Frequently Asked Questions
- Your clean and well-maintained flute! In lessons, I will teach you how to take care of your flute. Please bring your cleaning rod and cloth to each lesson. If you find mechanical issues with your flute, I can recommend repair shops that can have it back to working quickly and affordably.
- Your music, preferably in a folder or binder.
- A pencil for marking your music and taking notes.
- A journal/notebook. This will be used for making notes on what to practice for your next lesson and to keep track of comments and goals on your music. This is also a good place to put your practice log!
- Optional: A recording device. Students can find it helpful to have a lesson recording to listen back to. This would also be used to record examples and exercises for students to play along with and emulate.
Every lesson begins with a warm greeting and a brief recap of the previous week:
- How was it overall? What went well? What was frustrating? What was the coolest/best/most exciting thing you accomplished?
Followed by a look forward into next week:
- Do you have any big projects or obligations that take priority? How can we make sure you have a manageable amount to work on during the week?
We start with a warm-up, usually long-tones and scales.
- This will mirror the beginning of a practice session and is a great chance for me to see how much your sound and technique is improving! We'll often play these together, especially for beginning musicians, so students have an example to copy.
After a warm-up, we work on etudes.
- Etudes are musical exercises, putting difficult technique in the context of beautiful music so artistry is never taken away from learning music. Depending on the student's level and how quickly they learn music, we may cover 1 etude a week, bi-weekly, or over a month. Beginning students will learn the etude in lessons with me, with the student practicing their fluency at home. More advanced students are expected to learn and practice the etude at home and have it ready for adjustments and corrections in a lesson.
Following etude work, the student will play the pieces they have worked on during the week.
- These pieces can range from music being played in school ensembles, Disney music, duets, and concert works, such as Sonatas and Concertos. Advanced students will also work on orchestral excerpts, and audition and competition repertoire.
Each lesson ends with assignments for the upcoming week.
- This often includes a new etude or piece, as well as the amount of time to dedicate to each portion of the practice sessions. These assignments are written down in a notebook or journal either by me, the student, or a parent so that they're not forgotten.
After any last questions or reminders, the lesson ends!
In lessons, we'll cover:
- Scales, chords and theory
- Etudes and studies
- Exercises for flexibility, dexterity, and stamina
- Music for your school ensembles
- Important works from composers like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart
- Audition music for local and regional ensembles, and competitions
- Duets and ensemble playing
- Music You Know, including pop, holiday music, and movie/tv show soundtracks
- New music by still-living composers
- Come prepared with your flute, music and a pencil, and have eaten recently. I recommend bringing water.
- Please don't use phones during lessons. My phone will be silenced and put away to maintain focus, and I ask that the same be done for students and their parents. If there is an emergency and you need to be contactable during a lesson, please let me know.
- Parents/Guardians are welcome to sit in on lessons! I have a chair in my home studio where you can sit during the lesson if you'd like. This can be useful if you want to take notes or be involved in your child's practicing. If you chose to sit in, I ask that your cellphone is silenced so as not to distract your child.
- If you'd rather not sit in the room with us, you are welcome to sit in the living room. I have an open-door policy, so you can still monitor the lesson if you'd like, but don't have to be right there with us.
- You are also welcome to drop your child off for lessons, provided you are able to pick them up promptly at the end.
- Regular practice is essential for growth on a musical instrument. The goal is 5 days a week; 20-45 minutes each day for beginner to intermediate students, 60-minutes or more per day for more advanced students. This time can be broken up into manageable chucks as needed, especially for students doing more than 20 minutes a day.
- Keep a practice log and fill it in every time you practice! I'll show you how to set it up. It's useful for keeping track of progress and focusing practice sessions.
- Parents, encourage your children to play for you! It can be helpful for parents to monitor or guide practice sessions for young students, and performance opportunities, even before or after dinner and for family and friends, can help reduce performance anxiety and nerves!
- I believe that learning music should be fun! No matter your ability level, musical goals, or age, I will work to make sure you are happy and enjoying the process of learning music - we are more motivated to work when we are passionate about the subject. Music is hard work, so bringing happiness is always helpful.
- If learning Disney songs, movie soundtracks, or duets motivate you, we'll add them to our repertoire!
- Practicing is only useful if you're focused. Depending on the length of your lesson, goals, and ability level, you will be instructed to practice for a certain length of time. This time is a rough estimate. I will teach you how to structure your practice time to meet your weekly goals and assignments and help you become self-motivated and precise. Accuracy and repetition are ultimately more important than time spent!
- Tone is the foundation of the flute. Your tone is your musical voice, and it takes work to be refined and beautiful. Every practice session should include tone work.
- Rhythm and note accuracy go hand-in-hand. The right note played at the wrong time is the wrong note!