Challenges Flute Players Face – Part II


As discussed in the previous article that can be found here,, challenges are part and parcel of being a flutist. Knowing how to overcome these challenges so that they don’t bog you down is important, especially if you haven’t had a lot of experience with music, or are young. We have seen what physical problems that flutists might have to face in the last article, but here, we’ll deal with other issues.

Performance anxiety

Whether you are taking flute lessons for taking an exam or even doing your first public performance, you might find yourself feeling choked and scared and not wanting to go ahead with the event. This is performance anxiety and you have to overcome it in order to become a more confident, if not necessarily, better flute player. Part of the solution lies in ensuring that you are playing well. But you might also want to work on deep breathing relaxation techniques. Be well rested and properly hydrated for the event or exam. If your body and mind is relaxed and nourished, your anxiety level automatically goes down. But the best thing you can do is to think of it as having fun. If you aren’t having fun in the first place with your flute learning, you probably shouldn’t be doing it anyway!

Tonal issues

While the importance of learning how to breathe correctly has already been discussed, a connected problem is the production of tone. It is not easy, especially for a beginner, to produce the right depth of tone from the flute. You need to be able to produce a wide range of sounds at the right pitch for the music to flow flawlessly. For this, you need to get the embouchure just right. Learning how to use your face muscles to develop the best tone is the basis of flute playing or that of any wind instrument. However, this is not the only thing you need.Your whole body needs to participate in the playing, not just embouchure. Your body must be relaxed and let the sound float through it, giving it more resonance and richness. This takes time to understand and develop, and is one of the biggest challenges facing flutists.

Reading music

Music, like any other language, has to be learned from the scratch. Basic flute lessons must including reading the notes and the staves and understanding what they translate to when you have to apply them to the playing. This alone is not enough since the tones of a flute are so varying that you have to resort to ledger lines and learn how to decode them as well.While many people prefer to just play by the ear, learning musical theory is important for serious flutists. Apart from this, music has its very own jargon, which you will need to master as many of the words can be in different languages. Considering that many of the rich musical tradition in Western music comes from French, Italian and German traditions, these are the languages for which you might want to learn the basics. You need to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of music. Learning and memorizing all of these might be a challenge, but the biggest one is remembering all this while also remembering to play the flute properly with the right posture, breathing properly, and all the other things that go with it.

For more information on learning the flute, you can refer to