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Mastering the Flute with William Bennett

Book of the Month

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  • Exceptional value for money
  • Great for teachers
  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick


Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]

It's interesting, amazing even, to think that it has taken all this time for someone to write down the wit and wisdom that is the teaching of William Bennett. It was worth the wait though! Roderick Seed has done the most thorough job of separating all Wibb's various teaching points, approaching them in a sensible order and explaining them intelligently. He has successfully used his personal experience of studying with Wibb to enhance the original material. All the diagrams, and illustrations complement the text, and the musical examples are all ones that those lucky enough to have seen Wibb in action will recognize. There is something here for every flute player and the book is nothing short of masterful!

From the Publisher

For the first time the exercises and teaching methods of world-renowned flutist William Bennett are featured in one workbook. After more than a decade of study with Bennett and many of his students, Roderick Seed has documented the tools that have made Bennett known for his ability to give the flute the depth, dignity, and grandeur of the voice or the stringed instrument. Topics range from how to overcome basic technical difficulties, such as pitch control, to the tools for phrasing, prosody, tone, and intonation needed for playing with different dynamics and ranges of expression. Advanced musicians will find useful exercises and techniques in this book that will deepen their knowledge and enjoyment of making music and help them in their quest to master the flute.


“ Mastering the Flute with William Bennett is an extremely valuable resource for flute players, covering a wide range of technical and musical issues and revealing the ideas developed over Bennett's decades-long career.”  Clarissa Payne - Music Teacher Magazine (May 2018)

"Covering topics such as sound production, intonation, embouchure and phrasing, this volume offers an invaluable insight into how to achieve the hallmark Bennett-school sound. ..[The] combination of intellectual understanding and musical instinct is supported by a range of useful exercises and vocalises designed to help develop skills in each area.  The book is clearly written, and while it assumes a certain level of knowledge, may be adapted by teachers to suit students of all ages. The format lies mid-way between being a book and sheet music, meaning that it is portable but also appropriate for the music stand. I found the diagrams of sound envelopes (the shape of an individual note) particularly useful... each exercise has much to offer."  -  Carla Rees, editor of Pan, the journal of the British Flute Society.  (March 2018

"Bennett's principles of musical expression are rooted in the physics of sound as well as an awareness of compositional construction. ... The principles of phrasing assembled here are applicable to all musicians, whatever their instrument or voice." - Kathryn Lukas, Professor of Music (Flute) at Indiana University Jacob's School of Music

"Now in his eightieth year, [William Bennett] is still in high demand as a teacher at the Royal Academy in London and in masterclasses worldwide. However, finding any of his methods and exercises in writing proves to be difficult, as he hasn't written them down himself. ... Seed has studied extensively with ... Bennett and his students, and has also assisted at his masterclasses, so his knowledge of the material is impressively thorough. Mastering the Flute with William Bennett is an invaluable resource for flute players." - Karen Evans Moratz, Principal Flute in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and author of Flute for Dummies

"Roderick [Seed] has collected a wide range of exercises covering many topics that give the flute player the tools to play with different dynamics and a range of expression, and simultaneously helping them with associated technical difficulties such as pitch control. [He] has introduced my approach to the flute in a clear and logical way with his own insights and experiences." - William Bennett, Foreword, Mastering the Flute with William Bennett


"Each chapter in his book is devoted to a Wibb-specific element of flute playing and includes photos, explanations, drawings, and exercises based on his studies with Wibb. For Wibb devotees, there are the compulsory sections on elephants and taxis and on tuning and harmonics. But Seed goes further in this book: He has taken lessons directly
from a respected and loved source of flute pedagogy and put them down in his own language for the next generation of teachers and players. Some of the book’s exercises are practical—who doesn’t love harmonics?—but some are conceptual, and these are what
might both surprise and impress teachers and advanced players... This book is designed for the serious student but will perhaps prove most useful to serious teachers. The exercises are often simple enough to be assigned to almost anyone, but the understanding behind the exercises (the “why” that is so often left out of teaching) is essential. Seed has included a huge wealth of knowledge in Mastering the Flute. It takes time to read and digest and even more time to apply and deeply comprehend. For those who have never studied with Wibb or have worked with him only a little, this book brings to light the best of his teaching
methods in a detailed manual of approach. Bravo, Roderick, and thank you. "  Abigail Sperling, Flutist Quarterly (NFA Journal) 

Our Description

A thorougly interesting book by Altus Flutes artist, Roderick Seed.  Many useful exercises are contained within that will take your flute playing to new levels. 


  1. Finding a Sound
  2. "Harmonics in Tune" Tone
  3. Reaction in the Sound
  4. Attacks, Articulation and Repeated Notes
  5. Prosody: "Elephants And Taxis" 
  6. Harmonics Exercises 
  7. Shakuhachi Exercise for Embouchure Control
  8. Intonation Exercises
  9. Flexibility Exercises
  10. Other Exercises: Whistle Tones and Vocalises
  11. Approaching Melodies

Item Details

Category: Flute Technique Manuals
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publisher's reference: 9780253031631
Our Stock Code: 1415711
Media Type: Paperback (76 pages [score])

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