Tag Archives | creativity

How to fall head-over-heels in love with musicology (+ why it took me a while)

Have you ever considered… Why you play your classical music the way that you do? (And who decides these ‘style rules’ anyway?) Why one type of playing is valued over another in the music conservatory (by the way, who decides what is ‘proper’?) Why there are so many recordings of musicians performing the same pieces […]

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How to recharge your flute playing + creativity without spending a dime (I asked, you told)

This morning I was woken by a man driving through the streets yelling through a megaphone that he had brooms for sale. This was then followed by another man with another megaphone selling women’s pyjamas. Then the fruit and veg man arrived with his megaphone, and well, I wish you were here to see how […]

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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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Tap into your musical flow at the upcoming Flowing Flautist Retreat in Cornwall, UK

I’m leading a second Boho Flute Retreat this year in Cornwall… and you’re invited! This retreat is called The Flowing Flautist and is taking place on the 16th-18th of September, 2016. Achieving a state of ‘flow’ is about being ‘in the zone’ and finding the magic in your playing so that you can tap into […]

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My up-close-and-personal conversation with flautist and interdisciplinary performer Zara Lawler

I’ll admit that I was skeptical (and intrigued) when I first read that New York city-based flautist, Zara Lawler combines dance, voice and text while she plays. But,  listen– that skepticism didn’t last long because after I watched her brilliant theatrics in action I was hooked. The fact that she quotes poetry by Rumi in the middle of her Andersen etudes (as one […]

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Teaching Improvisation? 9 Steps To Get Your Students Improvising (Pronto)

This step-by-step guide is designed to help you introduce basic improvisation in your lessons and offers a structured framework that can be easily modified for pupils of all levels.  (This was originally written for and published on the Trinity College London Music Support Blog in Nov. 2015 here) There is often a core belief amongst students […]

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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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How to Play Flute From Your Heart + Soul (Here’s 7 Things I Know, For Sure)

Have you been able to witness it? In a recital, on the hi-fi, over Wi-Fi, a bar, or in your car? The air changes, becoming electrically charged with something. Your bum ceases to wiggle about in your seat. You stop worrying about that WhatsApp message niggling you and quit second-guessing whether you’ve locked your doors. You […]

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Tired of the usual musical hum-drum? (Of course you are!) Here are 52 flute activities guaranteed to shake up your musical life this year

Do you ever get frustrated doing the same ol’ same ol’ musical stuff year after year? I sure do. You know what I mean: Masterclasses. Practice. Auditions. Lessons. Winning. More lessons. Exams. Rehearsals. More practice. Losing.  Recitals. Lesson planning. Teaching. Competitions. Marking. Writing. Job applications. More (fill in the blank). Be one of the few […]

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Why you will never be an ‘authentic’ tango musician–and why you (+ Yo-Yo Ma) shouldn’t take it personally

You have Piazzolla’s 6 Etudes/ Libertango/ Le Grand Tango in your hot little hands. You love playing the score. In fact you revel and delight in it. You think you could become a tango musical Jedi equivalent if you just knew how to play more authentically. So you dream about venturing to Buenos Aires to immerse […]

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