Your flute adventures?

Your flute adventures?

Your flute adventures?    11:47 on Thursday, January 21, 2010          

(152 points)
Posted by CessiMarie

Just curious to know, how did you all end up playing the flute?

For me it has probably been an unusual journey since I started as an adult. I did want to play as a child, as many others, but there was no real music interest in my family. When the music teacher was selecting who would be allowed to go to the municipal music school, which was the standard place for children learning how to play an instrument in Sweden, I did ok on the regular clap back testing but was too shy to sing and to intimidated by the situation to say that I really wanted to learn how to play an instrument.

Fast forward many years. When finishing my undergrad studies I finally decided it's time do something about this music thing I had always been so curious about. I did however bring my mother to the music shop with me, which ended by me getting a keyboard instead of flute. Why? Well, you can practise with headphones. and you might have some success on your own instead of getting a teacher from the start. It was fun, but it didn't take many months before I bought the flute I had been longing for. (Much later a digital piano too, but that kind of irrelevant here, right? )

So the flute was new, shining, and beautiful! (A beginner Yamaha 211) But I was afraid to even assemble it since I had read about how fragile the mechanism is supposed to be. It was time to find a teacher. I looked around, and got a call back from the municipal music school where the flute teacher (a wonderful teacher it turned out be!) agreed to take me on as a private student after I had explained the situation in approximately the following way: "Hello, I've bought a flute but don't know what to do with it, will you help me please?".

After that I was hooked. Soon I was taking theory classes at the local university, since theory seemed easy and learnable compared to learning the tricks of actual playing. Suddenly I was starting to get annoyed when meeting at work were prolonged so that my practise time was cut, and the more I learn the more interesting it seems to become. Now I play in a nice little ensemble for adult beginners (with clarinets, saxophones, and a violin), bring the flute on business trips to not miss practice, and in general look forward to all flute moments that are ahead of me.

Re: Your flute adventures?    15:07 on Thursday, January 21, 2010          

(309 points)
Posted by flute_n_bassoon

I started flute way back in 5th grade, because I wanted bragging rights. I thought it would make me popular. XD We can all see why that didn't work out eh?
In 7th grade I was asked to switch to oboe, then to bassoon by my music teacher. Of course, I forgot how to play my beloved flute, and have been trying to relearn it for maybe...a year or two?

Re: Your flute adventures?    16:13 on Thursday, January 21, 2010          

(157 points)
Posted by Pyface

I decided to start the flute when I went to a general music concert with my parents, and I heard a flute ensemble (with a bass flute and everything!) playing 'I Will Follow Him' from Sister Act! I know it doesn't sound like an inspiring song, but it was! Then, one day we were in a market, and I spotted a flute! I then bought it with my money and have taken great care of it since!
The flute ensemble I work with went along with my idea, and now we have' I Will Follow Him'!!!

Re: Your flute adventures?    16:33 on Thursday, January 21, 2010          

(219 points)
Posted by InstrumentCrazy

Mine was pretty basic. I was a 5th grader just starting band I and I was trying out different instruments to see what was right for me. I really wanted to play the clarinet, but my mom didn't think I should seeing I was going to get braces. So I tried the flute (if I couldn't do clarinet I was going to do flute) well I couldn't make a sound out of it! Then I went on to the brass... I could play the frenchorn and trumpet. But, I didn't want to play a brass instrument. So, the directer gave me a flute that I could try out on and just keep trying to make a sound out of. It took me 2 weeks but I managed to play it! Once I started band I quickly passed up our beginner and intermediate players. I was out of book 1 by my first concert! And was picked to play in "Da copa Band". In which the directers of the county I live in pick their best beginning students. In less than 2 years I was playing with the advanced band as 2nd chair. I'm now first chair and am addicted to the flute!!! I've been playing for 3 years. I have picked up clarinet and oboe and piccolo in that time though... but I don't like them nearly as much as my flute!


And now I rank #1 in my region! I'm trying out for All-State this Saturday which will determine where I am in the state.

Re: Your flute adventures?    19:23 on Thursday, January 21, 2010          

(64 points)
Posted by spark12

Well I wasn't a flutist in the past. I played piano before, and I still do. But it was in 4th grade when we were all deciding whether we want to sing or play an instrument. Initially, the french horn, clarinet, and oboe seemed to appeal to me the most. And all of us scattered around the room trying out different instruments and the teachers would give little "scores" under each instrument (neat! huh?). I didn't really like the french horn. The clarinet was pretty good. I even tried the violin. Now let's say this, I got the highest scores for viola and violin, yet I didn't want to play it. Why? Because my older sister plays it. And she was OUTSTANDING. She was one of the youngest players to be in the All-State NY Orchestra as a first violin, and she was just under 13 years of age or so. So I was a little afraid to pick up the violin. Well first. It brings memories of my mean sister. Second. I didn't feel like being inferior to her. LOL.

And when it was time to decide, I narrowed it down to clarinet or flute. Finally, I picked flute only to find out that all my friends chose the clarinet, which made me pretty upset. However, I didn't get too upset. I started the flute and I loved it. Unfortunately, my mom wouldn't give me any lessons, though, because she already pays a lot of money for my sister and I. It was not until 8th grade that my mom FINALLY yielded to giving me flute lessons. I loved it so much, I practiced a lot on a day to day basis, determined to strengthen and improve my tone. So it got quite good within less than a year. However, from 9th to 10th grade, I didn't get to practice as much as I did before because of school (BECAUSE IT'S EVIL :K)j. But now I switched to a very very very good teacher, and I'm picking up the flute more often. It's great.

Re: Your flute adventures?    20:55 on Thursday, January 21, 2010          

(437 points)
Posted by Pyrioni

My mom learned the piano when she is 25 when she had me, but she only made it to ABRSM grade-5, when I was 4, I listened to her practised the piano, I liked it, then I started piano at 4 yrs old, later I made it to ABRSM Grade-8.

My primary school had an orchestra, I loved the orchestra, wanted to join, so I chose an orchestral instrument - flute at 8 years old, because I can always hear the flute sound project out and flow on top of orchestra. So I asked my uncle to teach me the flute at 8, at 9 I applied for our school orchestra, but they didn't want me, because there were so many flute players already in the orchestra, and I just found that flute is the 3rd most played instrument besides piano and violin here! Competition is so fierce. Also 90% of the players are girls, my school mates laughed at me that flute is for girls not for boys. Then I gave up flute at 9, but I picked it up again at 10, because I saw James Galway and many masters are men, and I went to Galway's masterclass and loved his strong flute tone!

At 11 I won a local interschools competition, our primary school then invited me to join their orchestra, but I refused this time, because I had found that my level is beyond the school orchestra.

At 12 I went to a Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's concert, and loved how Emmanuel Pahud played the flute, so beautiful tone!! Next morning, he even came to teach us in a small group of kids(even when he was so tired after last night's concert and jetlag). His tone was so beautiful, he only played on our student flutes to demonstrate, because he said he didn't want us to think the tone came from his 14K gold flute!! He said the tone came from us, not the flute! From that moment on, I said to myself, I want to become a principal flautist someday like him! (then he came to teach us every year!)

At 13 I joined a local youth orchestra, and played the 2nd flute, then 1st flute, then principal, our orchestra went to UK, Vienna, and were conducted by VPO conductor and concertmaster last summer.

Now I am 15, continue working on flute, I had to give up piano because no time left to practise piano, I have school, flute practice, theory, french, and 2 orchestra jobs.


I learned French for 3 and a half years now, because I want to study flute in Paris or Lyon when I am 19. :)

Re: Your flute adventures?    02:49 on Friday, January 22, 2010          

(152 points)
Posted by CessiMarie

What great stories! I guess it is kind of hard to pick an instrument after all. It takes a lot of dedication to buy a flute for your own money as a kid, or to keep trying to get a sound for two weeks, though we all struggled with that at the beginning of course. A agree completely with Pyrioni about that you miss the opportunity to play with others on the piano. Thatís why Iím focusing mainly on flute too. I appreciate that the flute is a popular instrument since that means that there is a lot of excellent music written for it.

Re: Your flute adventures?    14:36 on Friday, January 22, 2010          

(1743 points)
Posted by Patrick

I started in 5th grade on an armstrong, the band director who helped us choose instruments told me I would not be able to play flute because I couldn't whistle...hope he got fired

was a very bad beginner but took off once I learned how it worked and joined youth symphony, band and played wherever and whenever I could..

Re: Your flute adventures?    20:51 on Friday, January 22, 2010          

(130 points)
Posted by TBFlute

Wow, that sounds like a very unknowledgeable band director. There's only one flutist in the studio here who can whistle.

My favorite CD when I was really little was James Galway's recording of the Mozart flute concertos, mainly because it had a butterfly on the case. However, the flute really grew on me, (not entomology) and I chose to play it when I started lessons at age 8. (As a side note, I was quite diminutive and needed to play with a curved headjoint for about a year.)

Eleven and a half years later, I'm a flute performance major and can't imagine doing anything else.

Re: Your flute adventures?    21:33 on Friday, January 22, 2010          

(140 points)
Posted by emy47

I started in 5th grade. I was going to play french horn or baritone but as I walked to school at the time,it was too much to carry every day so I went with flute and am glad I did!

Re: Your flute adventures?    14:07 on Saturday, January 23, 2010          

(115 points)
Posted by Leprachaun

I have learnt the piano from the age of 4, and had completed my grade 8 by the age of 9. Not being content with just piano, I begged my parents for a flute at about the age of 10, but to no avail. They seemed to think it was only a phase and after much nagging they bought me a recorder. After about 1 year on recorder I had completed 2 grade exams and was about to take my third, when my praents finally realised I was serious about wanting the flute.
So for Christmas when I was 13 I got my frist flute, a terrible Chinese brand, that I absolutly adored! Two weeks after getting it I auditioned for my first orchestra and got a place as 2nd flute. Six months later I did my grade one. The following year I did my grade 4, and grade 5 and upgraded to my intermediate flute. I also recieved my Jupiter piccolo that next Christmas. I then attended a master class with James Galway, and following his inspirational talk, decided to audition for the 2nd biggest Orchestra in Ireland, and to everyone, includng my teachers and parents surprise I got it! I was astounded, especially seeing as the orchestra suggested members be at LEAST grade 6 .
That summer I then took my grade 6, and began to play recitals and public preformance and successfully moved up to the Symphony orchestra, where I played 2nd flute and piccolo. I also took up cello during this year! The following year I took my grade 7 and 8, and successfully auditioned to play principal flute.
A year later, and I am now studying music performance in college, and recieved a place in the University orchestra.
5 years later, and I can't put down my flute! Couldn't imagine my life with music of some sort

Re: Your flute adventures?    14:30 on Saturday, January 23, 2010          

(28 points)
Posted by PerrinLark

Lera: True that!
I started playing the sax, but had to give it up when I started having to double up on sciences, and didn't have time for band. Music was still always a big part of my life and I never lost the urge to play. One day I was talking to my Biology teacher and he said "Yeah I've been playing the flute for about thirty years. I started giving lessons too, about five years ago." I was rather shocked, because he didn't seem the type, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Then last April after taking my SATs,ACT's and various other AP tests I thought my head was going to explode! I decided I needed a creative out let, preferably a musical one. My friend said she had a flute I could borrow, so I said "Sure, why not?" What started as a whim soon grew into a big part of my life. I spent the first week just blowing into the head joint, trying to get a steady sound. With in two weeks I had a scale and Danny Boy down. So then I asked my Bio teacher if he would give me lessons, and there I was. He is really into Balkan tunes so the first song I learned with him was in 25/16. That led to some problems when it came to getting normal rhythms in my head. I've never had so much trouble with 6/8 my whole life until we stared plying 8/10!

Now I'm in band and I have also signed up for a level six NYSSMA solo. Oh, and last week I bought my own flute because my friend wanted hers back. So I guess I'm a flutist for life. Which is great!

Re: Your flute adventures?    15:36 on Monday, January 25, 2010          

(58 points)
Posted by Watcher

Hmm... I think we need another perspective from somebody who did NOT start in 5th grade. I'm an adult beginner, and have been taking lessons regularly since mid-last year.

I'd have to trace my flute involvement back to my junior year of college when I saw the movie "Circle of Iron". It featured David Carradine as a blind kung fu master who could kick ass and play flute. (Actually kick-ass WITH his flute...) Who wouldn't want to be able to do that?

So I had the vague notion it would be cool to plate the flute - but not just flute, it had to be wooden (or bamboo), because that was what he played).

Fast forward to a trip to Maine about 5 years ago. While browsing through town, my wife and I found a music store where they had a collection of Sweetheart Flutes for sale. They looked cool, but the practical side of me asked "When am I ever going to find time to practice?" However, my wife convinced me to buy one by getting a folk harp for herself at the same time (which she has since abandoned for the cello, but that's another story). I soon figured out how to play it's two octave range, and managed to squeak out some basic melodies from Jessica Walsh's Celtic songbook.

Seeing as how I was actually spending some time on this, my wife took the plunge for my birthday last year and purchased me a used yamaha 225. After spending 15 minutes and realizing there was no way I could work out the fingerings without a teacher, I found somebody not too distant and have been taking lessons regularly ever since.

And I also have two black belts, so I guess that movie hit me on a number of levels!

Re: Your flute adventures?    20:58 on Monday, January 25, 2010          

(257 points)
Posted by musicman_944

Interesting story about selecting a Sweetheart flute based upon David Carradine and his flute playing in Kung Fu. Is your Sweetheart flute one of the walking stick models like these?

Another highly respected maker of walking stick flutes is Eric the Flutemaker.

Re: Your flute adventures?    15:06 on Tuesday, January 26, 2010          

(152 points)
Posted by CessiMarie

Nice to see another adult beginner, Watcher!

I'd love to try a wooden flute, but think I would stay away from the walking stick model just in case.


This forum: Older: Piccolo preferences?
 Newer: Refining your flute tone. From `playing notes` to `making music`...

© 2000-2017