. Why? Because they are often ignored. How many times have you simply wrote “faster” above a trill in your music to fix a faulty trill? Did it work? Or were you simply putting a band-aid on a larger problem? (*I am definitely guilty as charged!) 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!).
Dr. G’s. Top Five Trill Etude Recommendations
Taffanel and Gaubert’s 17 Big Daily Finger Exercises for the Flute, Exercise #17. If there was ever a Gold Standard trill exercise, this would be it! This exercise takes you through all trills from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high (or at least a top octave C – trills beyond this are rare). Make sure you have a great resource handy to look up trill fingering for some of the third octave ones that receive less air time (like high A’s and B’s). There are several fingering charts available online but I always like to have James Pellerite’s A Modern Guide to Fingerings for the Flute within arm’s reach. Taffanel and Gaubert remove all other technical obstacles in this exercise so you many focus solely on the evenness of the trills themselves. Take notes as you practice these. Which ones are easier than others? Which tend to be naturally slower and/or uneven? Slow them down and speed up gradually.
Koehler’s Eight Studies, Opus 33, Exercise #8. Word of warning – this one is a doozy! Koehler’s exercise takes us through a variety of different durations of trills, some with grace notes, some without, some with accidentals and some with virtuosic runs extending into upper registers. This etude requires you to figure out how best to place your trill into the context of larger and (much) smaller beats. Take it slowly at first to work out all of the ever-changing accidentals. Make sure not to linger too much on your trills that there is no space for the grace notes that follow. Strive to keep your trills virtuosic but still controlled and even.
Robert Cavally’s Melodious and Progressive Studies, Page 52-53, Andante “Exercise on Trills.” The name says it all – this is a trill exercise! This is a much more melodic, toned down version of the Koehler exercise. Featuring dotted rhythms, the trills in this etude are primarily quarter notes (with a few eighth notes thrown in for variety) and feature very few grace notes. This is a good one to practice in preparation for the Koehler. What I love about this etude is that it is short and can be practiced on a regular basis (dare say, even from memory for an extra challenge). I also like that it features trills in the middle and lower registers, which often naturally sound a bit more lethargic than high register trills. This is a great exercise for working on these “tubby” registers.
Theobald Boehm’s 24 Melodious Studies, Exercise #15.Now that you have mastered some of the more technical examples of trill playing, Boehm will ask you to play your trills with grace and beauty. This exercise features trills of a variety of durations, including dotted eighth trills at the beginning and toward the end of the page. Like the Koehler, it is important not to linger too long on the shorter trills that you take rhythmic space away from the notes that follow. Above all, keep your trills even yet lyrical. Sing these trills! Dolce after all means to play “sweetly.” How sweet can you make your trills?
Furstenau’s Groupings of Keys (Ed. Marcel Moyse), Exercise #21. This exercise is essentially a cadenza. Your trills, therefore, typically lead into a virtuosic line for you to perform your best technical gymnastics. What your trills need here is energy. Of course keep them even. Of course keep them spinning. But now also add a bit of flavor! I like to think of these trills as the fuse that is ignited on a firework. Quiet, sustained anticipation leading to an impressive light show! The quality of your trill will heighten this anticipation but also help show your audience where the line is leading. Experiment with tone colors here. It may be marked “pp” but ask yourself how you can add a bit of sparkle to your trill using your sound. Be creative and think outside of the trill box!
What is your favorite trill exercise? Do you have a favorite exercise that is missing from this list? Do you have any great tips to work on trills? Do you struggle making your trills even? Please comment below!
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/.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?!)
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 theymarried 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.
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!
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/
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!).
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!