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…

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….

Organizing Recital Preparations

Trying to prepare for a recital can be an overwhelming process. Whether you are a student planning a junior or senior recital or a professional who is trying to balance recital preparation with other duties, careful planning will ensure that the event goes smoothly. First, it’s important to choose your program carefully. I usually have…

Two Types of Students (and the non-practicers)

As I was teaching today, I realized that there tend to be two types of applied students in my life. A student can move from one category to the other over time, or it’s possible for a student to stay one type for their entire time with me. Where that student falls is probably a…

Flute Lesson Grades!

As a college professor, one thing that can be difficult for me to assess at the end of the semester is how much progress my students have made in the preceding 14-or-so weeks. When grades are tied to assessing this progress, it makes things even dicier. Feelings, scholarships, and progress towards their degree completion makes…

Practice Tips

The following was a result of a handout I put together for a workshop. More detailed information can be found about these topics in separate blog posts on this site.   Establish a solid practice schedule:  Actually block off time in your schedule designated specifically for practicing. Avoid using it for lunch, socializing, homework, errands,…

Technique stuff

If  you are interested in following along with Sir James Galway as he overhauls his technique, check out the following video. He has issued a “Practice Challenge,” where flutists from presumably around the world will all be working out of the same technique book. He will be using Marcel Moyse’s Daily Exercises book. I will…

Practicing Difficult Sections

What do you do when you’ve practiced that one difficult section over and over and over again, and it still isn’t right? It’s not fast enough, or smooth enough, or loud enough, or … It can be really frustrating when you’re making an honest effort to improve but you aren’t seeing results. Next time you…