Helpful Tips

3 Things That Will Take Your Flute Compositions To The Next Level

by Eric Lacy No Substitute for Hard Work An aspiring composer was working on some music he was writing for a small orchestra. After several months of composing, he reached a point of frustration with the outcome. When his teacher looked at the score, he assessed the music as being above average. However, he insisted that if his student wanted to improve the weakest parts, he would have to work on it. Well, the student took those words to heart and he...

Motivation vs. Inspiration

By Chelsea Tanner As a mindset coach I get asked very often, “How can I stay motivated?” Motivation is tricky and it is something I’ve been thinking a lot about. It is literally coming up with motives or reasons we believe in and are compelling enough to take action. Now, this can be positive OR negative. You can tell yourself “I’m really not good enough, I need to practice.” This will motivate you, but will it sustain you? Is that a sustaining...

Vibrato Tips for Performers of All Ages by Chris Potter

Exactly what is vibrato? On the flute, vibrato is a change in the pitch and dynamics of a note that is created by a controlled fluctuation of air speed. Vibrato adds expression to a note, and that fluctuation needs to be controlled by the player. Many people discover they have an unpredictable air supply; this is caused by tension in the throat randomly compressing the air as it passes by. This tension results in jerks and spikes in the sound....

Online Lessons, The New Reality?

by Danilo Mezzadri I am writing this article in an attempt to help those of us who are confronting the new reality of another semester of online lessons. I am basing this article on my own successes and failures during this past spring and summer semesters. Together with many other musicians around the globe, I have been teaching and performing exclusively online. As many of us know, that is not an easy task. After many experiments, I believe I have reshaped...

How to Know It’s Time to Upgrade Your Instrument by Heather Neuenschwander

We all know that moment. That inkling in the back of your mind. The doubt in your head as you practice and study and sometimes even as you perform. That thought you have when you’re struggling to accomplish a goal in your lessons or in the practice room. That question: Is it time to get a new instrument? Have I reached that point where my old flute or piccolo just isn’t going to cut it anymore? For teachers, this can be...

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...

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...

NFA Internship Program by Dr. Kimberlee Goodman

  NFA Internship Program by Dr. Kimberlee Goodman I attended my first NFA convention in the summer of 1993 in Boston.   I went to the convention and was completely overwhelmed by the sights and sounds.  The following summer, attending as a seasoned expert, the convention was held in Kansas City and I decided to volunteer my time as a door guard.  I really loved contributing and feeling like a part of the organization. In the year 2000 I was finishing up my master’s degree...

The Magic of Moyse by Dr. Cate Hummel

The Magic of Moyse by Dr. Cate Hummel   In his long career as a performer and teacher, the flutist, Marcel Moyse (1889-1984), influenced many musicians around the world. From Europe to the US and even to Japan, there are musicians alive today who studied with Moyse and pass his musical tenets on to their students. He always credited his own teachers, Paul Taffanel, Philippe Gaubert and Adolphe Hennebains for teaching him these principles. Moyse was mindful of the legacy of his teachers...

Merging Cultures Through Music by Carmen Marulanda

Merging Cultures Through Music    From an early age we've familiarized ourselves with foreign music: ethnic, urban, ancient or contemporary music from other cultures, yet our instrumental techniques, our learning methods have remained relatively static, repeating the same exercises and patterns for decades, and even centuries.   Diversity is a motivating force; a creative, renewing source of ideas and concepts when the origins of these ideas are understood and respected. As soon as we understand that we can actually participate and learn from these...

Alto Flute: Choosing a Curved or Straight Headjoint by Dr. Christine Potter

Alto Flute: choosing a curved or straight headjoint By Dr. Christine Potter People who are interested in purchasing an alto flute must make a decision whether to get a curved or a straight head joint. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and people should try each design before deciding. Most entry-level altos can be purchased with either head joint or both head joints. If you are a flute choir director purchasing an instrument that several people will use, I suggest getting an...

“How to” Flute Repair Video Series

  Introducing...      Our "How to" Flute Repair Video Series!   We have recorded and released six videos on repairs that flutists can do themselves at home. Some are just temporary repairs to get you through that impending performance or rehearsal. Others are small tasks you can do on your own that will save you a trip to our shop.      You can access the entire series on our website for FREE!    Or access the videos individually here:   1. How to Fix a Loose Headjoint 2. How to Fix a...

Orchestral Etiquette by the Entire DSO Flute Section!

Orchestral Etiquette      by The Entire DSO Flute Section!  We recently asked the Detroit Symphony Orchestra flute section for their tips on orchestral etiquette. Their responses were informative and very amusing! Enjoy!     David Buck, Principal Flute      1) There's nothing more distracting than seeing someone turn around and stare when you're playing a big solo in band or orchestra. No matter how great your colleague may sound, never turn your head back to watch or see who's playing--not in a rehearsal, and never in a...

Purchasing a Piccolo by Nan Raphael

April 2014    Purchasing a Piccolo by Nan Raphael [email protected]   While the repertoire for piccolo has increased exponentially in the last few decades so have options for those who are ready to purchase a new instrument. There are many more choices in all price ranges for buyers than there were even 15 years ago. In addition, many improvements have been made in the scale, headjoint cut and design, padding etc. The intent of this article is not to recommend specific brands but to broaden awareness...

Flute Choir Fun by Paula Buermele

January 2014   Flute Choir Fun by Paula Buermele We are all familiar with musical ensembles ranging in size from the duet to the symphony orchestra. We listen to many combinations of instruments and vocalists creating beautiful sounds that please our ears, lift our spirits, and stir our emotions. The flute choir is an often hidden treasure in the musical ensemble world. When I mention that I play in a flute choir, people are often surprised and intrigued that flutes come in more than one...

A Flutist’s Guide to the Fall Season by John McMurtery, D.M.A.

A Flutist’s Guide to the Fall Season John McMurtery, D.M.A.   Autumn is my favorite time of year. The cooler weather, crunchy leaves, and football games contribute to its unique appeal. If you are in school, you might be preparing for marching band shows and competitions, but it’s not too early to start thinking about concert season if you haven’t already. Here are some ideas to help you prepare.   First, make sure your instrument is in good working condition. Playing your flute or piccolo...

Performance and Audition Tips by Sharon Sparrow

February 2014 It’s that exciting time of year again filled with auditions, solo and ensemble presentations and competitions! There are many things I’ve learned in my many years of teaching, coaching, and judging events and chose these following tips to help you succeed and do your best in this exciting month! PREPARATION is the key! I could tell you every trick in the book for the day of your performance, but nothing is as important as the many hours of preparation you MUST...