August 2015 Convention
Washington, D.C.

Flute Spa Warmup with Patricia George

Patricia George

photo by Brian Covington

Early Saturday morning, Patricia George presented her Flute Spa Warmup. Her interactive class covered a wide variety of topics of interest to both beginners and seasoned players, including flute alignment, tuning, posture, positioning the body with a music stand, hand position, the “Left Hand G Scale” using only left hand fingerings, and harmonics, trills, balance, and practice techniques.

She shared some of her favorite tips with us. To improve hand/finger position, she suggested placing the E key first, which helps place the ring finger much better. Rather than thinking about “holding” the flute, think about “balancing” the flute. Players should stand about 30 inches back from the stand. A great trick for making sure one is far enough back is to place the flute between the stand and player—a flute is 28 inches long!

George’s popular Flute Spa drew a large crowd. 

photo by Brian Covington

She also suggested working on trills starting with F-G, as it is a stable trill and it falls in the middle of the flute. Then, work on G-A, followed by E-F alternating higher and lower trills. To be sure that the flute remains balanced during a trill, she suggested trilling from the third knuckle.

She said that teachers should acknowledge where they learned information when sharing it with a class. In that way, our students better understand their lineage and relationship with other flutists. At this class, there was something for everyone. Attendees took away many new ideas after this fast-paced, jam-packed class!

—Karen Large