August 2008 Convention
Kansas City, MO

What’s the Point? Études and Their Objectives

Alexa Still

“What’s the Point?” was the topic for a demonstration and presentation on the objectives of études, sponsored by the Pedagogy Committee. Alexa Still led those in attendance through étudesby Andersen, Demersseman, Drouet, and Moyse that focused on various aspects of flute playing and how études can be beneficial for strengthening specific skills. The études featured in the class were selected from Levels E and F from the Pedagogy Committee’s publication, Selected Flute Studies: A Graded Guide of Etudes, Daily Studies, and Method Books.

Still began by stressing the importance of using études as a source for building reading skills and to keep practicing interesting through music that has a “quick turnover” (music that would not always be worked up to performance level). Through student demonstrations, the études were used to discuss correct hand position and its importance to produce good sound, phrasing, and musicality, various tonguing techniques to help with resonance in the sound as well as multiple tonguing ideas, and tone production (especially in the low and high registers). Our appreciation and thanks to Alexa Still and to the student performers, Paige Alley, April Firsick, and Clarice Miller, who helped make this a wonderful learning session.

—Rebecca Hoven