Hey flutists! Have you ever wondered if there was a perfect method book? Unfortunately, the perfect method book probably doesn’t exist, but Flute 101 might come close.
This method book is growing in popularity and for good reason. It teaches the flute in a logical progression, and it has amazing tips for teachers and students alike.
So, should you add it to your flute library?
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As you start to learn any instrument, a method book is a helpful tool. And for beginner flutists, that’s especially true.
While you can learn flute online, a method book will give you the direction you need to get started. And for the aspiring flute teachers out there, method books can help you direct your teaching.
There are tons of method books out there, so you can find one that works for you. Flute 101 is one of the most popular books for older beginners, and it’s also suitable for intermediate and advanced players who want to revisit the basics.
What are method books?
Method books, like Flute 101, provide educational materials for an instrument. Most method books are specific to one instrument, but some have versions for different instruments.
But books like those can still be useful, like if you have a friend who’s learning violin or clarinet.
And regardless of whether a method was specifically written for the instrument or not, good method books present the material in a logical order.
Who are they for?
That allows beginning ensemble directors to use the same method book with every student. And it gets the students playing together very quickly.
However, not everyone learns in a band or orchestra setting. Some methods, like Suzuki, exist for young beginners.
The Blocki method is another flute-specific book aimed at younger students.
And get this, there are even method books for older beginners.
Even as you advance as a flute player, you’ll still use method books to learn and refine fundamental playing techniques. Trevor Wye, Marcel Moyse, and Taffanel and Gaubert wrote some of the most important books for the flute.
Flute 101 Review
With all of the flute method books available, it can be hard to choose one. Whether you’re a new flute student or a new flute teacher, you should choose a book that covers the fundaments and is easy to follow.
Lately, I’ve heard a lot about Flute 101. And as a new private music teacher (including flute), I decided to check it out for myself.
Flute 101: Mastering the Basics was written by Phyllis Avidan Louke and Patricia George, two prominent flutist from the United States.
Now, I haven’t used Flute 101 with a student yet. But the book definitely has some good stuff in it.
And another thing, to avoid breaking copyright, I won’t be showing the book. Instead, I will try to explain the parts and concepts as best as possible.
Now without further ado, let’s get into the Flute 101 review!
The first thing you see when you open the book is a flute fingering chart for the first two and a half octaves. Of course, you won’t need to know all of these notes if you’re just starting out.
However, some method books hide their fingering charts at the back. The front is easier to find and refer to.
Next, you’ll find an introduction with an overview of the parts of the flute, basic flute care tips, and a practice guide. These sections are especially helpful if you don’t have a teacher.
And if you do have a teacher, you can over the materials together.
After the introductory notes, you get start playing the flute! The first lesson just uses the headjoint, which is a fantastic way to start learning the flute.
You don’t have to worry about holding the entire flute or getting the fingerings right. And in this lesson, you even learn about different note values.
Then, you start to learn some notes. This book uses the same three notes as most method books: B, A, and G. Those notes only involve the left hand, so they’re easier to produce, and you don’t have to worry about coordinating your hands.
One of the best things about Flute 101 is that you get to start playing songs as soon as you learn the first few notes. Hot Cross Buns and Mary Had a Little Lamb are both part of the first lesson with notes!
The book also includes original songs and pieces that you can play with the notes you’ve learned so far. Flute 101 includes a set of duets with each lesson.
If you have a teacher, you can play those duets in the lesson. And if you’re learning for fun, you can play the duets with a friend. Or you can record yourself playing one part and then play the recording while you perform the other part.
Another helpful part to Flute 101 is that the book includes text boxes with extra tips and tricks. Some of the tips are just definitions for music terms.
But other tips are great for building a strong foundation as you learn the flute. Tone is especially important, and while it may not be perfect yet, you can always work on it.
Some lessons also have tips that teachers can use to emphasize and explain certain parts of the lesson.
Those small text boxes aren’t all that Flute 101 has for teachers or ambitious students. At the very back of the book, the authors included a teacher’s guide.
This guide provides tips for teachers for the first lesson. It shares how to teach the flute embouchure and how to teach rhythm and notation.
After the teacher’s guide is more information on learning how to play the flute. There are tips on balancing the flute and information on tone. Students can also read up on the basics of music notation as well as how to practice.
Teachers can address these topics in the lesson. You can talk about those topics and clarify anything that your student might not understand.
Do You Still Need a Teacher?
Flute 101 has A LOT of amazing information for self-taught flutists. So if a teacher isn’t feasible right now, then it’s probably the closest you can get as beginner.
However, a private teacher is still ideal for most students. A private teacher can clarify confusing topics, catch your mistakes, and keep you from forming bad habits.
Have you studied or taught out of Flute 101? What do you think of the book? I think it’s an excellent option, and more teachers and student should consider it.
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