Hadar Noiberg and Keith Underwood, both accomplished musicians as well as teachers, are teaming up together to create a unique workshop for flutists from all genres. With a focus on expanding one’s boundaries, technical abilities, musicality, rhythm, tone, articulation, and harmony, Hadar and Keith are striving to teach flutists to become well-rounded musicians.
by Hadar Noiberg
I met Keith Underwood about a year and a half ago. As an improviser who grew up playing Classical music, I was looking for some inspiration on the ‘flute side of things’, for someone who could open my mind about flute techniques and, at the same time, won’t pigeonhole me into playing strictly classical repertoire. After one meeting with Keith, I realized that we speak the same language and come from very similar backgrounds and influences. While Keith is a world-renowned teacher in the Classical field (teaching some of the best principal flutists in orchestras and across the world today), he also loves Brazilian music and has a lot of respect for improvisation and jazz. He invited me to be a special guest teacher in his classes in NYU and Mannes and I invited him to be a special guest as a part of my ongoing online classes, the Self Sufficient Flutist, where I teach flutists from all over the world and musical spectrum how to relate to rhythm, harmony, articulation, technique and improve their performance.
During these past few weeks in quarantine, we ended up being a part of each other’s online classes, even more, exchanging ideas about breathing, articulation, posture, bass lines, buzzing, improvising and so many other inspiring things and we’ve realized that our dynamic is very enjoyable for the students and, equally important, accessible and easy to understand. We’re discussing these fundamental topics in a conversational format where we bounce ideas off of each other and encourage each other to go even deeper and find more creative ways to explain and practice them while constantly making the other flutists feel like they’re a part of the conversation.
After a while, we realized that instead of talking to smaller groups of flutists each time- Keith’s students, my students, and our Instagram following, it would be so wonderful to do a sort of an online masterclass where we dedicate each meeting to a topic we both feel passionate about. We decided to start a series of online masterclasses and call them Flute Conversations since we would like to keep the more casual format. The participants can submit questions in advance and comment on the live chat. We’re doing that through a website I’ve discovered, Crowdcast, which is great for live performances and webinars. The lessons are being recorded in HD quality so people can register and watch it whenever they want and as many times as they’d like. The classes are ‘by donation’ so that everyone could afford it and be a part of it if they’d like to.
On April 28th we’ve had our first class, Breathing and Using Breath as a Vehicle for Rhythm, and there were more than fifty flute players who registered from all over the world: New York, Kentucky, Minneapolis, Israel, Serbia, Brazil, Taiwan, Spain, Canada, and many others. We could feel the sense of community and were deeply touched by it. I’ve been feeling it very strongly in these past weeks- people, now more than ever, need the community to feel surrounded with love and be able to get through this period of uncertainty and come out of it feeling stronger and more inspired.
A private dream of mine has always been to create a community of flutists from around the world, regardless of which genre they’re coming from. I grew up in a very segregated jazz-classical flute world and I love to see how much jazz flutists, world music flutists, and classical flutists could learn from each other, share with one another, and encourage each other’s growth and development.
April 28th- Breathing and Using Breath as a Vehicle for Rhythm
bit.ly/KeithHadarBreathing (you can register and watch the class anytime)
May 5th- Introducing the Pharynx and the Use of Whomping
May 12th- Articulation
May 19th- Bass lines, a deeper understanding of rhythm