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Tag Archives | creativity

The easiest, simplest, happiest way to be a musician is this…

In her lesson recently, Jane said with an apologetic voice, “I’m so sorry, Jessica. I didn’t really get to practice much. My work has been manic lately. I think I only got 4 sessions in since I last saw you. Lately I am choosing to spend my free time in the evenings with my teenage kids, it’s really […]

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Rough times happening? Oh look, there you are making gold out of it. Here’s 3 heartfelt observations about your playing to get you through the storm

As I’ve eased back into my teaching again after my maternity leave, you’ve caught me at a really nostalgic place. Now in my 20th year of giving flute lessons, I’ve been reminiscing about the hundreds and hundreds of students I’ve taught over these past two decades–it must be thousands of flute lessons that I’ve given […]

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Don’t think it’s only a cliché. THIS is what’s possible. THIS is what could happen

Lately, I‘ve been pondering the thought what’s in store for my new baby boy over the next century and all the ‘what ifs’ that come with it. I know I’ve written about it in past blog posts before, but world events happen that bring me tears of deep frustration because I just don’t know what […]

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When your flute playing falls apart (if there was one thing I could share with you this would be it)

In her recent lesson with me, Alice, a flautist in her late 40’s, with much frustration in her voice, complained I feel as if I am having to start all over again this week in my playing. It’s driving me insane! You see, recently we had slightly moved her embouchure so that she was able […]

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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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