Picking up flute after 10 years! Feedback please!!

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Picking up flute after 10 years! Feedback please!!

Post by flapperflute »

Hi all,
I'm new to the board. I'm 38 years old. I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Flute performance from 2 major conservatories. I graduated in 1997 with my MM.

I freelanced for a while after graduating, and was getting really good, but I fell away for various reasons. It has been about a decade since I played regularly. I have been working in the pop music industry as an editor and journalist.

To make a long story short, I have decided that I want to begin playing again. I have 30-plus years invested in serious flute playing but haven't done it in 10 years. I have a gorgeous 14K gold flute, a precious handmade bloodwood piccolo, thousands of pieces of flute music collected, recordings, and a library of knowledge and experience inside of me. I could have been really good if I'd had the self-esteem to persevere and remain dedicated. But I was not able to at the time. 10 years of flute dormancy and I feel ready to resume.

I want to know if any once serious/professional flutists out there have resumed after a long hiatus. I was good and could have been very successful had I stayed with it. I regret my choices now. Is it possible to have a career as a flutist after such a long break??? Is it like professional sports or ballet, where the peak passes and after a certain age, one can only teach? (Not that I would mind teaching, but I wonder if it is possible to play professionally)

I don't even know how to get back into it. I guess I could call up a teacher for lessons but I feel nervous. Maybe I should just allow myself to play and not sound good for a while and see where it leads me? I don't want to put too much rpessure on myself--that is what got me into trouble in the first place!

Is this all even possible or am I being unrealistic?? I've had an epiphany that my purpose here on this earth is to be a musician and I stopped for too long.

Feedback please!!
Last edited by flapperflute on Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by flutepicc06 »

It's certainly possible to get going again. However, as you almost certainly know, your determination and dedication are what will determine how far you go this time. I can't think of any big name flutists that went the same route as you did, but that shouldn't stop you from picking the flute back up and becoming as good as possible again. No one interested in hiring a flutist will care how long you took off, or for what reasons, as long as you can play the music now.

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Post by fluteguy18 »

Welcome to the board! :D I am not necessarily sure of the life experiances of many of the members of this board, but I know for sure that a few people here have been in your shoes.

I myself am at the beginning of my journey into the world of professional musicians. So, while I can not share any wisdom or personal experiance here, I most certainly hope that you stick around. It sounds as if you have many interesting stories to tell, and I look forward to hearing your opinions/ideas!

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Post by asoalin »

I'm also coming off of a flute hiatus. I started playing in the 6th grade and was in school band class through 9th grade. Since then I've been just playing for fun on my own without any formal training. Now, I'm a junior in college and have just decided to pick up the flute again and switch my major to music. I hope to have a career as a professional musician, but I know I have a lot of work and practice ahead of me.

I know that my route isn't exactly traditional, but I learn pretty fast when it comes to musical things and I'm extremely determined. I may be a bit behind my peers, but I know I'll get there. Its great that you are coming back to the flute. It is so much fun!

I'm sure this forum will be a great resource for you - I know it has been for me. Congrats and good luck! I'd be interested in hearing how you progress, so I hope you keep us posted! :)

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Post by Phineas »

Welcome back to playing Flapperflute!!!!!

Just remember to get your instruments COAed(checked and adjusted) before you get back to practicing. It will not take long to get back into the groove otherwise. I think you will find endurance will wind up being your biggest hurdle after not playing so long. Just becareful not to over do it!

As far as getting back into performance, that will not be a big deal depending on your location. I have been in small towns and got gigs. Getting gigs is more of a political matter in my opinion. Just get back into the circle(teachers, colleges, musicians union, etc....), and the gigs will come. Now, making a living at it, well there are no guarantees. However I do get to play as much as I want to these days. You may even want to setup a small group of your own. This will get you back into the music scene also. This will allow the word to get a round that you are back out there. GO FOR IT! You only stand to gain.

Again, welcome back!!!!!!


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Post by pied_piper »

You are likely to need to work on your chops to get them back into shape. If you have not played much in 10 years, much of the endurance and some of the finer points of the embouchure are likely to have faded. That said, the most important thing is just to start playing and get back into the daily practice routine. With an MM in flute performance, you certainly have the knowledge of what to do and how to do it. You should just get back to the basics and work the scales and etudes. If you feel that you need some prodding to get back into the regular discipline, then private study might be the driving force that you need, but if you have the inner drive and self discipline to get back on the horse, then you can go it alone.

As they say in the commercial: Just Do It!
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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Post by foxxyflutegirl »

Funny thing, I did the same thing. After college I didn't play for probably 5 yrs or so & I visited a church my Mother had gone too & lo & behold, they had a regular ORCHESTRA! Couldn't believe it. I saw an ad in the church bulletin about needing musicians to play in their upcoming program & so I went, had a blast, was invited to come back & join the orchestra and it really wasn't hard to get back into it either. Yes I had to get my 'chops' back into shape but it really didn't take as long as you'd think. I debated about joining them for about a year & decided to do it & played w/them for about 2 yrs but then had to move out of the area for job reasons so that's how I got started back in it. We played awesome, hard stuff too not just hymns. There's also some locations that have community bands or flute ensembles. Look online if you can, I'm sure if there are events or groups like the aforementioned, you'll find it somehow. Good luck. 8)

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Studies for flute (returning after a break)

Post by AnnaJ »

I recently returned to playing the flute after a couple of years break. I was travelling and missed playing music more and more as the months went on - even though I listened to and studied lots of music in many different countries.

On my journey, I realised I had a lot of work to do to return to the standard I was. My experiences while travelling inspired me to write music again (I stopped when I left university) and one of the first pieces I wrote was Study One. I wrote it while still in central Asia, missing my flute and very aware of the work I needed to do when I returned to my flute.

It starts fairly simply. The piece develops from the first 3 bars and becomes more and more difficult. It has taken me 3 months to nearly play it perfectly.
This is the link http://www.geocities.com/annajjohnston/ ... udyone.pdf
I hope it works. If not, PM me and I will email you the pdf. Any comments are welcome.
There will soon be a recording of it on my facebook account.

I am currently working on another study. I would like to write a set of 6-8. Any suggestions for a problem area to cover would be greatly appreciated.
"Men have not found the words..., but they have found the music."

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New Flute Study

Post by AnnaJ »

Back again!!
The link above doesn't work. I started a new page to share my music:

"Men have not found the words..., but they have found the music."

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Post by noca08 »

hi...have also just picked up the flute again after a very long break and am finding it really challenging to get back to where I used to be, but the posts here have given me some hope! thanks! :D

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Post by morningstar »

well, I've been through the same thing and kind of going through it midway now, have not played for 8 years, but before that I was active in bands and orchestras, taking lessons and exams....and I went through lessons with 3 great teachers. Problem started when I tried to change my embouchure (towards the very end when I was taking lessons from my 3rd teacher) - from a tight lipping, hj inward-turning embouchure to a rolled-out relaxed 'frown' embouchre...it was HELL! Suddenly I cannot play.. and I was on a performance trip which made things worse.

So after that, leaving the army band (national service) which was kind of a closure to my school/music life, work life got ahold of me and I took a hiatus, really long hiatus from playing. I've only recently begun to work everything from the beginning again, using the first book I used (Moyse's De La Sonorite...bless him and that book!) and is slowly beginning to get back some semblance of tone with a different embouchure, believe me it wasn't easy! There were so much adjustments done (in front of mirror, feeling it by instinct, trying all positions.... ) that I was playing almost every note with different lipping and positions, but it seems to have stabilise after really keeping at it for months. It helps also to play in a community band. I find the most difficult obstacle now is the stamina part, it just needs to be built up again, I'm doing it slowly but surely. It's no use having a nice tone when you can't get past a phrase!

So just keep on playing like everyone on here says, and in no time you will hear yourself sing on the flute again :)

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