Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Karen Smithson's valuable flute method books

These are fabulous books for flute students and teachers!! (and no, I'm not related to the author or publisher...hahahaa! :>)
But I wonder if all our American and European flute teachers know about these method books?

You can view all six books here at the Catalogue page of Weisgarber publishing, or you can look them up at Fluteworld.

This flute method series seems to be very comprehensive in their pedagogy and each volume only costs about $15 U.S. The sequential five volumes go from complete beginner to advanced high school flute playing. There are work pages of music theory basics, and clear and concise practise suggestions.

Some topics covered are:

Volume II: Eighth notes - Dotted Quarter/Eighth - rhythms
E#, B# and Fb- - how to read enharmonic equivalents
Major scales (with sharps) and how to create the scales yourself using tetrachords. Sixteenth notes.

Volume III: Major Scales with flats -
Triplets - Cut time- Compound time (6/8, 9/8)-
Intervals and arpeggios - high register playing

Volume IV: - Staccato - Syncopation - Portato - Minor Scales - Appogiaturas - Grace notes - Trills.

Volume V: 32nd & 64th notes - double dotted notes -
2 against 3 and 3 against 4 - Double and Triple Tonguing - Dim and Aug triads - 7th arpeggios - Mordents- Turns- Harmonics-
Cadenzas - Modal/Pentatonic/Dim and Whole tone scales.

Now; read on for the musical material, which is the complete and utter BONUS!!!!

The Karen Smithson "Playing the Flute" method books also has a separate piano accompaniments volume (140 pgs. in score form $22 U.S.) contains folktunes and celtic tunes of all kinds, and almost an equal number of famous 'classical' pieces, many of which are famous and well-loved symphonic repertoire.

All the pieces are fairly short and the piano accompaniments for the series of five workbooks contains all the recital flute pieces in progressive order. There are just so many great tunes for young players all in one book series.

Plus among the many themes from great orchestral literature in the Smithson "Playing the Flute" volumes there are flute duets from the orchestral literature (ie: Beethoven's 7th Symphony, Mendelssohn's Italian Symph. etc.) And all of these flute works are part of the theory and practical lessons in each book:

All the Celtic and folk tune titles are listed on my webpage, if you click here. The folk tunes have lovely simple but effective arrangements for flute and piano.

Some of the well-loved classical themes and flute and piano arrangements are listed below:

Bizet - theme from Carmen
Bizet - Flute duets from L'Arlesienne
Bach - Chorales
Berlioz - Theme from Symphonie Fantasique
Tchaikovsky - excerpts from The Nutcracker & Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky - Theme from Romeo and Juliet
Grieg - Peer Gynt
Mussorsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
Mozart - Theme from Horn Concerto Eb+
Handel- Redeemer Liveth from Messiah
Bach - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
Puccini - Excerpts from La Boheme
Dvorak - English Horn solo from New World
Wagner - Opening of Tannhauser
Brahms - Cello solo from Piano Concerto 2
Brahms - Oboe Solo
Holst - Theme from "The Planets"

Playing the Flute' - Karen Smithson Volumes 1-5
"Piano Accompaniments" (in score form in piano book, full size flute parts in flute books) is the one single volume you'll definitely want if only purchasing one book to start.

Hope you get as much pleasure out of these method books as I do.

Comments (2)
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I have Methode Complete de Flute by Taffanel and Gaubert. Original Copyright 1923 and 1958 by Alphonse Leduc. Hard Cover. Written in French, Spanish, German, and English. Do you know how I could find out how much this book is worth and who might want it? Vicki

Friday, June 18, 2010 2:43:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

If you'd like to sell your Taff/Gaubert hardcover, it's likely worth $40-$60 or so, depending on its condition.
If it's in poor condition (ink, dirt, cover falling off) then you still might get $30 for it from an interested flute teacher or student.
Contact in this order:
- nearby flute teachers
- nearby flute dept. of a university or college/conservatory
- one of the flute discussion groups (give your location to find local teachers).
FLUTElist at www.larrykrantz and Flutenet and Galway Flutechat at Yahoo groups all allow one time sale announcements when you join to post an item for sale.
Best, Jen

Friday, June 18, 2010 2:51:00 PM


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