A Teacher’s Guide In Giving Effective Flute Lessons For Beginners
Flute players who have reached a certain level of mastery in flute playing may choose to pursue a career in teaching. Or a flautist could have additional income as a teacher giving flute lessons to beginner students.
If you intend to pursue this, whether as a career path or as a supplemental income stream, you should be prepared. It is not enough that you ‘just know how to play the flute’. You have to equip yourself with tools and resources, as well as the right attitude for teaching.
Here are some pointers on how to get started:
- Wear a ‘student hat’. You were once a student taking flute lessons , right? You’ve been there, done that. You felt the growing pains of a beginner struggling to make the flute sound right. You once were awkward and slow in finger placements. Your students would also go through those experiences. Exercise patience and understanding. Share with them pointers on how you overcame those stages. Apply methods that your former teacher used to help you progress with your skills.
- Show and tell. Students learning by doing. As a teacher, you’ve got to show them how and the right way to do it. Demonstrate the correct lip position in blowing air into the mouthpiece. Be ‘hands-on’ in doing correct finger positions. Let them hear how a note should sound. This is more effective than lectures or by reading instructions from a manual. Your students could achieve results in a shorter span of time.
- Parents’ involvement. Students would be spending a great amount of time practicing, and they usually do this at home. A child may not have any music stimulation at home. If parents are not musically inclined, the child could not get the level of support needed when they are left on their own. Hold frequent chats with your student’s parents. Let them know his/her progress and areas of difficulties. Give them pointers on how they can encourage their child to practice regularly at home. Share books and video materials about children who are learning to play musical instruments. Allow them to sit-in in one of your lessons so they can get insights on some teaching and motivation methods.
- Invest in sheet music. Expand your music books library. Your students will have various tastes in music. Of course, the ‘classics’ are often the basic foundation of learning. However, students are more enthusiastic to play when they like the kind of music that they play. Read-up and keep abreast on new teaching and playing methods. Supplement your lessons by showing video clips of tutorials, concert and performance footage.
- Share your flute music collection or playlist. Suggest playlists and share cds or music files that your students can listen to. If you’re ‘friends’ with your students in their social media sites, post songs or videos and engage them into a discussion about it. This only not serves to expose and inspire them to flute music. It opens up communication lines and forges a healthy student-teacher relationship.
Flute lessons should not feel like that ‘it’s-all-in-a-day’s-work’. Make it more fun and engaging. Foster a learning environment that is interesting and inspiring. Radiate love for teaching and playing the flute. Your students would definitely follow suit.