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All about

the FLUTE


 

Who can play the fluteIs there a recommended age, or can size or teeth be an issue?

Children need adult front teeth.  Recommended ages are school year 2 upwards .

Curved headed flutes make it possible for smaller/younger children to learn as they make the keys easier to reach

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If it is not suitable for everyone, what alternative instrument would you recommend and why?

Recorder - similar fingering but easier to blow and reach for small children (KS1) and a relatively inexpensive instrument.  Transition to flute is easy from the recorder.

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What qualities of the flute are special?

The flute has a unique sound – it doesn’t sound like anything else in the orchestra!  It can be a solo instrument and its soft melodic sound often leads the melody in an orchestra. 

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Learning to play any instrument develops lots of new skills.  What are the particular benefits of playing the flute?

  • Good for learning breathing techniques.
  • Flautists join lots of ensembles and orchestras.
  • Flutes are easy to clean and assemble.

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How are flutes similar/different to other woodwind instruments?

Flutes are held horizontally and are mostly silver in colour.

The sound is produced by blowing air over the hole in the same way as sound is made by blowing over the opening of a bottle.  Flutes do not have reeds on the mouthpiece unlike most other woodwind instruments.

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Are there any famous musicians or pieces associated with the flute?

Greg Pattillo, Emmanuel Pahud, Ian Clarke and James Galway are famous flautists.  Debussy’s ‘Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune’ and ‘Sonata for Flute’ by Poulenc are famous pieces.

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