Playing the Flute Essay example

Playing the Flute Essay example

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Of all the instruments laid out on display, only one caught my attention. I was thirteen at the time, and naturally, my eye was drawn to the shiniest of the group. I had never heard the sound of a flute before, aside from the cheap imitation of one on my family’s electronic keyboard. Nevertheless, I picked the pretty, gleaming, easy-to-carry flute on that first day of band class. Three years later, I can’t imagine playing anything else. What started off as blind luck and an attraction to shiny objects is now a part of my life. Playing an instrument is always a worthwhile investment; you develop a skill that many people only wish they had, you have opportunities to meet other musicians, and you may even get to travel in a band setting. But in order to reap the benefits, you first have to learn how to play.
Whether you pick the flute as your instrument of choice because it produces your favorite sound, looks easier to transport than a tuba, or simply because it’s shiny, you will have to decide how to buy. There are a variety of reputable brands to choose from, but not all make durable, high-quality flutes. It will be tempting to go for a cheaper model, but in many cases, you will be sacrificing quality. There is a surprising amount of engineering that goes into the making of one instrument. Each hole must be placed precisely, otherwise the tone is distorted. Often, cheaper flutes skip steps in engineering, or are made with shoddy materials that either bend or break too easily (Duncan). While you should not compromise a good brand name for cost, beginning flutists can get away with buying a student flute. Student flutes differ from professional flutes in that professional flutes are open-holed. Rather than having so...


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... pitch, and embouchure. It’s merely the mastery of these three principles that requires practice and patience. The reward is understanding how to play what is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of band instruments. The enemy is discouragement. Yet as Amy Duncan, my unintentionally-inspirational band teacher director, would say, “Every wrong note you play is behind you. Music is in time, and time never stops. It always moves forward.”







Works Cited
Duncan, Amy. Personal interview. 15 Sept. 2011.
Estrella, Espie. “Parts of the Flute.” About.com. About.com, 2011. Web. 8 Sep. 2011.
Fingering and Acoustic Schematic. n.d. Diagram. University of New South Wales, Faculty of Science. Academic Press, 2001. Web. 13 Sept. 2011.
Garner, Bradley. “The Flute Embouchure.” Texas Bandmasters Association. Texas Bandmasters Association, 2007. Web. 8 Sep. 2011.

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