Thursday, October 11, 2007

Teaching Tone videos 2 & 3

Dear Flutists and flute teachers,

Here are two new short videos about the basics of tone practice.
They follow video 1 and offer hints for success as well as a demonstration of low register longtones.
Please feel free to comment using the comment button below.
Ha! It was so SUNNY today, I was seemingly creating tone from a sunbeam....hmmmm...not a bad idea!
Goofily, Jen

Video 2.Teaching Tone; Helpful hints

For articles on tone see the tone articles on my website.

Video 3. Teaching Tone: Matching pairs of semitones

Comments (12)
Blogger here said...

Thank you very much for these exceptionally well performed teaching videos, saves me a lot money for DVDs (which are not available in this topic, at least I do not know any) or for teachers who don't know this for themselves ;-)
Why do you breathe through the nose in vid. 2?
Greetings, Lie.

Friday, October 12, 2007 3:48:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Dear Lie,

I actually was going to cough, so I breathed through the nose to delay the cough until the video was finished. Jen

Friday, October 12, 2007 8:28:00 AM

Blogger Sheila said...

Thankyou! Great re-iteration of what we talked about. I've been applying these ideas to my practice, and it really helps. My only problem is that I get impatient, and it 'takes too long' to get a lovely, ringing B natural.

However, yesterday (after getting over the impatient part!) I was doing the 'squish the corners of your lips forward' excercise, and I played a something (it was around high G, maybe even A flat), and my face lit up. Totally gorgeous, and very encouraging.


Friday, October 12, 2007 10:51:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Hi Sheila,
If it takes longer than 4 minutes to find a ringing B-natural, go to the mirror and have a look. If that still doesn't show you what to do, play low register lovely melodies until you're fully warmed up. Usually not being able to get a good tone just needs a few minutes of noodling around in front of a mirror, or ignoring it (and not "trying too hard") and then suddenly the whole thing just starts to ring.
Experiment lots. Have fun during experimentation to stay relaxed and open-minded.
P.S. thanks so much for your input.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 12:02:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Jen,

My story is:
I never had more than a few "lessons" from a school chum 40 years ago. All these years I've been mainly entertaining myself. A couple months ago I joined the community band comprised mostly of adults who haven't played their instrument since high school band. I never played in any kind of band. I soon discover I have the worst tone of all five flutes. I seek help on and find you. I join flutenet. Today I am practicing along with you and I am finally getting a beautiful tone. It's amazing. And it isn't taking that long to learn. Here's the funny part. The flute I use was donated to the band. I haven't been able to get a low C on this flute from the get go. All I get is air. I seriously thought there was something wrong with the flute. Maybe it needs overhauling or something. Jen, there's nothing wrong with the flute. Today I got my first low C and I sounded good. Thanks for all you do. Marilyn

Saturday, October 13, 2007 4:45:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Dear Marilyn,
Wow! Thankyou so much for your comment. How WONDERFUL!! :>)
Very grateful that you wrote, Jen :>)

Saturday, October 13, 2007 6:45:00 PM

Blogger here said...

Sheila adresses a problem ... it may take too long, and then it will become boring. But I think, you, Jen, showed us so perfect, that we have to do it as good as we can each day and not too long, not until the "boring effect" occurs. You show to enjoy the beauty and happiness of "our" tones at the current day, even if they are not so beautiful as yours, Jen ;-)
Greetings, Lie.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 2:03:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Hi Lie,
Yes, if you (or I :>) get bored, then simply change to playing slow, low beautiful melodies.
I often play whatever is in my heart; things like the chorale from FINLANDIA by Sibelius (if that's my mood) or the penny whistle tune from "The Titanic" movie, or Ashokan Farewell, or some irish or scottish tune that's very heartfelt. "One Hand One Heart" from Bernstein's West Side Story is very fulfilling, as are any slow airs from the British Isles or other folk tunes. Then, as the melody unfolds, I transpose it into different keys, by figuring out (by ear) what would happen if I start on this note, or that note, but always staying low or returning to the low. As the melody flows out, with eyes closed, or while walking across the room as I play, my tone gets better as if by magic. I think connecting the heart to the feeling of singing a song makes tone swell with beauty and love.
Not trying to get too mushy here, but I just watched "One Hand One Heart" on the youtube Bernstein video, and I've got to say that's one heck of a song.... sniff! :*>)
Jen (sniff sniff! :>)

Sunday, October 14, 2007 3:17:00 PM

Blogger here said...

Great idea, really well explained,

exactly what you describe here, this is what I looked for, entending the beautiful tones (formerly boring lontones) from basic steps to INTELLIGENT PRACTSISING,
or ...
Greetings, Lie.

Monday, October 15, 2007 1:22:00 PM

Blogger Sheila said...

Okay, here I am, I am going to go back on what I said in my last comment. I picked up my flute a few minutes ago (hadn't played since Friday), and played the most gorgeous middle B natural ever. I worked on getting that 'most golden tone ever' from the first moment last week, but it just wasn't happening, and took forever.

I guess sleeping on it over the weekend made it really sink in. Or maybe today is just a good day. :) So rewarding, and watching these videos (over and over and over and over...) truly helped make it stick.

Just thought I would let you know of my success with pretty tone!

Monday, October 15, 2007 1:27:00 PM

Blogger Stephen said...

That was a real nice video and very informative. However, I didn't really notice how you show flutists to change the embouchure to create the resonant tone. When I taught, I found that starting with a very open aperture, creating a hollow sound, then gradually making the lips close to a smaller opening, speed up the airstream some, experiment with the angle of the airstream by turning the HJ in or out some, creates the resonance very easily. That worked perfectly for me and something for others to try and will get the results you did, too. Thanks for posting this web site.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 4:32:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Hi Stephen,
Yes what you say can be very true indeed, but if we, as teachers, actually use those exact words, we find that at least some of the students will squeeze the embouchure smaller and roll in to get a more precise tone quality than they had previously. The next time they follow those words, they'll do it more, and then they'll do it more, and finally we have to un-do those instructions to get back to "open, flexible, and rolled-out". So that's why I try not to use those words.
Funny thing about human nature; if a certain idea worked the first time, humans tend to increase the force with which they repeat the idea.
So I felt I had to avoid the use of those words to avoid influencing the percentage of students who might follow the "trying too hard, squeezing too much, overmanipulating the embouchure, rolling-in" advice.
With good ears, and good sense, yes it can work. But pedagogy is about finding what starting point is best for experimentation for all types of students.
Thanks though. Jen

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 10:05:00 AM


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