August 2017
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Feature Flutist

Welcome to the  Feature Flutist page where some of my students shares their thoughts on learning music.

Rona

Rona recently completed her Grade 3 ABRSM exam and passed brilliantly! She also played a beautiful rendition of “Greensleeves” before my wedding and even brought a cake with a silver flute on top for the cake table!

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LEARN THE FLUTE?
I started the trumpet but because I am severely sight impaired I couldn’t get close up to the music, the trumpet was in my way!!! Solution: a flute sticks out sideways so I can play and read at the same time.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING FOR?
Just over a year and a half, and I have already passed my grade 2 with distinction!
HOW MUCH TIME PRACTICING? ANY PRACTISE TIPS?
I try to practice every day! Tips: don’t spend too long and if you get stuck on a piece go back to something you already know.
WHAT ROLE DOES MUSIC PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
Playing the flute makes me forget the whole world and focus just on sounds, music is like relaxation for me.
FAVOURITE SONG?
The Magic Flute by Mozart of course!!!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT LESSONS?
Kathy is so encouraging and never makes me feel like I’m doing it wrong. She is so patient. I feel like I’m making progress; it’s like I feel a sense of achievement.
GOALS?
I want to play with professional orchestras and jazz bands, I want to get up to grade 8!!!! I want to do Music at A-Level.

Penny and Morag

Penny and Morag alternate flute lessons each week and sometimes have lessons together to practise their duet music. They are such a lovely, enthusiastic pair– proof that music making can indeed be a lifelong passion!

Here are Penny’s thoughts on flute playing…

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LEARN THE FLUTE?
I realised I hadn’t touched my flute for over 20 years and had
almost forgotten how to play!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING FOR?
I started to learn when I was thirteen and I am now seventy two – you do the sums!
HOW MUCH TIME PRACTICING? ANY PRACTISE TIPS?
At my peak, over twenty years ago I would practise an hour or two a day – now I try to pick it up for a few minutes regularly but when I have time I like to play for an hour or so. This usually depends on my having the house to myself so that I am not conscious of disturbing anyone else.
WHAT ROLE DOES MUSIC PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
Music is a big part of my life – I especially love to hear it live so go to as many concerts as I can. I recommend the weekly concerts in Brighton at the Chapel Royal and both St Nicholas and the Unitarian churches. They all put on wonderful concerts and are cheap and accessible.
FAVOURITE SONG?
Impossible to say, there are so many. Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences of my life was hearing Britten’s War Requiem not too long after the end of the Second World War with soloists from Russia, Germany, France and Britain. A positive celebration of the triumph of peace over war.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT LESSONS?
It is just wonderful to have someone as talented as Katherine willing to take time to listen and encourage someone who has become as impossibly rusty with disuse as I have recently. To hear her play and remind me of how beautiful even the simplest piece can sound is such a joy and an inspiration to keep on trying.
GOALS?
I would just like to get back to the standard I once achieved before I had let things slip so badly. Oh, and to be able to play the very highest two or three notes on the instrument better!

Lily

Lily loves playing the flute and is preparing for her Grade 1 ABRSM Flute Exam at the end of March. Best of luck Lily!

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LEARN THE FLUTE?
Because it has a really pretty sound when you learn to play it properly.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING FOR?
About 2 years.
HOW MUCH TIME PRACTICING? ANY PRACTISE TIPS?
15-20 minutes a day, every day. I leave my flute out so I can pick it up whenever I like. I think this makes me practice more. But you have to remember to clean it.
WHAT ROLE DOES MUSIC PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
I love playing the flute because it makes me feel happy and I look forward to my lesson with Kathy every week. In the summer I went to the The Royal Albert Hall to watch ‘I’m Going On A Bear Hunt’. I enjoyed watching and listening to the orchestra, they were amazing. I love listening to people singing and enjoy musicals like Matilda , The Sound of Music and The King and I; I have lots of fun learning to sing the songs with my friends, especially the songs from Matilda.
FAVOURITE SONG?
C’mon C’mon by One Direction but I like lots of songs.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT LESSONS?
Kathy helps me play pieces I really like such as harry Potter Hedwig’s theme and she also helps me get better with my grade work. As a bonus, I get to listen to Kathy play, she sounds fantastic.
GOALS?
I would love to accomplish my Grade 1 exam and keep on getting better and better.
UPDATE!
Since writing this post, Lily has completed both her Grade 1 and Grade 2 ABRSM exams, passed them with flying colours and has moved to New York with her very brave and adventurous family. All the best, Lily!

Caroline

Caroline is a 36-year-old mum whose dedication to the learning the flute has made her a joy to teach. Well done Caroline and thank you for sharing your thoughts!

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LEARN THE FLUTE?
Getting to 36 years old unable to play music of any description!
Also, I really fancied the idea of a ‘challenge’ – learning an instrument seemed to fit the bill and the flute is a beautiful sound.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING FOR?
I started in October 2013
HOW MUCH TIME PRACTICING? ANY PRACTISE TIPS?
I always aim to try and practise each day… however, realistically for me this doesn’t happen! I would say I manage 3-4 20 minute practice sessions a week. If a practice isn’t going well, I go back to basics (the very beginning of the practice book!) to try and get the confidence levels back up a bit.
WHAT ROLE DOES MUSIC PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
I’m not sure it plays a role as such, but it’s always there, so to speak. Daily life would be pretty bland without it, anyway.
FAVOURITE SONG?
Too difficult to answer! Too many songs…
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT LESSONS?
I love that I’m learning something completely different (for me), the challenge is good. Being able to hear my progress each week is encouraging. Kathy is really lovely and a fab teacher – this obviously helps make the process of learning a positive experience.
GOALS?
Keep on going!
UPDATE! 
Since writing this post, Caroline has successfully completed and passed her ABRSM Grade 1 Exam with a Distinction. Well done, Caroline!