THE FLUTE STUDIO

Hi young flutists and parents!

Do you...

​wish you had individualized instruction that you just can't get in band class?

want to learn how to make the most beautiful sound on your instrument all the time?

want to know how to better deal with audition and performance nerves?

wish you had more performance opportunities?

want to have fun learning all about music, even beyond the flute?

I'm here to help!

Maybe you're getting ready for NYSSMA and All-State Auditions. Maybe you want to get into a youth orchestra. Maybe you just want to be a better flute player and understand what the flute can do! Whatever your individual goals may be, I've got the tools to make them happen. And if you don't have your flute goals yet, we can figure them out together.

By taking lessons, you will...

  • Gain an appreciation for music and an understanding of how to listen that will last a lifetime. (That's why you're here, right?)

  • Develop flute-playing fundamentals like tone production, finger technique, and breath control, and gain an understanding of the elusive idea of how to practice. (It's totally possible, and I'm going to show you how.)

  • Learn about musical style and how to make appropriate, convincing decisions based on the given style. (Playing without style is like eating unseasoned food... yuck!)

  • Most importantly, gain confidence by feeling 100% about these decisions you've made and knowing you have the technical resources and facility to back it up. When this happens is when playing becomes so much fun! The best performers don't seem like they're trying so hard. They just appear to be having a great time doing what they love. (Nope, no magic wand required!)

Big Studio Happenings 
  • Two studio recitals per year: One is of just solo music with piano. Here's your chance to show off your NYSSMA solo, your competition rep, or whatever else you've been working on for your friends, family, and studio-mates! The other is of all chamber music. We'll put together a concert of duos, trios, and quartets. We might even bring in some special guests to help collaborate!

  • One mock audition per year: Just like a real audition, everyone will prepare the same list of orchestral excerpts to be performed behind a screen. Guest judges from the Albany Symphony Orchestra will help adjudicate, and once a winner is named, it's studio party time!

Ready to sign up?

Teaching Philosophy

I believe everyone deserves to feel total confidence in what they do. Students who feel confident as players end up feeling more confident in many other aspects of their lives. As a performer myself, the best feeling comes right after a particularly fantastic performance, and this feeling continues for days (or even weeks) afterwards! Students deserve to know this feeling too, and my goal is to provide the resources and opportunities necessary to get students to that euphoric place.

The biggest component of confidence as a musician comes in decision making. In lessons, style and interpretation are put at the forefront. Think of it as a pyramid: interpretation is at the top (this is your individual voice). Underneath that are the fundamentals of playing our instruments. This includes things like finger technique (scales and arpeggios), sound production and coloration, articulation, and flexibility (jumping large intervals with ease). While these are all so important to the foundation, they’re really just there to support your voice and allow that voice to be as clear and convincing as possible.

 

I like to compare this to cooking! The piece of music in front of you is your main ingredient - your meat or fish. (Or veggies for vegetarians!) Everything form the seasonings to the pan we cook in to the amount of heat added are all variables that need to be carefully thought out - these are your fundamentals of playing. While all these variable are so important to create a tasty dish, that main ingredient is still the star of the show. The resulting dish is your voice, and we want to make something to be proud of!

A typical lesson includes:

  • Assigned exercises for the week - scales, arpeggios, tone development, interval studies, etc.
  • Etude for the week
  • Discussion of assigned listening for the week. This could be a piece of solo literature played by a great performer, a piece of orchestral music with an important flute part, or something completely unrelated to the flute! We can pull inspiration from all genres of music. (Hey, Lizzo!)

  • Assigned solo music and orchestral excerpts

 

I expect students to come to each lesson with a curious mind and openness to new ideas. Trust is paramount in the process of learning a musical instrument. I like to push my students beyond what they think they can do, and if they put their trust in me, I’ll give them all the resources necessary to flourish and exceed their own expectations. I also try to create a safe space for each students’ ideas to be heard. I welcome students to come a few minutes early and/or stay a few minutes late to their lessons to hear other students at work. We can all learn so much by listening, and these little bits of simple observation can dramatically speed up your own progress. You never know what might come out of somebody else’s lesson that could really resonate with you! While I do encourage this, I expect students’ comments and demeanor to be positive and helpful. We’re all on this musical journey together, and no matter their current ability, students should be each other’s biggest fans!

Still have questions?

I have answers!

©2020 by Matthew Ross