Thursday, September 29, 2022

Still Here, Still Thinking

Dear Flute-Lovers, I'm still here, and just wanted you to know that. :>)

The world of flute has gone somewhat quiet on the internet, I find. Not much chat on the email groups. Perhaps those who are on Facebook and other platforms know what's going on, (and could clue me in, perhaps! :>) but it's so quiet, I can only imagine that recovery from lockdown wind-blown anxiety is slow.

I'm still spending a great deal of time outdoors doing completely different things other than music, (though I do find myself bursting into song.). I'm still removing invasive plants, because we've had an unaccountable stretch of fine weather for the past ten weeks, and this is the time to get it done! So sorry if you're waiting for huge flutey-breakthroughs. 

When I do play flute, I find I play 

- slow celtic airs

- J.S. Bach (slowly and with Piazzolla flourishes all abounding), and

- Rhonda Larson pieces that make chords in the air, like "Lughnasa",  "Be Still My Soul" and "Movin' On". These are gorgeous things played super super slowly with HUGE tone colour in an echoey room.

Of course I'm super rusty, but it's coming along.....

So just to let you know I am here.....and more to come!

Still here, still thinking.

Use the comment button to share you thoughts, if you like.

Best, Jen

Comments (11)
Blogger Sally Waisbrot said...

I found this flute story uplifting.

Friday, September 30, 2022 4:38:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks Sally.

Friday, September 30, 2022 7:26:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

I found out that the NY Times article link can be read only if you subscribe to that newspaper. Here's a free version of the article:

I hadn't read about this previously, but I'd seen the headline. Now that I read about it, I wonder why no one had ever played that flute in 200 years, odd! I imagine that every time someone finds an old flute they would seek to hear it played as long as playing a note on it didn't destroy it as an antique. Of course that's the very first thing you'd want to do if you found a Stradivarius, or other fabulously handcrafted instrument: hear what it sounds like!!

Of course, in the case of fabrics and objects made of disintegrating materials, you wouldn't want to hurt the historical object (by wearing a gossamer silk dress from 1700s etc.)
I like Lizzo's spunk and good natured approach to life in the spotlight.

Friday, September 30, 2022 7:39:00 AM

Anonymous Kate said...

It seems as though we have kept to ourselves for so long that some of us don't know how to navigate the 'new normal', whatever that might mean to another person. My flute technique is rusty, especially my fingers. I am more concerned about developing a beautiful tone at this point. Fingers, later! I say to day at a time, and five minutes at a time, when necessary.

Friday, September 30, 2022 8:59:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

I hear you, Kate. Fingers definitely are lighter and more agile if they're not "gripping" so I've been switching it up between "right hand on the barrel" and absolutely no pressure on the left index finger phalange.......and then gently returning my right hand to the FED keys while keeping lightness in the left. It's so much easier than forcing fast fingers, because they just stay light...

For tone, I'm doing the Keith Underwood "spit-buzzing" and also Robert Dick "singing while playing". These are still my best starting spot every time I've re-started my flute playing. Just thought I'd say that. :>)

Friday, September 30, 2022 9:12:00 AM

Anonymous Dick said...

I'm sympathetic to Kate and Jen's messages. At age 86 I had to battle arthritis for a while but my fingers are beginning to behave again. While spend a lot of time on scales and arpeggios I also have been working on tone. Since my teachers did not give me much help in this I did extensive reading and came up with my own improvement method which has helped but I'm still working on it. I(n between I maintain trails in the 30 acres of conservation land behind my house.

Saturday, October 01, 2022 2:22:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Great to hear from you Dick and that's just fabulous that fingers can make a comeback at the age of 86. I'm also happy to meet another "land husbandry participant". :>)
Love that fresh air and smell of forest! Great to see your comment.

Saturday, October 01, 2022 2:51:00 PM

Blogger Heidi Kay Begay said...

Hi Jen!

We haven't met -- but I love your work. 😊

Yes -- I have noticed that the flute world has been a lot slower lately, too! I am a podcaster -- and noticing that numbers are going down, interaction is low, and not sure what's going on?

Love to connect with you at some point!

Flute 360 Podcast

Tuesday, October 04, 2022 9:27:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks Heidi for letting me know it's not just me but maybe we're all still "on pause" from the shock of the pandemic. And it's yet ongoing.....doh!
Thanks for getting and staying in touch! And thanks for saying you love my work too! :>) For sure let's do an interview. I'd love to tackle some of the tough/interesting/more rare questions. Not sure what I'd say, but curious to think about tackling some of them.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022 9:31:00 PM

Blogger spiffytj said...

I'm glad to know you are still writing. I had to take a break from playing and teaching to take care of aging parents and small children, and I'm trying to get back in the swing of things now that I'm able to again. Your content was my favorite when I was teaching flute lessons full time and had to stay ahead and keep up with my fabulous students. I also changed my communication and reading habits, so it took me a bit to re-find you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 6:12:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Dear Spiffytj,
How fascinating to read your comment! Yes, something similar has happened to me, but as I'm in my early 60s now, I'm not sure that going back to work is the right thing....I still have an unfinished book to write etc. But being disconnected after Covid shut down in-person flute lessons is hard on ones sense of "connectedness" to students. It's a tricky transition that's for sure. Love to chat more. Send teaching questions so we can hash them over! :>)
jen(at) jennifercluff (dot) com
Love to have topics and input here on the blog, and really get it going again! I still solve flute problems in my sleep! :>)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 8:44:00 AM


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