Archive | Your Younger Self

Everything I know about receiving support (artistic, or otherwise)

  On the 2nd of January, 2017 I decided that my New Year was due a restart. I was in bed with Salmonella food poisoning –there was no way I was going to start the year like that. I’ve aligned my celebrations with the Chinese calendar instead. Happy New Year of the Rooster to you–and […]

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“My teacher refused to teach me”. A chat with flautist Ruth Ballantyne about rising above the naysayers (+ her new flute book, too)

Surely you’ve heard about the nightmare piano teacher? She’s the one who’d hit your knuckles with a ruler if you played a wrong note at the keyboard. Shudder. While it can’t be said that ruthless teaching practices are limited to purely musical subjects, I’ve heard far too many of my flute students relate their own horror […]

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What I Tell Myself When I Don’t Feel Like Practicing

There’s tons of advice written for how to ‘make the most’ of your practice sessions, but how about getting motivated to pull out your instrument in the first place? Here I share 25+ years of what has worked for me a flautist (and what hasn’t) — Back in the 1990’s when I was an teenager […]

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The Letter I’d Write to my Teenage-Self About Being a Musician, 20 Years Later

Hello, my whimsical, hopeful, fresh-faced girl. Since I have your attention for a moment, let me whisper in your ear 10 truths that will be your own only after you leave all those music degree programmes. Keep them near. 1) Your flute teacher –at every stage– matters. Really matters. This person will be like a […]

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Why There’s No Shame in Being a ‘Prostiflute’

Hold on, now. By ‘prostiflute’ I am not talking about mixing prostitution from the red-light area of your favourite city with being a flute player (now that would be a highly fascinating blog topic, no doubt). To be a ‘prostiflute’ (which by the way is not my term,* but is oh so fitting, no?) is to use your […]

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