Category: teaching

  • Right or Wrong? Extended or Not?

    Every community has its own lingo, subject to the winds of its own political climate. The community of Contemporary Western Art Music is no exception. Flutists and flutist/composers form a micro-climate within this community, and we certainly like to make our voices heard. There has been a call from our corner to scorn the term […]

  • Multiphonics: Tips for Study

    Actually, this is a “notes-to-self” entry disguised as “Tips”. There are good sources for learning and practicing multiphonics such as Robert Dick’s “Tone Development through Extended Techniques” (although I know the term “extended techniques” has gone out of fashion, but the practice in the book is solid). I also have a detailed presentation where I […]

  • Too Many Flutists

    The phrases “there are too many flutists today”, and “conservatories are producing too many flutists for too few jobs” may be true in a certain respect, but they really sadden me. And piss me off, if I really admit. It has been hard to put my finger on exactly why, but when a friend posted […]

  • Contemporary Music Pedagogy, and Benefits of Teaching Extended Techniques

    [This is an excerpt from a questionaire sent to me by Lorenzo Diaz for research purposes. The answers represent my opinions only.] Do you think conservatoires and schools of music really attach importance to contemporary music education? My short answer to your question is “not really” because I think a “Comtemporary Music Education” should require […]

  • More on Circular Breathing

    On April 8th this year, I will be in Krakow giving a workshop on circular breathing and performing Robert Dick’s legendary Flames must not encircle sides. About seven years ago I made the tutorial video below, but have been considering a re-make of late. More for clarity, rather than content. And I have learned a […]

  • No More Tears – Breath as a Leit Motif

    For the past year, my colleagues and I have been working with a wonderful vocal coach, Martin Lindsay. His sessions are structured in a way that got me thinking. We start with light stretching and breathing exercises, just enough to activate the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. I won’t go into detail about what these exercises […]

  • Looking Inward

    Here are some notes from a tabla workshop I attended, given by Samir Chatterjee. Like my former teacher, Chatterjee is one of the few Indian musicians who has a clear understanding of the Western education system and is able to teach non-Indians by verbal communication, i.e., someone who can explain his music in a way […]

  • Harmonic Exercises, with Articulation too!

    When playing through the harmonic series, the second overtone (a twelth above the fundamental) is a great check point. When students begin learning harmonics, this one often proves elusive because of the tendency to cover too much of the embouchure hole. By rolling out a bit and blowing down, it usually speaks. The following exercise […]