Hey, flute teachers and band directors...
Have you ever felt like you have no idea what you're doing when you begin students on the flute? Or maybe you wish you had the answer to that one burning question about how to teach embouchure.
There's now a resource to answer all your beginning flute teaching questions.
Flute Roots is the first of its kind!
You can buy and read every single flute pedagogy book out there, and you can attempt to implement those ideas on your own. Heck, you're probably already doing it. So doesn't it make you wonder why you still have all those burning questions? I'll give you some insight...
Pedagogy Reality #1: When you "flood the field" with too many books and resources, you end up with Pedagogy Pudding. There's a lot of stuff in there. All of it probably has value...but not all of it together. You've got to know which ingredients are necessary and which ones are causing the issues you can never seem to fix. You can't know that if you aren't a dedicated flute player. (That's why I'm here)
Pedagogy Reality #2: Most of the resources you've likely uncovered teach you how to teach the flute...but they don't teach you how to THINK about teaching the flute. If you think differently, you'll teach differently. This produces a totally different (and better) result for you and your students. You know those grueling pitfalls that come with learning to play the flute? I'm here to teach you how to move your beginners through that experience so they don’t get stuck on the roadblocks that prevent them from loving the flute!
Pedagogy Reality #3: There isn't ONE way to teach flute to beginners...but there is a starting point that works for 90% or more of students. Every resource you tap into is going to tell you something different, and it causes you to end up trying things that don't work very well. That stops here. You'll learn the most tried and true methods and techniques of getting beginners started quickly and correctly.
What is it...
lute Roots is an online program that walks you step-by-step through exactly how to start beginners on the flute, SHOWS you the common pitfalls when teaching beginners,
and gives you proven methods that I've used for over a
decade. Best of all, you can hear and see the solutions instead of simply reading about them.
Go at your own pace! There are nine (9) video sessions you can watch and play back as many times as you need. You'll have access to digital downloads - including everything from recommended method books, to best practices of teaching parents and students how to practice.
Join the community! You will be added to a closed Facebook group that is open for discussion and troubleshooting of the specific problems you encounter in the classroom or in lessons. Post pictures and videos of your students playing for immediate feedback and help.
Plus, participate in monthly live calls to address your questions and popular topics about flute pedagogy.
BONUS VIDEO SESSION:
Flute Pedagogy On The Autism Spectrum
You've likely noticed that autism is on the rise, and teachers of all skill levels are learning how to navigate this new landscape of music education. Special thanks to Taylor Irelan for producing this video and bringing his expertise on this topic to our community!
For the full course outline, continue scrolling.
Who is it for?
Flute Roots is for anyone who wants to level up their beginner flute teaching game - including college music students, band directors, flutists, and instrumental doublers.
If you are/were a Music Education major and you feel like those two weeks spent learning the flute in woodwind methods wasn't nearly enough, this is definitely for you.
Here's your guide to everything that's covered...
Session 1: Pedagogy Reimagined
Playing the flute professionally isn't a prerequisite for teaching it. And "feeling prepared" is not what will make you successful. In this session, I discuss where the most well-intentioned teachers fall short when it comes to teaching beginners.
- What "preparation" to teach the flute actually LOOKS like (my approach might differ from yours...and chances are good you'll find it useful!)
- The danger of "flooding the field" (too many resources in a short timeframe confuses you AND them)
- Techniques and best practices from a flutist AND teaching expert to start your students on the path of being a strong player
Session 2: Flute Facts
Contrary to popular belief, the flute they play and the book they start with doesn't make the player. Your approach is what makes the player...AND there's an ideal starting point, which I share with YOU.
- Recommended method books and a clear description of who they're best for
- How to handle an "inherited" method book (the do's and don'ts and everything in between)
- A world of recommendations including rental flutes, headjoints, plastic flutes...and the most effective ways to talk to parents about purchasing an instrument
Session 3: Flute Test Drives and Getting Started
Have you ever wondered who will turn out to be your best flutists? There are specific criteria to look out for when testing students on the flute. I’ll share strategies for getting students started right from the beginning. Then, you’ll learn the exact way to teach breathing and embouchure. Hint: this does not include the “Kiss and Roll of Death.”
- Why certain students "get it" from the beginning, and others don't (HINT: How you approach them makes all the difference)
- Tricks for teaching embouchure and breathing including chin and head placement
- Understanding crazy embouchures: The Cow, The Grandma, The Toothless Wonder, The Flex Jaw, and many more
- Tried and true ways to teach how to breathe like a flutist and not a human
Session 4: Player Progress, Highs and Lows, and Articulation
It's one thing to emphasize good technique and practice in a learning environment. What happens "after hours" can help or hinder the rise of a beginner. In this session, I walk you through the best practices I've discovered and used to engage parents in a way that helps students progress quickly.
Learn how to teach beginners how to make high and low sounds on their headjoints as well as understand all the crazy articulations that can happen with beginners and how to fix them.
It’s easy to get bored from just playing your headjoint day after day, lesson after lesson. In this session, you’ll see a number of fun activities that students can do with the headjoint that keep learning interesting and creative.
- Strategies for teaching a beginner how to practice the flute in a way that creates incremental improvement that both you and they can see in real time (progress is motivating!)
- A structured conversation to have with parents to help them understand how learning an instrument is unique from any other endeavor (and how they can support it)
- How to manage the expectations of both kids and parents who are comparing progress on the flute to progress with other things (HINT: Progress on the flute isn't the same as progress on the piano!)
- Teaching highs and lows on the headjoint so they understand from day 1
- Learn about the crazy articulations methods that exist and how to fix them: The Owl, The Frog, The Hyperventilator
- Headjoint exercises and games
Session 6: Movin' On Up
Have you ever wondered when and how to introduce more advanced techniques to students who seem to be rising up the ranks at breakneck speed? In this session, I share how and when to cover the topics that turn beginners into pros.
- An outline of the first few months of what is covered in lessons or in the classroom
- Which scales to begin with and why
- How to keep the interest up after the initial excitement wears off
- Common issues that creep in during the first few months: posture flute droop, hand position, D and E-flat fingering, high note fingerings
-Teaching the third octave
- Topics that flutists are famous for...when and how to introduce vibrato to a new player, how to begin incorporating musicality into their performance, and how to guide a player in moving while they play
Session 7: Superb Sound
There is no doubt the flute has the capacity to sing beautifully, and it all starts with communicating a clear and concise sound concept to beginners. In this session, I discuss how both embouchure and lip shapes affect the sound coming from the instrument.
- How braces and other teeth correction devices impact sound and embouchure, and how to help beginners work with these limitations to produce the best possible sound from their instrument
- Various embouchure styles, the types of sounds you can expect from each, and how to know which style is best for a player based on the shape of their lips
- How air flow is affected by both embouchure and lip shape, and how to walk a beginner through using both to control their sound using all three together
- Photos and videos of 10 different students with an analysis of their embouchure shape and the type of tone they create
Session 8: Tactical Troubleshooting
Every instrument has its challenges, and every player's genetics and playing tendencies bring about various issues that you'll need to help them solve. In this session, I discuss the most common problems I see as beginner flutists navigate their body and the instrument.
- Air, embouchure, or posture? (HINT: These are "the big three" and knowing which one to tackle first is critical)
- Tips for correcting air flow, pitch, dynamics in the high and low registers, rhythm, and many more of the most frequent issues that cause difficulty for beginning flutists
- Troubleshooting articulation issues
- Teaching tapering
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
Included in the course are tons of downloads to help you stay organized. Including...
- Sample practice charts
- Lists of student model flutes for beginners
- Lists of method books to check out
- Printables for your students
- Quick tone problem solving guides
- Numerous photos and videos of embouchures in action
- Links to effective teaching tools
- The EXACT handouts I give my students to motivate them to reach their potential.
Oh, yeah. Your Teacher.
I'm Katherine Emeneth. (Make that Dr. Katherine Emeneth.) I'm a highly trained classical flutist who has a passion for teaching. From kids learning how to play the flute to teachers learning how to teach the flute and build a studio, my expertise runs the gamut.
I have a studio of 21 pre-college flute students, am a college professor, run 2 international summer music programs, am an active performer, and love volunteering.
All the fancy stuff aside, I honestly really just like helping fellow musicians. I've had to learn a lot of things through doing them and am here to serve them up to you on a silver platter.
I'm particularly excited about this course since teaching pre-college students is a passion of mine. Many people know how to play, but not many understand everything that's involved in teaching. That's where I come in!
I'm really busy. Does this require a huge time commitment?
That's the beauty of the course! It's a "go at your own pace" kinda system. All of the material is right there ready for you when you're ready. You can take 4 days to go through everything or 4 months. You'll have access to everything forever, so you can go back and rewatch as many times as you'd like!
I've never taught before. Is teaching experience required?
Heck no! In fact, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the game by learning these methods so that when you do start teaching, you'll be able to get started and not worry about not knowing what you're doing.
I have taught the flute for years. Does this course cover something new?
That's great that you're a veteran teacher! While it's true that you may know a lot of what is covered in this course, it's also true that we're never finished learning from each other. Even though I've been teaching for years, I always learn something new by hearing someone else talk about pedagogy. Plus, you'll get loads of pdfs to keep as handy resources as well as "made for you" exercises that are ready to be printed off and handed to students.
How is this different from my pedagogy or woodwind methods class in college?
While those college classes are very important, the thing that makes this course different is you're learning TRIED AND TRUE methods from someone who does this full time. Books are great, but there's no way that you can learn how to teach from a book alone. This course walks you step by step through roadblocks you may run into teaching beginner flutists as well as solutions for those issues. Plus, you get live access to ask your most troubling flute pedagogy questions to someone who can help you solve them once and for all!
Who is this course NOT for?
This course is not for teachers of instruments other than the flute. If you're a band director, private music teacher, or pedagogy junkie like me, this is the right course for you.
How long do I have access to the course materials?
FOREVER! Literally. I'll keep expanding the content for future versions of the course, and you get access to everything that's available now as well as in the future!
Session 5: Major Milestones
As a teacher, knowing when and how to advance a beginner to the next step is especially important. Move too fast and they experience disappointment. Move too slowly and their interest dwindles. In this session, I discuss the topic of readiness.
- How to know when to move a beginner from playing the headjoint to putting the whole flute together (and which note is best to start on)
- The best ways to teach a beginner how to bring the flute into playing position (and avoid the dreaded "flute droop")
- Techniques for helping beginners produce a clear sound when they play a note for the first time
What's the investment?
Trust me. I get it.
You're a working musician or teacher and funds are hard to come by. The price of this course is equal to:
- 5 private lessons
- 9 pedagogy books
- Hours of combing through the Internet looking for answers
Plus, look at those sweet faces. They need you to learn so they can learn.