Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Julien Beaudiment Flutist

Dear Flute-lovers,

I attended an online masterclass/interview with Julien Beaudiment today (sorry no replay) that was gloriously provided for free by one of our dedicated University flute teachers. My notes are below from that talk.

Then, just to round out having been at the 90 minute online class, I listened to Bach, (video) played by Julien Beaudiment
 Sarabande from JS Bach A minor Sonata:

And I watched him teach (in French!) (video):

Then I went and listened to his interview (in which he explains how he was asked to play for LA Phil, and why he left after only a short time):(video)

And finally, after hearing the above interview, I was super excited to see the exact Mozart Concerto innovations that Julien added, that resulted in his being invited to join the LA Phil. (video)

What a super interesting day, flute-wise! :>)
Hope to hear from others who attended his classes. Comment button below.
Here are my notes (there were more):

Flute  Zoom Class with Julien Beaudiment:

- in the lessons he teaches at Lyon Conservatory, there are three one hour lessons in flute per week for each flute student at the Conservatory;
ie: 3 hours in total each per student per week:

1. One hour lesson with Julien himself and a pianist for solo repertoire
2. Then one hour with a talented flute colleague who teaches only flute technique to the same student
3. Finally, one additional hour per week with a talented flute colleague who teaches only piccolo technique to the same student

(I have told my Canadian students who study one hour per week that REAL Classical Music Students frequently take two hours per week, for example both Tuesdays and Friday flute lessons, but none of them usually believe me. :>)

Julien prefers Moyse's "Chromatic Mechanism" book to Taffanel and Gaubert.
He feels T&G is far too easy in its chromatic scales for him now, and that since his weakness is finger speed and accuracy, that chromatics work best for him.

(Note: There were free pdfs at the class of the above super expensive book running around online left and right,  so don't spend $40 too quickly!)

For every student there are different things to be worked on. For Julien it is fingers, not tone. He says even after a week of not playing, it's never his tone that has suffered. And, at his level, naturally, he's looking for technique books he's never played thoroughly before.

A rare one he mentioned is this one by Tassinari for flute:

He also said that Lorenzo's very challenging studies with piano and flute parts are free at IMSLP for those looking for a challenge.

- His fave way to practice pairs of longtones is twice each pair, all slurred. The first pair is played forte, then slur into the second pair and repeat at dynamic of piano.
(click on jpg to enlarge; use back button to return here.)

He says this version of the Moyse longtones (Fake Moyse) keeps you in shape because you are:

a) working on matching intonation (same pitches at contrasting dynamics)
b) giving air vs. saving air (air speed awareness becomes super important)
c) quickly checking all your angles and air speeds to stay in shape or get warmed up quickly

- His pet peeve is people who buy tons of books and then say "I'll practice 10 minutes each out of 15 different books."
He says: "It's better to spend 15 minutes on one bar of one book until it is perfect. This is about the focus and the slowness of perfection, and HOW you practice, it's not about covering pages and pages badly." If there was one single point he'd like to make, it would be about the incredible focus it takes to learn something well (one bar, or one inch of music). If you just "play" around reading music, that is not practicing; practicing is really truly honing a skill by going slowly and carefully, and maintaining  awareness and accute focus on the specific task for the sake of perfecting it.

- He also really dislikes electronic tuners for working on intonation: "Tuning with the eyes is the wrong way to go."  Since each private lesson hour he is always provided with an accompanist for every flute student's lesson, he insures that the student listens to and matches an actual live instrument (the piano) rather than a tuner, in order to develop their ear. He says that the ear has to be ready for all the pitch changes that actually occur in real-life orchestral situations (Brass play sharp, French play at A-441, German cities play at A-444 etc.)

-All his articulation choices are based on many many varieties of tonguing both forward and back in the mouth, depending on colour, dynamic, and style.
He says not to get stuck in the "heavy tongue" headset; but for the flute student to pre-hear lighter sounds in their inner-ear, in order to fit lighter musical situations, rather than think that every "Tu" is the same: TU, TU, TU. Not so.

The tongue is not a separate organ.
 It depends on the air-speed and the shape of the mouth, so has a slightly different at every dynamic, and in different tone colours/styles.
In Forte the mouth cavity is very large, and so the tonguing will be different than when the dynamic requires the mouth cavity to be smaller.

In the same way as there are many syllables for tonguing, there are many shapes of the mouth and tongue to produce tone colours; the main thing is to remain flexible and learn all kinds of sounds. He likes to take risks, and play every performance slightly differently; he says that makes the performance truly alive.

Julien pointed out that dynamics are dependent on where you are playing and whom you are playing with. Almost every flute solo in orchestra that is marked "Piano" for example, is not ever played softly. The mood may be soft, but to project the flute, you will be playing with a great deal of energy in "piano".
There are no absolute dynamics. Most students need to play much larger and with much more projection than they think.

He also said: "After 4-6 hrs. of flute practice you cannot do more on the flute. So now you have 'Table Work' where you study the scores and really listen to the works you are learning. Listen to a great deal of music everyday. Remember to always do your 'table work' without the flute in hand, to develop your listening skills.
The above is some of what I learned from him today. Really corroborates my teaching!

Best, Jen
Comments (2)
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, August 16, 2020 7:37:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, February 20, 2022 10:43:00 AM


Post a Comment