Friday, October 08, 2021

Top Ten Secrets of Great Flute Playing pdf

 Question: Good morning Jennifer. My teacher informed me about your website.  I am a new student of the flute and an adult. However, I do play piano and read music. 

I am really trying to get down the embouchure and my teacher gave me this single page 2 of your hand-out (attached to email) that she said she got from your website. However, it is only page 2 and she does not have page 1 and this page refers to the prior page and I am wondering if this article is available for me to see on your website.

Thank you. I love all of this information you provide. I am frustrated with getting a clean sound consistently.

Jen's Reply: 

Here is the complete three page handout in pdf. It's called "Top Ten Secrets of Great Flute Playing" (pdf) and covers everything for a new flutist's basic start:

I hope your teacher gets this link so s/he/they can download all THREE pages!

Thanks for helping me clarify this so others can find it too. I put it up on the web years ago, and it's my most downloaded pdf!

I hope that anyone who plays the flute helps themselves too. Most useful facts in the smallest number of words! And naturally I did the drawings myself on actual paper 20 years ago! hahahhaa.

For a beginner, if you are frustrated with getting a consistent quality of sound at first, be sure to use a mirror and also "headjoint only", because you may not be placing the flute's lip-plate in the exact same spot each time you raise the flute to your face. It takes "Time, Patience and Intelligent Work" as the famous flute players all say.

Here is a flute-embouchure specific "How to use a mirror when practicing the flute" article and pdf.


Best, Jen

Monday, August 23, 2021

Round One of the Kobe Flute Competition!

 Dear Flute-lovers,

Only held every four years! What a thrill it's on again! The KOBE!!!!!!

Update: Sept 5/21: Contestants’ performance videos for Round One were streamed online for free at the Kobe youtube channel. On Sept. 5th Kobe announced 26 shortlisted contestants who have been selected to advance to the second round of the 10th KIFC, taking place in Bunka Hall Kobe on March 22-28th, 2022. 



As it happened (last week):

Kobe Videos Round One

Aug 26th: (video)

Jen says: Really enjoyed the 4th contestant: Riccardo Cellaccihi

The above video is set to start at Riccardo, the 4th Aug 26th contestant.


Aug. 27th: (video)


Aug. 28th: (video)
I really liked Darío Portillo's Bach performance. It was bewitching! The video is set to start at his performance as the third contestant August 28/21.

The JS Bach Suite II bwv 1008 played by Dario is free in pdf here.
Aug. 29th (video)
Today I really enjoyed the playing of Denis Savelyev !!

The Aug. 29th video is set to start at the fourth contestant.
Aug 30th: (video)
I was really interested in the interpretational individuality of Stefan Gottfried Tomaschitz, the final competitor in Aug. 30th's video. I'm now curious whether his idiosyncratic rhythmic ideas prevented him from advancing to the next round?
Aug 31st: (video)
Although the sound quality was a bit diffuse on the recording, I most enjoyed the performance by Ryo Shimizu. This video will begin at his performance, the last of this group on August 31/21:

I notice that so far I've been listing male flutists. Believe me when I say I wish there was a better gender balance so far in my "picks". doh. :>)
Sept. 1st: (video) There were several players that interested me with their presentations this morning, but most noticeable was Catherine Winters Boyack.
Sept. 2nd: (video)

Sept 3rd: (video
I enjoyed Pierre Hurbli's playing! Today's final video of Round One will begin at Pierre's performance.

End of Round One Kobe. 

Jen adds: Thanks to Dianne Winsor for updating us all about this event.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Pahud plays Debussy Trio

Dear Flute-Lovers,

I don't know if you all watched this when it first came out, but holy-moly-batman! This is one of the most exciting Debussy Trios I've ever seen!

Pahud plays Debussy Trio with Friends (video); Yulia Deyneka, viola and Aline Khouri, harp

The performers have obviously performed it just enough that they are FREE with it. Fantastic! What a once-in-a-lifetime type of recorded filming of a really CLOSE concert. Love it!

If you are interested in seeing the score for Debussy's Trio and the fluteplaying colour/timbre choices and rhythms are making you "oh so curious!", then here's the score played by the 1962 trio: (video) The Melos Ensemble.

Enjoy! Best, Jen

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

To my subscribers - follow-it; feedburner

 Dear Subscribers to this very flutey blog, :>)

If you're a subscriber to my blog you receive every blog post as a new email with the subject: "The Lastest from Jennifer Cluff" in your inbox. This was a service offered using "Feedburner" which google is retiring at the end of June. Solution?

I will migrate my blog subscriber list automatically to a free service called ""  and then you won't have to subscribe again when the widget changes on this page. Do nothing and you'll still automatically get emails every time I update my blog. Currently there are 667 subscribers to this flute blog, (as well as 200 more who subscribed but never saw the confirmation email, because it got lost in a spam folder, or for whatever reason). Just to let you know that email updates might look a little different, and they will tack on a postscript that says "if you enjoyed this you might also enjoy reading that"; Which we can all ignore if it's off-topic.

The "subscribe to Jen's blog" widget will look a little different too, and anyone NEW who wants to subscribe will have an easy way to just "click to subscribe" using "" and just confirm it with a follow-it email confirmation.

I'm not moving the URL of the blog, of course. Everything still the same place. (someone misread and thought I was moving the URL links. No worries! :>)

Got one vaccine so far and am looking forward to September and an autumn of Flutey-Return this year after pandemic-o'mania!

Best, Jen

Saturday, May 22, 2021

New Flute Podcast from Northern Ireland

 Dear Flutelovers,

I had a lovely long listen today to several episodes of the new podcast from Northern Ireland:

The first episode I heard was: Jennifer Sturgeon.

Hers is a great tale! And the moment was captured on film!

12 year old wins BBC Musician of the Year (video shown on youtube)

And Jennifer Sturgeon is featured in an Irish Flute Band film at age 13 too. (video)

Northern Irish Flute Ensemble Documentary; Jennifer's background to winning that BBC competition: (set to start at minute 28 at Jennifer's segment, but all interesting.)

I was also fascinated to hear what the Galways are doing in lockdown:

James & Lady Galway in Lockdown Interview.

And I enjoyed this interview of an artist who follows both classical and Irish traditions: Eimear McGeown Interview.

The flutist who is doing the interviewing is Aisling Agnew. What a lovely player!

Libertango by Piazzolla (video)

Great stuff! So do enjoy all the interviews of interesting Northern Ireland players and makers. There are all sorts of ways to listen to the podcast on the move etc.

Series 1 All Episodes:

Comments welcome! I really found this flutey history and camaraderie refreshing!!


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Thanks so all who wrote such kind words!

Dear Flute-lovers, 
 Today a surprise Retirement Gift arrived that included wonderful words in a framed thank-you poster, (wine/card/cup) and many lovely, lovely flowers. 
They were socially-distance delivered to my house, and I cried
 (of course I cried; the words the words!) 
Apparently my past flute students furnished all the words.
 And the Executive Director put all their words together with the flowers and the quiet and kind delivery. How wonderful!

Click on pictures to enlarge.
Thankyou everybody. I am so touched!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Interesting bits of March

 Dear Flute-lovers,

As March indeed marches toward Spring ( which is feeling so springy!) here are three things of interest: a flute performance that is stunningly beautiful, then something informative for beginner and novice flutists about hand position, and finally something wise and real for the experienced flutist...a mystery solved. Enjoy!


1. Interesting and Beautiful!

Jen says: I mean...why tie yourself in knots about breathing, when you are making such meaningful music? 

Emily Beynon, flute & Emil Holmström, piano

Debussy: Prelude for the Afternoon of a Faun for flute and piano (video)

(the performance video will start at the Debussy flute/piano duo at end of recital)


2. Photos for Flute Novices and Beginners

A picture is worth a thousand words; hand position on the flute: Flutetalk article with photos!


3. Wise words from what is true, for the experienced Flutist:

Why Paul Edmund-Davies really left the London Symphony: Fluteview article. 


Comments welcome! (they take a few minutes/hrs. to appear as they are read by me first, before appearing here.) All the best for a happily relieved Spring!! :>)