Method books for the adult learner

Posted by
Erin Nichols
 June 19, 2018

One of the most fun parts of my job here is working with students of all ages, not just beginning middle schoolers! In my (just over) five years here, I have seen more and more adults express an interest in learning–either for the first time or after many years away–how to play the flute. I love working with adult beginners because usually, they are able to really hear and tell a difference between a student flute and something available in my shop, and I am able to fit the perfect instrument for their needs and budget.
But what about beginning books? The books we start middle school students on are generally not appropriate for adult beginners. I have found a list, compiled by flute blogger Jennifer Cluff, about some good method books for adult beginners. Enjoy!

Blocki Flute Method Book Two
The award-winning Book II has been carefully designed to be versatile, so that it can be used after any beginning band method book. Each of the six key-based units (beginning with B-flat major) opens with a foundation page to be used throughout the unit, which includes scales, arpeggios, finger exercises, a flexibility exercise, and trills.
Next, a new rhythm pattern is introduced using our “fill in the note value” approach to ensure correct understanding and execution. This method of teaching has been highly successful, especially with students who have had difficulty learning new rhythms. Each unit provides much systematic review so that the students can master the new rhythms and techniques. Often students learn to play a rhythm pattern in a piece, but cannot sight read that same rhythm in a new piece. This is like teaching students by rote to read “The Cat in the Hat” and then having to start all over when they pick up “Are You My Mother?” Our goal is that the students will quickly become excellent sight readers.
Other features in this 97-page book include an abundance of duets and rounds, theory projects, transposition exercises, and composition pages.
One of the most unique features of this method is the inclusion of the many composition projects which allow the students to be creative and “think outside the box” but, at the same time, to teach the basic concepts of music theory. Parameters are given as guidelines, and then “the sky’s the limit!” After two years of sorting through thousands of melodies, only those that would both systematically help students to master new techniques and make students excited about practicing made it into the book.
Wye – Beginner book of the Flute part 2
The “Beginner’s Book” series by Trevor Wye encourages the enjoyment of playing and music-making and is ideal for group or individual instruction. Part Two expands your range of notes and looks at new rhythms and time signatures.
Boosey Flute Method book 2 (book 1 also excellent!)

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