Should I teach?

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lula
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Should I teach?

Post by lula » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:02 pm

Recently for this 2nd semester of my freshman year we had a new flute start band. My band director recomended to her that I should teach her a few things. I haven't started teaching her yet due to this crazy schedule I've had this week. I figured I should teach her the first few notes like D,C, and B flat. What else do you guys think I should teach her?

I think that I would probably be good at teaching her the basics of flute playing as long as my band director could make sure I would be teaching the right things.

So should I help out a little and teach or just leave it to my band director?

Thanks in advance for the help!
...MUSIC HAS REPLACED HER HEARTBEAT...

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:34 pm

So, this is a beginning flute student in high school? If so, that's a tough situation for both the student and the director. Most high school band classes are not geared toward teaching beginning students. It sounds like the band director doesn't want to take time away from band rehearsal to instruct a beginning student. That's somewhat understandable, but the director has to take some responsibility to provide (or at least recommend) teaching materials and a set of goals to accomplish. Ask the director to suggest some books and ask specifically what is expected of both you and the student. The director has to take an active role in monitoring progress and should not expect a freshman student to define the class for another student. If the director can't or won't provide or suggest suitable teaching material, then refuse to do it. Without support and a plan from the director, both you and the student will quickly become frustrated and the new student will likely lose interest and drop out of the band class. I hate to say it, because it's a cynical view, but the reality is that may be what the director hopes will happen. A beginning student just isn't a good fit for a high school band because of the differences in playing abilities.

There's also the question of when you would teach the new student. If during band class, you yourself may be missing out on learning new music and gaining experience playing with the band. If outside of band class, when? During a study hall? After school on your own time? All of these require you to give something of yourself. Teaching flute to another student can be great experience for you, but you need to be committed to this. If not, that's not fair to the new student.

If you do proceed to teach the new flutist, before you even start to teach notes and fingerings, start by having the student just blow on the headjoint alone to work on forming a good embouchure and getting a good sound. Once the new student has a good sound with the headjoint, then move on the the whole flute. Show the student the proper position for both hands: which fingers, go on which keys, how to balance the flute between the lips, left hand first finger, right pinky, etc. C and Bb are easy notes to play, but it's hard for a new flutist to hold the flute and balance it with only two or three fingers on the flute. I suggest starting with a G then work down adding F, E, and D. When comfortable with those notes, start working back up from the G to A, B, Bb, and C. Obviously, covering these notes will take at least a week or two if student is serious and practices outside of school. You'll also have to begin teaching how to read music (unless she has played another instrument) and for that, you really need a beginning flute book so that it will be something that a new student can handle and to provide suitable study material.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

mikerickin
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Post by mikerickin » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:18 am

Hello.
Of course, According to me, you should teach her Flute and give time to her to learn Basic Flat about flute.
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AnnaJ
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Post by AnnaJ » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:51 pm

Maybe your teacher could teach her. It seems odd that the band leader should ask you to do it. Doesn't your school have a woodwind teacher? Is the band leader the music teacher for the school? I think I need more information about the situation, but it sounds like a more experienced teacher is needed, they are usually the best for teaching beginners.
"Men have not found the words..., but they have found the music."

lula
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Post by lula » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:52 pm

No we do not have a woodwind teacher in my band. We have a band director and an assistant band director. Our school does not support band much at all. :evil: They prefer sports. My band has maybe 40 people in it. Small, huh? We are trying to get more people involved in band this year.

I wouldn't mind teaching her a little about flute, but I need to practice too. I have my own responabilities like school work and of course band. Like I said, I would like to help her. It's not like my band director isn't teaching her anything because he is. He just thinks that the new flute needs extra help to try to get her ready for marching season next year. She has 7 months to learn what took me 5 years to learn. I think I could try to help her at least once a week afterschool, but I have a flute to practice too.

Sure wish we had a woodwind instructor..........
...MUSIC HAS REPLACED HER HEARTBEAT...

lula
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Post by lula » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:02 pm

Ok guys, I've been helping the new flute out some. But when she plays, her notes sound hollow. My notes sound warm and full. What is she doing wrong? Is it just because she's a new flute and her tone hasn't started developing or what?

Thanks in advance for the help!

-Lula
...MUSIC HAS REPLACED HER HEARTBEAT...

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:19 pm

Most likely, she needs to work on getting a good embouchure. Most beginners have similar issues. Have her play lots of long tones on easy notes. Don't move to another note until teh previous one sounds good (or least a lot better).

If you have a large mirror available, both of you should look at each other's embouchure while playing the long tones. Then your student can see the difference and work on trying to make her embouchure look similar to yours.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

AnnaJ
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Post by AnnaJ » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:53 am

I suggest you read this: http://www.jennifercluff.com/tone2.htm

As to your initial question, should I teach? I say yes, if you are passionate and enthusiastic about what you do, you will make a great teacher. One of the best things you can encourage is a love for music and creating more of it!!
Good luck,
Anna
"Men have not found the words..., but they have found the music."

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