Have you ever gone to Google and typed in something like…
– Can you learn to play flute online?
– What’s the best online flute course?
– How do you make a sound on the flute?
– What notes should you learn first on the flute?
– What are the best songs for beginners to learn on the flute?
If the answer is yes to any (or all!) of these then you have come to the right place.
Hi, my name is Christie Gallen, and I’m so glad you are reading this page! I’m the founder of theflutecoach.com and I’m a passionate flute player. I’m also a mother, wife, part time PhD student, scientist, lover of zombie movies and Stephen King novels. I’m also passionate about equipping people to reach their fullest potential, including my own. Out of that desire to suceed, theflutecoach.com was born in 2016.
What’s The Flute Coach all about?
The reasons I created this website are actually two-fold.
Firstly, I simply saw a need. Thousands of adults were looking for a way to learn flute that suited their lifestyles and met them where they were at. The Flute Coach is not a website for flute experts, but a resource specifically tailored to adult beginner players that
- Simplifies playing concepts;
- Educates but doesn’t overwhelm players;
- Breaks down barriers that otherwise prevent people learning (such as cost, a lack of time, or living in a remote location without a local flute teacher);
- Provides an inclusive and inspiring community to learn in; and
- Genuinely wants to help people reach their individual flute playing goals.
Striking out on your own to learn flute online can leave you feeling a little lost. I can relate first-hand when I was returning to playing the flute after a hiatus. Finding the right learning tools was time consuming. And that made me think… How much more confusing would the online learning process be for people who were just starting out? You don’t even know what you don’t know! And so I set about creating useful content for beginner flute players to provide them with a one-stop knowledge hub that would walk them logically through the journey of learning to play flute.
Secondly, building this website and community was about me achieving some goals of my own. Namely, returning and immersing myself in the flute world that I loved, improving my own playing abilities and creating and managing my very own website. This website has been a labour of love that I’m really proud of. Particularly considering I created the majority of it while on maternity leave with my first baby. Every chance I got while baby was sleeping I was writing articles, recording video lessons, answering questions and learning how to refine my website to make it the most effective learning platform it could be. It’s been a steep learning curve, downright tricky at times but mostly a lot of fun watching my project grow!
I knew I wanted to do something that added to people’s lives, that helped them realise a dream (all the while they were helping to fulfil mine!) or help them learn a new skill that would benefit them in mind, body and soul.
I first began flute lessons as an excited nine year old in 1994. My parents encouraged my siblings and I (I have two sisters and a brother) to participate in lots of extra-curricular activities. They recognised early the benefits of building self-confidence, teamwork, setting and achieving goals, healthy competition, managing challenges or disappointment and stimulating our brains in new ways. They spent endless hours in the car ferrying us all around to our various activities – ballet, gymnastics, violin lessons, band practise, flute lessons, soccer practise…. Looking back, I don’t know how they managed!
My parents took a risk and bought me my very own flute (a Yamaha 100 series that I still own today). They must have been sweating on whether their $800 investment was going to be worth it! But once I began flute lessons I knew I had found something that would ‘stick.’ (My parents breathed a sigh of relief). I took to the flute naturally, practising dutifully and improving ‘bit by bit’.
When beginning high school I was given the opportunity to join a Music Specialisation Program. I had reached my first ‘big’ audition. I still remember it today. I was very proud of myself. I looked through my little exercise book and picked a song at random to play (I still remember the tune). I practised and practised it until I thought it was perfect. Waiting outside the school music room I remember growing more and more nervous. Finally I was ushered into the room and a very important-looking music teacher was there. I took a deep breath and launched into my song, playing it as fast and loud as I could. I think the whole process lasted about 60 seconds! Long story short, I was successful (although I received some constructive criticism too)!
This was the turning point in my life where flute playing really took off.
The important-looking music teacher became my trusted advisor and private flute teacher for the next 6 years. Joining the music program during high school was one of the best life decisions I’ve made. It was endless fun – bus trips to local music eisteddfods, hanging out with old friends and making new ones, performances big and small. By the end of high school in 2002 I received the Music Subject Prize. During these years I had progressed to principal flute in the orchestra and concert band. I had also auditioned for and been accepted to play in the State Honours Band run through Griffith University’s Young Conservatorium of Music program in 2001 and 2002.
I excelled in my flute studies and completed Australian Music Board Examinations (AMEB) for Grades Three, Five and Seven. I began working towards Grade Eight as I commenced my University studies in Biomedical Science. However as the demands of study grew, I decided to play casually instead whilst teaching private lessons with local primary school students. I found that teaching was also a great way to keep learning.
In 2006, I moved cities to pursue an Honours Degree in Chemistry. So I took a break from playing as I learned to live away from home and financially support myself. For the next ten years, I worked in the scientific research industry and began a PhD part time. I pulled the flute out on occasion for a jam session but lamented how my skill level had dropped off without regular practise. In 2016, after working for ten years and coinciding with going on maternity leave with my first baby, I decided that this would be the perfect time to spend improving my flute playing, which I explored online. I had also begun a digital entrepreneur course with guru Derek Gehl (as if I wasn’t busy enough with a baby on the way!). While spending hours sifting through random videos during my flute practise one day, the idea to apply the skills I was learning in my course with my knowledge and passion for music finally ‘clicked.’ The exciting journey of developing theflutecoach.com was born!
You’ll see from my blog articles that I bring a little of my scientific background with me into the music world. I make a point of delving into the peer-reviewed literature to bring a perspective about the flute and flute playing that you may not have come across before. I don’t just say something or present another random opinion – I back it up with carefully considered research or the tried and tested experience of professional players. I give credit where credit’s due and fully reference my articles. My learning is not over yet either. As I read and research for my articles I always find there is something that I benefit from as well.
Well there you have it. That’s the story of me and the story of The Flute Coach. It’s my sincere hope that I can help you along your flute playing journey.
Dream big, practise hard, believe in yourself and most of all enjoy all that beautiful flute music.
To your playing success,