Archives for Practice

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

Flute tone colours: How to Find Your Flute’s Voice…

So you’ve managed to make a sound on the flute. Fantastic!! But now there’s more work to do!  Your sound or ‘flute tone’ needs to be refined to become clear and focused. And this means for every note and over all dynamic ranges! Good flute tone is often one of those things kicked to the curb by beginners, simply in their excitement to learn new notes and start playing melodies. However, months or even years of playing without an understanding of
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