Life-Changing Lessons

A few days ago, I had a lesson with one of my teachers, Christina Smith. I half jokingly mentioned on Twitter later that afternoon that it had “changed my life.” But after some reflection, maybe it did in a small way… Since I am no longer in school, I have to grab lessons whenever my…

Recent Collaborations

One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to collaborate with all types of musicians on different projects. Recently, I’ve had the good fortune to work with players here on my home campus, in the community, and in the region. My first collaboration this academic year was with my dear friends from…

Woodwind Pedagogy

One of the classes that I teach each fall is Woodwind Pedagogy. Most of the students who take this class are music education majors, and this specific class is one of their degree requirements. The goal is to have each student reasonably proficient on three different woodwind instruments by the end of the semester, which…

National Flute Association Convention 2013

It has been a while since I attended the annual National Flute Association convention, but I just returned from the one held in New Orleans from August 8 – 11. The convention is simultaneously overwhelming, exhausting, and inspirational. I performed and presented during this particular convention, saw a lot of friends and colleagues, attended as…

Circular Breathing Progress

A couple of years ago, I made an attempt to learn circular breathing. It was a frustrating process and I didn’t stick with it, so I didn’t become proficient at the technique. It was probably a decent introduction to the idea but I’m not sure how much benefit I got from that initial failed attempt….

Summer Schedule

During the summer, I usually focus on technique. Every day, I play through large portions of Taffanel and Gaubert’s 17 Daily Exercises and Moyse’s Daily Exercises. I also reacquaint myself with old etudes and learn new ones. This summer, I’m taking a different approach. I’m working mainly on repertoire because I’m optimistic that I will…

The Glissando Headjoint

I recently purchased a Glissando headjoint, which is a relatively new piece of flute “gear” invented by Robert Dick. If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s one of the preeminent performers of contemporary music. He’s active as a performer, a composer, and a teacher. This headjoint slides out from its home position to create a…

Spring Break Visit to the National Music Museum

Over Spring Break, I made a visit to the National Music Museum, which is on the campus of the University of South Dakota in the small town of Vermillion, population approximately 10,000. Despite it being “Spring” Break, it was quite a cold day. I didn’t have much trouble finding the museum. It appears to be…

Review: Powell Sonaré Piccolo

This week, I’ve had the opportunity to try out the new Powell Sonaré piccolo, PS-750. This new instrument has been available for about 6 months now. I had the pleasure of seeing it when it was introduced at the British Flute Society convention last summer but wasn’t able to spend an extended period of time…