The Flute Academy
The pros and cons of keeping your flute out of its case

The pros and cons of keeping your flute out of its case

Mar 16, 2020

This week's 5 minute flute lesson is all about the pros and the cons of keeping your flute out between practices.

Should you keep your flute out of its case?

I've got a great (but disastrous) photo for you of a flute that got turned into a bit of a banana after it was sat on by her dad!

But it's not all bad - there is one huge benefit of leaving your flute out when you're not playing it.

Enjoy the short video, and look after yourself this week!

Should you pack up your flute after practising?

Have you ever heard flute teachers say that you must pack up your flute into its case after every time you play it? But then you see that on the market there are things like these flute stands, which are clearly designed to not be packing your flute up after every time you play it.

So now you're thinking, well which is right? Sometimes I have people ask me this.

Pros and cons of leaving flute out vs packing it up

There are pros and cons to both, which is what I'm going to tell you in this video. It might sound like a bit of a dry topic, but there are some good stories to go along with pros and cons of either packing your flute up or leaving it out.

My name is Jane Cavanagh. I'm a flute teacher. I live in Sydney in Australia, and I love showing flute players like you how tiny little changes, and adjustments to their flute playing make a huge impact to how good they sound.

Today's video won't directly make you sound good, but it might encourage you to practice more, which is good. And it could also save your flute from total destruction, which is also good. All right.

Safer for your flute

The pros of always packing up your flute after every time you play it, obviously it's safer. And for my beginner child students, that's what I tell them. Always pack up your flute after every time you play it. I've got a great photo of a student, not my student, who didn't pack up their flute after they played it, they left it on their bed and their Dad sat on it. Great photo coming up. I'll show you in a sec.

Flute doesn't tarnish as quickly

Another pro of always packing up your flute is that it doesn't tarnish as quickly. I've got a funny story about that as well. Actually, it's not funny. I've got an interesting story about that in a second too.

When your flute is in the case and you use an anti-tarnish strip like this. This is not an ad. There are other brands as well. This soaks up the sulphur in the air that reacts with your flute and sends it a little bit black as you can see on my lip plate here, it's a bit tarnished. It can affect the whole flute.

And if you always have your flute in the case with an anti tarnish strip in there, it's also called a silver protector strip. It's often used in jewellery. If you can't find it, go into a jewellery shop. That is a pro of keeping your flute in the flute case.

If you live somewhere with high geothermal activity, basically volcanoes, your flute is going to go black really fast. When I was 16, I went on a school trip to New Zealand. This is a band trip and the band that we played with all of the flute players there in this particular town that had lots of boiling mud had black flutes, literally black flutes.

So if you are hanging out somewhere that smells like sulphur, or if you're hanging around in a room with lots of hard boiled eggs, which you're probably not, but in theory, your flute would also go black then.

There's a little bit of sulphur in the air all the time, regardless of where you live so your flute is going to tarnish if you keep it out of the case. It's only cosmetic. And when you get your flute serviced by flute repair it, they can remove the tarnish.

More enticing to pick up and play the flute

Okay, let's move on to the pros of leaving your flute out of the flute case, the main pro actually the only pro is that it's more enticing to pick up and play.

And if you are someone that has your flute out of sight, out of mind in the case and thinks, oh, I'll practice later and you know that you don't get round to it. Leaving the flute out in a safe spot, like on a shelf, out of the way, this might be a good move for you.

You can also get yourself a flute stand. This is a good one because I'll show you why I like this one. I like compact by the way. And this one is super compact, but there's different brands and they are quite good to entice you to play.

As long as you've got a safe spot for your flute to leave that without dogs, children - which leads us on to the cons of leaving your flute out. In this photo, it was a Dad that sat on the flute of a student who left it on a bed.

So leaving your flute out on the floor, on a chair, on a bed is a major con of leaving your flute out. So if you are either an adult or a responsible child, if you're watching this, leaving your flute out is fine. If it entices you to play and it's in a safe spot and you don't mind it going a little bit tarnished.

How to improve your flute tone

So now totally unrelated to this video, but highly related to flute playing in general, if you would like to improve your tone quickly and you haven't already done the free mini-course on instantly improving your tone, go to

And I'll teach you over 3 days how to improve your tone instantly. You might also want a trial leaving your flute out between these three days so that you can practice the little techniques that I teach you that instantly improve your tone. Hopefully I'll see you there otherwise see you next week.

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