“What a difference it would have made had I had this as a student. And how it could have changed how I taught.”
- John Wion, Former Principal Flute, New York City Opera, Emeritus Professor of Flute, The Hartt School
“Plugged In: Practice and Performance Method for Flutists”
by Abigail Walsh, with compositions by Christian Glascock, is an innovative flute method book that uniquely integrates electronic tools to enhance tonal, technical, and rhythmic stability. In music, the flute uniquely can stir emotions and captivate listeners. However, to unlock the full potential of this instrument, one must delve into a path of self-discovery and technical mastery.
Divided into three distinct sections, the initial section provides foundational knowledge and skills, setting the stage for effectively utilizing the electronic tools discussed in the subsequent sections. Readers of this book are likely already acquainted with the basics of flute playing, yet it is anticipated that they will find value in a comprehensive review, discover fresh insights into these crucial skills, and derive enjoyment from the new exercises.
Preparing the Body to Play in Tone and in Tune: The initial section starts with the basics – posture, breathing, embouchure, and tone production, emphasizing the nuances of tone color and tuning. This section introduces new exercises to enhance control and expression and aims to provide fresh insights and enjoyment, refining the foundational skills necessary for advanced techniques.
Drone Studies – Blending and Accuracy: This section harnesses the power of drone studies, which is crucial for musical development. It includes access to acoustic drones of the tonic and fifth in just intonation for all twelve chromatic notes, available in three timbres (oboe, flute, and clarinet) on Conway Publications’ YouTube page and other streaming platforms. These acoustic drones vary from most harmonic to hollow timbres, offering a rich palette for blending and accuracy exercises. The method trains flutists to adjust tone color, dynamics, and vibrato while rhythmic drones sharpen timing and precision.
Delay Studies – Precision and Artistry: The final section explores ten original delay studies composed by Christian Glascock. Delay studies enhance rhythmic accuracy and cultivate musicianship as you adjust your playing and refine your timing by playing with an echo of yourself! Inspired by nature’s power and transformative ability, each study captures unique aspects of the natural world – the balance of life, the passage of time, and the interplay between formidable forces and nurturing qualities. These pieces require dynamic interaction with software, synchronizing performances with past iterations. The studies are designed to enhance tone, intonation, and phrasing, deepening the theoretical understanding of music while offering fulfilling
In a move to support the musical community, Dr. Walsh has made several resources freely accessible, regardless of whether the book is purchased. These resources, including acoustic drone tracks in clarinet, flute, and oboe timbres, are instrumental in improving intonation and blending. These can be accessed at: https://conway-publications.com/resources/plugged-in-resources/
The book has already received high praise from renowned flutists:
“This new method book is a must for flutists! … I wholeheartedly recommend this resource to flutists eager to elevate their playing to new heights.” - Virginia Broffitt Kunzer, Associate Professor of Flute, Auburn University
“What a difference it would have made had I had this as a student. And how it could have changed how I taught.” - John Wion, Former Principal Flute, New York City Opera, Emeritus Professor of Flute, The Hartt School
“Dr. Abigail Walsh’s new book combines excellent discussion of flute fundamentals with inventive ways to take your practice into the future.” - Rebecca Johnson, Associate Professor of Flute, Eastern Illinois University.
“Christian Glascock’s ‘Delay Studies’ clearly outlines how to incorporate delay in the context of ten compositions. These studies will certainly improve many areas of any flutist’s playing – and they’re a blast to perform!” - Melissa Keeling, Author, The Electric Flute: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Flute with Effects.
Dr. Abigail Walsh is the Visiting Professor of Flute at Grand Valley State University, Vice President of the West Michigan Flute Association and Co-Founder and Program Chair of the Great Lakes Flute Festival. Abigail has served on the faculties of the University of Illinois Springfield, Illinois College, and the Hartt School. Please visit www.abigailwalsh.com or visit @akwflute on Instagram or YouTube to learn more.
Christian Glascock, flutist and composer, will graduate with a degree in Flute Performance from Grand Valley State University in April 2024. His primary flute teachers include Christopher Kantner and Dr. Abigail Walsh, and his primary composition teacher is Dr. Bill Ryan. Christian is driven by a passion to create emotionally resonant music, combining flute performance with cutting-edge composition and electronic exploration. Visit www.christianglascock.com