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Giving Flute Lessons

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Giving Flute Lessons    17:06 on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Account Closed
(281 points)

I'm an accomplished flutist who loves what I do: perform. But recently I have had a few girls from my high school (I'm a senior in my second semester and already starting on my music education classes) come up to me, wanting lessons. I have taught at junior high and elementary band camps before, but those were with large groups of young students on various instruments, focusing on broad topics (like getting a note out or reading a measure of music). These girls are in their freshman and sophomore years of high school and in various stages of flute "development," each wanting individual, one-on-one lessons after school for various lengths of time.

I know this is what I'm going to as a music educator, giving lessons, and I shouldn't be so nervous because it isn't the first time I've had to help fellow students, but these are the beginnings of my first formal lessons with other students hardly a year younger than myself, although I am much more advanced than they are on flute and other instruments. I'm not secure in how to teach a flutist how to maintain proper breath support, switching to an open holed flute, or tone development for a concert setting. I found everything out for myself through trial and error to great success. How can I find away to take what I've learned and put it into something substantial to teach these flutists? I have to admit, if you couldn't tell already, I'm very nervous, even though I shouldn't be.

Do any of you have any advice whatsoever? I think some hints and tips would set my mind at ease! (Plus, would it be rude to set a price for a series of lessons? I would be devoting my time, energy, and gas money to give these lessons and I'm a broke semi-college student, but these girls happen to know me as more than just a stranger, although we're not close friends.)

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    19:01 on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Account Closed
(3248 points)

I'm not secure in how to teach a flutist how to maintain proper breath support, switching to an open holed flute, or tone development for a concert setting.


If you are not comfortable with that yet, then you may want to wait until you get more experience and schooling behind your belt first before excepting a fee for lessons.If anything, it will help give you experience and more confidence in teacher by volunteer work first. Good luck with it.

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    09:27 on Thursday, March 08, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

angie
(125 points)

micron said :
2. You could explain your situation to a teacher you respect, and ask if you may sit in on a few lessons, just observing. Many teachers would be quite happy with this. In a short time you will pick up many teaching techniques

brilliant advice, i wish i'd thought of that :-)

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    14:31 on Thursday, March 08, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

I disagree with Liiira, you should yell and scream as much as possible, beginner flute playing is boot camp...jump up and down a lot and be sure to throw things, create as much fear as possible...they should be crying before they assemble the flute for their lessons...

(just kidding)

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    13:59 on Friday, March 09, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

sury I weel wascht it frum now oon

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    14:05 on Friday, March 09, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Account Closed
(281 points)

Thank you for the advice. Looking back, I should have said I do not feel COMFORTABLE teaching proper concert tone, fingerings, ect... instead of I don't know how; sorry about that, first of all.

Second of all, I have taught before, so this is not my first time teaching students; I think something got lost in translation.

My main point was how can I get over the nervousness of teaching older students and should I charge for lessons although I'm only a year or two older than the students, although more advanced?

Any other ideas would be really helpful; thanks to everyone who took this seriously.

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    14:35 on Friday, March 09, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Tibbiecow
(480 points)

If your students will significantly advance their playing with your lessons, then you should get paid.

If you will be using time and gas money that you would otherwise be putting to another use, then you should charge money for lessons.

Look in on another teacher, find out what they are paid for their lessons. From this, estimate your own 'worth' based on how effective a teacher you will be in comparison to the 'pro'.

I taught horseback riding lessons when I was in college, and I just sort of jumped in and went- the fee was determined by my employer. But I had a passion for it, and the kids started wanting to ride in my groups (or even privately), and things went great.

If you are committing to a specific after-school or weekend time, every week, then you have every right to ask for a fee for a series of lessons. If you take this seriously, and so do your students, then there won't be upsetting and frustrating days when students don't show up because they don't feel like it. (And you have just wasted an hour of your own time, getting to the lesson on time.) Perhaps try a first lesson with each student to determine whether you will be a helpful and effective teacher for that student. Then set up, say 8 weeks of lessons, with a fee for those lessons. Re-shedule if someone gets sick, or add ONE lesson on to the end, but don't refund without a very serious and valid excuse-like 'I'm in the hospital and they're taking out my appendix, I won't be to my lesson for a couple of weeks...'

If you google music teaching and lessons, you will find some great advice on these subjects.

Have fun, and Micron's absolutely right-an analytical mind is crucial to this sort of thing. I don't mind if it takes a couple of different approaches to teach me something, but I want my teacher to go out and try to help figure it out.

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    19:38 on Friday, March 09, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Flutist06
(1545 points)

If it's a decent enough flute, but you don't like it, obviously you don't need to say anything, as what the student thinks is all that matters, but if it's a low quality import or something, I think it's your responsibility to at least give the student and/or their parents a realistic view of what they have. If they go cheap, likely the instrument will have some noticeable limitations as the student progresses, and they can end up blaming the flute's faults on themselves if they don't have reasonable expectations of their equipment. And Lera, how would overcharging spark competition? If you charge too much, no one is going to interested, and you lose no matter what. If you charge less than other people providing similar services, then you might spark a bit of a price war between yourself and the competition, but overcharging pretty much puts you outside the competition for business to begin with.

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    09:41 on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

deciding how much to charge for teaching is always a big problem, and often depends on where you live. Here in the NYC metro area, I need to be sure to set my prices based on the students I will be able to teach, as there are some who over-charge and many who undercut, so you have to find a place to fit in.

It is important to sell people on your experience and be able to tell them up front how you teach and what you expect from the students.

Healthy competition is a good thing, but parents need to watch out for undercutters, they create de-flation, which is not a good thing in a free market society

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    09:41 on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

deciding how much to charge for teaching is always a big problem, and often depends on where you live. Here in the NYC metro area, I need to be sure to set my prices based on the students I will be able to teach, as there are some who over-charge and many who undercut, so you have to find a place to fit in.

It is important to sell people on your experience and be able to tell them up front how you teach and what you expect from the students.

Healthy competition is a good thing, but parents need to watch out for undercutters, they create de-flation, which is not a good thing in a free market society

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    18:01 on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Robotspidercatsq
uidhead

I wouldn't charge for lessons. I think it would be best to just do it for the experince. But if you are going to charge it probably shouldn't be very much, considering you don't have a college degree yet and haven't even finished high school.

And you shouldn't be nervous, if anything the students you're teaching will be nervous. In my opinon (and experince) it's a lot easier to teach a student one on one than a group of students. I voulenteer at the middle school, after school lets out, at the band and orchestra class. I've taken the flute section for section and also helped a few kids with solos for festival and I conduct a few peices in the Orchestra class.

But if you're that nervous, eat bananas

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    18:10 on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Flutist06
(1545 points)

I've written about the bananas before. There is no basis for the claim that they help nerves.

If your teaching is going to help these students, you're perfectly entitled to charge. Just be sure that it's a fair price given the breadth of your experience, the local average, and what you have to offer the students (realistically). Whether or not someone has a college degree does not necessarily reflect on their abilities as a teacher.

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    13:39 on Sunday, March 11, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Account Closed
(281 points)

Thank you, everyone, for the advice! There were lots of great suggestions, which I'm very thankful for! I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet in terms of lessons, but I'm pleased to have some advice on what to do. ^_^

I think I'll have a few lessons with the "students" before I decide if I'm going to have a per-lesson charge; if I go that route, the cost would be very low. I'll set a lesson plan, too, if they want to continue lessons, depending on where they are currently for flute performance. Thanks!

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    12:22 on Monday, March 12, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atoriphile
(254 points)

If bananas are supposed to calm the nerves, where did the phrase "Go Bananas" come from?

Hmmm... Very unnerving!

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Re: Giving Flute Lessons    10:56 on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1327 points)

"Just do your best!
That is all that metters so far."

Actually Lera, although the comment is very positive and promotional, I would say this shouldn't exactly be the case.

If I were faced with this situation I would ask myself if I know enough about music, flute technique, child psychology and such to make a positive influence on these young minds. I would ask myself about my motivations. Money? Pride? What am I tying to prove to others? Am I trying to actually teach them and make them better players? Am I going to be their best option? Am I in it for the short term or the long haul?

I'm not judging but I have a 4th grader that's been with me for about a year now who has been passed through three other teachers and none of them ever got the child to practice more than once a week - at best. I actually think that some younger players approach the job of teaching music lessons as if they were working at the local burger joint. As if it's a place to make a few dollars to spend on their fashions and their cell phones. I'm really not saying that this is the case here.

All that I'm saying is that if a young student is going to take on the responsibility of teaching a younger student that, in the role of a teacher they are obligated to be a good example and a positive influence on the child.


   





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