Flute students and parents:

Wonder why private lessons are so great?

Band class vs. private lessons

Band directors are fantastic, but they have to work with tons of kids playing over a dozen different instruments all at once! The bulk of class time is spent going over universal concepts that the whole group will benefit from, which means there’s very little time left over to focus on the idiosyncrasies of each instrument. That leaves a lot of huge gaps in knowledge that students are forced to figure out on their own.

With lessons, students get to take a deep dive into all the mechanics of proper flute playing. This is especially important for flute players because the flute creates sound differently than every other instrument. The other wind instruments blow directly into a reed or mouthpiece, while the flute blows across the tone hole (the opening on the head joint). This makes it MUCH HARDER to get a consistent sound and develop good breath control. 

With an experienced flute teacher, students learn how to conquer these tricky aspects of the instrument (and many more), saving countless hours of guesswork and frustration for the student. And that’s not all! Lessons also allow students to learn about music theory, music history, and ear training. All while getting individual attention and feedback!

Let's talk about what lessons with me are like:

My teaching philosophy centers on communication.

 

I believe that as individuals, we all want to feel connected with the people around us. When we have this connection, we gain so much more meaning from our lives: in the highs, the lows, and everything in between.

 I think these powerful bonds form when we 

1) help others

2) genuinely express ourselves.

How do you do that?

By using your own unique talents and passions!

For me, that means...

I use my musical expertise to teach my students the tools needed to freely share their thoughts and feelings with the world through music. My teaching focuses on connecting with others, because one of the most meaningful moments in my performing career came from a short, casual rehearsal of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. There was a tiny moment in the first movement where I had a duet with the violin soloist. It lasted about ten seconds, and it could’ve easily flown by without a second thought, however in that instant the soloist and I made eye-contact and consciously decided to connect at a deep level. In that brief moment, we both expressed everything we believed about the music, carefully communicating and listening to one other. I had never felt such a powerful bond with someone I hardly knew, and now I’m hooked to that feeling of connection.

This simple but transformative experience has revolutionized my teaching. Now my goal is to give my students everything they need to create these powerful moments in their own lives. With that in mind, I put a big emphasis on understanding all of the fundamentals of flute playing and music making as a means to an end. When students understand both how to do something and why it works, they become independent thinkers that can make their own unique decisions. With discipline, they’ll be free to communicate whatever they believe. Lessons will be spent identifying:

 

  • what the students goals are, 

  • why they have these goals, 

  • and how we can achieve them together

The eye contact may or may not have looked like this… but we were totally invested in creating something magical!

In our lessons, you'll learn how to:

  • Play with a beautiful, flexible sound (that’s why you’re here, right?)

  • Improve your breath control (ever gotten dizzy from playing the flute?)

  • Get a clear response on every note (no more fuzzy low notes)

  • Get comfortable with any rhythm, regardless of the tempo (off-beats? Not a problem)

  • Develop smooth finger technique (“Flight of the Bumblebee” will be a breeze)

  • Practice smarter, not harder, with the 21 practice room problem solvers

  • Expand your dynamic range (because we’ve all had a band director yell “flutes, play LOUDER”)

  • Create subtle tone colors that better express your artistry (It’s the difference between saying “I like pizza” and “I crave Hawaiian style pizza after a hot, humid day on the beach”)

  • Use a singing vibrato (it’ll give your sound a magical shimmer)

  • Control pitch the right way (there’s a better way than looking like a bobblehead while you roll your headjoint in and out)

  • Create music from ink on a page (everyone is capable of it, but few pull it off. I’m going to teach you how it’s done)

  • Sight read with confidence (there’s more to it than start and hope for the best)

  • Effectively play with others (this makes it 1000% more fun for everyone)

  • Give polished, self-assured solo performances (make sweaty, shaky hands a thing of the past)

  • Efficiently prepare for auditions (I’ve learned tons of tricks over the years)

 Which all leads to learning how to...

  • Set goals that matter to you 

  • Make plans with clear steps forward

  • Creatively solve problems

  • Develop discipline, patience, and resilience

  • Get the most out of limited time in the day

  • Be a team player (even when you don’t like your team)

  • Improve self-confidence

  • Keep cool under pressure

So, what does this look like on a week-to-week basis?

Lessons will typically be broken into three parts. 

  1. The first is a targeted review of a specific sound fundamental, tailored to the student’s needs. This could be anything from tone development in the upper register, to controlling pitch during a decrescendo, to cleaning up articulation in the bottom register

  2. The second is a brief check up on a few scales and technical exercises. 

  3. The third part will be committed to applying these concepts to the music the student is working on (solos, etudes, method books, band music, etc.).

 Each lesson will also have some combination of sight reading, chamber music (duets), music theory, ear training, and music history sprinkled in for the student’s long-term growth.

Every student learns differently, so I’ve developed plenty of wacky ways to teach these concepts. Some of these strategies include: using a pair of bellows to explain breathing, using a straw to help form an embouchure, comparing rapid double tonguing to a fish flopping around on dry land, using paint to visualize the air stream, using a hose to explain how to change registers on the flute, and so much more!

But wait, there's MORE!

When you join the Bradshaw Flute Studio, you’re signing up for a flute program not just lessons. This means extra perks that you won’t get anywhere else, like tons of performance opportunities, masterclasses with guest artists, special musical and social events, a community of flute friends, and MORE. Check out the studio page to learn about these one of a kind opportunities.

So, what do I expect from my students in return?

Students should come to lessons with an open mind, a positive attitude, and a commitment to trying their best. This means developing a good daily practice routine and sticking to it! Some days are crazy, life happens, but practicing even 5 minutes is a step forward. Every day is a chance to learn! Come discover how much we can achieve together!

Ready for your FREE trial lesson?

Want to learn more about the teacher?

What makes the studio special?

Due to COVID-19, I will be offering lessons online.