Private Lessons – All Ages

Kristina Murray rehearses her concerto with the York High School Orchestra

Private lessons are a wonderful way for students to develop their love for music and explore their own creativity.  Additionally, there are life skills that are developed through this wonderful pursuit.  Much has been made of the impact musical study has on math and other academic areas in young students, but I believe equally important benefits come from the self-discipline of practicing, the ambition of reaching for goals, and the teamwork of playing in ensembles.

For the aspiring young musician, I love to encourage all the wonderful aspects of a musical life that bring joy and a fun diversion from an otherwise busy life.  For the serious musician, I have decades of experience successfully preparing students for competitions, summer music festivals, and ILMEA auditions/festivals at all levels.  Additionally, I regularly advise students considering music as a professional career, whether as performers or educators, and I help these students view the rigorous process of collegiate and graduate level admissions as the exciting (and enjoyable!) gateway into the professional career of their dreams.

Practice skills are a core aspect of my teaching method that I work extensively to share with my students.  Students quickly understand how to practice efficiently and how this leads directly to skills and achievements that they enjoy!  The very discipline that they (and their parents) may have dreaded before, is now seen as directly responsible for technical mastery of the instrument, musical understanding, and ultimately a dramatic increase in confidence on stage.  This confidence will quickly reach into other areas of their life as flutists see themselves suddenly invited to exciting new opportunities in music.

Sandburg Junior High Student, Lauren Gaynor

My philosophy on practicing also includes what I affectionately call the “ebb and flow” of life.  In other words, I teach students how to balance skillful practicing with heavy time commitments like school finals, athletic tournaments, theatre productions, and more.  I encourage students to keep a healthy approach to music that minimizes stress while being mindful of longterm goals and achievement.

Finally, I consider it a privilege and an honor to hold the trust of my students’ parents.  I understand fully that a student’s life in music (regardless of their ambition) is a three-way joint endeavor between the student, myself, and the parent(s).  I make it a priority to keep lines of communication open, and I welcome feedback and questions from parents at all times.  Parents are always welcome to sit in on lessons or to have a chat with me whenever there are issues that I can address.  I am happy to manage all practicing (a challenge at home at times), and I am also happy to assist in purchasing music, instruments, and other needed accessories as is preferable.

All students who take regular lessons are given complimentary subscriptions to Flute Talk magazine to further their interests and are invited to perform and participate in full recitals or mini-recitals to develop their performing skills and build community among my students.  (Full recitals for all students are scheduled annually at Elmhurst College, and mini-recitals of 3 – 4 students are scheduled regularly in my home.)  I am committed not only to developing the love of music in my students, but also to the core belief that parents should feel confident in the value of the teaching and services I am offering.

Private lessons are a part of my professional life that I truly cherish and enjoy.  Please click here for a sample guideline of texts and skills and a basic trajectory for a beginner to advanced student.  I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have about lessons, fees, or other concerns, so please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Happy fluting!

St Ignatius High school junior, Evan Van Breemen

Studio policies:

  1.  Lesson fees are due at or before the start of each lesson.  These may be paid monthly at the first lesson of the month or weekly at each lesson.  Lessons may be paid in cash, by check, or using Chase Quickpay.  Purchased music or accessories will be given to students upon payment being received.
  2.  Students may change their lesson times to accommodate emergencies including sickness or other conflicts.  Please avoid skipping lessons whenever possible, as skipping lessons causes a quick regression in skills.
  3. Lessons missed without any prior notification will be paid in full.
  4. Should I need to cancel a lesson, I will always offer a time to make up the missed time.
  5. Lesson times are scheduled in 1 hour increments.  Should your student arrive late, it is likely that I will have to conclude the lesson at the previously scheduled time to accommodate following lessons.  If you are aware of a problem (i.e. traffic, etc.), please text me with an estimated time of arrival as you are able.
  6. Students are expected to bring the following to all lessons:
    • A well maintained instrument
    • A blank notebook, including a simple written log of their daily practicing.
    • All assigned music, including repertoire, scales, and etudes
    • A cleaning cloth and cleaning rod.
    • A totebag designated only for their music.
  7. I am always happy to assist students with any school or youth orchestra ensemble music in their lessons to help prepare for concerts and auditions.  If it would help to have an extra lesson, please feel welcome to ask.
  8. A music stand, metronome, and tuner are useful for effective practicing.  In addition to items that can be purchased at most music stores, there are many wonderful apps for smartphones or tablets.  I highly recommend the app “TUNABLE”, a tuning and metronome app.  These do not need to be brought to lessons.
  9. Students who are interested in collegiate level study will benefit if we begin discussions about this pursuit as early as possible.  It is totally fine to ask a lot of questions to “test the waters” before jumping in!
  10. Please keep communication open to help me understand what is best for your flutist.  I’m always happy to hear your observations and suggestions.

Good advice for students considering auditioning for music programs in college:

“Entering freshmen should be able to play one of the Bach sonatas, the Hindemith Sonate, a French concours piece by Enesco, Faure, Chaminade, or Gaubert and possibly a Mozart Concerto…Entrance auditions help to identify a prospective student’s ability, promise, and problems to be addressed. I have learned that students can pay more attention to playing musically after they have organized the fundamental elements of playing: good breath control, scales, studies, fingering accuracy, good balance and support of the flute for optimum firmness of the lip plate on the lower lip, and the more subtle aspects of embouchure control. In an audition a student should demonstrate good tone and dynamic range, knowledge of scales and arpeggios, good rhythm, and the ability to shape a musical phrase. Accurate rhythm is a good indicator of musical talent; if I point out an incorrect rhythm, I want to hear the correction to be sure that the student is properly sensitive to the underlying pulse.”

-Walfrid Kujala, Flute Talk Magazine, November 1991