Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prodigies & regular humans

Dear Flutists,
I imagine that many of you have already become acquainted with the stunning flute playing of 7 and 8 yr. old Emma of the United States.
Here is her latest video: 8 yr. old Emma plays (by memory) Bozza's Image:

From a Pan Magazine article by Robert Bigio, we learn the following:

Emma came from a non-musical household (parents do not play), in the U.S., and has an older sister who took violin lessons. Emma heard a flute at the age of 3 at a concert and asked to play one.
Her first lessons were 20 minutes long, but over the first year she progressed through the first four Suzuki flute books, and her lessons were gradually increased to 60 minute lessons.

She did play a Jupiter Prodigy model flute with extended finger buttons, but currently plays a normal Powell Conservatory flute. (b-foot)

She currently studies, the article says, with Judy Lapple of George Mason University and attends regular public grade school with children of her own age.

If you are not aware of the complexity of the piece she is playing, Bozza's Image, you may want to compare it to the Alexandra Grot video of the same work, played by a very very talented young flutist in her early 20s: Alexandra Grot plays Bozza Image:

Now,wipe away those tears; sniff-sniff-sniff :*>).... lest we all shut our flute cases forever, with the flute bured inside, and our dreams and hopes out in the cold... :>) I'd like to remind those of us regular humans that by watching these amazing young flute players (as per "Inner Game of Tennis" by Timothy Gallwey--a must read) you may be able to free up any tensions or constrictions that you may have in your own playing.

I can't pretend that you will suddenly develop a computer-like brain, a fabulous micro-second mouth-to-ear-to-brain co-ordination. or a re-incarnational-type musician's instant ability. But I can remind us all that LOVING the sound of the instrument is what leads to this ability.
We all know that music is so much more important to the brain than is competing with others. So, love that sound!

Best, Jen
Comments (8)
Blogger pete said...

what a brilliant sound! Thanks for the link to the youtube vid; i'll secure a copy as a bookmark, or similar :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008 12:42:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow she is amazing!
really, she is...
i've been playing for seven years and i'm NOWHERE as good as her!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 3:02:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Dear Anon,

There are amateur flutists who have been playing for 40 years who are no where near as good as young Emma.
It's a question of DNA. Some people are just born with quicker ears, minds, muscles and musical souls. But of course that doesn't mean we can't speed our own progress once we're truly inspired. :>)
Best, Jen

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 12:10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jen! I just came across these videos today, and I had the first reaction you described, of wanting to bury my flute case with the instrument still inside and go find some other hobby to occupy myself. *laugh* But allowing these young prodigies to inspire us and perhaps allow us all to be more natural in our own playing and honoring our musical instincts gets us each that much closer to divine musicality and helps us remember to play *playfully* and to have fun!

Sunday, August 22, 2010 6:50:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Yes, thanks for the comment; exactly.
One of the thing about observing prodigies is that they show us the natural way that they do things; they are not overburdened by "trying too hard" which causes muscular tensions that are unecessary.
Prodigies are excellent models of simplification.
Thanks for the comment. Makes me really think!

Best, Jen

Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:05:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

2016! A few years later!

Dear Jen,
I’ve watched with sheer delight young Emma Resmini. On YouTube, I have followed her every move from her 8th year to 13th ! She is on Facebook and I have joined her site. It boosts my love for the flute so much that I would like to imitate her. In fact, I took my flute and followed her playing Zigeunerweisen by Pablo de Sarasate. I decided to see her again and again in the slow movement and followed her. I did learn the piece.
Unfortunately, my teacher told a kind of put down: “I don’t like these recordings, I can only learn with music sheets”! I know music sheets are important, but well, I’m very sorry but I’m going to carry on copying YouTube best players!
I have to learn the Menuet from Le Tombeau de Couperin. I watched Pierre Boulez and the solo oboist. I watched Alessandro Crudele and his oboist and the UniMilan orchestra. I watched Angela Hewitt playing the original piano piece. I went back to Boulez, learned the menuet with mordents and intonations and presented it to my teacher who said: “Not bad after only a week! By the way, what’s this mordent in the beginning?” “It’s in the original”, I replied.
Of course, the arrangement for grade 2 by Harris doesn’t have these indications. In fact, the piece is terribly curtailed. However, I am working slowly now with the metronome to refine the runs that are hard, like the C-D or like the growing from soft to loud (crescendo, I know!).
BUT, I want to play this. I’ll do it and my examiner will love it!
You’re an inspiration too with all your tips. I swallow them all and have to come back for more!
Thank you for reading, Jen.
Sincerely yours,

Sunday, March 20, 2016 1:32:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Sounds great Michael. Love it. Onward and upward! Jen

Sunday, March 20, 2016 3:27:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, April 16, 2021 7:17:00 AM


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