Flute Vibrato: Breathe Life into your Flute Playing

Do you feel like your flute playing lacks that ‘something extra’? That it’s sounding flat and lifeless and no matter how technically well you play a piece, it’s just plain uninspiring? The breathing technique called ‘flute vibrato’ is one of the main ways in which a flute player can add tone colour, intensity, emotion and life to playing. Using the vibrato technique in the appropriate musical pieces at the appropriate times is a skill expected of players as they advance
Continue Reading

13 Flute Practice Mistakes you Might be Making….

As flute players that are learning online at home, it can be easy to slip into some bad habits that ultimately make flute playing more difficult for you. I’ve had a brainstorm, canvassed the crowd and collated some of the most common practise mistakes that beginners (and certainly even long-time players) make. Only a few are made out of deliberate laziness (and I’m calling you out of them folks!). But many of them you may not even realise you’re doing,
Continue Reading

The BEST flute player you’ve never heard of…

I’m a big believer that the more flute music you listen to, the better flute player you’ll become. There’s something quite exciting about discovering a new favourite flute player or a genre of music that features the flute in a way you didn’t know possible! Actively listening to another flute player can benefit your own playing journey and appreciation for music in so many ways.Here’s how… check You develop a better internal sense of rhythm. First, you may start with
Continue Reading

Don’t Let These Three Reasons Sabotage Your 2018

Another year has passed us by and a new one is just around the corner. It’s around this time that we reflect back over the past year’s goals, where we succeeded and fell short, and look towards the potential of the coming year. We all like to get the most out of life, but for some bizarre reason we have a habit of only planning our dreams and goals out once a year in a New Year’s Resolution. An estimated
Continue Reading

Italian Musical Terms: A matter of Style

Italian musical terms that describe a playing style or mood can be used at the beginning or throughout a piece of music. A piece might have only one mood described for its entire duration, or sections might have different moods that change regularly back and forth. These musical terms help to create a mental picture for the player, cultivating other aspects of playing such as the appropriate flute tone, tempo and articulation that should be used. Some commonly used Italian
Continue Reading

Tempo Markings (speed) and changes of tempo

At the beginning of each piece the initial tempo (or speed) of the piece is usually indicated using an Italian word. Overall, there are no strict speeds when it comes to tempo markings. But since the invention of the metronome, often a recommended speed (in beats per minute) is indicated for you. The larger the number means the faster the speed of the music. 120 beats per minute is twice as fast as 60 beats per minute and so on
Continue Reading

Dynamics in music (volume) and changes in dynamics

Dynamics in music refers to the volume markings used by composers as an element of musical animation. Whether it be the peaceful ebb and flow of waves on the sand or the triumphant shout of a returning warrior, volume can be an effective means of communicating a story or a mood to the audience.  Some of the common Italian musical terms and symbols for dynamics in music are given in the table below. Adding this element into your music playing
Continue Reading

Articulation in Music

Articulation in music refers to the playing method used to transition between notes. These transitions can range from smooth and connected (legato) to very detached and separated (staccatissimo). Just like when we are speaking and emphasise certain words, different combinations of articulation in music helps to communicate a story with a mood or feeling behind it. Imagine, if you were telling someone “I love you.” You wouldn’t pronounce those words short and sharply, almost spitting them out. You would (hopefully)
Continue Reading

How Flute Scales Can Transform Your Playing

Just mentioning flute scales to a student can make them shudder! It’s a shame, but so many players waste valuable practise time blundering through their scales as quickly as possible. But given the right care and attention, scales have the power to contribute to your flute playing in a way you never knew possible! By learning scales you are learning the language of music. And by making your flute scales beautiful, the pieces you play will automatically reflect this beauty.
Continue Reading

The Flute Tuning Crash Course for Beginners

As a beginner, you might not know that your flute technically needs to be tuned every time you play it. But what does it mean to be ‘in tune’ and how do we do it?? This blog will get a bit scientific and look at how ‘sound’ works, explain why tuning is important, what affects it, and includes my personal step-by-step video guide to flute tuning. How sound works Musical instruments produce many sounds (musical notes) that each have a
Continue Reading