Parent's Guide to children
playing the Flute
AGE GROUP BOYS AND GIRLS 10 -ADULT
is one of the most popular instruments around the world, which can be
attributed to its simplicity and pleasing sound. This instrument
is a great starting point for a child to learn music.
What age should my child
To play the flute you need
to have arms long enough to reach the holes, and you need to be strong
enough to support the instrument out to one side while you play.
It can be played by people of all ages and skill level but the
recommended age to start flute lessons is 10 years old. It is one
of the easiest instruments to learn and it's size makes it easy to
flute comes apart into three pieces, and packs into a very small case.
At the age
of 10 your child will normally play the instrument as part of their
school band program.
Registration for private music
lessons can be
done at anytime, as long as space is available, and your session will be
prorated. Registration can be done in person, by phone, by mail or
fax. In addition, some organizations will allow you to register on
Normally these programs are very popular and space can be limited so
don't delay registration or you may miss out !Independent programs are
usually 16 -20 weeks long while school programs last the entire school
practice is necessary?
Most anyone can learn to
play the flute however it is important to learn proper breathing
techniques so that proper lip formation (enbouchure) can be developed. As with anything,
improving in music takes practice. One of the major problems with
children and music is the drudgery of practicing. There is no set
time, however your child must spend quality time each
day reviewing what they were taught. Practice must be concentrated and focused. Set the same
time every day to practice so that it becomes part of a routine or
habit. For young children 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity and
they spend more time watching the clock then practicing.
Instead of setting a time frame, use repetition as your gauge. For
example have your child play each piece 3 - 5 times per day.
The child does not pay attention to the amount of time they are
practicing but knows that they are on the third time and almost
finished. Ideally, your child should have a place to
practice without distractions and it should not disrupt the household.
If the home is small then you should consider the instrument chosen. A very
large instrument or a noisy instrument could be very disruptive and you
may not have the room for it.
Depending on the
instrument and the skill level of the child private lessons will run either 30,
45 or 60 minutes per week. Lessons are scheduled on an individual basis.
Your registration reserves you a time slot for the duration of your
instruction period. It is imperative that you arrive promptly for
your lesson. They will normally give you only one make-up lesson
per session and any other that the child misses will be a forfeiture of
Formal and informal
recitals are an important part of the music program. They will offer
your child the opportunity to perform, listen and learn proper recital
etiquette. These recitals are not mandatory but it is to your
child's advantage for them to participate. You will have recitals
for school programs as well as private lessons.
The cost of music lessons has four components:
- cost of the
- cost of
- competition or
The cost for lessons
would depend on whether your child is taking private or group lessons,
the length of the class and the qualifications of the instructor.
Music sessions will run
for 16 -20 weeks. As a general indication, most instruments
will be $25 - $40 for a 30 minute lesson, $35 -$50 for a 45
minute lesson and $50 - $60 for a 60 minute lesson. Some
organizations offer family discounts and group rates. Many
students enjoy taking lessons with their family or friends.
The cost of the
instrument would depend on whether you rent or purchase the instrument.
If you rent the instrument it is usually done on a three month trial
basis that will automatically turn into a year contract if the
instrument is not returned. You can pay the cost all once at the
beginning or they will automatically bill your credit card on a monthly
basis. Instrument cost information can be found in the Equipment
If you choose to
purchase the instrument you have the option of purchasing a new or used
instrument. A used instrument will be substantially cheaper and
many times are like new.
Initially, the materials
required will be a method book that will cost approximately $ 8- 10.
Some music stores will include the book with the rental of the
instrument. In addition, some musical accessories could be recommended
depending on the instructor.
recitals are a wonderful way for your child to show their abilities to
the world and it is extremely exciting for them. However, many
recitals and competitions often have entry fees. You will need to
discuss with child's instructor their philosophy on this subject.
Do flutes come
The flute family consists
of the piccolo, E flat, alto, concert or C flute and bass flutes.
The concert flute is the instrument used for beginners. To play this
instrument your child must be large enough to reach the keys without
straining their neck or hands. Flute manufacturers do offer a
flute with curved headjoints to make it possible for a smaller child to
play the instrument without difficulty. Your flute teacher may recommend
a curved headjoint for a small, beginner and will switch them to a
straight headjoint as your child progresses. As your child's musical
ability with the flute develops their flute teacher may recommend they
move up to a bass or alto flute.
I do rent or buy a flute?
Initially, your best option is to rent a
your local music store. If you rent the instrument it is
usually done on a three month trial basis that will automatically turn
into a year contract if the instrument is not returned. Renting,
at first, is a good idea to make sure your child is committed to the
instrument and it will minimize your initial investment.
dedicated students should purchase a flute at some point in their
development. Many music stores will give you a credit for a certain
amount of money in the rental and will apply it to the purchase of
either that instrument or a better one. A concert or C flute will cost
between $300 - $500. A fine sounding, bass or alto flute can be
purchased from between $750.00 and $1500.00.
In addition, you will
need to purchase a music stand.
play the flute you
hold it out to one side (to your right) and blow across the mouthpiece
to create the sound. The hole in the mouthpiece has a sharp edge, known
as a fipple, and it is the air passing across this that makes the sound.
To make the different notes you cover and uncover holes with a system of
keys operated by rods and levers.
In the early stages
of playing a flute your child may feel dizzy. This happens because
they have to learn the proper combination of embouchure and air stream.
This will go away once they learn proper breath control.
Realize that the
instrument that your child begins with may not necessarily be the one
that they stay with forever. They are however, learning the
basics of music theory and harmony that can be easily converted to
You will know when your
child is ready to enter competition when he/she feels extremely
confident and is willing to play in front of people. This is the best
sign that your child is ready to go out and be judged for their
Rewards work very well
for children. Be sure to grant an occasional simple reward to help
encourage practice. Stickers are a great way to show approval.
Praise also tends to be a great reward; there is no substitution for a
pat on the back for a job well done.
Instruments are very
delicate and should always be protected from heat, cold and quick
changes in temperature.
It is important to
properly maintain your instrument at all times.
||Two or more
different pitches sounding at the same time
EVERY GOOD BOY DOES
||A rule to
remember the lines of a staff by using the first letter of each
for two players.
||A rule to
remember, from bottom to top, the spaces on a musical staff.
||Time set aside
for your child to review what the teacher has taught them during
their normal lessons.
written for one player, often with a piano accompaniment.
||The five lines
and four spaces used for writing music
||The letters A
through G. These are used to name the notes on the staff
in a LINE - SPACE - LINE - SPACE order.
musical instrument of the woodwind family.
necessary when the lenght of the flute causes problems.
||A person who
plays the flute