The Flute Academy
How to make a difficult piece MUCH EASIER

How to make a difficult piece MUCH EASIER

Jun 04, 2019

How to make a difficult piece MUCH EASIER 

I had a student during the week who came into her lesson feeling a bit hopeless at one of her new pieces.

The piece was long (for her), it was very tricky in parts, and it just seemed overwhelming for her.

Ever feel like that?

Well, if you do, you're in luck.

I made this short video to show you how I turned around Daisy's ability to play the piece in half a lesson.

She was a changed player by the end of the lesson!

See whether this simple (but very effective) technique helps you too.

Jane xx

PS. The sound is a bit weird in this video. I considered not posting it (because it's a bit embarrassing that I didn't have my tech-self together!) BUT the content is so worth listening to. So please overlook the strange audio and listen to the technique that improves my students' ability in a flash.

Breaking a piece down to bite-size pieces

When you are practicing the flute at home, do not underestimate the value of breaking something up into bite-size pieces. I want to tell you a story that happened this morning and that just illustrates this so well. How you can turn someone from thinking that they're hopeless and actually not playing very well into knowing what they're doing, loving what they're doing, and genuinely being able to play about twice as well as they could at the start of the lesson.

Flute School

 I'm Jane, as you might know, from the Flute Teachers School this morning, I taught my student Daisy. She's about 13, she's in year 7 and she is the coolest student. She has a labradoodle. So that makes her extra cool. She came in and she was learning a piece today that was way too hard for her or so she thought. Instantly, I went, okay, oh my God, I'm gonna turn this around so that she actually knows what she's doing.

Earn a reward for each section

I found that this piece was made up of a bunch of different sections. There were about 12 or 13 different little sections in this piece. So what I said to her is you are going to learn each section. You can choose whichever section you learn first and second and third, and you're going to earn a star. These are the stars that I used. Earn a star for each section.

Increase your motivation for flute playing

You can go for some of them now, the easy ones now, and then you take the rest home and learn them. By the end of half an hour, actually, by the end of 10 minutes, she was a changed person. She was hugely motivated to practice. That's great. And she was actually playing a lot better than she was at the start of the lesson that's the second thing. So they feel good about they're doing which means they're motivated and they're actually doing well.

Break a hard piece down to little sections

Take a piece, anything that you're finding hard, a scale, a piece, a study, anything you're learning and find sections and make those little sections, your aim. And then obviously when you have nailed - what's the word conquered each little section, let's say there's six sections or 20 sections.

Conquer a tricky flute piece

Each section that you nail, tick it off. Put a star on it for yourself if you want to. And by the end of let's say a day or the end of a week or the end of a month, depending on you and the length of your piece, you will have learned the entire piece and conquer a piece, a whole piece that you didn't, that you could play.

Free flute mini course

So take that into your playing. Remember I said, do not underestimate the value of breaking things up into bite-size pieces. Now I'm gonna start doing free masterclasses online on how to quickly improve your tone on the flute. They're going be live, and you are going to be able to find them at It's my new domain name and I love it. It's So and you can learn how to quickly, instantly improve your tone on the flute in one masterclass. See you there.

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