Saturday, April 21, 2007

Patricia George's "Flute Spa"

On Sunday, April 15, at Meredith College, Raleigh Area Flute Association hosted Patricia George, Professor of Flute at Brigham Young University, to present her workshop , "Flute Spa," 3 solid hours of teaching jam packed with useful exercises, thoughts to ponder, and stories about the legacy and icons of flute playing.

I found almost everything she said meshed with my experiences as both flutist and teacher, and ignited my own creative thought process. She provided us with a useful booklet from the clinic with:

  • Warm up exercises and routines
  • Body Mapping Check List and images reprinted with permission from Barbara Conable's Book, What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body, published by Andover Press (Amazon Link in Library).
  • "Octave Variations" (quick thoughts to remember high note fingerings)
  • "Short Scales" (a quick tour of the high octave of the flute moving through scales in the circle of fifths)-SUPER!
  • Useful pattern variations for practicing scales, including advocacy of "chunking" groups of notes in order to learn patterns faster (less practice time) in short, manageable sections. (I call these "bursts of notes".)
  • The "Flute Spa" menu concludes with Patricia's 2-page "Ideas on Phrasing 2007" which simplifies the vast, comprehensive subjects of phrasing and expression into well-explained individual elements.

Thanks for reminding us that practicing is a joyful process, one in which we can experience and celebrate measurable improvement!

I highly recommend attending a class with Patricia George. If you are using any of her materials, please credit her with their creation. I removed the document from the Library at my website after Patricia reported her materials had been plagiarized.

Also, check out the article:
"Using the 17 Big Daily Exercises for Flute by Taffanel and Gaubert, Published by Leduc" By Patricia George

Happy Practicing!


Creative Flutist Studio said...

Thank you for sharing!!!
Looking forward to reading it and trying some of these things with my students, and myself :-)...

Creative Flutist Studio said...

What are the lazy 8's, double doodles, pumping iron and alphabet that Ms. Georoge has in her hand outs?
What are some of the things that you most enjoyed at the Flute Spa?
Happy Fluting,

Catherine said...


I was 5 minutes tardy to class, and she may have demonstrated these exercises at the beginning of the workshop, but she refers to www.braingym.com as the source in her notes. At quick glance, this site looks fascinating!

At the "Mini Flute Spa" I especially appreciated all the references to Body Mapping and Alexander Technique, and the emphases on "chunking" material and incorporation of Eurhythmics as means for quick learning.


Poultry said...

Hehehehe thats my flute teacher. I go to BYU-Idaho. She's awesome. ^_^

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)