Monthly Archives: October 2011

Beginning Band

I’m working with a group of ten flute students. They’re fifth graders at a local elementary school. I’ve missed working with a group of music student over the summer. They are so excited about playing their new instruments, and they want to know everything. The trick is balancing how much to teach them and how fast. I want them to master the notes they already know before adding more.

The band book they are in starts with middle range D, C, and Bb. The D to C note changing is the hardest set of notes to switch between on the flute, every finger except the left hand pinky switches up for down, or down for up. Today I taught them B, A, G to go with the first three notes. Most of the group were able to play Hot Cross Buns with the new notes (BAG) with about ten minutes of practice. It took them all of last week to get Hot Cross Buns with the notes D, C, and Bb. They had to go home and practice.

I wish that beginning band books started with BAG for the flutes first notes, instead of starting with D. The fingering is less complicated.