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Just a couple of notes from the flute master class... 6 students were selected to perform; 4 showed up.

1. To open up the sound, open the body! Root feet firmly, let jaw hang loose (think like a skeleton dangling) and form an embouchure with that looseness and space in the back of the jaw. Blow more air inbetween notes to help with intonation. Practice playing one note and open-close-open-close the jaw while playing.

2. Support the sound past the end of the note. Like when a runner runs past the finish line; don't stop until after the note is done. When playing intervals, think of a teeter-totter or seesaw. Give enough support on the low notes to "flip" up to the high notes. If pitch drops, it is an air thing, not an instrument thing.

3. Move flute in the direction you want a line or phrase to go. Vibrato should be rounded, with equal (or more soun) below and above the pitch. Feel or imagine vibrato coming from the chest instead of the back of the throat. Count out a measure or two before beginning a piece to set the tempo and clearly show where to start.

4. Sing and play at the same time to open and relax the throat. Use faster air, not a smaller embouchure - use the diaphragm, imagine a glissando. Squat and raise (plie) to aid in learning how it feels to blow air from the solar plexus.

Openness seems to be a common flute theme. And oh-so-difficult to master! As performer #3, I represented the Flute Choir well. I'm glad. <3

There are a ton of flute workshops, retreats, and master classes this year. I don't know if there's more than usual; probably just me seeing them now. One of my fellow KC Flute Choir members is strongly considering attending one in Ponoco, Tennessee. It sounds wonderful, but I'm not sure I want to do 2 week-long flute workshops in the same year... Not to mention spending all my vacation time on them.

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