August 2008 Convention
Kansas City, MO

Flying Fingers: How to Get Yours

Rebecca Dunnell

Missouri-based teachers Rebecca Dunnell, Susan Murphy, and James Hall joined forces to present the NFA Pedagogy Committee-sponsored session, “Flying Fingers: How to Get Yours.” Not only was the Thursday session standing room only, but people stood in the hall attempting to take in the session. Because of the number of people interested in this session, it was repeated on Friday.

Dunnell shared some of Harold Bennett’s technical finger exercises from his “little black book” and discussed the importance of a balanced body and relaxed, natural hand position. Murphy presented a well-prepared list of common-sense suggestions for the development of a solid technique. Surrounding oneself with music, incorporation of alternate fingers, daily sight-reading, and exercises from daily studies all contribute to nimble, agile finger technique. Hall reiterated the necessity for slow practice and breaking down passages into basic intervals so that our fingers can learn patterns. Tone and technique are inseparable, and must be developed simultaneously.

High attendance at both sessions indicated that flutists of all ages are interested in improving finger facility and dexterity.

—Rebecca Hoven