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Peter's Piccolo World, Book One

A Piccolo Inspiration Book for Intermediate to Advanced Players

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  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick

“A different approach to piccolo playing.”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]

Peter Verhoyen is a very well respected piccolo teacher as well as player and commissioner of new piccolo music, and this fascinating book reflects this wealth of experience. It's very colourful with blue and red print and plenty of great illustrations to brighten up your practice. All the exercises are excellent, often using adapted orchestral extracts and stretching across the full range of the instrument. However, where the book becomes really interesting is in the teaching approach to blowing. The initial focus is on hand positions and how they affect the sound, followed by finger exercises to help keep the piccolo stable. The rest of the book is about embouchure and introduces the idea of 'Five Lines' of muscles, the use of which will produce different tonal effects. The' Moses Line' for example is the outside of the upper lip and is used to control flexibility. The grid which lists combinations of these lines, how to move them and the result is a real workout for both brain and technique. Pinching together the Horse Line and Ice Cream line to raise the pitch, for example, is great fun to try even if it doesn't always work! Warm-ups come at the end. There is a easy-to-access video clip for each important point throughout the book and these are also excellent, with Peter and Sarah giving an invaluable 'how-to lesson' making everything clearer and easier to work on. Not everyone will agree with everything here, but there is no doubt that this is an important book from a person of great stature in the piccolo world. I've already bought my copy!

Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society

Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society

This review first appeared in Pan, the journal of the British Flute Society and is reproduced with permission. Join the BFS: membership starts from £20 a year.

This is a guide to piccolo playing, aimed at conservatory students, professional and amateur players to help them gain confidence in playing the piccolo and switching from flute to piccolo. QR codes appear throughout the book to link to further resources, such as video demonstrations of the ideas presented.

Topics covered include posture and hand positions, melodic playing (taking examples from famous opera arias to connect the air flow with the singing voice), sound production, warming up and a Q and A at the end.

There are some excellent tips on the different placement of the piccolo compared to the flute, and the sections on embouchure and hand positions are detailed and informative. The five lines which can be controlled as part of the embouchure set up (described here as the Mountain Line, Moses Line, Horse Line, Ice Cream Line and Rabbit Line) provide a fantastic diagnostic into sound production issues; this is something I haven’t seen elsewhere and which is excellent food for thought.

Sound production, the angle of the air and the role of the throat are explained in new ways; the concepts are beautifully (and often amusingly) illustrated by Ann-Sofie Verhoyen, which helps with grasping the sometimes quite complex topics under discussion.

The exercises are clearly explained and the examples are taken from a wide range of repertoire, including orchestral piccolo solos, the Vivaldi C major concerto and Telemann Fantasias.

Players are advised to listen to as many piccolo players as possible, as well as to singers and other musicians to draw upon different influences.

There is a huge amount of information packed into this volume, with the influence of Peter Verhoyen’s unique teaching style clearly present. There is an intelligent approach to the instrument, which explores current knowledge and the experience drawn from specialist players. This is an excellent book which is well worth exploring.

Carla Rees

From the Publisher

This book was written to help you find your way with the smallest member of the flute family. It is for conservatory students, professionals, and for amateurs who want to develop their inner piccolo player.

It contains both teaching points and musical excerpts, as well as beautiful illustrations created to inspire. Topics range from posture and finger technique to embouchure, airstream, the throat, and much more. It also contains inside interviews with the writers and links to innovative teaching videos.

Welcome to Book One in this series of Peter's Piccolo World!

Difficulty guide: 6-8
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is total beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).


  1. Posture
  2. Three Little Opera Melodies
  3. Hand Positions
  4. Left Hand
  5. Right Hand
  6. The D-E Song
  7. The D-E Song Extended
  8. Ravel's Challenge
  9. Vivaldi Delight
  10. The Pagoda Game
  11. Embouchure
  12. The Face
  13. The Smiley Muscles
  14. The Interval Exercise
  15. The Sunshine Exercise
  16. Happy Dracula
  17. Five Lines
  18. Five Lines Combinations
  19. The Last Rose of Summer
  20. P-J's Beard
  21. Airstream Exercises
  22. The Throat
  23. Bird in a Cage
  24. Warm-ups
  25. Q&A
  26. Biographies

Item Details


  • Part 1: Piccolo
Category: Piccolo Study Books
Publisher: Independent
Our Stock Code: 1643244
Media Type: Paperback (48 pages [score])

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