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The Breathing Book for Flute

  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick

“A really interesting book.”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]

Amy Likar has spent a lifetime studying the mechanics of breathing and her experience shines through this really  interesting book. It's a flute version of a more general work and the in-depth instrument-specific discussion is vital when trying to make sense of this most challenging of subjects. A glance at the contents page shows the whole body approach in which head, arms, spine and even the role of the pelvic floor are explored. Each chapter is enhanced by anatomical sketches, some small musical examples and Explorations which are essentially practice exercises. The information is presented clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. The section on the diaphragm, for example, explains the problem with common misconceptions which is very helpful, and the list of the ways in which players interfere with air-flow could be a real eye-opener. Not everyone will agree with everything here but there is something to take away from this book for all of us.

From the Publisher

The Breathing Book for Flute by Amy Likar is appropriate for high school through professional flute players.

To breathe well means to breathe free of tension, and flutists who breathe well create a resonant tone quality. The Breathing Book provides concise information about breathing alongside etudes and activities encouraging application of this knowledge in musically meaningful ways. The Breathing Book teaches the truth about breathing, establishing a reliable foundation for improved resonance, articulation, and tone quality.

"Being completely involved for over 60 years with the joys and tasks of breathing both for 'life' and for wind playing, I found Amy Likar's highly informative book a boon! I appreciate her thoroughness in discussing the breathing process by including invaluable exercises for our own 'instrument' as well as our external ones. I am comforted to know that something that is so illusive as the breath process is explained coherently and enthusiastically. Having been blessed myself to study with the pupils of FM Alexander, the founder of the Alexander Technique, I will use this book as a perfect reference and self help guide. As the slogan taped atop my own flute case reads (courtesy YOGI TEAS), 'The voice of your soul is breath,' I will carry forth with my own research and experience now supported by this wonderful new book. I salute Amy Likar for affirming all of this and so much more." - Carol Wincenc, International Concertizing Solo Flutist, celebrating a 50th Golden Anniversary in 2019-20; Grammy and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, National Flute Association, National Society of Arts and Letters; Distinguished Alumni Award, Manhattan School of Music; Faculty 31 years Juilliard School, 21 years, Stony Brook University; Former Full Professor, Indiana and Rice Universities

"The Breathing Book takes the mystery out of what we need to be aware of as we breathe and perform in everyday living and as flutists. This book gives me the tools to review and explore my breathing in clear and concise ways that I’ve never experienced before. A must read for any student or teacher of any instrument." - Jeffery Zook, Flute and Piccolo, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

"Finally a book that details a simple but profound and complete way of breathing for a flutist! Amy Likar, through her studies of Alexander Technique and Body Mapping, offers us a way to understand the breathing mechanisms that are the real 'engine' of our art. The book illustrates simple but effective exercises to improve and make natural an act that involves our whole life. Improving breathing is the fastest way to improve our sound, and this is even more true for the piccolo! Surely I will adopt this text for my lessons and I will recommend it to my piccolo students." - Nicola Mazzanti, Solo Piccolo, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra (Italy); Piccolo Professor, Milano Conservatory (Italy); Piccolo Teacher, Luzern Hochschule and Lugano Conservatory (Switzerland)

"Amy Likar's Breathing Book is an invaluable contribution to flute pedagogical literature. It is full of clear explanations of the facts of breathing, is easy to read and understand; a fascinating book to enjoy and refer to for both teacher and student." - Sarah Newbold, B.A. (Hons), A.R.C.M., L.R.A.M., Senior Fellow H.E.A.; Licensed Andover Educator; Professor of Flute, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, United Kingdom

“At last, a book on breathing for flute players. The Breathing Book for Flute is extremely readable and has everything for student and teacher alike. It is an invaluable addition to the flute repertoire and takes away all the breathing myths—a must for serious flutists!” - Philippa Davies, B.mus (Hons), A.R.C.M.; Flutist, Nash Ensemble and London Winds; Professor of Flute, Guildhall School of Music and Drama United Kingdom; Licensed Andover Educator

37 pages, spiral bound to lay flat on the music stand


  1. Whole Body Warm-Up: Constructive Rest
  2. Whole Body Balance
  3. Head Balance: Yes and No
  4. The Arm Joints and Playing the Flute
  5. Know Where the Air Goes
  6. Move Your Ribs
  7. Permit Spinal Mobility
  8. The Truth About the Diaphragm
  9. Feel Support from your Pelvic Floor
  10. Exhalation and Elastic Recoil
  11. Mapping the Jaw and Tongue
  12. Monitor your Air
  13. Summary

Item Details

Category: Flute Technique Manuals
Publisher: Mountain Peak Music
Our Stock Code: 1484021
Media Type: Paperback