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.
In the previous two posts I wrote about the common problem of over covering the embouchure hole that detracts from producing a great sound. The correlation of the right hand thumb position on the flute and the coverage of the embouchure hole is often overlooked by flautists.
I encourage the three point balance to hold the flute; under the bottom lip, between the second and third knuckle on the left hand pointer finger and the right hand thumb. (Have a look at my article Flashy Fingers under Articles on this site for a more detailed explanation of this) The job of the right hand thumb is to move the flute in a forward, slightly upwards position producing a gentle counter-resistance against the left hand. Instead, many players place the right hand thumb under the flute and use it to lift the instrument. The problem with doing this is apart from jamming up your fingers (see the afore mentioned article) it causes the flute to roll inwards and hence causes over covering of the embouchure hole. You then end up with all the sound problems discussed in the previous post. So try to remember that your hand positions are not only related to your figure technique but can also have a big impact on your tone quality.
Here’s an article about fingers and hands. Some people take great care with their hand and finger positions whilst others aren’t so fussed. Personally I think having well positioned and relaxed fingers can bring positive benefits to your playing.
Here’s an exercise I use with younger players to challenge and extend them with their scales. It’s more interesting and beneficial than just going up and down a scale. Of course it can be altered as required; various keys, ranges and articulation.