Vowel Power provides a how-to guide for achieving all of the colors our flutes have to offer. Through a five-week online intensive, flutists looking to add refinement and control in their playing will understand the anatomy of the flute in relation to the body in order to consistently achieve the most brilliant, beautifully nuanced sound. Consistency comes from the understanding of the physical mechanics behind the colors we strive to achieve. This course culminates in a studio recital of lyrical works of any genre for solo flute chosen by each performer. (I’m always here to help with repertoire choices as well!)
Aimed at advanced high school students through professionals, we’ll expand your palate in just a few easy steps.
This course is broken in to five weekly group sessions:
Week One: Pots and Pans
Vowels are successful when added to a strong foundation. This week is all about establishing these invariable elements of a beautiful, reliable sound. Cooking can’t happen without your pots and pans just as vowels won’t make a difference without a solid base.
Week Two: Meat and Potatoes
This will be the first real introduction to the vowels. Loud playing is about resonance, not about volume of air. No more overblowing and no more sharp, shrill playing! (Seems like a miracle, right?) This is the backbone of our playing, the meat and potatoes - getting a huge sound from our tiny instrument is absolutely achievable!
Week Three: Spices
Soft Playing (EEK!)
The scariest thing for so many players! We’ll talk about how to use your vowel shape to keep that resonance found in loud playing while barely making a whisper. Not only will you sound great, but you won’t have to lip up those flat notes anymore! Here’s where the real nuance comes into our playing, just like adding the perfect blend of spices to a dish.
Week Four: Garnish
By using the appropriate adjustments to our vowel, your tongue will be free to move faster than ever before. No more Carnival of the Animals-induced palpitations! We’ll focus on maintaining quality of sound found in the previous two weeks while keeping the tongued notes light and effervescent. This is the finishing touch to bring our dish to the next level - those few leaves of fresh parsley on top.
Week Five: Dinner is Served!
The final week will consist of a studio recital. Show off all the new colors you’ve added to the arsenal and feel confident in the fact that your sound will be the most reliable it’s ever been. No more guesswork or candle-lit vigils to summon the sound you want!
Between sessions, students will record themselves playing a piece or excerpt that exemplifies the week’s topic. (I’ll give suggested repertoire for the week, but any applicable work is welcome!) This recording will be sent to Matthew for review and comment before we progress to the following topic.
This class can also be adapted into a single-session workshop for collegiate studios.