Kind words from the current president of the Victorian Flute Guild, Greg Lee.

Peter Bartels (Melbourne flutist, teacher and Leslie Barklamb Scholarship committee member) must be congratulated on the release of his new publication, ‘Supercharge your flute technique’. It brings together elements from years of teaching experience from Peter, and compliments masterfully the existing range of flute technique literature.

Thanks Greg.

If my students are confronted with a passage that seems daunting to them, I like to create a little duet out of that passage. This idea works really well with sequences as you can take it in turns playing each statement of the sequence.

Here are a couple of examples taken from pieces in the grade 3 and 4 AMEB repertoire books. Take it in turns playing each part of the duet and then ask the student to play a duet with themselves. I’ve deliberately left the rests out of each part to try to give a sense of one part flowing into the other. You also don’t need to write the duet out as I have done here. Part of the exploration can be working out which part belongs to which player.

While you’re on my site, maybe you’d like to read the Introduction to Supercharge Your Flute Playing which can be found by clicking the Supercharge menu item.


On Sunday August 26th the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, at the University of Melbourne,  is running a preparation for VCE and Tertiary studies day. I’m excited to be a part of this day presenting a two hour flute masterclass/workshop.

Markiyan Melnychenko (Lecturer in Music Performance, Violin) is coordinating the day and I’m sure would be happy to provide further information.





Registration and welcome.

11:15am – 11:45pm:

Where can music take you? Creator of MCM’s exciting new career development program – Ignite Lab, talks to you about the myriad of ways you make have music be a part of your life. Parents encouraged to attend!

11:45pm – 12:45pm:

The life of a music student: Performances by and interviews with some of the MCM’s best players.

12:45pm – 1:30pm:

Lunch provided.

1:30pm – 3:45pm:

Masterclasses: A chance to perform and receive feedback on your playing from some of the top professionals in the country.

3:45pm – 4:30pm

Before you play: How can you take care of yourself, in order to prepare to deliver your best performance?

4:30pm  – 5:00pm

Afternoon tea, wrap up and farewell.

While presenting some of the Supercharge Your Flute Technique exercises to the teachers at last Friday’s Professional Development Day, it dawned on me that people aren’t completely comprehending the myriad of possibilities that each exercise contains.

Each exercise is purely a template for further exploration. You can play each exercises with a range of one octave, two octaves or over the entire range. That’s 3 possibilities right there. You can then try all of that with each of the suggested 10 articulation patterns; so that’s 30 versions of the exercise.  You can then play the exercise in all major, harmonic minor and melodic minor tonalities so that is 36 more options. So 3 by 10 by 36 is 1080 possible variations of each exercise. No doubt you can add to that with your own ideas; more articulation patterns, different tonalities, the range and we haven’t even talked about tempi.

Supercharge Your Flute Technique is a bridge from the beginner materials to the advanced technical materials and way beyond. As I say in the introduction:

At first glance some of the exercises may appear straightforward but don’t be deceived by this apparent simplicity as they should only be treated as a template for further study. 

So are you truly ready to Supercharge Your Flute Technique?


Here’s an effective way to encourage students, or yourself, to incorporate plenty of repetition into your practice. Break challenging passages down into smaller manageable parts and repeat each part 5 times, 4 times, 3 times, twice and finally the passage as it was originally intended. I call it diminishing returns.


What a fantastic PD Day today for the Victorian Flute Guild. Thanks to all the participants, to Annette Sloan for her tireless work, Jess Farrell for welcoming us so warmly to St Catherine’s and of course Elizabeth Koch for her marvellous presentations.

Have you played all your major and minor scales and arpeggios today? I call it brushing your teeth. You just do it without question it as you know it’s good for you.

Play them all with the range that suits you. One octave if your starting out, two octaves if your a bit further along and ultimately over the entire range.

Have you brushed your teeth today?

The Victorian Flute Guild’s Professional Development Day will be taking place on Friday August 25th with the fabulous Elizabeth Koch from Adelaide as the special guest. I’ll be co-presenting some sessions with Liz as well. Here’s the flyer and I’m looking forward to seeing lots of flute teachers on the day.

PD Day 2018