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A Four Day Flute Escape: Beach-style By Melissa Grey

A Four Day Flute Escape: Beach-style By Melissa Grey How many times have you shared your career as a musician and heard, “I used to play the flute in high school!” or, “My grandchild plays the flute,” or my favorite, “So what is your real job?” As a musician, a genuine concern that I had was becoming someone who would also set aside the flute, turning my back on the music that touched my heart throughout my life. Yet, I found, growth opportunities...

An Interview with Robert Dick

An Interview with Robert Dick We recently had an opportunity to ask world renowned flutist, performer and composer Robert Dick about his upcoming Contemporary Flute Week. With so many summer masterclasses, workshops, camps and musical opportunities to experience, find out what makes this event stand out from the others. For more information, visit https://www.robertdickcontemporaryfluteweek.com/ FS: What is the focus of the week?   RD: New music for flute and how to learn and to teach extended techniques.  So often, when flutists discuss the new,...

A Tale of Two Series by Mark Sparks

A TALE OF TWO SERIESby Mark SparksOrchestral Excerpt Practice Books And Exploring Sound: Tone Development Through Orchestral RepertoireI have recently began to publish two series of books: 2 volumes of an Orchestral Excerpt Practice Book series, and 2 volumes of Exploring Sound: Tone Development Through Orchestral Repertoire.Each volume addresses a particular piece, or orchestral excerpt. It has been a fun, at times consuming, and interesting project. I have quite a few additional volumes for each series cooking in my computer,...

What a Flute Concert Can Do by Linda Mintener

What a Flute Concert Can DoBy Linda MintenerIn 2007, flutist Linda Mintener organized a flute concert at her church to support two desperately poor Chinese orphans that did not have funds to get an education. Linda learned about the orphan children from her longtime friend who was a missionary in China for many years. When that first concert generated enough donations to send five orphans to school for a year, Linda and her church decided to make the concert an...

Low Flutes on the Rise! by Chris Potter

Low Flutes on the Rise! By Chris Potter Alto, bass and contrabass flutes pose unique challenges in the areas of breath control, tonal response, intonation, transportation issues, sheer physical size and, locating appropriate quality repertoire. Resources are developing to help the growing number of low flutes players find solutions to these and other problems. Here are examples of resources you can explore to find answers to your questions: 1) the Low Flutes Facebook group has 1700 members who are generous with their knowledge, experiences...

Dolphin Serenade by Linda Sue Boehmer

Dolphin Serenade:aka My Kingdom for a Cameraby Linda Sue BoehmerOff season adventures await visitors and locals who are willing to think outside the seasonal box. Weather on Hatteras island is unpredictable in every direction, including unseasonably warm, calm days after Thanksgiving.On one such day I found myself fulfilling long held dream of playing my flute for the dolphins I so often admire from our deck. I am an enthusiastic amateur flutist, playing my flutes in concert and in unusual venues. I purchased a waterproof Nuvo...

A Flute in My Refrigerator by Helen Spielman

October 2018A Flute in My Refrigerator by Helen SpielmanI was so in love with the flute that I couldn’t contain myself; I played with such joy, I talked about everything flute with so much enthusiasm, and then….I wrote about my musical life, too. I expressed struggles with my teacher, the hilarious antics of my students, what it was like to perform a concert in a prison, and the incredulous experience of watching James Galway record a CD with the London...

An Epidemic of Pain by Dr. Lea Pearson

AN EPIDEMIC OF PAIN There is a terrible epidemic hiding in our profession: more than 75% of musicians are injured or play in pain! In our flute community in particular, neck, back, arm and shoulder pain is rampant. At recent NFA workshops in Orlando, participants created this group picture to show where it hurts when they play. Does this picture resonate with you? Are you frustrated by upper body tension when you play? We can break through these limitations and recover the ability to play with...

Spider Log by Danilo Mezzadri

SPIDER LOG by Danilo Mezzadri This article is a follow up to my presentation for the National Flute Convention regarding the use of the SPIDER LOG. This short article outlines a couple of ways in which you could use this system to boost your practice routine and keep yourself on task. SPIDER LOG is as an interleaved practice system that provides graphic feedback of progress. It is designed to be simple and effective. With a few instructions you should be able to manage your practice...

Flute Amplification by Melissa Keeling

My very first gig happened to be the first time I played flute into a microphone. I was in the eighth grade and had been asked to perform at a church service. Standing behind the microphone felt incredibly daunting, as if every tiny error would be magnified. I had no clue how to position the microphone or where to stand in relation to it. Though the service went fine, it took many years of playing with microphones before I felt...

Demonstrating Physics with Flutes – June, 2018

Demonstrating Physics with Flutes Prof. Bryan Suits, Physics Department, Michigan Technological University Over the past decade or so I developed and teach a college level course called “The Physics Behind Music.” The course combines my interests in basic science and in music and is intended for students who normally take few science courses as part of their curriculum. To try to make the physics more accessible, there are a large number of in-class demonstrations. Two of my favorite demonstrations involve a...

Flute Choir: Beyond the Basics by Gail Green

Flute Choir: Beyond the Basics by Gail Green   You might be thinking, how do I start a flute choir or how to transition being the new director of an established flute choir.  It starts with 3 basic guidelines:   Plan Communicate Responsiveness    Plan – Organized planning before the first rehearsal will help with team building and trust. Listen to other flute choirs and get inspired and gather ideas.  Flute festivals and Youtube are great resources. Name the flute choir.   Find a place...

Perceptive Flutist, Master Teacher

Perceptive Flutist, Master Teacher The student stands at the front of the room, playing a Bach sonata. The teacher stands several yards away, eyes closed, listening intently. “You’re holding your ribs,” the teacher says. “Try allowing your ribs to release before you start the note.” The student thinks for a moment and tries again. The sound she makes is instantly bigger, freer, rounder. The setting is the serene Holy Cross Monastery on the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie, New York. The student is one of many who come to...

6 Weeks to Finals by Sharon Sparrow

6 Weeks to Finals by Sharon Sparrow   “Wow, that was the best I’ve ever played!” Those are the best 8 words strung together I can think of to define what success really means! So, after you’ve repeated them at least twice, let’s get to work and learn how to turn those words into your next audition or performance reality! Preparation! No one, not even Yo-Yo Ma, could say those words with real belief without having put in the preparation time and steps necessary. Preparation begins...

The Joy of New Beginnings

  by Amy Rever-Oberle, Band Director   Whether direct or indirect, there are many musical representations of the concept of “joy.” You can probably think of a few of either example quickly. Pieces or moments that you can’t help but smile. That raise the hair on the back of your neck. Maybe they even bring about stealthy onion chopping miscreants and you suddenly find yourself with teary eyes. Sometimes, all of these things hit you at once. I’d like to submit another example...

Interview with Jeff Zook- July 2017

An Interview with Jeffery Zook                     by Heather Neuenschwander    On a perfect 75 degree late summer morning in Michigan, I recently had the honor of sitting down with the talented and charming Jeffery Zook, flutist and piccoloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 1992. I looked out upon the beautiful, perfectly manicured garden in the backyard of his home The Cambridge Conservatory, sipped a delicious cup of coffee he had so generously offered me,...

Volunteer at NFA- May 2017

Volunteer at the NFA Annual Convention By Kate Blair   The NFA is looking for volunteers to help out at the 45th Annual NFA Convention. In case you’re not familiar with the convention, it’s a four-day event packed with everything flute, including performances, workshops, masterclasses, presentations, a flute industry trade show, and much more. It’s an inspiring event that leaves attendees invigorated and ready to put all their new knowledge to work in performance, teaching, or whatever their passion may be. This year,...

A Flutist’s Summer Reading List- June 2017

    A Flutist’s Summer Reading List   By David Buck   Principal Flute, Detroit Symphony Orchestra        There’s nothing better than relaxing with a good book on a lazy summer afternoon. As an avid reader, I look forward to the summer every year because I know I’ll finally have time for the books I’ve missed out on during the busy winter season. I have met many musicians who enjoy reading as much as I do, but surprisingly few who go out of their way to read books...

Native Flutes and Extended Techniques- Spring 2017

Native Flutes and Extended Techniques   By Alberto Almarza   "Music is the sum total of scattered forces… it has been turned into a speculative song! I much prefer the notes coming from the flute of an Egyptian shepherd: he contributes to the landscape and hears harmonies ignored by our treatises…" Claude Debussy, 1901   The flute is one of the most varied and widespread instruments in the world, going back tens of thousands of years in many societies. As a result of the multiple types of...