rehearsing Steve Reich: Vermont Counterpoint with Prof Tim Weiss in 2017

syllabus etc

Here is the Syllabus, notes on Professional Conduct, and the Grading Contract.

Oberlin Conservatory Flute Studio Syllabus Spring 2019

Course Materials (see notes below for further detail): working flute , Tuner, Metronome, Recording device, Notebook, Music.

Course Requirements

Studio class: Monday 4-4:50pm, Stull Recital Hall (Required of everyone registered for lessons)

Studio Class provides invaluable opportunities to perform for your peers, to get constructive criticism/feedback, to learn about pedagogy, and to gain experience in offering your own effective and supportive criticism. One absence is permitted from the official hour of studio class. Other absences must be approved in advance or be the result of emergency or illness. (Please communicate with Alexa at your earliest convenience.) In the case of “Studio class overflow”, we have a booking in B334 if we run overtime. Attendance at the overflow sessions is appreciated but not required. It is understood that those with evening rehearsals will need to leave.


Attendance at every lesson is required! Please knock on the door (REALLY loudly) at the assigned time. If your preparation is inadequate, Alexa may stop the lesson, and will not "make up" this time.

Promptness: in the music business, being “on time” literally means have your instrument out and be ready to play at that appointed time. However, because the hallway is often crowded between classes, please wait to unpack in the flute studio where your flute will be safer.

Lateness: If you are going to be late unexpectedly, please make every effort possible to contact Alexa directly. Sometimes emergencies happen and it is courteous to communicate. The studio phone number is 440 7758260 but please do not leave a message! (Alexa doesn't check this often) If Alexa does not answer the studio phone, please text Alexa at 440 9355471. If you are 10 minutes late without communicating, that is considered non-attendance. If Alexa is late by more than ten minutes without communicating, she owes you lunch.

Scheduling: Lessons are organized according to schedule information supplied by students. If your schedule changes, please advise Alexa. If you need to, feel free to swap lessons with another student, and advise Alexa via email. (If you think it is likely you cannot be ready for your lesson, swapping is a great idea.) If swapping isn’t possible, Alexa will re-schedule your lesson if her schedule can accommodate it.

Illness: Please cancel or reschedule if you are sick, even with very late notice! Please respect the health of Alexa and ALL of the other students! Alexa will schedule makeup lessons for cancellations due to illness.


More on Course Materials…

Your flute: You will seek repairs as necessary, and arrange to have your flute maintained every 6 months. There are no repair people in Oberlin, but the flute studio has appropriate shipping boxes and spare flutes to loan to you.

Tuner, metronome, recording device: Using app.s on your smart phone may be perfectly adequate. These are essential practice tools.

Notebooks: An electronic notebook may be acceptable if agreed in advance. At the conclusion of each lesson, you will make a note to specify what will be prepared for the following lesson. You will also review your recording of your lesson and make a note of important points covered in the lesson. Notebooks must be submitted by the last day of classes each semester and may be checked during the semester (i.e. don't wait until the end of the semester to make notes).

The following is not required, but a flute notebook would be invaluable to you if it also contained:

-Notes taken at guest/external/summer masterclasses

-Your goals/aims, projects, competitions, auditions, festivals

-Notes from your listening to recordings

-Notes from concerts you attend (also documents your attendance).

-Your Repertoire list

-"Wish list" of repertoire

-A practice diary.

Music: The library is a very impressive collection but still may not have exactly what you want. Be prepared to purchase music that is not included in the library’s holdings or to be very patient while using the interloan library service. Please advise Alexa by email of what you cannot find in the library so it may be ordered.



Every student, except last year seniors and those who perform a degree recital in the same semester, must submit a recording of an etude by the last day of classes.

Recitals: Everyone is encouraged to do additional solo or joint recitals, to perform on the flute studio recital, and to perform on the three woodwind, brass and percussion division recitals each semester.

Grades: Please see flute studio grading contract (scroll down below).



Excerpt class is on Thursdays at 4:45pm


Other important stuff:

- Alexa expects a sincerely friendly and supportive attitude in this studio primarily because this is extremely important for your career development (see addendum on "professional" conduct).

- contact Alexa if you have any pressing concerns.

- All flutists are expected to attend every recital given by the flutists in this studio. If you are unable to attend, you should communicate that with an apology to the performer, in advance, and advise Alexa.

-Please check the flute studio's website for announcements and any advertising of competitions, jobs etc. Alexa appreciates your assistance in contributing events; Please advise Alexa of anything you think should be included.

-Please advise of any changes to your schedule and contact information.

Contact information:

It is best to email or text 440 935 5471.


Flute studio syllabus addendum - Professional conduct

Essentially this is all about treating others the way you would like to be treated!

Music is a collaborative art for everyone except perhaps rare soloist pianists Being a successful musician usually requires much more than talent. For many situations including freelance work, it will be assumed that your performance level is adequate, and your personality and reputation then become the deciding factor in being selected for employment. The music world is also, like any specialized field, very small. Your fellow students will be your future colleagues…. NOW is the time to begin practicing successful “person-skills” and time management.

Be courteous/respectful THINK before you speak or act. Rude people don’t get asked back.

First flute players will never hire someone they perceive as disrespectful. Acts such as playing someone else’s solos and making any uncomplimentary comments upon performance or equipment (especially if unsolicited) will gives a bad impression that cannot be retracted. The best policy is to keep your critical opinions to yourself. The exception would be a principal flutist making constructive suggestions to the player on flute 2 or piccolo, where the conductor clearly expects the principal to be responsible for the section, and where rehearsal consistently demonstrates that a constructive comment may lead to improvements and is therefore appropriate.

Be on time Late-comers are type-cast upon one or two occurrences. It doesn’t really matter what one is late for or the reason. A late-comer will never be hired for professional orchestral sessions or chamber music.

Absence is worse. If you are unfortunate enough to be late/absent with good reason, make contact with the party concerned as soon as possible to apologize first and explain second. NEVER wait for the other party to “find” or contact you.

Be well prepared Poor performance might be forgiven. Laziness is resented and remembered. If your performance is below your perceived ability, you will not get asked back. Poor playing/attitude will be remembered much longer than good playing.

Be clean Fit in. Keep your “stuff” (clothes, possessions) out of the way, wear clean clothes, keep perfume to a minimum, avoid taking smelly food.

Be supportive Love Music.... Love Musicians! We all appreciate companionship and compliments. A kind word costs nothing. However...

Be sincere A person obviously “sucking up" is not to be trusted. If you can’t genuinely mean what you say, just don’t say it. Find an alternative comment that you can be sincere about.

Be circumspect about your presence in social media. Once an item is on the internet, you have lost all control over said item.



Flute Studio contract for a “B” grade:

1 Attend all lessons and make a sustained and dedicated effort to improvement, assessing progress frequently with Alexa.

2 Attend studio class regularly (i.e. not missing more than one studio class per semester).

3 Perform in studio class at least twice per semester (see roster).

4 Submit a flute notebook, due the last day of classes.

5 Submit a recorded etude (due the last day of classes) or perform a recital. Note: seniors are exempted from submitting recorded etudes.

6 Make every effort to attend fellow flute students’ performances including divisional recitals, wind faculty, and guest flutists' recitals. Apologies in advance of conflicts with student recitals should go the student performing. Please also notify Alexa.

7 Look after school instruments impeccably; cleaning and wiping off all fingerprints after every use, with immediate notification to Alexa of any accidents or problems.

Flute studio contract for an “A” grade:

All of the above “B” grade components plus at least four of the following:

1 Participate in every studio class by offering “constructive criticism” comprising at least one supportive and substantive verbal comment per class.

2 Perform in one of the flute studio recitals and one divisional recital.

3 Enhance your flute notebook with 3 or more substantive additional sections (see seven possible additions under “flute notebooks” in syllabus, or make up your own).

4 Review concerts by fellow students, wind faculty, guest flutists, masterclasses and any other concerts in your notebook (this may also count as an extra section in your notebook).

5 Participate regularly in orchestral excerpts class, or make some sustained effort on an individual project (discussed and agreed with Alexa) throughout the semester, to be assessed at the end of the semester.

Flute studio contract grading- “A+”

All of the “B” grade components and at least four of “A” grade components plus:

Practice diary, with multiple entries per week, detailing agenda and review of practice sessions.


Some other substantial project to be agreed upon with Alexa.