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Teacher’s Info

As teachers, we have a responsibility to individually select the right flute for each child.

The health should be an absolute priority, special attention must be paid to the spine. This is only possible when there is the right flute available for any body size. Also developments of playing technique are largely dependent on whether child and flute fit together well!

A short review

Flutes and percussion instruments are historically the oldest musical instruments of humankind, with recent discoveries even dating back as far as 35000 years.

The nature of the flute as an instrument must hence be deeply rooted within the nature of us – the desire to express ourselves musically through the air we breathe.

Still today, this seems to remain one of the many reasons why children are fascinated with the instrument and are drawn to the flute.

The earliest illustrations of flutes in art were made by the Etruscans in the first and second centuries BC.

Since flutes were, at that time, no longer made from bone but from wood or bamboo, these instruments unfortunately could not be preserved.

Illustrations of flutes, however, accompany the flute’s history.

During the Baroque period the flute became an important instrument in the musical scene. However, in the method of construction and playing, it was then entirely different when compared to today’s flutes.

It was Theobald Boehm, a virtuoso flutist and professional goldsmith, who completely reconstructed the instrument in collaboration with the physicist Karl Emil von Schafhäutl of the Munich University in the mid-19th century.

Thus, the flute obtained its length, form and mechanism as it is known to us today.

The flute was subsequently named “the Boehm Flute”.

Still, it took until the first two decades of the 20th century before this instrument was generally accepted in international orchestras.

As a result of the revolution in instrument design, flute pedagogy was now also subject to change and the first methods for “the Boehm flute” were published.

The now chromatic and versatile new instrument inspired a large amount of new compositions both by established composers and composing flute virtuosos.

Thus, the flute developed from an orchestra instrument into an instrument equally suitable for a soloist virtuoso.

This demanded a different kind of daily exercise routine with the instrument.

Around the middle of the 20th century the first flute soloists appeared on the international concert podiums.

Jean Pierre Rampal, Aurèle Nicolet and subsequently James Galway gained international acclaim and fame, even beyond a flute-specific audience.

Correspondingly, the technical demand for perfection on the instrument increased within the subsequent generations of flute players.

Slowly but steadily, the age for beginning students on the flute lowered more and more until seven or eight was a generally accepted beginner’s age.

Since the 1980s, a number of attempts to introduce specific children’s instruments lowered the beginner’s age even further and today, even 5 and 6 year old children desire to take up the flute.

This illustration is highlighting the difficulties of an eight year old playing a conventional flute.

Child with great flute