Essays

The First Panama Flute Festival

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Articles, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Essays, Featured, Issues, September 2017 | 0 comments

The First Panama Flute Festival

Dafne Guevara, Manuel Ruiz Acosta, and Valentin Martinez are the founders of APAFLUT (Asociación Panameña de Flautistas), the brand new and first flute association in Panama.   Fluterscooter was a Guest Artist of their first flute festival this summer in Panama City.  In this interview, she asks them about the festival, starting a flute association in Central America, and the flute and music scene in Panama. Explain a little about your background and how you founded APAFLUT:   Dafne: When I was studying in the USA, I saw a video of kids holding guns. The kids were barely 6 or 7 years old, and they were talking about killing people. These kids were reflecting all the hate that the older people had against society, and it was reflecting how hate can be passed down. I was thinking how sad it was for me, and that the government is not helping too much. They care about other things instead of education and culture. I used to live in one of these areas, so I know where these kids come from and what they see everyday. I said, we don’t need to wait for the government to do something; we have something beautiful. Let us use it, and take advantage of what we know, and all we know is to play the flute. We don’t have money. Manuel is also very enthusiastic, so we called and organized 40 kids and paid for pizza. One kid said he wanted to quit school, but saw what we were doing and your story, and now he will graduate and be someone. The kids said that we are their idols. After the first Panama flute “mini-festival,” we decided to create APA Flut. It’s been 113 years since anything happened with the flute here. We are the new generation. We need this! Without any money, I went back home and talked to Prof. Almarza, and he said he would support it. I went back to UNLV, and Dr. Grim was also on board. After that, I had a lot of opportunities to write projects for fellowships, and I won one fellowship through UNLV. I’d also write to friends of flute foundations and explain about the project, and I got a lot of support. Manuel: My sister is a lawyer, and she helped us with all the legal things we needed to create APA Flut in Panama. Was it difficult?   Manuel: It was VERY difficult, especially since we don’t have money, but luckily my sister helped. Valentin: We did 4 recitals to earn money to pay for the creation of the association. Dafne: We owe everything to the kids. Ever since we gave them the idea that we’re starting the flute association here, they knew we didn’t have money, but they said they still have flutes. From January until last week, the kids have been presenting recitals to get money. We sold tickets to the recitals, and advertised mostly on Facebook. Is this an ongoing flute association? What are your responsibilities until the next festival?   Dafne: Besides getting sponsors, it is to keep the kids motivated. We don’t want to give them something beautiful like this, but then have it go away. I want these kids to be someone and be inspired. So you’re really empowering these kids.   Dafne: Exactly....

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365 Days of Flute. By Robin Meiksins

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Issues, September 2017 | 0 comments

365 Days of Flute.  By Robin Meiksins

Online challenges and process projects have been a popular category for quite a few years now. Hilary Hahn has been doing a ‘100 Days of Practice” challenge on Instagram, and there are thousands of YouTube challenges that range anywhere from eating chili peppers, to dancing, to answering questions. On September 27, 2016, I created my 365 days of flute. The idea of a 365-day challenge isn’t new; in the photography world they are a dime-a-dozen, but musicians largely haven’t taken to them. Joo Won Park did ‘100 strange sounds’ in 2012-2013 and Olivia Jageurs’s 15-Second Harp has been successfully running for almost two years, but neither project really covers the scope of what I attempted. Mimi Stillman’s Syrinx Journey, in which she recorded Debussy’s iconic flute work “Syrinx” for a year in different places, is probably the closest to what I am doing. Here are the rules I set for myself to successfully complete the challenge: every day for a year I had to record and post a video to YouTube. Each video had to be a unique piece, movement, excerpt or etude, and none could repeat through the whole project. Each video should be no longer than 5 minutes (except for some special cases) and I couldn’t prerecord. In October, I started a call for scores to incorporate more contemporary music, since I’m a contemporary specialist. As I am writing this, it is Day 293 and I have recorded 294 videos (an April Fools Day prank caused the video count to be off by one). I have played pieces from every continent, excluding Antarctica, and I have yet to miss a day. I started the project because I wasn’t practicing after I moved to Chicago after graduating with my master’s. I needed something to force myself to practice, but didn’t have any performances lined up or competitions to enter. I also wanted to do something that would push my musical skills and expose me to a wider range of repertoire. I had been posting videos irregularly on YouTube and Tumblr for years, so it seemed like a logical way to keep myself honest. There would be a record of my progress and an audience to be responsible to. But what have I learned from this project? I definitely have learned to practice better and more efficiently; I have to be able to give a performance every day. I can pinpoint the passages I can’t play already and how to practice them so I learn them as quickly as possible. With every piece I see and sight-read, the patterns I already have in my fingers increase, and the next piece gets easier. These skills don’t replace the hours I would like to spend on music, but throw me into a studio setting where I have to perform almost by sight-reading alone, and I have learned that I can produce in this context. I’ve also learned a lot of repertoire. That seems obvious, but I didn’t realize how much of the standard repertoire I hadn’t studied. Even having played for sixteen years, there were pieces people requested that I play or that were on repertoire lists that I had never seen. I can say that I now know at least fifty more pieces, and that doesn’t include the composer submissions....

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Freewriting the Future: Flute Blogs. By Rachel Taylor Geier

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Interviews, September 2017 | 0 comments

Freewriting the Future: Flute Blogs.  By Rachel Taylor Geier

According to the National Science Foundation, our brains produce 50,000 thoughts per day. Some of these thoughts may be individual interpretations of the world around us, and many, delivered in the proper form, may be valuable to audiences far and wide. Social media platforms have made it possible to share ideas across oceans with the click of a mouse or a single swipe across a screen. One of the most effective ways to communicate ideas is to host a blog where concepts may be explained in detail using photos, diagrams, and videos (aka the fun stuff!). A blog is essentially an online journal that you create for yourself. You are the designer, editor, writer, and marketing department, and it is up to you to develop content that resonates with readers within your particular niche. A blog is an extraordinary place for performing flutists to share interpretations of popular works and tips and tricks for executing difficult passages. An instructor, on the other hand, may use a blog to capture lesson plans or share unique pedagogical concepts with the rest of the flute-playing world. What makes a good blog? Where does a first-time blogger start? The first step is to simply dive in. All great blogs have 3 things in common; consistency of posts, diversity of topics, and unique ideas. Before setting up your blogging platform, it is best to make editorial decisions regarding these 3 key components. Will you post once a week? Twice a week? Once every other week? What day will you upload new posts? When I began my own flute blog, I made the mistake of uploading new posts only when I had free time, which turned out to be roughly once a month at odd times. I did not have a readership because I was inconsistently adding new content, making my blog unpredictable and difficult to follow. That all changed when I retitled my blog, “Flute Friday.” I now upload new posts every Friday and readers know when to expect new content. This has expanded my readership tenfold and helped me to develop new, and far more entertaining, posts for wider audiences. Developing your opus of topics will come with time, but deciding what types of posts will initially appear on your blog is an important component of the set-up process. Are you a performer? Would you like to create a tips and tricks blog? Perhaps you would like to use your blogging practice to analyze pieces you are working on or to review new music and recordings. Would you rather combine your teaching and performing practices, discussing how to both perform and teach certain pieces? Once you have determined an overall theme for your blog, grab a cup of coffee and begin brainstorming at least 10 topics falling under that theme. Keep the topics simple (a 1-word title is sufficient) and make sure you can write concisely about each subject. A blog post is not a book. Limit your writing to a predetermined word-count range (1200-1400 words, for example) to prevent yourself from getting carried away. I have sacrificed too many Friday evenings and Saturday mornings creating posts that really could have been packaged in a shorter format, at the expense of spending quality time with my family. Do not let your blog mess...

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A Formal Analysis by Heidi Kay Begay

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Issues, September 2017 | 0 comments

A Formal Analysis by Heidi Kay Begay

Heidi Kay Begay is currently a doctoral flute performance major studying with Dr. Lisa Garner Santa at Texas Tech University. Heidi has held many teaching titles, which include adjunct music instructor positions at Eastern New Mexico University and Tarrant County College. She has held executive and festival committee positions with the Texas Flute Society; such positions include: registration coordinator, festival co-chair, industry/commercial liaison, and president. Her March 2010 publication, “Hopi Culture and the Music of Katherine Hoover,” can be found in Flute Talk magazine. Heidi’s degrees include a Masters of Music from Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and a Bachelor’s of Art in Music from the University of Arizona. Her past flute teachers include Dr. Brian A. Luce, Dr. Diane Boyd-Schultz, Dr. Dennette Derby McDermott, and Don Bailey. A Formal Analysis of C.P.E. Bach’s “Hamburger” Flute Sonata in G Major, Wq. 133 (H. 564), Mvt. I (Allegretto) Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a master of all the musical genres from his time, except for opera, and was known for composing in the musical style Empfindsamkeit, which translates to “sensitivity.” Among his compositions, C.P.E. Bach wrote a total of eighteen flute sonatas, four flute concerti, and a few minor works for the woodwind instrument (Miller 203). Without question, one of Bach’s most well-known flute works is the “Hamburger” flute sonata, which has two movements (Allegretto and Presto), and is scored for flute and basso continuo. It was written in 1786 in Hamburg, Germany just two years before his death in 1788, and was the last solo flute sonata that Emanuel Bach composed. The research presented here will focus on a formal analysis of the first movement from this famous flute sonata. Examining the first movement of the “Hamburger” flute sonata, one can clearly identify that it is in sonata form. Sonata form is defined as having three large sections: the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation, in which the musical subject matter is stated, explored or expanded, and restated, which is apparent in the Allegretto movement (see Appendix 1). This sonata form analysis is supported by musicologist Mary Oleskiewicz where she states, “...except in the quick movements of Wq. 131 and 133, each movement of Bach’s solo sonatas from 1745 onward comprises a full three-part sonata form” (xiii). To the contrary, Leta Miller, claims the Allegretto movement is in binary form (209). The current analysis shows how the Allegretto movement can be analyzed to coincide to the sonata form model as seen in Appendix 1. The Allegretto movement fits fairly closely to a standard sonata form. For reference, below is a sonata form model from Matthew Santa’s book, Hearing Form, found on page 63 (see Example 1):   Example 1 This being said, it should be noted that Douglass Green offers the following suggestion: When analyzing sonata form, then the student can avoid a good deal of trouble and misunderstanding by attempting to rid himself of a priori requirements. Rather than constantly referring the work under examination to his notions about what it “should” or “should not” do, the student should observe uncritically what the composer has done (210). Hepokoski and Darcy also mention some similar opinions on the subject: “there is no consensus regarding the manner in which sonata form in the decades around 1800 is to be grasped” (3). Without ignoring these scholars’ thoughts, this paper addresses qualities of...

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Keeping Up With Kaori: What’s Next for Music Beyond

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Articles, Entrepreneurship, Essays, Featured, Interviews, Issues, July 2017 | 0 comments

Keeping Up With Kaori: What’s Next for Music Beyond

We wrote about Music Beyond a few years back.  How has Music Beyond grown since then?   In August, Music Beyond will mark 3 years since the inception. Our student base has grown about 6x and we have manage to provide over 400 hours of training (by the time I come back from the trip I'm about to head out, it'll most likely be over 500 hours!).   What has changed for MB, and what new components have you added?   Our first initiative was a music teacher training program for existing woodwind musicians in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This program is still continuing, but we also started Congo's very first All-female chamber ensemble last year.   Your gala was incredible!  Tell us some of the key steps in organizing and arranging a charity event.   Oh dear... I don't even know where to begin! Come up with an overall budget, find a venue suitable for the expected number of guests, find caterer, decide on the overall theme / character of the event, secure keynote speakers and/or special guests that fits to the theme/character of the event... Then all the tedious work begins- go over the details about million times, sending out invitations (over and over and over!!), finding sponsors, secure silent auction items, making/updating tons of spread sheets, making / printing programs.... etc etc etc. Got the idea? ;)   You'll be in the Congo when this comes out.  What will you be doing on this trip, specifically?   I will be working with the musicians for almost 4 weeks this time. Monday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm outside! I will continue to work with the woodwind players but my focus this time will be all-female ensemble. LOTS of fundamental exercises, both private and group lessons, ensemble coaching... And a concert at the Japanese Ambassador's Residence!   What is the role of music in empowering citizens of DRC?  and especially the women of DRC?   DR Congo is one of the most difficult counties on earth. Capital city Kinshasa has 12 million people, yet there are many neighborhoods that don't have electricity or running water. Majority of Congolese families can't afford education for kids and especially if you are a girl, the chance for education diminishes even further. (It's normal for a family to send only boys to school but not girls) Multiple conflicts and wars have been taking place for over 2 decades straight and the government is completely corrupt. On top of all that, DRC is known as the "rape capital of the world" and is labeled as "the worst place to be a woman". So, obviously many people had completely lost hope and faith - both men and women. As a woman, it's even harder surviving, let alone thriving in DRC. Having said that, there ARE groups of people who are doing everything in their power to moving forward, building their community from the ground up and stay hopeful. What kind of people can do that? - People who manage to find fulfillment in life. Music can be a great source for fulfillment and when we are fulfilled, it gives us a tremendous amount of dignity, confidence and happiness, which result in being able to be empathetic to others and help each other. Speaking...

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Dr. Cate’s Corner: Blowing is the Foundation of Playing by Dr. Cate Hummel

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Issues, July 2017 | 1 comment

Dr. Cate’s Corner: Blowing is the Foundation of Playing by Dr. Cate Hummel

Blowing and….. We know we need to blow to play the flute. This seems patently obvious, but do we really know how to blow in a way that informs our tone, technique, articulation and phrasing? I would say maybe not always, based on my own experience as a student, a teacher, a performer and as an observer in masterclasses. More than anything else, top players and teachers know how to use their air to give life to the music, shape the phrases, define the articulation, create color in their tone and show the intention of the composer. How they use the air defines absolutely everything else about their playing. Let’s break this down and examine the role that blowing occupies in flute playing. To start with, our breath is life itself, not merely the force that creates the sound on the flute. That we breathe separates us from inanimate objects and defines our existence. Marcel Moyse said, “Don’t simply blow into the flute--give it your warm breath.” In other words, put your very life essence into the flute. When I was a kid, I loved the plastic overlays that you would find in encyclopedias. I thought they were really cool. It didn’t matter what the topic; it could be anatomy, geography, dinosaurs, pretty much anything that you could illustrate by progressively adding layers of complexity. I would go looking in the encyclopedia just to find these overlay illustrations, not because I wanted any specific information, but because I wanted to see how the different layers transformed the original illustration at the bottom of all the layers. This type of overlay illustration is a perfect analogy for playing the flute (or any wind instrument). The basis, the foundation of everything we do on the instrument starts with our air. Absolutely everything else we do, be it tone color, phrasing, technique or articulation is dependent on having consistent control over our air. In other words, the other things are overlays on top of how we are using our air: blowing and embouchure, blowing and technique, blowing and articulation…. If how we use our air is the essential thing, what about all the other elements of playing the flute? Embouchure - goes hand in hand with air. Embouchure is what shapes and directs the air. Embouchure can create colors, adjust pitch and shape phrases. Technique - is supported by how we use the air. Without steady blowing and breath energy between the notes, all the technical studies in the world won’t make your playing sparkle. You can work on smooth, clean combinations, but it is the sensation of the air moving through and between the notes that gives your technique energy and pizzazz. Articulation - breath based rather than tonguing based. As Nyfenger liked to say, “Tonguing is the anti-tone.” Learn to vary your blowing to show the character and style of what you are playing. Trilling - the energy and intensity of your trills is based on your blowing rather than your wiggling finger(s). One of my earliest experiences as a teacher fresh out of a master’s degree was with a girl who came to me for lessons in order to work on her technique. She couldn’t move her fingers fast enough, or so she thought. The first thing she played...

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Commissioning New Music: A Guide to Getting Started by Nicole Riner

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Issues, July 2017 | 0 comments

Commissioning New Music: A Guide to Getting Started by Nicole Riner

Praised for her "luscious, full sound" (American Record Guide) and "effortless precision" (Flutist Quarterly), Nicole Riner maintains an active national presence as a recitalist and pedagogue. She has presented master classes at universities and conservatories across the country and has performed with orchestras and at summer festivals, chamber music series, and flute fairs in the United States, South American, and Europe. A champion of new contemporary music, Nicole has also commissioned and premiered over twenty works both as a soloist and with her chamber group, Verismo Trio. In 2016, she joined the board of Flute New Music Consortium, a commissioning organization for flutists. Nicole currently teaches at University of Wyoming, where she is Visiting Assistant Professor or Flute.   Commissioning New Music: A Guide to Getting Started   This is a preview (and hopefully helpful resource for later!) of the presentation I am leading on behalf of Flute New Music Consortium at the Music by Women Festival March 3-4 in Columbus, MS.  If you're in the area, I hope you can come!  Some amazing music by Nicole Chamberlain, Amber Beams, and Kay HE will also be performed. And some of this information will be presented again, in round table form with composers and commissioners, at NFA in Minneapolis this summer! Funding Ideas for Commissioning Projects:   GRANTS   Aggregate Sites: American Composers Forum: composers forum.org/programs/commissions-awards-grants-fellowships BMI Foundation: www.bmi.com/foundation/ Musical Online: www.musicalonline.com/foundation_grants.htm Barlow Endowment for Music Composition: barlow.byu.edu/Pages/index.html Things to know: There is one commission prize every year for an LDS composer, and another one every year for the general public; since requirements are so open-ended, this is a very competitive application. Carnegie Corporation Aggregate Site: carnegie.org/grants/grants-database Things to know: Grants here often require a special focus and/or educational content, so read about the grants first, then tailor your project to the required language. Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program: www.chamber-music.org/programs/classical/grants#1408 Things to know: must be a member of CMA to apply; the director of the program is very hands-on, so make contact with her as you develop your proposal to see if she has any suggestions for making it better. Creative Capital: www.creative-capital.org/ourprogram Things to know: There is no strictly classical music category, just a general “performing arts” group, and integration with other artworks is an important element to the projects they fund. National Endowment for the Arts: www.nea.gov/grants/apply Things to know: highly competitive; if you are writing for a grant through your school, only one application per school per year, is accepted, so coordinate with your school director to ensure you are qualified.   ARTS ORGANIZATIONS   Local and stat arts organizations often have either specific grant applications for artists or discretionary money for intriguing proposals.  Must be a member of the organization to apply.  To look up your state and region, go to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies: www.nasaa-arts.org   CROWD FUNDING   Go Fund Me: crowdfunding.com (No limit required, no penalty for not reaching goal) Indiegogo: indiegogo.com Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com (Financial goal must be reached in order to collect) Rocket Hub: www.rockethub.com How to Find Composers:   POST ANNOUNCEMENTS ON FORUMS   American Composers Forum: composersforum.org Composer’s Forum: composersforum.ning.com Cornell University Composers Forum: music.cornell.edu/calendar/composers-forum European Composers Forum: composersforum.eu UNT Composers Forum: music.unt.edu/students/composers-forum Washington Composers Forum: www.washingtoncomposersforum.org Young Composers Forum: www.youngcomposers.com   …AND ON FACEBOOK   Composers...

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Tips for Smarter Social Media Commenting. By Rachel Hacker

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Articles, Blog, Essays, Featured, Issues, July 2017 | 1 comment

Tips for Smarter Social Media Commenting.  By Rachel Hacker

The Flute View has written about social media use on many occasions. Each of us who write for the magazine have benefited from interacting with a daily network of flutists and musicians from all over the world.  Blunders with people from the digital world are likely, if not inevitable. After a recent negative experience with a stranger on social media, I’ve decided to write a guide for commenting on the posts of others. It’s one thing to post an inappropriate status or photo to your own page, but it’s a different situation to say something inappropriate to another person, in a setting that is equally virtual and public. There is at least one occasion a day where I figuratively roll my eyes at an Instagram photo, a Facebook video, or a Twitter thread from someone else. We all know a person who wears their heart on the sleeve, posts a slew of selfies (that all look the same), or complains about every situation they encounter. It is convenient to judge their post, fire off a hurtful comment. The past few months, I’ve cut down on social media use, and it has made me happier. I have learned that there are too many people on social media who hide behind their computers, and say things without thinking.   The Situation  A few weeks ago, there was a Facebook page that shared one of my old Flute View articles. I was at a baby shower at the time it was posted, so I didn’t pay attention to the post for a while. I viewed the post later that day, and saw a couple of unexpected, negative, comments under it. One of the comments got resolved, but the other one really ground my gears.  A woman that I did not know called my makeup “horrid.”  The remark did not actually offend me, but I found it completely inappropriate, given that it was on a page about flute playing. I called the woman out, without being lewd, violent, or inappropriate. Multiple other people began to take up for me, and persecute the woman. She meekly apologized, but the administrator still blocked the woman from the page. This interaction could have been entirely avoided, if only she had used better social judgement.   What you can do:   Recognize your audience:  People seem to conveniently forget that social networks are, in fact, a network. Anything said on social media can be seen by anyone else. Before getting hired at my full time job, my bosses found a way to go through my Facebook, and they aren’t even friends with me. With that said, a rude or negative comment is likely to be seen by anyone else that is also friends with, or follows, the posts of that person. If the original poster has very lax security settings, or the comment was on a forum, that comment is pretty much public content. In this instance, several thousand musicians were able to access that comment. It left a terrible first impression for many people who might have otherwise considered networking with her.     Read the comment again in your head:  Sometimes, we say something without thinking, and it is later perceived by others to be crass, rude, or pretentious.  We later look at the comment again, and...

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Music Is The Ointment That Heals by Dyan Parker

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, July 2017, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Music Is The Ointment That Heals by Dyan Parker

  After years of research on healing, it became apparent to me that our bodies and minds act in unison. It is therefore important to have an antidote to our emotional wounds so that they do not affect our physical health. Music is capable of healing those wounds. How does that happen? How do we come to be wounded in the first place? And then how does music heal such wounds? We are wounded in very various aspects of our lives on a regular basis. We are wounded when we are lied to; we are wounded when we are betrayed; we are wounded when we do not reach our goals and we are wounded when we disappoint others — or when they disappoint us. We are wounded when we disappoint ourselves. We are wounded when we look around and see a world in chaos. We are wounded when we are afraid. And we are wounded when everything seems to be collapsing around us. We are wounded for so many different reasons, many of them rooted deep down in our emotions. If left unattended, however, these emotional injuries can become physical wounds and eventually turn to disease. Over time, they can become chronic and can even be fatal. The fallout from the emotional wounds runs the gamut. It is up to each of us to be alert to what is going on in our lives and all that is happening around us. When we are on autopilot we inadvertently ignore what our instincts tell us. To paraphrase a famous quote…The greatest wisdom comes from a life that has been examined sufficiently so that you can trust those small voices that you hear all day long. You might think you are better off brushing things aside, such as those negative thoughts and experiences, but they remain in your subconscious mind. Every conversation, every interaction, every little thing you hear and see remains with you, stored in your mind and in your body, down to your cellular structure. That storage can create dis-ease if it is not cleared out, in the same way you periodically clean out the refrigerator. At the same time, whatever is put into your cellular structure also becomes part of your response mechanism. You are unlikely to respond appropriately unless you take your time to examine the experiences you store before allowing them to be packed away and become part of your thinking process. You need to first understand that what you are storing in your brain and emotional memory is fact, and not a misinterpretation of the actual facts. This process is no different from placing items into long-term storage. You need to be alert and aware so that you only carry along what serves you on this voyage through life. When you retrieve information and respond spontaneously you want to be able to trust those responses. That process allows you to develop coping skills (see definition below) that will help you in the long run. What are coping skills ? The skills that we use when faced with stress are known as coping skills. People develop a pattern upon which they rely during the emotionally difficult times. To help you cope in a healthy manner you can meditate--visit a beautiful, calm place, without even leaving your...

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A Summer Practice Plan. By Dr. Tammy Evans Yonce

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Articles, Education, Essays, Featured, Issues, June 2017 | 0 comments

A Summer Practice Plan.  By Dr. Tammy Evans Yonce

As the school year ends, many students are joyously looking forward to some relaxation and perhaps a break from the flute. Some students spend the summer working in order to have enough saved to pay for living expenses for the upcoming school year. While it’s a good, healthy idea to rest and recharge, and it’s often necessary to commit to earning a sum of money, it is also important to not lose the momentum and skills that are the result of many hours of diligent practice over the quickly ending school year. How do we balance the need for respite and work with the desire to keep growing as a musician? There are a couple of challenges that need to be addressed that often stand in the way of our musical progress during the summer. When school is over and we’re off on summer adventures, we often don’t have the benefit of regularly scheduled lessons with our teacher. The frequent encouragement and support received during those lessons is absent, and that can have an effect on our motivation. There is also much less accountability; if we know we won’t have the opportunity to check in with someone, the temptation to delay practicing is there. How can we stay motivated if our schedule has suddenly been turned upside down with travel, work, down time, pursuing other interests, and little to no contact with a teacher? Here are a few suggestions: Find a practice buddy to help keep accountability. Maybe there is a friend in your flute studio who also wants to keep their skills sharp over the summer. Check in with that person once a week to discuss what you’ve been working on and what your plan for the upcoming week is. They will do the same, and you will keep each other encouraged and motivated.   Come up with a project for yourself. Summer can be a fantastic time to explore flute technique and literature. Often we are working for very specific goals during the school year such as juries, recitals, lessons, and so forth. During the summer we can be a bit more exploratory with our practice. Maybe there are several pieces you’ve really wanted to work on but haven’t gotten to yet. Now is the perfect time! Perhaps you’d like to move beyond the major and minor scales; work on blues scales, whole tone scales, or another variety entirely. How is your double- and triple-tonguing? This would be a fantastic opportunity to work hard on that.   Explore the flute repertoire of a particular era. Maybe you’ve worked on a lot of music from the Classical period. Why not take this time to explore the Baroque (or Romantic, or 20th Century, or contemporary) repertoire? If you’re close to your school library, check out as many pieces from the era as you can find. Find high-quality recordings of these works, and follow along with the scores as you listen. In the absence of physical scores, check out those pieces that happen to exist in the public domain on IMSLP.org. Learn how they fit into the historical context; why were they written? What was their function? Are there any particular aspects of performance practice that need to be observed?   Record yourself. Sometimes this can be very uncomfortable for people...

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