Shopping on Amazon for Flutists

Amazon has become a haven for online shopping. You can purchase anything on there, from a new computer to a pair of socks. That also means that you can purchase music related items from Amazon.

Since you can find just about anything on Amazon, you have to be smart about what you do buy. There are some scams on there as well as some subpar products. In this post, we are going to talk about how to avoid those scams and stick to the good stuff.

Hannah B Flute | Shopping on Amazon for Flutists

I have personally used Amazon to purchase a lot of music stuff, everything from sheet music to instruments themselves. So I have quite a bit of experience when it comes to using Amazon to further my music goals.

So here’s how to use Amazon for flutists.

DISCLAIMER: This post includes affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, click here.

Fulfillment by Amazon.

The first thing you need to know about is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This program lets individual sellers buy products that Amazon then sells for them.

That means these products qualify for free two day shipping (with Prime), and Amazon handles all questions and complaints for these orders, too. You don’t have to deal with a shady seller who wants to con you out of your money.

When you go to a listing, you can see the different options for pricing.

For example: New (1) for $25.99.

Then you can see the different prices you can pay for the item you want. To tell if something is sold by an independent seller but managed and shipped by Amazon, look for the Fulfillment By Amazon sign.

Hannah B Flute | Fulfillment By Amazon

Another benefit of the FBA program is that you get to work with Amazon’s customer service team if there are any issues. A lot of companies lack in the area of customer service, so returns and exchanges can be a hassle. But Amazon has great customer service, and you get all the benefits of it.

Verify Any Instrument Purchases.

The only reputable flute brand that allows Amazon to sell their flutes that I know of is Pearl Flutes. Pearl has Amazon listed as an authorized dealer on the Pearl website.

That is not the case with other brands. Some, such as Gemeinhardt, specify that Amazon is NOT an authorized dealer. Others, such as Yamaha and Jupiter do not specify either way.

Before you purchase an instrument that is hundreds if not thousands of dollars, verify that it is a legit sale. Amazon is a good company, but they are not authorized to sell certain flute brands. If you find a listing for Gemeinhardt, that listing will not be up to the quality standards set by the flute company.

If you want to purchase a flute online but Amazon is not an authorized dealer, try and stick to other websites. Flute World and Flute Center of New York (FCNY) sell almost any brand of flute, completely online.

You can buy these other flutes from Amazon, but be aware that the purchase may not go as smoothly as it would with another website that is an authorized dealer of your chosen flute.

Get Sheet Music, Fast.

If you don’t have a huge music store close by, you will probably have to go to the internet to get the music you need. You can get some stuff from local music stores, but online give you more options.

Amazon has a ton of sheet music for flute, both for the Kindle and shipped to you. You can order with Prime and get sheet music in two days. It’s pretty amazing. Other online music stores usually have longer shipping times. If you’re in a pinch, Amazon is a good resource.

Now, you won’t find as much or as many editions as you would on a site like Flute World, but Amazon does have the basics. I have had to order from other websites when looking for a specific edition, but I tend to go with Amazon when I can.

You can’t really beat free shipping.

Save Those Gift Cards.

Everyone uses Amazon. And everyone gives Amazon gift cards. It’s a great go to gift. If you are looking at purchasing something more expensive on Amazon (like a verified flute), save those gift cards.

Over a few years, I managed to save a little over $200 in Amazon and Visa gift cards, which knocked down the price of my Pearl piccolo quite considerably.

I had wanted to use those gift cards earlier, but I am so glad I saved them for the special occasion. Having those gift cards took away some of the “heat” from splurging on a new instrument for myself.

Whether you want to save for a new instrument or for a nicer music stand, gift cards are an easy way to set aside money and not be tempted to spend them elsewhere.

So…

Have you made a musical purchase from Amazon before? What was your experience? Leave your thoughts in a comment below!

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Protec Flute Case Cover Review

If you have been with me for awhile, you might have seen my first review of this case cover. I wrote that post a few years back, and I wanted to write an updated version for you all.

Protec is a company that makes cases and covers for a lot of different instruments. They have cases and bags for woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, and more.

Hannah B Flute | Protec Flute Case Cover Review

Today, I am going to talk about their deluxe flute case cover.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. To read my full privacy policy, click here.

Why Get a Case Cover?

There are a few reasons why you might want a little something more than just your flute case. First off, student flute cases rarely have a pocket to store cleaning supplies, pencils, and the like.

Intermediate through professional flutes come with case covers, but they are thinner and may not last very long. I know with my current flute, the case cover started to get a little wear and tear after a little over a year.

A case cover also (usually) comes with a shoulder strap. That frees up your hands for sheet music, a music stand, or whatever else you may need to lug around.

Case covers are a simple, convenient way to keep all of your flute related items together but out of the flute case itself. I love being able to keep my flute, cleaning cloths/rods, piccolo, pencils, and instrument stands all in one place.

Why Protec?

Protec Flute Case Cover

There are a lot of companies out there that make flute case covers. I am reviewing the Protec cover, because I actually own it. I have had it for almost five years, and I used it on and off for most of that time.

The Cost

When I got my first flute, it actually came in a case similar to professional flutes. But it didn’t have a case cover. So it also had no outside storage, handles, anything.

I came across the Protec cover at a local music shop, and it looked like a great solution. It was also cheap, which was great for a student. I believe I payed around $35 for the cover.

The Colors

I went with the classic black, but the case cover also comes in purple and pink. If you prefer to have a brighter case so you can find it, go with the pink. If you want a more professional cover that you can take on stage, go with black.

Purple is also great if you want to stand out a little bit, but you still want a more subdued look.

The Features

One thing that I liked about the Protec cover when I was using it was that it had tons of room for accessories. The outside pocket is much bigger than on other case covers. It’s big enough to fit a piccolo, if you have one.

The case cover is also pretty durable. I put it through quite a lot, and it still works. Yes, there is wear and tear, but nothing major.

You can also carry it multiple ways. There is the traditional handle, found on many student flute cases. You can carry it on your shoulder with the detachable shoulder strap. Finally, there is a handle on the end of the case, so you can carry it the long way.

Who is it For?

The Protec case cover is great for students and people who want a more durable cover than what they have. It is budget friendly, and you can order it from just about any online music retailer.

The case cover is also great for more advanced players who don’t have the money to spend on the more expensive case covers.

Almost any flute case can fit in the cover, student or professional, C foot or B foot. Your flute will probably fit, though it is always a good idea to check for return policies when buying online.

Who Should Shop Around?

While I believe any flutist could benefit from the case, it does have its problems. If you are like me, and you play quite a bit of piccolo, this is not the case for you.

The large outside pocket is great, because it does fit most piccolo cases. However the outside pocket is meant for storing accessories. Therefore it is not insulated like the main pocket.

That is okay for casual players, and for people who don’t play piccolo much. But it poses a problem for flutists who will be bringing their flute and piccolo around together a lot. That issue is actually what made me stop using the Protec cover.

There are tons of other companies that make case covers that do have space for a piccolo in the insulated compartment. I do plan on reviewing one of them (Fluterscooter) in the future.

So…

Have you used the Protec case cover? Do you use another brand of case cover? Let me know in the comments!

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The Benefits of Learning Music as an Adult

There are many benefits to learning music, no matter your age. But a lot of people believe that you can’t learn how to play an instrument as an adult. I’m here to tell you that that is not true.

If you have the drive and the passion, you can learn (or re-learn) an instrument at any age. In fact, there are even a few benefits to learning music later in life that younger students lack.

Hannah B Flute | Benefits of Learning Music as an Adult

In this post, we are going to look at some of the biggest benefits that adult and adolescent music students have over their grade school-aged peers.

1. The Choice.

While some people know what instrument they want to play from a young age, others might be pressured or forced to learn a specific instrument. Also as a young student, you have little to no choice in the music you play.

This all goes away when you are older. As you start to have your own income, you have (some) choice in where it gets spent. You have the ability to choose which instrument you play as well as what music you play.

Freedom of choice makes it a lot easier to stick with something when you get frustrated. It was your decision to learn this instrument or that piece. When a teacher or parent makes the decisions, it can be harder for the student to stay motivated.

As an adult or even as an adolescent, you can choose just about everything having to do with music. You can choose your instrument, the music you want to learn, and even your teacher.

And now with the internet, you have access to more qualified teachers than ever. Want to learn from someone in film music but you don’t live in LA? There’s the internet! Want to learn from different teachers? The internet can help with that, too.

Your options are unlimited.

2. The Finances.

Sorry to say it, but playing music gets expensive. From purchasing your first instrument or an upgrade to buying sheet music or taking private lessons, music is expensive.

When you are younger, you are at the liberty of your parents on spending money. A frugal parent, or one that doesn’t play music themselves, may not see the value in spending money on music. That’s not a bad thing at all. Frugality is never bad.

But it can be a problem for younger talented music students. A lack of finances can stunt your progress. If you are stuck on a beginner instrument, for example, showier pieces can be harder to play. The mechanism of the instrument is only built to handle so much.

When you are an adult, or an adolescent with a part time job, you have your own money to spend how you wish. While some of that money has to go toward food, rent, transportation…you can choose to put your disposable income toward music.

Your own income allows you to make decisions you couldn’t if you relied on a parent.

3. The Time.

When you are out of school, or at least in college, you have more time for fun activities than in grades K-12. Younger students have a full seven hours of school plus other extracurriculars plus homework.

As a college student or working adult, you don’t have all of that. College students (non-music majors) average 15 hours of class per week, and thus have more time for themselves.

Working adults work their 40 hours a week and then don’t have any homework or studying at all. You can spend your free time any way you wish. It is easier to start new hobbies when you don’t have mounds of homework each day.

You can still get the same amount of sleep and rest, but you can spend more time on other things. Some younger students get overwhelmed when they have classes, extracurriculars, and homework all on top of their music.

Sadly, music is one of the first things to go when a student doesn’t have much free time.

As an adult, you have more free time to pursue your own hobbies and interests.

4. The Desire.

As stated above, some students are pressured or even forced into playing a specific instrument. Whether by an overbearing parent or a desperate band director, younger students don’t always get to play the instrument they want.

When you are an adult, that goes away. You get to play the instrument you want to play. That desire will take you much farther. That also means you will probably progress more quickly.

Passion and desire fuel us in all aspects of life, and music is no exception. Your desire to play your chosen instrument will give you the motivation to practice and improve so you can play more challenging pieces.

No matter the instrument you choose, that choice came from your desire.

*Note: While you may feel like you are too old, please DO NOT force your own children into music just because you feel you missed your chance. You didn’t.

So…

When did you start learning your instrument? Are you a “late” starter?

Let me know in the comments!

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Planners: Digital vs. Paper

If you are a busy person, working a day job in addition to playing music, you need to stay organized. The way many people stay organized is with a planner. A common planner system is the paper planner.

With the advancement of technology, there has also been an increase in the number of digital planners. From Google Calendar to iCal, you can keep track of appointments on all of your devices.

Hannah B Flute | Planners: Digital vs Paper

In this post, I am going to compare and contrast these two methods of organization to help you decide which is right for you. After all, the new year is a great time to switch things up.

Digital: Pros

The biggest pro to digital planners is that they are always with you. You can sync your calendar to your phone, computer, and tablet. All you need is internet access.

Another great thing about digital planners is that you pay for them once. Or not at all. Many great calendar and list apps are free, and you can use them year after year.

Digital planners are also easier to edit. You don’t have to worry about using whiteout to erase events. You can simply hit delete and have a clean looking calendar.

The fourth benefit to digital planners and calendars is that you save on paper. There is so much waste in our landfill, and a digital planner can help cut down on that waste. Paper planners aren’t easily recycled, and they just take up space.

Digital: Cons

One problem you run into with a digital planner is that it’s digital. You need internet and a working device to use it. If you don’t have an internet connection, or your phone dies, you can’t check your calendar.

Another con to digital planners is that they can be limiting. You have to stick to how the planner or calendar is laid out. Paper planners offer more customization than digital.

A huge con, for some, is also the fact that you might need multiple apps and programs to do your planning. You will need a calendar and probably a to do list. Most digital calendars don’t have a to do list as part of the program.

The last big con is that all these calendars and apps take up space on your devices. If you backup your information to your device, all of those appointments and to do lists can really eat up space.

Paper: Pros

The best thing about a paper planner is that you don’t have to rely on wifi or a charged device to access it. You can check your planner even in a power outage.

Another awesome thing about paper planners is that they have become customizable. You can request certain layouts, depending on the planner. You can also use whatever colors and pens you want. It’s up to you.

Using a paper planner also allows you to use your phone and computer for other things. You can store more photos and apps on your phone. That space won’t be taken up by a calendar.

If you are a shopper like me, you will also really like the tradition of buying a new planner each year. The cost can add up, but it’s fun to go and pick the color scheme and layout of your next planner.

Paper: Cons

Possibly the biggest con to a paper planner is that it takes up physical space. In your bag. On your desk. It takes up space. Depending on your planner, it may not even fit in some bags or places.

Next is the cost. You have to buy a new planner each year. That cost can add up over time. If you buy a twenty dollar planner each year, that’s $100 after five years. It may seem small, but those purchases can affect your finances after awhile.

Paper planners can also be difficult to edit. If an event gets canceled or you realize you don’t need to do something on your to do list, you have to erase it. That’s no problem when you use pencil, but pen is hard to get rid of.

Another downfall of paper planners is that they create extra waste. Depending on the binding, paper planners can be hard to dispose of. You may not be able to recycle them. If you keep them, they will just take up even more space than when you were using them.

So…

Do you use a digital or paper planner? Are you still deciding? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to subscribe so you can access an infographic comparing digital and paper planners!

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