Dear Flute Students, and Parents,
Welcome and Congratulations on making the excellent decision to study the flute! Flutes of every kind are common to people all around the world. The flute we play today is a descendant of one of the oldest musical instruments known to man. In our corner of Massachusetts we are in the the flute-making capital of the world. All of the most famous flutes played by the greatest players are made right here!
In the first year of our study, fifth grade, we will learn how to handle, clean and care for the instrument, how to breathe and control air to produce a sound, how to make a sound by forming an embouchure (the position of the lips), how to articulate, how to read a fingering chart and finger all the notes of the first two octaves. Introducing music notation, we will learn to read elementary rhythms, all the notes on the staff, as well as all the key signatures and notes of all 15 major one-octave scales. We will prepare a solo selection to feature our instrument when the fifth graders join the band in January for the winter concert.
In the second year of study, sixth grade, we continue to develop the embouchure and air management through the study of the third octave (high notes). Sixth graders will also complete all 15 two-octave scales. We will continue to make progress on study begun the previous year by completing the first volume of "Accent on Achievement". Students will demonstrate mastery of the rhythms, phrasing and physical challenges presented in volume 1. Sixth graders will prepare a challenging solo to present in the Spring Concert.
It is my philosophy that students should practice regularly if they want to master the challenges that any instrument presents. In registering for this class, they should understand that there is an assumption of coming to class prepared. Practice will be different for each child, so I do not recommend a specific amount of time, but I do expect there to be an effort every day. Practice may begin with a single note - but the muscles required to make that note, need to be in use every day. If a student is having difficulty in practicing I am available for tips.
There are some basics that are very important for every student to have in order to be a successful flute class participant:
1. The first is a well functioning instrument. The rent- to-buy program offers a wonderful brand new, sturdy, well-made instrument that has technical support in the event of a malfunction. I highly recommend this opportunity. Our experience has taught us that "deals" found on places online are usually in need of more money to put in working order and this results in time away from the flute. If parents are interested in other options to buy student, step-up flutes or have evaluations of instruments available to them, I am available for advice.
2. A pencil must be brought to every class.
3. Music instruction book: "Accent on Achievement" volume 1.
4. Handouts from class, especially Fingering Charts and Scale Sheet.
5. Band Music
6. Attendance - please advise me of any absences so that your child will not miss any material.
My goals for the students in our flute classes is that they become proficient at handling their instrument, fluent in reading the language of music and skilled in making music. Please alert me to any learning style or special needs that your child may have. If I achieve these goals, your child will love playing the flute!
I look forward to meeting you all in September!
Elly Ball, flute, piccolo, recorder, chamber music, Flute Choir Director
Juilliard; DePauw, B.A. Four-year Honor Performance Award. Founding director of the Crescent Trio, and several flute choirs with performances that include a 1995 appearance at the White House and pre concert opener with James Galway at Carnegie Hall in 2000. Former host of the cable TV show "Bravura", Ms. Ball has organized and presented Master classes and Flute Showcases in New York, Boston and Charleston, S.C. featuring Paula Robison, Julius Baker, Michael Parloff, Raffaele Trevisani, Eugenia Zuckerman, Flute Force, Wissam Boustany, Gary Schocker, Rhonda Larson, the Willow Flute Ensemble, Robert Dick, Mimi Stillman, Zara Lawler and InSterio. As Director of Outreach and Chamber Music Coordinator at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Ms. Ball initiated and directed an annual chamber music institute with members of the New York Philharmonic. An experienced coordinator, Ms. Ball has helped organize and direct festivals for the National Flute Association and the New York Flute Club. In addition to her solo and ensemble performances, Ms. Ball has played principal flute in several orchestras under conductors Leopold Stokowski, Newell Jenkins, and James DePriest as well as composers including: Howard Hanson, Norman Dello Joio, Vincent Persichetti and Aaron Copland. Principal flute: All-America under Stokowski. A teacher of all levels, from beginner through advanced, flute students in her studio have won honors and positions in many All-County, All-State, All-Eastern Festivals and in conservatories in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Ms. Ball is the founding director of the ABRHS Flute Choir which has consistently won highest honors since its inception in 2014.
Authored article, “Turn Practice into Play". Flute Talk July/August 2011.
New York State Assembly Citation for lifetime service in music profession, June, 2017
Faculty: Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Scarsdale, NY ; Acton Public Schools
Private Studio: Acton, MA