Learning to play the flute can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But if you do not find a flute program that is well paced for your level, it can be quite challenging to keep up. If you hope to go from a complete novice on the flute to a masterful flute player, you will also have to find the right flute teacher, which is not the easiest thing to do thanks to a large number of online flute lessons available out there.
Because the flute is a gorgeous and versatile instrument, it might appear easy and effortless to master. However, like all great things and instruments, it takes real work and total dedication to be a successful flute player. As a beginner, it might take a while to get the knack of it.
While experts that play the flute might make it look easy, it actually takes some time to learn how to blow the flute so that it produces music and not just random sounds. Apart from the technical challenges, you will also be faced with physical challenges that might make it harder to learn the flute. However, as you grow, learn, practice, and improve, you will soon be able to overcome these challenges to become the flute player that you were always meant to be.
How hard is it to learn flute?
Common reasons and challenges that you can expect when learning the flute.
Getting the shape of your mouth right
When playing the flute, the shape that you produce with your mouth in order to produce sound is known as embouchure. To produce the right sound, flutists typically have to learn how to use a specific shape embouchure, which is one of the very first things that are taught in beginner flute lessons. Flute embouchure can be learned in several ways such as blowing over bottles or through straws. In any case, it is important to practice using the technique taught by the flute teacher.
The physical aspects of holding and playing the flute can also be a challenge, especially for first-time students. Unlike other woodwind instruments like the clarinet and the oboe where performers position their hands close to the trunk, flutists are exposed to a greater load because their hands have to be elevated at all times during performances.
You see, flutists hold the flute unilaterally, which forces them to hold their hands above shoulder level, therefore, compromising the position of the neck. Flutists also face further problems in balancing the flute, which usually ends up causing problems in the shoulders, as well as the upper back.
Sometimes some flutists also complain of finger and wrist pain, which might make it harder to continue playing the flute. If overlooked, these problems can become chronic and develop into future musculoskeletal problems. Though there is no clear rule for dealing with these problems, you will be happy to know that they can be prevented.
Breath control problems
Breath control problems are primary issues that have to do with a student’s embouchure. The larger the embouchure, the winder the sound and the more difficulty one faces when trying to sustain the air stream. Learning breath control is a basic concept that has to be mastered at the beginning and if you fail, it can cause a world of problems such as the inability to sustain notes and worse, it can even cause dizziness and respiratory issues for some people.
How to deal with common flute challenges
Learn how to develop good breathing habits
Good breathing habits overall can go a very long way in helping you to prevent any breath control problems you might face in the process of learning the flute. Learning some deep techniques and practicing them every day can help you control your breathing so that you are never left out of breath when playing. It is only with continued practice and the assistance of a great teacher that you will be able to learn how to breathe properly.
The teacher that you pick matters
By and large, when students say that the flute is hard to learn, it is generally as a result of the following:
- The teacher in charge did not know how to explain things to beginners
- The teacher in charge was not experienced enough to know what to teach and in what order
- The student fails to put in the right amount of time
As you can probably deduce, a lot of responsibility is placed on the teacher as he or she is the one supposed to make things easy to follow. As such, the teacher that you pick for your flute lessons has a huge impact on the way that you will learn and the way that you will be able to handle the challenges that come along.
Artistworks - Jeffrey Khaner Flute Lessons
That’s why, when picking a flute teacher, you should always settle for an experienced teacher that has a background of teaching beginners and flute players of all levels such as ArtistWorks Jeffrey Khaner. Jeffrey Khaner’s flute lessons on ArtistWorks are not only comprehensive but have been segmented to make it easy for students to learn at different paces.
Best of all, students can submit video inquiries of themselves asking questions through the Video Exchange Learning platform and Jeffrey will go through each submission and offer specific advice for a student to elevate their technique and skill.
Dealing with posture problems
Consulting an experienced flute teacher like Jeffery or an older flute player that has years of experience under his or her belt can help you develop the right posture for playing the flute. It also helps to relax your muscles to evade muscle fatigue. Finding a hand position that is comfortable and sustainable is also essential. Although it requires a good amount of practice to get the right posture, it is usually well worth the results when you finally get the chance to make your first solo performance.
The Difficulty and Hardness of Learning Flute
When first learning how to play the flute, you might face some challenges that might make it hard for you to find your footing. Learning the flute is not difficult, but it can be if you do not maintain your focus or dedicate the right amount of time to practicing what you learn. The challenges that you will face in the process will not only be technical, but physical as well. The good news is that most of these common issues faced by flute students can be overcome with the tips above so that you can continue learning and playing at your best.