Flute Lessons

The Ron Willmot Piano & Flute Studio

Flute Lessons

Do you play, or are you interested in playing the flute?

My students range in ages from as young as 11 years old to adults into their senior years.
I have an excellent selection of flute music from beginners to the well experienced flautist
Students may choose to study the flute only or alternate weekly between flute & piano lessons
I also teach a few students who come for an hour each week taking lessons half-hourly in both flute & piano
Students have the benefit of having me not just as a teacher but as a piano accompanist as well.

Thoughts on Learning the Flute

  • What is a good age to begin flute lessons?
    I recommend starting the flute when a child’s hands have grown enough to comfortably reach the keys. A child under ten years might have difficulty reaching the notes if they are playing a normal C flute. There are flutes that have been designed for children with smaller hands These flutes have a curved head joint and are available from some instrument dealers. See my entry on where to buy or purchase a flute for more information.
    Ideally, when students have started instrumental music in school, is a good time to begin lessons. They also have the added motivation of performing with their peers.
  • Why choose the flute as opposed to a brass instrument, percussion or other wind instrument?
    Everyone has their own reason for choosing a particular instrument. When I started my flute studies in 1969, my primary reason for playing was that two of my older siblings played flute as well. As I developed my flute skills, I grew to love the sound of it. Here are a few reasons why you might choose the flute: The flute is one of the most compact of instruments in the band family. If your child is carrying their instrument to and from school, the flute is relatively light and easy to carry within a backpack. As long as a flute is handled properly it is relatively easy to keep it in good working order as well. There are no reeds to buy as in a clarinet or saxophone. The flute is also one of the least expensive instruments to rent or buy. The flute is also primarily a melodic instrument. Some instruments may be considered more in the role of supporting melody instruments (i.e.:euphonium or tuba…) The sound level of your child practicing the flute is also considerably less than of percussion or brass instruments. For some families living in close quarters this might be something to consider
  • What methodology is used to learn the flute?
    Most of my younger students come to when instrumental music has been introduced into the classroom. I like to keep tabs on what they are studying in class and so I have them bring their music books they use in school. Once a student is studying music in high school , we work through their band pieces.
    The major aspects of learning the flute are thus:
    1. Tonal development through proper diaphragmatic breathing, embouchure development and correct tonguing.
    2. Getting a firm grasp on the notes of the flute and characteristics of the different octaves (3)
    3 Developing a repertoire of both pieces and exercises
    4. Developing the ability to perform with others through playing flute duets and working with an accompanist (me!)
    5 Development of proper phrasing & articulation.
  • Do I need a flute to start Lessons?
    Yes you do need a flute right from the start. If your child is taking instrumental music in class, most schools allow for the instruments to be signed out. I do recommend that you rent or purchase your own flute so that their is access to the flute is at all times
  • What types of music can I play on the flute?
    When it comes to piano, I’m truly a pop type of person who enjoys playing a bit of everything…..but….when it comes to playing the flute, I lean towards the classics. Pop songs, overall, tend to sound not very good on the flute because they are mostly composed for singers. Nonetheless, there are thousands of pieces that sound wonderful on the flute. First and foremost are melodies that have been written exclusively for the flute. Broadway & Disney melodies tend to work well. Celtic folk tunes, (Irish, Scottish & British) are wonderful performed on the flute as well. At Christmas time, my students and I are usually playing Carols together. I find that the favourite activity that my students enjoy is playing various flute duets together. Students really enjoy me accompanying them on the piano as well. I do my best to keep a variety of repertoire to suit the abilities and musical tastes of all my students!
  • Where can I rent or buy a flute?
    Your best bet for renting, purchasing a new or used flute locally, is Long & Mcquade. They are Canada’s largest music store and I personally consider them to be excellent to deal with. I’ve been buying my instruments from them for the past 45 years! The closest store is located in Pickering at 1887 Kingston Rd. The phone number is 905-686-4900.

    Gazebo Music is also an option though they are primarily a band instrument repair facility. They do offer flutes with a curved head joint at a fairly reasonable price though if you have a younger child.
    They are located at 699 Eramosa Crescent in Pickering www.gazebo-music.ca
  • Do you recommend a certain brand of flute?
    I recommend Yamaha flutes. They have an excellent track record when it comes to durability and a warm tone as well. Other common brands are Gemeinhardt, Jupiter and Armstrong. What is most important is that you get an instrument in good working order.
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Flute with curved head joint. (designed for younger children
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A typical C flute
Ron playing Flute
Pachelbels Canon Performed by Ron Willmot
The Swinging Shepherd Blues performed by Ron Willmot

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