• I am only Unreasonably Persistent •
Hi everyone! I apologize for disappearing for a couple weeks. I have a lot on my plate at the moment! I presented a group warm-up/practice class at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention with one of my best friends, Dr. Angela Reynolds and have been preparing for my faculty recital, which takes place on March 11th! Add to that prepping for my Carnegie Hall concert with the Golden Classic Music Awards Winners Recital, gigging around the area, prepping another presentation for the UVA Flute Forum, and my normal schedule of teaching, and I'm BUSY! That's the life of a musician right? I'm sure many of you are in the same boat.
How many of you are private lesson teachers who travel a lot?? Me too! My husband and I are renters for the foreseeable future, so teaching lessons out of our apartment really isn't feasible. We spend A LOT of time driving to our different gigs. That's the nature of the gig life! So, today I want to show you my little flute teacher toolkit. I created this little kit this year based on the things that I have needed most often for students.
First, pad cleaning paper and powder paper. If there is one thing I hear students complain about, its sticky pads. Mine become sticky sometimes as well, but I never seem to be quite as annoyed by it as my students. So when I hear complaints about sticky pads, we talk about the care and cleaning of their flute. "Have you been swabbing it out when you're done playing?" "Do you wash your hands before playing?" "Do you eat sugary foods immediately before playing?" The answers to those questions often tell me a lot about the why the pads may be sticking. We clean the pads and sometimes use the powder paper for especially obnoxious ones, and then I try to get them to commit to cleaning their instrument more often. (I once had a beginner student proudly admit to me that they had never cleaned their flute out and they had owned the instrument for 2 years...)
The second item in my toolkit is a stamp with the outline of flute keys. This has been SO helpful for my beginner students and for my more advanced students as they learn the highest notes on the instrument. You can stamp the flute keys in their book, their notebook, on their music, etc. Its the visual reminder of the fingering they need to use right where they need to use it. Plus, young students really love to use the stamp. I have a young student who gets so excited when she learns a new fingering because I let her stamp her notebook. :)
The third item I have are musical sticky notes. I was given these as a gift and they have worked so well in my teaching toolkit! If a student forgets their notebook, I write out assignments and notes on these and stick them all over their etudes, rep, other materials, and flute case. They are very cute and can serve as a reminder to bring their notebook! I also use these in conjunction with the flute stamp. I can write the note on the treble clef and put the stamp with the fingering right next to it.
The fourth item is a pack of eyeglass screwdrivers. These have come in handy in the past year! Sometimes screws come loose on flutes and you don't always have time to send your flute in for these more minor issues. If a screw starts coming loose on a student's flute, this can save your lesson or their performance. I had a student have trouble with a loose screw prior to Solo and Ensemble competition. Since these screwdrivers were in my bag, I was able to fix the issue well enough for them to make it through a fantastic performance. I always encourage my advanced students to purchase their own set of screwdrivers.
Finally, there are a set of stickers. You all know why stickers are important! My beginner students adore them, and I strive to have ones that are really pretty and interesting so that students are motivated to get one.
So that is my Traveling Flute Teacher Toolkit! What are some other items that you carry with you to lessons? Let me know in the comments!
Until next week...