Melissa Hoover (flute teacher and YouTuber) runs a YouTube channel called Melissa.Flutes where she posts flute covers, flute tips and tutorials. Melissa holds a Masters degree in flute performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She has been teaching flute for over 9 years and now teaches via skype. She grew up in sunny South Africa and now lives in England.
How many years have you been active on YouTube?
What was your inspiration to film your videos?
I’ve been on YouTube for almost 8 years. I first joined in July 2011. I had been watching YouTube for about 2 years before I joined. I loved the idea of joining a community where we can share our talents with one another. I would have loved to create a singing cover channel, but I could not sing at the time, so I used my flute instead.
Was there one video that shot out above the others?
Yes, most recently my ‘Shape of You’ cover by Ed Sheeran has just over 8 million views. I think it’s because it is a very popular song.
How has YouTube affected your flute life and personal brand?
Well, after completing my university degree I decided I did not want to be an orchestral flute player which was always my ultimate goal. I had lost my joy for playing the flute. I guess YouTube has allowed me to still keep playing and find my joy in it again.
Do you recommend starting an AdSense account? Or can one still gain viewers organically?
It depends on what you want to do with your channel. Adsense will allow you to earn money by placing ads on your videos or website. I think most people who are active on youtube have an Adsense account. If there’s an opportunity to earn money doing what you love, then go for it. I believe that if your content is valuable, people will find you eventually. Although, if you have the budget then paid advertising is also an option. I don’t do that personally but I know many businesses do.
What are some of your professional (and personal) goals?
I love being self-employed so I’m hoping that it can stay that way. My goals change all the time but being my own boss is a constant goal of mine.
Do you teach? What do you like best about teaching?
Yes I teach! I teach both English and flute. I only teach online nowadays. I love that I can connect with people from all around the world and share what I have learned over the last 21 years.
What inspires you the most in life?
I get a lot of my inspiration from YouTube. If I need motivation to practice dance, I look up ballet tutorials or rehearsals. That goes for anything really. My subscribers also inspire me to keep making videos.
What has been your greatest challenge?
This is a tough one because I’ve had so many but I think my greatest challenge was leaving my family in South Africa and starting a new life in England to complete my Masters degree.
Who were your music mentors? And what did you learn from them?
I had two teachers back in South Africa who really encouraged me to pursue a career in flute performance. They were so supportive and made me feel like anything was possible. I think your mentor should be someone who you feel comfortable with and someone who understands you.
Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?
1. I’m learning to surf.
2. I love writing to-do lists.
3. I follow lots of fashion bloggers and interior design profiles on Instagram.
4. I’m learning to sing, dance and act. I’d like to perform in a musical one day!
5. I like to sprinkle smarties on my popcorn when I go to the cinema.
Any advice for Flutists who are just starting their YouTube channels?
In your opinion, has it gotten harder through the years?
Do it because you love it. This is what will keep you going. You don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment to start. Just start. It hasn’t gotten harder to keep up with making videos, although I think its become harder to stand out from the crowd. I know this is a cliche but it’s so important to be yourself because there is no one else like you. If people enjoy your content then they will come back for more.