Key plugs

Posted by
Erin Nichols
 August 6, 2015

Boy, it seems like summer is getting shorter and shorter, doesn’t it? Here at Paige’s Music and the Indy Flute Shop, we are in full swing with back-to-school time, preparing students for beginning or continuing band. It’s such an exciting time for everyone! This week, I wanted to take some time to explain the purpose of an open-holed flute and the function of the plugs that come with the instrument.

Most beginning level flutes are closed-hole, or plateau keyed, instruments. I’ve written about this before, but the basic premise is that all the student has to do to seal the key is to depress it down, no matter where the finger is placed. Some beginning-level instruments, however, do come with open-holed keys, which makes for a unique learning experience for the beginning student. These keys do tend to cultivate better hand position from the beginning, since the student has to pay more attention to where the fingers are placed, but it can still be a challenge, especially for those with small hands. This is where plugs can be quite helpful.

All beginning open-holed flutes should come with a set of plugs, which are usually a silicone material. These plugs fit easily into the key holes and can be removed by poking them through the holes with the end of a pen or pencil. Some beginner and intermediate Yamaha flutes use plastic plugs instead. As students progress and their muscle memory develops, they will eventually find that one finger at a time, the plug is not needed and the finger will properly seal the hole without any effort. Additional sets of plugs can be purchased through the IFS by calling or emailing Erin. Enjoy this crazy time of year, and as always, please call me with any questions!

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