Flute Tutor Books – Recommendations 2018

September 2018 is almost upon us and we all hope that there are many would-be flute students out there who are really excited to start learning the flute!  With that in mind I have edited my Tutor Book Recommendations blog from last year to help you get started. There has been very little activity in this area of the catalogue in the last year and so these three books are still the most interesting around today. All three have been extremely popular and have all made the initial stages of learning just that little bit easier.

The market for flute tutor books is crowded and often bewildering. There is almost too much choice, with different approaches, starting notes, rates of progress, type of repertoire and even the basic quality of the publication all jostling for our attention. Here I’ve picked out three lovely books which are aimed at the younger end of the market, and all are written by flute players. They may just help!

Flute Perfect by Doris da Costa and Anastasia Arnold

Buy now at Just Flutes

Flute Perfect - CoverThis really good tutor book has proved to be very popular over the last year. It is written by two experts who are passionate about the whole flute teaching process and it really shows.  At its heart is a clear desire to encourage and nurture young players, keeping the development of a good musician to the fore throughout. They are astute enough to price it well too, so it’s excellent value for money.

Advantages

This book has several major advantages. Firstly the layout is relatively simple and uncluttered with no gimmicks. The black and white illustrations are usually pertinent, and if they are decorative they add to the page rather than detract from it. There are no photos to illustrate posture – that is left to the discretion of the teacher.

Secondly, progress is steady. Each chapter introduces a single note and each tune or exercise has a clear purpose. Some pieces use practice bars to help with the learning, and encouraging downward scales at such an early stage is extremely useful. Playing from memory, experimenting with articulation with evaluation of the results, improvisation and  basic writing skills will all stretch the imagination of a young player and make the learning process much more varied. The anticipated grade at the end of the book is Grade 1.

Flute Perfect - Sample

Thirdly, and most importantly, rhythm,  making a good sound and aural awareness are given a very high priority throughout, ensuring that the core aim of musical development never gets lost.  This makes total sense but is quite often missing in the dash for learning ever more notes faster.

Supporting Teacher’s Book

Flute Perfect Teacher's Book- CoverA further plus is that this book is designed for both individual and group tuition. This is supported by the excellent Flute Perfect Teacher’s Book which is  a great resource for all of us but is especially useful for new teachers and those for whom the flute is not their main instrument. It’s multi-tasking with comprehensive teaching notes, ensemble parts and piano accompaniments all included. There are tips and suggestions to help with each  chapter including group activities such as warm-ups and improvisation. These are clearly outlined and can give a welcome structure to a lesson as well as providing material that can be used elsewhere. As the main focus here is on learning through ensemble playing  it’s really helpful that the arrangements are flexible and that all the parts can all be photocopied. Piano accompaniments are included too and can also be purchased separately.

At the very least you will find these books a useful addition to your teaching bag and they may end up as the only tutors in it!

Get Set! Flute by Hattie Jolly and Ali Steynor

Buy now at Just Flutes

Get Set! Flute - CoverThis is the most modest of the three books but the only one to include a backing tracks CD with printable piano accompaniments. It’s marketed as suitable preparation for the Prep Test and pre-Grade 1 so it’s great to see a curved head flute included in the opening photos. There are some lovely illustrations throughout and the book is quite colourful generally.  Picture signs signal Listen up! games, Rhythm Time activities and Find, Say and Play games which are designed to help accomplish various tricky tasks such as the difference between B natural and B flat, or memorising a simple piece.

Starts Simply

The first things the beginner meets in this book are pulse and breathing, before it moves on to some quite extensive work for headjoint only. There is nothing ground-breaking here but everything is explained clearly with an emphasis on rhythm skills, listening skills and tonguing. Basic theory is covered also using the headjoint, so that blowing and reading are already in place before the topics of putting the flute together, holding and cleaning the flute, and posture and balance are introduced. There are more clear instructions here and even parents will be able to see whether or not these elements are being put into practice!

Colour-Coded

Get Set Flute! Sample PageNotes are introduced using diagrams, with different colours used for each hand – blue for the left and red for the right.  The material used is almost all original and extremely well written, and each skill or musical point covered is logically laid out.  There are plenty of written activities too and these will deliver theory by the back door. Inevitably the pages appear busier as the music becomes more complex but as the range reached at the end is only one octave from low to middle D this is not too much of a problem.

Supporting Book

Supplementary repertoire is available in Get Set! Flute Pieces Book 1 which has a printed piano accompaniment and another backing track CD. Although not directly linked to the tutor, running both together will provide a really thorough work-out!

Overall these are lovely books for enthusiastic little ones and it won’t break the bank!

Fluting Stars Book 1 and Fluting Stars Book 2 by Ana Kavcic and Blaž Pucihar

Buy Book 1 at Just Flutes | Buy Book 2 at Just Flutes

Fluting Stars CoverThis is the top end of the market price wise, so what do you get for your money? A first rate composer in Blaz Puciher for a start and most of the material is original. You are also paying for very high quality books that are beautifully produced in full colour. The illustrations are sumptuous and any young player will surely love looking at them! The scope in terms of notes covered is wider although progress is made via musical complexity in Book 2,  the third octave being left for another day. Piano accompaniments to all the tunes are available as a download.

Clear and Attractive Diagrams

This book is also aimed at the younger pupil so curved head flutes take their place alongside the straight head ones. The drawings and photos are really clear, making assembling and blowing very easy to follow. Breathing and embouchure set-up are covered in detail and here the colourful illustrations really help lift this information off the page. The extensive headjoint section in this book includes the use of the Pnuemo Pro blowing device which is interesting if you haven’t seen it in action before – again there are some lovely photos. Tone quality is right at the heart of the first section of Book 1. A radical departure from the norm is the introduction of singing and playing, single, double and triple tonging, and vibrato before the use of the whole flute. Now that really is interesting! Another unique feature is the initial lack of notation. The first note learned is middle register D followed by low and middle G, A and B. This is done together with a box for naming objects starting with those letters. It is only then that ‘How do we write music?’ is broached.

Kep Leaps

The rest of the books are laid out in Key Leap sections:

Key Leap score sample Each of these introduces new notes, and contains a variety of other items such as theory, finger fitness exercises, dance forms and chamber music. These sections are also supplemented by:

  • The Fluting Star Magazine for more music theory
  • Treasure Chest of Sparkly Tones for tone development
  • Ear Detective for aural awareness,
  • Notes in a Minute and Finger Fitness for technique
  • Cherry on Top which sets a new challeng
  • Stellar Student which uses puzzles to master the theory

This is really quite comprehensive! The format of the second book is the same except that there are more notes and fewer illustrations.

These are impressive books written by committed educationalists who have a great deal of experience of the flute and a wealth of knowledge of teaching. It’s an investment purchase  but they really are quite beautiful!

All these excellent books will make any young student really happy. That also means happy teachers, not to mention parents. Have fun deciding which one to go for – all three perhaps?

Browse all Flute Tutor Books at Just Flutes

NFA 2018 Newly Published Flute Music Competition Winners

The results of the 2018 National Flute Association Newly Published Music Competition are in! Here’s the run-down of the winning titles by category.

Flute and Piano

Winner

Georg Philipp Telemann – Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo, TWV 41:h4 (Wiener Urtext Edition)

Telemann Sonata for Flute and Continuo, Wiener Urtext Edition

Telemann Sonata for Flute and Continuo, Wiener Urtext Edition

Telemann’s Sonata (Solo) for transverse flute and basso continuo comes from his ‘Tafelmusik’ published in 1733, one of the most important instrumental cycles of the late Baroque period. The prominent themes of the Sonata seem to have impressed G. Fr. Handel so much that he took them up in his Organ Concerto No. 15 in D minor. Buy Now

Finalists

Honorable Mentions

Flute and Piano Arrangements

Winner

Traditional American, arranged by Marietta Simpson & Evelyn Simpson-Curenton – Three Sprituals for Flute and Piano (Theodore Presser)

Three Spirituals - Theodore Presser

Three Spirituals – Theodore Presser

The original publication from July, 2015 of the spiritual Calvary (114-41726) as arranged by the Simpsons proved that their grasp of the material translated wonderfully into a highly musical, highly enjoyable, and somewhat challenging performance piece for an accomplished duo. We are pleased to add Calvary to their arrangements of Git on Board and Li’l David to present Three Spirituals for flute and piano. For advanced performers. Buy Now

Finalists

Honorable Mentions

Flute Quartets

Winner

Roger Derongé: Fanfaflut (Digital Music Print)

Roger Derongé - Fanfaflut (Digital Music Print)

Roger Derongé – Fanfaflut (Digital Music Print)

Fanfaflut is a flute quartet by Belgian composer, Roger Derongé, featuring a variety of styles, from baroque to modern, utilizing a variety of extended techniques, including singing while playing and beatboxing. Part 1 (Flute & Piccolo), Part 2 (Flute & Alto Flute), Part 3 (Alto Flute), Part 4 (Bass Flute & Flute) Buy Now

Finalists

Honorable Mentions

Mixed Ensembles

Winners

Ned McGowan: Garden of Iniquitous Creatures (Donemus)

P. Brent Register: Bedtime Stories (Jeanne Music Publications)

Finalists

Gerado Dirie: Overwintering (Cayambis Music Press)

Stephen Lias: Forever Alive, Forever Forward (Alias Press) 

http://Buy now

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged M Ackroyd: Valse (Wonderful Winds)

Honourable Mention

Spillville Variations on a Theme by Dvorak: 16 commissioned Iowa composers (Alry)

Wind Quintets

Winner

Eric Ewazen: Reverie (Theodore Presser)

Eric Ewazen: Reverie (Theodore Presser)

Eric Ewazen: Reverie (Theodore Presser)

Reverie celebrates the wonderfully lyrical voices of the “traditional” wind quintet – blending together as five singers, yet remaining distinct as individual voices. The work opens and closes as the voices float individual melodic lines amid the sparkling colors of the higher instruments and the rich resonance of the lower instruments, while the middle section is intense and bold. Commissioned by the Monmouth Winds, this quintet is a true reverie – sweet, pastoral, and dream-like. Buy Now

Finalist

Two Flutes and Piano

Winners

Robert Russel Bennett, edited by Janet and Paul Somers: Six Souvenirs (Maurice River Press)

Six Souvenirs for Two Flutes and One Piano were written in 1948 for, and premiered by John Wummer (1899-1977) and his wife Mildred Hunt Wummer with Bennett at the piano in the Chamber Music Hall, City Center, New York. In it he honors his flute-playing friends, who just happen to be some of the most distinguished flutists of the twentieth century. Buy Now

Scott Joplin arranged by David Gilliland: Four Joplin Rags (Theodore Presser Comp

Scott Joplin’s ragtime gems are American classics, equally suitable for the recital stage or less formal occasions. David Gilliland’s transcriptions for two flutes and piano may be presented either as a suite or individually. Gilliland has crafted the collection so flute duos may share the joy of performing Joplin together, while the pianist provides the big “stride” accompaniments. Buy Now

Finalist

Honourable Mention

Solo Flute

Winner

Timothy Hagen: Pop for Solo Flute (Owl Glass Music)

Nuno Peixoto de Pinho: #5 Letters to Wolfgang (Scherzo Editions)

Finalist

Honourable Mention

Low Flutes

Winners

Greg Lutz: The Continuing Adventures of  Dexter the Danger Donkey (Alry Publications)

A vibrant conga, playable by a quartet of low flutes with many optional parts available to join the party! The title says it all!Buy Now

Sergei Rachmaninoff/Gabriel Faure/Maurice Ravel, arranged by Christine Potter: Three Vocalises (Falls House Press)

Buy Now

Flute Duets and Trios

Winners

Sadiel Cuentas: Five Duets (Cayambis Music Press)

Ricardo Matosinhos: Trio Op.65 for Flute, Alto Flute and Bass Flute (Scherzo Editions)

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Solo Flute and Orchestra

Winners

Sarah Bassingthwaighte: House of Doors (Alry Publications)

From the composer: “The title, House of Doors, comes from a meditation exercise in which you imagine walking through a hallway full of doors, choosing one, and exploring what’s inside. The exercise is designed to increase creativity and the ability to make positive changes. To me, this meditation is fun, like being in a dream where I can make some choices. The starting point for the Concerto came from three different “rooms” I encountered, and each is translated into sound. The piece is divided into two continuous movements.” Buy Now

Eugene Magalif: Concerto for Flute (Alry Publications)

The Concerto for Flute by Eugene Magalif was completed in 2015. In February 2016, it was recorded for the CD album “Colibri” by soloist Patrick Dillery, flute (USA) and Dnipro Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), and a few days later, in March, the World Premiere took place in Dnipro Philharmonic Hall. It consists of three movements: Allegretto – Andante – Allegro, and the form is close to similar works of the 18th century. The first and third movements are written in the rondo-variation form, while the second movement is a three-part fugue with a freely-floating flute obbligato, each combining styles of 18th-19th century classical music with modern popular music. Buy Now

Honourable Mention

Solo Flute and Flute Choir

Winners

Ricky Lombardo: Tango Time (LMP)

This is an original composition featuring a “C” flute soloist with flute choir accompaniment. There is an opportunity for improvising if desired. Should the soloist prefer to read the solo, there is one written. In addition to being expandable for the flutes, optional sting bass and percussion parts are included. Light in nature, the beautiful melodies will captivate your audience and musicians. Buy Now

Jules Mouquet arranged by Matt Johnston: Pan et les Bergers (Alry Publications)

This arrangement features a colorful, yet light accompaniment to this delightful flute solo. A great piece to feature your first chair player or a visiting soloist. Buy Now

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Trios with Other Instruments

Winner

Blaz Pucihar: Full Moon Trio for flute, cello and piano (Pucihar Music)

Buy Now

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Duets with Other Instruments

Winners

Tom Febiano: Alma for alto flute or flute and guitar or piano (Forton Music)

Alma, a suite for alto flute (or flute) and guitar, was written in January of 2010. A pensive and tonal work infused with Iberian textures, its five movements are: Alma, Soneto 1, Lisbon, Soneto 2 and Alma. Performance time is about 19 minutes, and an additional piano part is included to substitute for the guitar accompaniment. The piano part can be used with either alto flute or flute. Buy Now

Antonio Grevasoni: Il Giardino della Costa (Cayambis Music Press)

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Flute Ensemble

Winners

Adrienne Albert: Across the C’s (Falls House Press)

Across the C’s is an original work by the celebrated American composer Adrienne Albert. This 7-minute work was commissioned by the Norwegian quintet “5 pa Tvers/5 Across” who traveled across the seas to premiere the work at the 2015 NFA convention. In addition to the beautiful flowing feel of an ocean crossing, the music begins and ends with a special sonority of winds blowing on the open sea. Across the C’s may be performed by professional as well as advanced student ensembles. Buy Now

Nicole Chamberlain: Chivy (Spotted Rocket)

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines chivy as a method to tease or annoy with persistent petty attacks. Buy Now

Peter Senchuk: North Star Overture (Forest Glade)

North Star Overture portrays the feeling of looking into the night sky on a cold crisp evening to find the North Star. The piece opens with a sparse opening that builds in intensity, just like the stars coming out as night descends. The flutes give us the sound of the night breeze with wind sounds on the held notes. As it progresses the music increases in tempo and becomes an energetic piece with joyful flourishes for all the flutes. Buy Now

Finalist

Honourable Mentions