Jen Cluff ~ Teaching the flute

Canadian Flutist and Teacher





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High School Student asked to teach beginner

High School Student asked to teach youngsters The following articles appear on this page as well as in PDF for printing. A full question/answer on Jen's blog, on this very topic is also of interest.

I. For a Highschool student taking on a 9 yr. old beginner flute for the very first time

II. Typical problems in flute students who've had inadequate instruction

III. Things for parents of young flute students to know:


I. For a Highschool student taking on a 9 yr. old beginner flute for the very first time:
________________

Q: How should I teach this youngster? What kind of things should I be sure and cover? What things can I let slide for the time being?
____________________

A: Here are some ideas that shouldn't be missed:

- How to assemble and disassemble the flute by holding only the smooth parts of the tube and not bending the keys and rods

-How to know where to line up the headjoint and footjoint (put stickers on---if they fall off, clean with some alcohol to remove finger grease first)

- Where the fingers of the left hand go: put on stickers with names of notes if you need to

- How to breathe so your belly button goes OUT, and your shoulders stay down and relaxed (bellybreathing)

- How to play with no footjoint and the right hand on the barrel (if the flute is too heavy for her. The right palm faces away from you.

- How to tongue by saying "tu tu tu" while holding a long note.

- How to play many simple tunes using very few notes at first.

- How to keep a steady beat while clapping

- How to figure out songs you already know by ear; (simple songs/carols, school songs etc.) this will usually lead to the student wanting to learn more notes.

- How to read simple music

- How to play along with a CD (if the book of pieces is easy enough)

- How to set up a music stand at the right height

- How to sit or stand (little kids are often better at concentrating when they're sitting, but they need to keep their bodies TALL while they sit.). Sitting flutists should have chair angled at 45 degrees to the right, so the right elbow isn't anywhere near to or hooked over the chair back.

______________________

What can I "let slide" for the time being?

- Don't worry too much about hand position especially on a little person. Her G-finger hitting the edge of the keys might because of her size.

- Don't worry about great tone. Tone work comes later after a year or so of daily playing. The student will often improve their own tone after imitating you so play back and forth all the time with them.

- Do remind about breathing and posture every chance you get.

- Do put the emphasis on fun first!!! Kids this young (unless very serious and studious) only like things that seem fun and make them laugh and gives them tunes that attract their ears.

- Do get help from your own teacher with week-to-week questions you have. You can't teach what you don't know yourself.
Good luck, Jennifer Cluff
_____________________
Aug. 03 Flutenet:
Some argument arose over whether highschool students SHOULD teach beginners. The theory that most of us abide by, is that you should have a mentor flute teacher who is assisting you each week, at your own lesson, and teaching you HOW to teach. Here are some suggestions in that area, in order to avoid the common faults that arise in self-taught junior flutists:
________________________
Dear Flutenetters, we have been discussing how to avoid the typical problems that flute students develop without proper teaching.
Here is a list of flutey problems and how to avoid them:
_____________________
Re: Typical problems in flute students who've had inadequate instruction:
__________________________________
It might be educational for other flute-playing highschool readers to know what the common flaws are in youngsters who've never had private lessons on the flute before.

I previously decided NOT to write such a list, as it would lead to someone thinking they were qualified to teach by simply checking down a list of Do's and Don'ts, when most of us agree that it takes several training years to understand the typical problems of the flute student.
But since we all feel strongly about this topic (using your own teacher as an overseer or mentor to YOU when you first take on young flute students) this kind of list might be edifying.

Please feel free to keep adding to this list, as I'm sure to forget some of the common flaws:
_________________
II. Typical problems in flute students who've had inadequate instruction:
__________________
1. Problem:
Flute put together wrongly causing angular and uncomfortable arms and fingering positions, bent necks, distorted embouchures, and hand-arm strain. Difficulty with changing notes rapidly results especially when moving to fingerings where all fingers are up (flute wobbles and becomes unstable)

Solution: Teach to assemble correctly using stickers or nail-polish blobs as markings. Ask own teacher to explain the various set-ups that are common and how they relate to physique.
For more info. On this see:
lineup.htm
_______________________
2. Problem:
Flute keys leak and flute is difficult to play due to bent keys and rods from rough handling during assembly and disassembly. See video on the correct method to put flute together to avoid damage and future repair problems. When the flutist has been assembling incorrectly the keys of low C and C# are most likely to be affected due to footjoint being difficult to hold touching smooth tube only.

Solution: Flute may need slight or extensive repairs. Teach to grasp only non-moving parts when assembling. Have your own teacher go over the method of putting flute together and care of tenons, joints, keys and pads.
Also see:
care.htm
________________
3. Problem:
Flute pads destroyed by overzealous polishing, lack of drying out after use, or use of "pad papers" or other home-made means of getting them to stop making "sticky noises".

Solution: Flute may need to be repadded before it can be played.Teach to avoid cleaning or pad abrasion, and how to avoid pad wear and tear by careful swabbing and regular visits to repair-shop at least every 1-2 years. See articles on flute care at above link.

________________
4. Problem:
Student's posture is very poor either putting all the weight on one foot while standing, leaning the torso over in any direction, poking out the hips, standing too straight (too tense), curving the neck downward, poking head forward etc.

Solution:
Have your teacher take you through the stages of proper flute posture (like a singer) and give you pointers and corrections on each area of the body so that you can explain using the best imagery
for children/teenagers. Also see:
posture.htm
___________________
5. Problem:
Tone production is weak and fuzzy. Embouchure is distorted, off-center, constantly changing.

Solution: Ask own teacher to show the steps of a developing embouchure and how to gradually assign exercises that build up both the discriminating ears of the young student, and also the fine, lip-area muscles. Usually staying in the low register for long held notes is a good stabilizer (longtones)
Embouchure development is also made far more difficult if any of the above problems exist numbers 1 to 4 above.
______________________
6. Problem:
Wrong fingerings/sloppy fingerings. Student does not look up fingerings on a fingering chart or doesn't own one.

Make sure they have access to printed fingeringcharts.

Most common fingering errors:
- INCORRECT: Fingering D2 or Eb2 (middle register) with left hand index finger left down.
-INCORRECT: Fingering high register notes using middle register fingerings and blowing very hard
-INCORRECT: Insisting on only one Bb fingering when there are three choices of Bb and various situations in which to use them.
-INCORRECT: Using middle-finger F# instead of ring-finger F#
-INCORRECT: Letting the Ab/G# pinky dangle below the Ab key and then having to hurriedly lift it up when an Ab suddenly appears in the music.
-INCORRECT: Leaving the right hand Eb/D# pinky key off unless there is a good reason to do so.
-INCORRECT: Having the footjoint put on at such a strange angle that reaching the right-hand pinky keys causes the whole hand to strain and pull out of position
-INCORRECT: Trying to force yourself play an open-hole inline flute when you're a complete beginner or a very small person/have very small hands or very long fingers, large palms.
-INCORRECT: Leaving the thumb on for high G and G# in the top register.
- INCORRECT: Trying to trill using REAL fingerings when a good solid trill fingering exists (I've actually seen band-teachers teach REAL fingerings for C to D trills.)
- INCORRECT:Leaning the fingers on the rods and trying to move tips of the fingers only instead of whole finger moving from the palm-knuckles.
Correction:
Have your own teacher show you the correct hand position and common flaws and their corrections.

Supply fingering and trill charts that are easy to read and have your young beginners learn to look up fingerings on them from the very first. Refer the student to the chart each time they ask you for a fingering to insure they continue to use it daily for their own research.
Downloadable fingering charts can be found at:
fingering.htm
____________________
7. Problem: Misuse of the Tongue.
Typical problems:
- No tonguing; student uses "hoo hoo hoo."

- Indistinct tongue strikes: Student uses: "thoo" "dwoo" or "rooo" or other indistinct syllable.

- Anchor tonguing: student leaves tip of tongue anchored behind lower lip, or behind lower teeth and attempts to tongue using middle of the tongue humped up like a camel

- Student breathes between every tongued note

- Student insists on playing double or triple tonguing (want to play at difficult band-levels) even though their tone production is very poor and notes sound fluffy and indistinct

Solution: Have your own teacher go over "how to teach tonguing" with you, and show you typical problems and solutions. When you teach children, start with longtones first, then add simple "Tu tu tu" strikes during a longtone, and finally, after two years or more, teach other syllables. But the child should use a simple, clear and well-defined "Tu" for quite some time before expanding into other more complex patterns.

See additional tonguing solutions here.
_______________
8. Problem: Flute student breathes too shallowly, runs out of breath too soon, has weak or diffuse tone.
Solution: Have your own teacher teach you breathing and how to insure good breathing in a younger student.
Also see:
breathe.htm
____________
9. Problem:
Student can't read music.
Solution: Have your own teacher go over how to teach simple-music-reading.
_____________
10. Problem:
Student does not play with steady rhythm.
Solution: Have your own teacher go over how to teach simple rhythms in clapping, dancing, speaking syllables, pre-singing rhthms, and how tos on using metronome, and other rhythmic exercises. There are remedial rhythm-specific books listed on the net and in various educational sheetmusic catalogues. Look up titles, and ask for recommendations.
____________
This should be enough to get most people started on thinking about what it takes to become a student teacher. Other flutenetters please add more insights if you've the time and inclination . I will add them to the list above.

Jen :>)
______________________

Another thought; It might be practical to make a mental note of things to let parents know when their small child is first taking up the flute. Here's a list I'm stream-typing (as is my nature) so other teachers feel free to add on or correct.

___________________________
III.  Things for Flute Parents to know
___________________________
1. Renting a good quality instrument is a good idea until you determine whether your child's interest will sustain. Repairs etc. should be the responsibility of the rental agent's.
2. Buying a flute (2nd hand good if you're on a budget) is best done under the supervision of a professional flute teacher to protect you from "lemons".
Also see:
buying.htm
3. Sheet music purchases, flute CDs, (and flute repair costs if applicable) should be factored into the budget of flute lessons. Put aside (or have the child earn through their own labour) at least $20 per month for sheet music and avoid using photo copies as they undermine the sheet music availablity from publishers in the future.
4. A music folder is relatively inexpensive and keeps sheet music in good condition in backpacks and lockers. A heavier cardboard one with reinforced corners is recommended ($10 to $16)
5. A basic metronome is usually required by the 2nd year of flute study. Yamaha makes one that's under $30.
6. A wire or metal (foldup) music stand should be tall enough for the child to read the music with their chin at normal height. Be careful not to purchase too short a music stand, as children are now becoming quite tall very early on.
7. Having music playing in the home (during meals, chores or relaxing hours) is the BEST single thing you can do to develop your child's interest in music. If you use the radio (there are quite a few non-commercial stations esp. if you enjoy classical music) this facet of their education comes at no cost.
8. Having a parent interested enough in music to either play an instrument themselves, or buy tickets to live musical events is the second most important thing a parent can do to foster a family interest in music. Look for free or inexpensive concerts using local news media and local arts organizations if on a tight budget.
9. Practicing sessions are best in 20 minute segments. If they are scheduled, choose a time when the child is fresh (not too tired) and perky with interest. If the child is scheduling his/her own sessions, talk about which time of the day they are the most fresh---Mornings/After school/ After supper. For flute, you need to have at least 45 minutes to digest big meals before breathing can be
freed from full-stomachs.

10. Lots of tips on practice-cheer-leading for parents at:
www.practicespot.com

11. Books and videos on the flute may be available at local library or through "interlibrary loan".
Flute magazines for children can be found at:
www.flutewise.com
12. Professional flute teachers can be found by calling local Universities, Conservatories, music schools, or using flute teacher search engines such as found at:
www.harpsong.org
Info. On finding a good flute teacher is at:
finding.htm
13. Under no circumstances use silver-cleaning products, soap or water on a flute. The proper way to have a flute cleaned is to take it into a reputable repair shop.

If the flute is merely sticky from sticky fingers, remind your child to wash their hands and brush their teeth before practising, but any other corrosion, rust, sticking, binding etc. should be seen to by a technician.
Quickly evaporating Isopropyl alcohol (avail. in drugstores) can be used to sterilize a flute in once-only emergencies. Or one can run a tiny amount of alcohol through the headjoint. Otherwise not sharing the flute, and having clean hands and food-free mouths will make such worries as this unnecessary. Proper flute care is described at:
care.htm

14. Proper care and handling of the flute should be one of the first things the rental agent or new teacher will talk about. Pay attention and you will save hundreds of dollars in unnecessary repairs over the years. There is also an article on flute care at the above link that you can copy and print out.
Happy fluting. :>)

Jennifer Cluff


HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR NEW FLUTE TEACHERS:
_______________________________

D. wrote:
> I've read the thread re: how important is a good teacher, and as a newbie to the group who just
took on her first flute student, I ask: "What makes a good teacher?"
_______________
I can hopefully help you out with some small but practical advice about starting your teaching career. Just over 10 years ago I started teaching and was dashing about trying to find helpful information. I remember it well. :>) Here are a few helpful things I can share you.

1. The single most helpful reference books I found for figuring out all the different embouchures and lip shapes, and muscle-use of the face, head, neck, jaw, lungs etc. was Roger Mather's 3 volume set "The Art of Playing the Flute".
I got them from interlibrary loan at our local library. (to save money) They are also at:
www.fluteworld.com
The explanations are TRULY helpful for understanding the actual mechanics of applying all the myriad human shapes and forms to the flute tube itself.
The single most helpful book I found about teaching in general was: "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Timothy Gallwey. It's a MUST READ, honestly. :>)

2. The most noticeable feature of a person who plays well is their ease of posture and ease in *playing* the flute. Since most of us can't absorb or retain intellectual posture advice
very well I think that the single BEST way of promoting good posture and playing ease is to play duets with all your students every lesson (last 5-10 minutes maybe?)
Subconsciously, they will start not only to imitate your assuredness of sound, but over time, they will somehow magically start to imitate your posture, balance, and holding ease. Use this imitative
human quality intrinsically and you will save many hours of talking. :>)
3. The greatest gift you offer is your enthusiasm for the flute as a musical voice. The second thing you offer is a gateway into great flute music. So *do* go shopping for terrific material, get recommendations of "tried and true" sheet music and recordings, and make the hunt for new materials as often as you can afford to.
Then you will always have *something* cool for the student to look forward to and to move forwardto, and your own enthusiasm will be constantly re-triggered.

4. The single worst mistake I've even seen made by a newby teacher is to put their young students on material that the new teacher has just themselves recently completed.
This advanced flute music is almost always over the student's head and will create tension and "trying too hard" in the student.
Find out what is easy for each student, let them revel in it for an instant or two, and then gradually increase the difficulty in barely noticeable increments. They should be able to gradually master each new challenge and not strain while faltering again and again. They should be able to be at ease and "proudly be themselves" at each new level before moving forward again like a river. 

5. If you're sensitive, rather than bold, and you come across a personality type or personality conflict you've never seen before and it's freaking you out (this can happen because sometimes a
being a private teacher is a bit like being a personal therapist), talk to older, more experienced teachers about their similar experiences. They can really help you get some perspective, and find  some workable solutions appropriate for a teacher.
And/or:
For some interesting reading on all the varieties of human personalities read:
"The Wisdom of the Enneagram" by Richard Riso/Russ Hudson.
More than any other psychology-type book, I've found this book really puts human goals and human dramas into perspective, and allows me to step aside and let the student's personality unfoldnaturally, without rushing it, or being in conflict with it.

 

6. Variety is the key to "magical lessons". I try to segue from simple, easy music-making into a new areas of discovery in a very gentle way, often letting the older students have a great deal of input into the order of events, but also having "cool" things to introduce every few lessons that keep things fascinating.
With very young or with NEW students, obviously you don't need to introduce too many new things at once. As the student grows more focused, you can segue more frequently, keeping the lesson
lively and full of discovery. They may never know what's coming next, and I find they tend to be quite responsible (!) when they get to choose what they'll do next, once they're familiar with all the possible lesson areas.
I'll often ask: What would you like to start with? Your piece? Your study? How about your scales?
Do you want to get those out of the way? You hate them? Then let's do them together and we'll make harmonies out of them....*that* will make them beautiful.
Great! Good improvement! [Or: ooops. We need to work on that....you know what works for me???....]
Now what do you want to do next? We have your duet........etc.....and we have your other bit you were  looking at? Did you enjoy that new CD? Do you want more help with that such and such.....? etc."

And it's always nice to finish on a energy-creating moment. (a great duet, or the student  performing something they do very well.)
 

7. Finally: Praise something! Praise the littlest thing, if there's nothing else to praise: "Wow! You played every SINGLE F# in this piece!!!" 'Praise the incredibly obvious! (to you!) if there's nothing
else. "Your blowing is SO consistent. You really have such smoothness in your slurs there!"
Human beings respond to praise by feeling hopeful and raising their chests with increased vigour.
That's what flute students need: Hope and healthy chests!! Hahhahaha!!!
Hope this is the least bit helpful for your first year of teaching!!
Jen
____________________________________________________

Links to free flute articles including best flute books "booklist":
Jen's booklist for flute reading.htm 
Jen's list of flute books for those on a budget
Jen's favourite repertoire for Intermediates and above. 
 


 

Some basic flute teaching books for teaching novice flutists

 

   I'd suggest that every novice teacher purchase the Karen Smithson series of Flute manuals called:
"Playing the Flute" volumes I to III by Smithson

Vol. I is for absolute beginners
Vol. II is for novices just learning sharps and flats and scales.
Vol. III is for high-school level flutists taking lessons for the first time, and needing double-tonguing, accents, complex time signatures etc.

You'll find these books at: www.weisgarber.com and at www.fluteworld.com
Other titles of books you may find useful in the meantime, perhaps cheaper and more quickly available in small town sheetmusic stores, but not necessarily as good are:
 
1. Howard Harrison's "Learn to Play the Flute"
2. Trevor Wye's "Beginner Book of the Flute Vol. 1"
3. "A Tune a Day" either the updated new version with CD or in a pinch, the old '50s version
4. The various flute method books that are found on the CD-rom of flute sheetmusic. Title: CDROM: "The Ultimate Flute Sheetmusic- Flute Methods, Studies and Ensembles".

__________________
From the Flutenet discussion group that I'm on, here's an old post of mine that gives other titles that you might want to pass on to this new teacher: Flute books for fun and playing with other instrumentalists:
_______________________________
Fun pieces for playing along with CD:

Jessica Walsh/ Allan Alexander ~ Celtic, Renaissance and World Music for Flute and Guitar. 
 

Even if you don't have a guitarist to work with, you can play along with the wonderful CD that comes with each of these books. The music is unbeatably fabulous, easy-to-play, not to mention
moving and yet simple-to-read. Gorgeous.
See:
www.fluteandguitar.com or call <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = SKYPE />1-800-627-0823if your local music store  doesn't know yet how to order these books.
If you are only buying one of the above flute and guitar books for playing along as a novice to  intermediate flutist, the book called: 'Celtic Music for Flute' by Jessica Walsh has chord  symbols instead of full guitar parts, and therefore might be more handy for those only intending to  play along with the CD.
Many of the tunes work as fabulous duets with the CD being flute 2 and the live flutist being flute
1. All these duets are created using the titles, page numbers and instructions  on my website.
walsh.htm
These duets are SO much fun!!
My students of all levels and ages are in LOVE with these tunes.
_____________________
More method book titles:
all the books you see can be found at:
www.fluteworld.com
(Or just use the above link to locate the Fluteworld online catalogue, to get further information
about the flute titles you're searching for, and then order the flute book(s) at your local music
shop or from Fluteworld if mail-order more convenient.)
Your local music shop may ALSO have a few of these books already in stock.
________________________
EASY:
For flute and piano (if you can find a friend, teacher or relative who plays piano):
Flute Favourites ~ Jean Pierre Rampal
Folk Songs for Flute ~ Sumbler [Published by: Mel Bay]
Very Easy Baroque Album (Vol. 1 or 11) ~ Trevor Wye
Very Easy Classical Album ~ Trevor Wye
Very Easy Romantic Album ~ Trevor Wye
Songs for Annie~ James Galway (CD or LP by same title available.)
--------------------------------
For more advanced beginners:
____________________
French Pieces for Flute and Piano~ Pub: Mel Bay 95295
Charming, and shorter romantic works that really bring out the colours  the flute can create. Includes Ravel's Pavane, Satie's Gymnopdie, and other well-loved works.
Album of Sonatinas ~ ed: Louis Moyse- Pub: Schirmer
Contains some melodious and progressive classical works for the novice;  from Clementi and other keyboard/violin composers. Some very pretty.

______________
For flute duets:
Rubank ~ Selected Duets - Voxman Volume 1
Moyse, Louis: 40 Short Duets for Beginner Flutists, Schirmer
Moyse, Marcel: Album of 30 Duets for Two Flutes, Volumes 1 & 2: Pub: International
_______________
For when you studying flute privately,a younger student-teacher might be interested to know about:
_______________
Easy technical books:
__________________
Karen Smithson ~ Playing the Flute Volumes 1 & 2
Endreson ~ Supplementary Studies for Flute
Vester: 125 Easy Classical Studies
________________
Easy Solos for flute & piano:
__________________
Schirmer ~ 40 Easy Pieces for Beginners
Mizzy Mccaskill~ Solo Pieces for the Beginning Flutist
See:
http://home.rica.net/gilliadj/solos.html
___________________
Moderate Solos for flute & piano:
____________________
Schirmer: First Solos for the Flute Player
International: Album of 30 Classical Pieces or
Amsco: Flute Solos
________________

Moderate intermediate technical books (age 13 to 15 with previous higher level music training):

Karen Smithson ~ Playing the Flute Vol. 3 & 4
McCaskill ~ Indispensible Scales/Etudes (Mel Bay) as mentioned previously.
_______________
Melodious and Progressive Studies - Cavally- (Southern) Vol. 1
(The above book includes Etudes included by Kohler, Gariboldi and Andersen. All major and minor scales in the back of this book also.)
Trevor Wye: Tone. Vol. I ; A Practice Book for the Flute
____________________
More advanced books of flute solos (age 13 to 15):
_______________________
Fischer: 36 Repertoire Pieces or
Voxman: Concert and Contest Collection; Rubank
________________________

For more uptodate lists of new books coming out with CDs for beginners, novices and  intermediates, get a subscription to PAN magazine from the British Flute Society, Flutetalk Magazine in the U.S., and/or check the "Editor's Choice" listings at http://www.justflutes.com

 All three resources review all the newest flute books that have come out, and  this really helps teachers choose the top items from the newest publications.


Jen Cluff


What makes a great teacher?

D. wrote:
> I've read the thread re: how important is a good teacher, and as a newbie to the group who just took on her first flute student, I ask: "What makes a good teacher?"

_______________
Jen answers:

I can hopefully help you out with some small but practical advice about starting your teaching career. Just over 20 years ago I started teaching and was dashing about trying to find helpful information. I remember it well. :>) Here are a few helpful things I can share you.

1. The single most helpful reference books I found for figuring out all the different embouchures and lip shapes, and muscle-use of the face, head, neck, jaw, lungs etc. was Roger Mather's 3 volume set "The Art of Playing the Flute".
You can purchase the e-book/ pdf edition for $22 of all three volumes here.

They are also at Ebel Music and at www.fluteworld.com for $18 per volume.
The explanations are TRULY helpful for understanding the actual mechanics of applying all the myriad human shapes and forms to the flute tube itself.

The single most helpful book I found about teaching in general was: "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Timothy Gallwey. It's a MUST READ, honestly. :>)

2. The most noticeable feature of a person who plays well is their ease of posture and ease in *playing* the flute. Since most of us can't absorb or retain intellectual posture advice very well I think that the single BEST way of promoting good posture and playing ease is to play duets with all your students every lesson (last 5-10 minutes maybe?)
Subconsciously, they will start not only to imitate your assuredness of sound, but over time, they will somehow magically start to imitate your posture, balance, and holding ease. Use this imitative human quality intrinsically and you will save many hours of talking. :>)

3. The greatest gift you offer is your enthusiasm for the flute as a musical voice. The second thing you offer is a gateway into great flute music. So *do* go shopping for terrific material, get recommendations of "tried and true" sheet music and recordings, and make the hunt for new materials as often as you can afford to.
Then you will always have *something* cool for the student to look forward to and to move forward to, and your own enthusiasm will be constantly re-triggered.

4. The single worst mistake I've even seen made by a newby teacher is to put their young students on material that the new teacher has just themselves recently completed. This advanced flute music is almost always over the student's head and will create tension and "trying too hard" in the student.
Find out what is easy for each student, let them revel in it for an instant or two, and then gradually increase the difficulty in barely noticeable increments. They should be able to gradually master each new challenge and not strain while faltering again and again. They should be able to be at ease and "proudly be themselves" at each new level before moving forward again like a river.

5. If you're sensitive, rather than bold, and you come across a personality type or personality conflict you've never seen before and it's freaking you out (this can happen because sometimes a being a private teacher is a bit like being a personal therapist), talk to older, more experienced teachers about their similar experiences. They can really help you get some perspective, and find some workable solutions appropriate for a teacher.
And/or:
For some interesting reading on all the varieties of human personalities read:
"The Wisdom of the Enneagram" by Richard Riso/Russ Hudson.
More than any other psychology-type book, I've found this book really puts human goals and human dramas into perspective, and allows me to step aside and let the student's personality unfold naturally, without rushing it, or being in conflict with it.

6. Variety is the key to "magical lessons". I try to segue from simple, easy music-making into a new areas of discovery in a very gentle way, often letting the older students have a great deal of input into the order of events, but also having "cool" things to introduce every few lessons that keep things fascinating.

With very young or with NEW students, obviously you don't need to introduce too many new things at once. As the student grows more focused, you can segue more frequently, keeping the lesson lively and full of discovery. They may never know what's coming next, and I find they tend to be quite responsible (!) when they get to choose what they'll do next, once they're familiar with all the possible lesson areas.

I'll often ask: What would you like to start with? Your piece? Your study? How about your scales? Do you want to get those out of the way? You hate them? Then let's do them together and we'll make harmonies out of them....*that* will make them beautiful.
Great! Good improvement! [Or: ooops. We need to work on that....you know what works for me???....]

Now what do you want to do next? We have your duet........etc.....and we have your other bit you were looking at? Did you enjoy that new CD? Do you want more help with that such and such.....? etc."

And it's always nice to finish on a energy-creating moment. (a great duet, or the student performing something they do very well.)

7. Finally: Praise something! Praise the littlest thing, if there's nothing else to praise: "Wow! You played every SINGLE F# in this piece!!!" 'Praise the incredibly obvious! (to you!) if there's nothing else. "Your blowing is SO consistent. You really have such smoothness in your slurs there!"
Human beings respond to praise by feeling hopeful and raising their chests with increased vigour.

That's what flute students need: Hope and healthy chests!! Hahhahaha!!!
Hope this is the least bit helpful for your first year of teaching!!
Jen
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Links to free flute articles including best flute books "booklist":
reading.htm


How do I start flute teaching?

1. Make sure you are taking flute lessons yourself. You cannot teach what you don't know. Don't create bad-habits in flute youngsters by showing them mis-learned concepts. Bad habits on flute and flute-myths are discussed at:

habits.htm

myths.htm

2. Take flute teaching issues to your own teacher and have a hands- on lessons on how to demonstrate flute playing for students. Examples: how to put the instrument together without bending the keys or rods, how to learn to blow on the headjoint only; how to read a fingering chart; how to teach a child how to read music etc. More 'how tos' can be found at: articles.htm

3. Get the parents involved. A student with no music playing in the house, no music stand, no idea of what "practicing" means, etc. can be frustrating to work with and can themselves become frustrated at their lessons. To avoid this involve the parents by suggesting good books for them to read about children learning instruments, by having them observe lessons in "how to practice --- how to use a music stand ----- how to use a metronome"  and all other key points. A good site for parents is: www.practicespot.com

4. Buy lots of sheetmusic and method books for flute. A teacher who only has a limited supply of books can be flummoxed by students losing interest in lessons.( Example of limited thinking: "I used Rubank, so it should be fine for all my students." This shows a limited knowledge of newer and more wonderful flute teaching books) Keep abreast of new flute teaching methods and new playalong CD sets for beginners/novices by reading up at them in flute magazines and online at places such as www.justflutes.com (see all the thumbnail sketches of flute books written under:  Editors Choice).

When I started to expand my flute sheetmusic and book library I found that no matter what the student's interest level, it went WAY up when I could offer everything from jazzy tunes to celtic duets. Slowly but surely expand your library as you go. Look for sheetmusic and CD reviews in Pan Magazine (UK), Flutist Quarterly (US) and FLUTETALK magazine (US.) Lots of flute books and pieces are explored at: faverep.htm

5. Share your flute CD collection; You can't learn to play with a beautiful tone if you're not exposed to a beautiful tone on a daily/weekly basis. If you're worried about losing a CD to a student, write down a borrowing list everytime something is lent out, or make lenders copies so that the original CD stays safe.

Encourage your students to then buy their own CDs of flute players. Flute CDs and online listening can be found at:
desert.htm

and at:
listen.htm

6. Always play-test a beginner's or a student's flute. Amazing amounts of frustration can be avoided if you immediately discover that their flute is not mechanically sound or that there is chewing gum stuck in the headjoint ;>), the cork is falling out, or the keys don't open and close properly. Send flute out for repairs to a reputable repair person.

7. Make lessons FUN!! Human beings can learn anything if it's fun and engaging. So keep lessons alternating between learning, working and FUN FUN FUN!


More articles to appear soon.

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Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Cluff