ENCOURAGING INDIVIDUAL MUSICIANS
One of the most wonderful things about the world of music is
that there are limitless ways in which one can “be” a
musician. We each have a contribution we can make to the musical
discourse, and an important part of your work as a student is to
explore and envision what your path in music can be. Flute study at
Memorial can be part of many diverse life paths.
I feel that my job as a teacher is to inspire you to reach beyond what you thought was possible, to work harder than you thought you could, and to achieve your very best. Since each student is unique, I try to maintain flexibilty in my teaching approach so that each individual is both challenged and supported. A common goal I have with all my students, however, is to help them learn how to teach themselves by encouraging close observation, active curiosity and creative problem solving. In lessons students are just as likely to find me asking them questions and soliciting their observations as offering suggestions.
CRAFT AND ART - OR, A FLUTE LESSON
I often tell my students that they must develop both the craft
of being a flutist and the art of being a musician. Like a fine
woodworker, a flutist must have a very well developed set of tools
with which to work in order to shape into beautiful phrases what
is, after all, just a vibrating column of air. These tools include:
efficient breathing; resonant, flexible sound; gorgeous vibrato;
vibrant tone colours; excellent pitch discernment and control;
assured finger facility; facile articulation; healthy physical
alignment. Lessons emphasize the development of these tools through
a healthy diet of exercises and etudes.
In addition, flutists develop the art of fine musicianship by studying a broad range of repertoire (including orchestral excerpts, piccolo works, and early music) suitable to their current level of development and degree/career goals, by listening to live concerts and CDs, and by participating in large and small ensembles.
The studio meets weekly in a masterclass setting in which flutists perform for each other and get feedback from their peers and instructor. Sometimes masterclasses focus on a particular topic or issue and take the form of a seminar in which all participate.
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