how to teach beginners?

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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dior
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how to teach beginners?

Post by dior » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:07 am

i have 2 friends who are very interested in learning flute. however they have no music background.. how should i teach?? which are the things that i need to focus on?

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:12 am

First I think you need to decide whether or not you should teach, and then you can decide how. Simply playing flute doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to teach it well, and if your friends are serious about wanting to learn, a good instructor is very important. If you feel that you have the necessary knowledge, temperament, time, etc.(which is something only you can figure out) then you need to start from the beginning. Find a good beginning flute book that you like so they have something to work out of (Standards of Excellence, Rubank, Essential Elements, etc.). You'll need to be sure they have a grasp of basic music theory relatively early on (assuming they're not already musicians), as well as help them develop their tone and technique through progressively more challenging exercises. What exactly you teach them is going to have to be at your discretion, but start slow and be sure they have a good grasp of basics (how to hold the flute, how to get sound out of it, good breathing, etc.) before trying to teach them a bunch of notes or throw them into music that's too advanced.

TheScarecrow
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Post by TheScarecrow » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:44 pm

If they are youngish I would suggest accent on acheivment. (the book). They will recognize almost everything in it (which can make learning an instrument very fun and rewarding for a new player) and it is written in very easy terms. Some other books are difficult to understand with no musical backround and you don't want to have to be on call every time they need help with something musical.

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:36 pm

I'll recommend the Trevor Wye Beginner books. They start with less-complicated fingerings (B, A, and G), and progress in a manner which makes sense for flute, unlike the compromised progress we settle for in order to use a full-band method when playing with other instruments. There are lots of diagrams and some text as well, to help inexperienced players. I think you can buy it with a CD now. If you feel you must use a band method, Essential Elements 2000 has a DVD with it.
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

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MonikaFL
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Post by MonikaFL » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:11 pm

I second that Trevor Wye recommendation!!! :D
Visit [url=http://www.monikadurbin.com/formiapress]Formia Press[/url] to check out my compositions and arrangements for flute and more.

c_otter
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Post by c_otter » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:22 pm

Here's a link to Jennifer Cluff's page with teaching info:
http://www.jennifercluff.com/teach.htm

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:48 pm

dior,
Just a word of caution. It is not always a good idea to try to teach your friends to play. What I have found with my students who have tried this is that they do not accomplish a lot because of either a0 they spend too much time talking and not enough working or b) the one doing the teaching gets frustrated and offends the other. I highly recommend trying to help them find a teacher (maybe yours if you have one) and encouraging them as much as possible in the process. As flutepicc06 said, teaching is not for everyone, but if you want to maybe explore that ave, try to find some students who have some experience and try a "tutoring" session or two. That will give you a good idea of whether or not you want to start teaching. Keep in mind that teaching beginners is quite a bit different from working with someone who can already play, but it will at least give you an indication of whether or not you are ready for the responsibility and patience that it takes.

rocky
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Post by rocky » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:51 pm

A good compromise is to agree to a short period of time to "get them started." It's a waste of time and money to start a new instrument that you THOUGHT you'd like and then end up not liking it after you went to the trouble to interview "real" teachers, to purchase the book those teachers wanted, etc.

I'm not at the level of a flute teacher (nor do I desire to be!) but I have helped several friends get started by:

1. Loaning the old student flute that my daughter started with for a month. I tell whomever that we "need it back by ..." and give a solid date.

2. Finding an old book in the music file. Rubank, Trevor Wye, etc. It sort of depends on the friend. Is it a musical friend? A teenager? Someone who can read music? Or not?

3. Agree to meet for five times (or whatever works). During this time, the friend gets a chance to try the flute and decide if she wants to buy or rent a flute. I can then help point her in the right direction (ie. to a music store with a good rental policy, to a store with a great selection of beginner flutes, etc.). I can also, during this time, give her the phone numbers of a few "real" teachers that she can interview while we're finishing our five lessons. I would consider her personality, the personality of the teachers, and the location (it's a bummer to drive 45 minutes each way at the beginner level -- but worth it at the advanced level if that's where the best teacher is).

Give it a try.

Oh, and if you do work with a beginner, suggest she use a mirror at home while developing an embouchure. Helps a lot.

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