As I write this listening to the waves crash by the sea, it is difficult to not be inspired by these surroundings. Viviana Guzman’s Flutes by the Sea masterclass, in its first year, was a combination of masterclasses, workshops, lectures, and concerts from flutists of all ages set in the beautiful, oceanfront city of Half Moon Bay, CA.
As flutists, the most important resource we have is our breath. Through daily seaside meditations and in masterclasses, breathing was a much-discussed topic. “Air is food,” as Carol Wincenc said in her classes, emphasizing breathing through the nose. In meditation, we learned to focus solely on our breath and nothing else. Many of us forget to use breathing as a tool to relieve performance anxiety before and during performance.
Lectures on the music business were also very helpful to each participant in the class, as they will most likely navigate their own career in music. As entrepreneur Jason Blank explained, “realize when opportunity comes your way, and if you stay in the (music) game long enough, opportunities will always come.” Contrastly, Barbara Siesel and Keith Torgan of Green Golly used guided meditation as a tool to reveal how the flute first appeared in our lives and how it inspired us to create our own path in music.
Flute choirs, renowned classical, jazz, and world music soloists, and even a flute quartet of 6 year olds performed at the nightly concerts. Flutes by the Sea was an inspirational and learning experience that I’d recommend to any flutist!