How Can I Be a Better Flute Player?

Written by: Sarah Farkas

MY FAT QUESTION:

How can I be an extraordinary, concert ready, more skilled, professional sounding, flute player that is more advanced in correctly recognizing the flats and naturals in my music pieces quickly, as I play?


HISTORY OF THE FLUTE

Flutes are very old and have been around for a long time, said to have been around from about 35,000 to 43,000 years. The oldest flutes were started in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. But flutes haven't always looked the same as most do now. Flutes when they were still a new musical instrument didn't always look the same as today's shiny, light, silver flutes we see today. Even in the Indian era, the Indians played wooden flutes, decorated with feathers and other decorations. You can still find some today in festivals and stores. (I used to own one). A flute dating all the way back to 900 b.c. in China was called the ch'ie. Even back in 200 b.c., pre-Christians had wrote drawings of the early flute that appear in Greek and Roman Artifacts. The flute is and has always been a special instrument used for many centuries, and has kept changing during the years.

ABOUT THE FLUTE:

The average flute is about 67 centimeters, depending on foot joint and whether it has a b joint or a c joint.

The flute has 3 parts: The head joint, the body, and the foot joint.

The flute is used a lot as a solo instrument in orchestras, bands, and flute choirs.

The flute can sound high and penetrating, or low and spooky. I doesn't depend on the notes but it's how you blow and how big the hole in your mouth is the make a high or a low sound. The following flute notes are notes that can sound high or low with the same fingering (That I know):

  • B flat
  • B natural
  • F
  • G
  • A flat
  • A natural
  • If you blow stronger, with a smaller hole in your mouth: you will get a higher noise. If you blow softer, with the hole in your mouth a little bit bigger: a low noise.

WHAT DO I KNOW?

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I know how to play all the notes except for a couple. I sometimes can make a professional

sound, If I am reminded to stay tuned, but I can't always.

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WHAT DO I WANT TO KNOW?

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I want to be able to recognize change in

flats and naturals quickly, and make a better sound.

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HOW DO I FIND OUT?

By practicing more than I already do and studying the notes I have trouble with.

FLUTE TIPS I LEARNED:


  • If you sit up straighter and hold your

flute up high and straight, you will get

a better, tuned sound.


  • If you pull out the mouth part of the

flute a little it will sound better.


  • On the left side of my music, a

spot tells you whether the notes

are natural or flat.

(I just need to learn how to read the signs on the side better)


  • Making the hole in your lips smaller will support a more

tuned sound.


  • Record yourself-- I have learned over the years in band that you might not sound exactly how well you think you do. Only the people around you will notice more clearly. If I record myself, I will be able to hear what other people hear when I play.

WHAT ACTIONS AM I GOING TO TAKE:

  • In band class I am going to hold my flute up higher and straighter.
  • I am going to practice playing my naturals and flats and knowing when to play them.
  • I am going to study the side of my music pieces, so I know exactly what kind of notes I am supposed to be playing.
  • Practice more- I practice a decent amount, but I feel like I should be practicing more at home so I sound better in band and am more prepared to play what I need to play in my private lessons.
  • Goal for home: practice my flute for at least 15 minutes on days I bring my flute home. When I practice, not only practice the songs in my book, but also sheet music we play in band, so I am ready for the band trip this month.

A QUESTION I STILL HAVE:

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When should I practice my flute at home?

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ANSWER:

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I thought a good idea would be every other band day. Meaning each week on a b day or d day and some weekends.

I believe that if I had a more thought out schedule, instead of just telling myself to try to practice that week, I would get more practice done and not forget.

I think that I need to commit more time to practicing my flute.

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I PROMISE....

I Sarah Farkas, promise, that I will follow through with my schedule I have planned out and I will use the following tips that I learned I could use through my passion project:

-Hold my flute up straight and high

- Make a small hole in my mouth as I play

- Pull my mouth piece out a little bit each time I play

- And record myself every once i a while.

And I promise to use these skills in my concerts, in band class, and as I practice.