January 5, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
The Greater Indianapolis Flute Club would like to invite any flute students to come perform their flute solo for a panel of teachers from the Greater Indianapolis Flute Club. You will receive comments to help you achieve a better performance at the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival. So rev up your embouchures and let’s hit the keys!
November 8, 2011 by Allison · Comments Off
On November 13th at 2pm, Kate Lukas will be having a workshop at Meridian Music in Carmel. This event is sponsored by the Greater Indianapolis Flute Club, open to all ages and levels, and is free to everyone. Students may bring their flutes to this event! A flyer with more information about the event is posted below for you to download. Please feel free to hang this in your classroom to remind students of the event! It would be a great opportunity for any student at any level to experience this workshop with Kate. If the students or parents have any questions they may speak with Allison Mathews, phone number: 317-813-2044 or Lainie Veenstra, 317-873-9798.
About Kate Lukas
Kathryn Lukas is Professor of Flute at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington. She is a former faculty member of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (awarded the distinction of a Fellow of the GSM&D) in London and of the Royal Academy of London. She is the former principal flute of the Santa Fe Opera Company and has served as guest principal flute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
As a proponent of new music, she has worked with Berio, Xenakis, Elvis Costello, Thomas Ades, Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies and many other prominent composers while a member of the Composers Ensemble and Music Theatre Wales. Lukas has performed numerous broadcasts of solo and chamber music repertoire for the BBC, Radio France, and regional German radio stations. She has commissioned works through the Arts Council of Great Britain and recorded for Nimbus and Wergo. She received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1968 to study in England.
April 8, 2011 by Allison · Comments Off
Whether you are a student a couple of years into your study or an adult who wishes for better tone, a step-up flute may be right for you! Step-up flutes may also referred to as intermediate flutes.
One advantage to upgrading to a step-up flute would be tone quality. Beginning flutes are manufactured with durable materials, specifically designed for novice hands. As a result, beginning flutes produce a fuzzy, less clear tone. After learning the basics, further musical development can be set back by a beginning instrument. Intermediate flutes are made with sterling silver, which have a profound effect on tone quality. One thing solo and ensemble judges listen for is tone quality, and a step-up flute will improve that score!
The next major difference on intermediate flutes is the addition of open holes. The switch from plateau or closed holes is easy with practice. The intermediate flute will come with tiny plugs that are gently placed in the key holes. These key plugs are an excellent way to accommodate this new learning curve. The easiest way to open up the holes is to practice and take one new plug at a time. Do not move onto the next plug until you feel 100% comfortable with the initial open hole. Taking plugs out in this order F, E, A, G, D should be the easiest method.
Rushing through this new technique could hinder your playing in the long run. It is very important at this stage to seal the key hole entirely because improperly seated fingers may leak air.
It is an exciting experience for players to test many flutes and choose one with the best tone quality for them. Opening your student to a new level of playing builds enthusiasm as they find themselves progressing in their studies. The commitment to playing the flute will be renewed when the student plays their first step-up instrument.
June 3, 2010 by Julia · Comments Off
Can you believe it?! We officially opened our doors for business two years ago. I remember when I was first approached and asked to run Indy Flute Shop and it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come since then.
In the past two years, we’ve had quite a roster of flutists come in for clinics and masterclasses. We began with Paul Edmund-Davies in October of 2008 with an interactive lecture on his new etude book The 28 Day Warm Up Book for all Flautists…eventually!, a masterclass, and a recital. About a month later, Greg Pattillo came and visited several high schools and presented a clinic here at the shop to a standing-room only crowd! In March 2009, Mimi Stillman performed a masterclass and recital at Indiana State, DePauw, Marian, and Ball State. We had quite a busy couple of days with her, but it was wonderful! And then in November 2009, William Bennett came to Indy for a special two day event presented in conjunction with the Greater Indianapolis Flute Club at Hilbert Circle Theatre. He presented a professional class, masterclass, and recital. It has been so wonderful to be able to work with such talent and bring them all to Indianapolis!
And finally, this month our 5th artist, Eric Lamb, will be here on June 28th for a clinic on extended technique followed by a recital. For more info on this exciting event, check out www.indyfluteshop.com/ericlamb.
If you haven’t been to our shop yet, this month is a great time! Especially if you are looking for a new instrument. All month long we are offering either 12% off or 12 months same-as-cash on any purchases $399 and up. On June 28th 2pm-6pm we will have a special display of Altus instruments here as well if you would like to stop by and try them.
Even if you’re not looking for an instrument, stop by and say hi! Check out what’s new!
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. What are doing well? What are we not doing well? Are there any specific products or flutes you’d like to see at our shop? What other flutists would you like to see in Indy?
Thank you for your business and your support! We look forward to serving you in the future!
April 8, 2010 by Julia · Comments Off
One of our best selling products in the Flute Shop is the Thumbport. This device is meant to help with the balance and stability of the flute and therefore isn’t merely a training device for young students. It has become very popular with amateurs and professionals as well.
As you can see from the above picture, the Thumbport can change your right hand position making it much easier to support the flute. It has a small lip on it that prevents the flute from rolling backwards. You can position it in several ways, but in the way I find the most comfortable, the Thumbport actually brings your thumb back a little from its traditional place directly underneath the flute. This allows you to better balance the flute. There are several schools of thought on the best way to hold your flute and I’m not going to delve into that debate, but for the purposes of this blog I will use the example that I was taught. Thinking of the flute as a lever and your left hand as the fulcrum (or pivot point), your right hand thumb pushes the flute forward when in playing position. The flute should pivot on the left hand fulcrum and push the lip plate into your chin. The Thumbport makes this easier by bringing the right hand thumb out from under the flute and almost to the side of the flute. It also provides extra support with the lip of the Thumbport to prevent any slippage. In addition, I find that it frees up your right hand fingers to move a little easier.
Whew, ok done with the physics part now onto the more important point….it comes in so many color choices!! The most popular colors that I sell are the grey/black and ivory/grey since they blend into the color of a silver flute best. There is also yellow/grey which works well for a gold flute. If you want to add a little color you can also choose from ivory/green, ivory/purple, ivory/pink, and ivory/blue. The material of the Thumbport is also a great feature because it is very pliable so it won’t scratch your flute when putting it on or taking it off.
The Thumbport is also available for alto flute and piccolo. (I have found that you often have to trim a corner off of the piccolo Thumbport to get it to fit, but that’s easy to do.) The Thumbport II is a little different take on the original Thumbport, as you can see in the above image (it’s the one on the far right). The lip of it is a slightly shorter and it has a little bit different angle that works better for certain people depending on their thumb size and hand position.
If you are looking for a remedy for hand pain, to correct a problem with your hand position, or if you just want to try something new, stop in the shop and try out a Thumbport!
All pictures from www.thumbport.com
March 26, 2010 by Julia · Comments Off
When you are looking at buying a new flute, there are a couple of options that can help with the 3rd octave E. The first is the split E mechanism. The split E separates the action of the upper and lower G keys, allowing the lower G key to close when high E is played. (Here is a link to a great illustration on Miyazawa’s website.) This allows you to play the high E without worrying about intonation or cracking the note, especially when playing piano or softer. It can also make it much easier to slur between high A and E.
The split E mechanism uses an extra rod, which can add a little bit of weight to the flute and it must be put on during the manufacturing of the instrument; it cannot be added later. Some find that the extra weight is cumbersome and the extra rod that is required hits the right hand 1st finger. Others notice that these issues go away after some time is taken to get used to the feel of it. The split E is mostly available on offset G flutes, but you can get it on some inline flutes, however, some report that the mechanism causes binding on an inline G flute. There is also the option (usually only on handmade flutes) of an on/off switch or clutch that operates the split E. With this you can actually deactivate the split E. Some manufacturers are making the split E standard, but often times you have to pay extra for it; somewhere between $150-500 depending on the manufacturer.
Another option for the high E is the high E facilitator (or lower G insert). This is an insert, which can be donut or crescent shaped, that is placed in the lower G tonehole. The insert actually makes the tonehole smaller, decreasing venting. It does basically the same thing as the split E, but it is more lightweight and cheaper. One con is that it can lower the pitch of A in the first two octaves. Several manufacturers are making the E facilitator standard if you do not get a split E mechanism. Also you can have the high E facilitator added or removed at any time; it doesn’t have to be put on at the time you order the flute.
My best advice in determining whether or not you should get one of these options is to try out flutes with and without them. Some flutists feel that you shouldn’t need any extra bells and whistles on your instrument and you should just toughen up and learn to play it the way it is. Others will take all the help they can get! It’s totally personal. However, I will say that there is no magic fix for any and all difficulties you may run into with flute playing. You still have to practice!
March 19, 2010 by Julia · Comments Off
I have often had confused customers coming in to IFS looking for cork grease for their flute. And I end up confusing them even more when I tell them it isn’t recommended!
Cork grease is meant for….you guessed it, corks! And modern flutes do not generally have corks. (We do carry it for piccolos, which often do have corks.)
However, it seems logical to add lubricant when two metal pieces that are supposed to fit smoothly together no longer do so. In fact, this is the case for many brass instruments. But flutes are different.
The reason cork grease isn’t recommended is because the tenons (joints) of the flute are very closely fitted by the manufacturer. Unless something causes the tenon to go out of round or it gets dirty, the tenons should fit together very well without any type of lubricant. Adding grease can actually hurt the flute over time. Grease can trap small particles that will grind into the metal every time you put together and take apart your flute. This can wear down and scratch the tenons, requiring repair.
If the tenons are too tight, wipe them down using an untreated cleaning cloth. Be careful not to swipe the edge of the nearby pads on the body and footjoint when you do this as it can cause them to tear. You can also dampen your cloth slightly. In the past I have used damp paper towel for this since sometimes you will end up with a bunch of green or black stuff on your cloth. Yuck!
If the tenons are still too tight, bring it into your repair technician. Same goes for the opposite problem. If the tenons are too loose, bring it in. If you are in the middle of rehearsal and your footjoint goes flying off the end of your flute (trust me, they’ve seen it all in the repair shop), you can put some scotch tape on the tenon as a quick fix until you can bring it in to the repair shop. Scotch tape is not a permanent solution though as it doesn’t seal perfectly.
(On a side note, never grab your assembled flute by just the headjoint. If the tenons aren’t fitting properly you may end up with just a headjoint in your hand and the body of your flute on the floor! Instead, pick it up or hold it by the barrel. This is just below where the headjoint fits in and often where the manufacturer’s name is engraved.)
June 25, 2009 by Julia · Comments Off
One of my colleagues sent me the link to this report from NPR about flutes: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105823127&sc=fb&cc=fp.
Archaeologists have found flutes made out of vulture bone and mammoth tusks that date back to the Ice Age, 35,000-40,000 years ago! I wonder what they sounded like…
April 10, 2009 by Julia · Comments Off
I just discovered (via the Flute Listserv) this wonderful page on Larry Krantz’s website that has streaming audio of flute music. It is updated 3 or 4 times per month and the current broadcast lineup is over 4 hours long. What a great way to hear (and purchase) recordings you may not be familiar with!
March 31, 2009 by Julia · Comments Off
“Musicians are athletes of the small muscles.” So true!
Really work on discovering all possible tone colors on your flute and/or piccolo. Try changing the lips, jaw, aperture, pressure on the lip plate, how much of the embouchure hole you are covering, etc. There are so many different sounds you can get. Try to match these tone colors with the mood of the music.
When breathing, focus on opening the throat and expanding your shoulders to the wall. Even when taking quick, catch breaths, following the same advice will allow you to take in more air. You should also try placing a hand on your lower back and feeling it expand as you breathe in.
Do your homework for each piece that you play. Make sure you know what all the markings in the music mean and do some research on the background of the piece and the composer. You may also want to supplement with research on the time period, to add the historical dimension.
Practice in front of a mirror. Many of us have movements that are intrinsic to our playing (swaying, beating the downbeats with the flute, etc), but that do not neccessarily add to our flute playing. Most often, they tend to detract, actually weakening the tone and getting in the way of technique.
Play chamber music! (And check out Mimi’s chamber group Dolce Suono!) Chamber music is one of the best ways to develop your ear. Working with your pianist is chamber music as well.
Check out some pictures of the tour below. For more photos, find us on facebook!