Flute Memes: My Favorites

Flute Memes

Social media is overflowing with memes for everything, including music. Flute memes appear on my Facebook page nearly every day.

For your enjoyment, I offer a collection of my favorite flute memes.

Deep but uplifting:

flute memes


I can’t decide if I love this one because it shows all the parts of a flute or because I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA.

 

flute memes


Feeling small before the almighty Bach:

flute memes


Because the flute is not for the faint of heart:

flute memes


This is one I found on the subway in Montreal:

flute memes


The Donald has inspired a lot of memes, but this one is my favorite:

the best termperament


Although not a meme, at least one person has been nearly killed by a flute.

“SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT THE VINTNERS’ HALL. On Tuesday night an accident occurred at the Vintners’-hall, Thames-street, to a gentleman of the name of Ireland, brother of one of the liverymen of the company, which caused great alarm to those who were assembled at dinner on the occasion of the celebration of the Lord Mayor’s-day. He entered the hall a little before 9 o’clock, and took his seat nearly under the orchestra. He had not been there above ten minutes when the flute belonging to one of the musicians dropped from the orchestra on his head. The blood immediately flowed most profusely, and he was for a moment stunned. Mr. May, a surgeon of the neighbourhood, was instantly called in, who found that he had received a slanting wound on the scalp. The wound was dressed, after which Mr. Ireland was conveyed home in a coach. The stewards promptly inquired how the accident originated, when it was ascertained that while the musician was adjusting the leaves of his music-book the flute slipped out of his hand. The man was perfectly sober. It was stated by Mr. May that he did not anticipate any fatal result.”
–unnamed reporter, in The [London] Times, 12 November 1841, page 7


And this one isn’t a flute, but it made me laugh so hard that I have to share it with you.

musician poster

look closely at the mouthpiece


 

Stay tuned, friends. I’ll add more of these gems as I find them. (Updated September 27, 2016)

What are your favorite flute memes?

 

Choir Practice Ideas

Choir Practice.

Many of my blog posts have focused on practicing the flute, but today we will look at some special considerations for choir practice.

As a musician who wears many hats, in addition to teaching private flute students, I also direct an adult church choir.

choir practice

NUUC Choir – I’m on the left playing a drum

Choir practice is the focus of my weekend. At our church, choir rehearsal is before the worship service on Sunday mornings. Choir practice goes much more smoothly and we are able to achieve a higher level of performance when everyone comes to rehearsal prepared with their parts. Instrumentalists are used to learning their parts at home, but singers sometimes wait until rehearsal to learn the notes.

Vocalists in a choir will enjoy the music more by spending a little time each week practicing at home. Choir directors are grateful when singers come prepared with their parts. When we don’t have to teach notes, rhythms, and pronunciation, we can focus on musicianship and ensemble.

The following article has lots of good ideas for choir members. You don’t need to be able to play the piano to practice your part!

Practicing Choral Music: Ten Ideas for the Singer Who Doesn’t Think They Can Practice on Their Own

I completely agree with Doreen Fryling that silence is imperative for mentally working on parts, or “audiating.” Many people are surprised to learn that my husband and I don’t have music playing in the house most of the time. In fact, I never have background music playing when I am in the office. I may actively listen to the piece I am preparing, but I find other music to be very distracting. Background music further robs my brain of the blank space needed to work on music subconsciously. If I listen closely to my brain, there is almost always some music being tossed around up there. Right now, the house is completely silent, but our newest choir piece is “playing” in my head.

Utilize Online Resources

YouTube is one of the best resources for choirs. I use it a lot to discover new music, prepare my weekly rehearsals, and get performance ideas. When I find a particularly good video, I pass it on to my choir. Even a bad YouTube video is helpful. Recognizing what doesn’t work in music is an important step in developing good musical taste. Sometimes we even post a YouTube video of our performances. This is a video that we made for Kiya Heartwood, the composer of “Higher Ground,” when we rehearsed and performed the arrangement she made for us.

As for foreign language pronunciation, there are many good online resources. Here’s one for Ecclesiastical Latin, for example.

What are your practice routines? Are there any resources, online or otherwise, that are particularly helpful to you?

Practice Research: study shows faster, better learning

New practice research suggests ways to make learning more efficient.

Thanks to cognitive researchers we are understanding more and more about how the brain processes information. A practice research study published in January 2016 by Pablo A. Celnik, M.D., looked at how modifications in practice routines can dramatically improve learning. ( http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/want_to_learn_a_new_skill_faster_change_up_your_practice_sessions )

A good blog article about the study can be found here:

Scientists Have Found a Technique That Helps You Learn New Skills Twice as Fast ( http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-found-a-technique-that-helps-you-learn-new-skills-twice-as-fast )

In this study, subjects were tested on how quickly they could learn a new skill (moving a cursor on a computer.)

The volunteers were split into three groups, and each spent 45 minutes practising this. Six hours later, one of the groups was asked to repeat the same training exercise again, while another group performed a slightly different version that required different squeezing force to move the cursor.

The third group only completed the first training session, so they could act as a control.

At the end of the training period, everyone was tested on how accurately and quickly they could perform the new skill, and predictably, the control group did the worst after their one training session. But the surprise was that the group that had repeated the original training session actually did worse on the test compared to those who had mixed things up and trained in new areas – in fact, the group that modified their training did twice as well as those who’d repeated the original skill.

Did you get that? The group with the varied practice routine performed twice as well as the group that received a second training on the skill. It’s interesting to note that the groups that performed the best received a second training 6 hours after the first training.

The idea that varied practice leads to stronger learning is not a new one. The authors of the above study call this phenomenon “reconsolidation;” others call it “interleaving.” It’s not a new idea. In the book How We Learn, Benedict Carey points to two other studies, on badminton and beanbags, that show the same results.

 

Richard A. Schmidt and Robert A. Bjork, “New Conceptualizations of Practice: Common Principles in Three Paradigms Suggest New Concepts for Training,” Psychological Science, Vol. 3, No. 4, July 1192, 207-17

R. Kerr and B. Booth, “Specific and Varied Practice of Motor Skill,” Perceptual and Motor Skills, Vol. 46, No. 2, April 1978, 395-401

What can musicians take away from these practice research studies?

  1. A varied practice routine is far more effective than doing the same thing over and over again.
  2. Small changes will yield large gains.
  3. Space out practice sessions to achieve maximum retention.

Ideas for varying practice can be found in several of my blog posts, including

Rhythm Spinner

Grouping Game

Bite Sized Pieces

Karate Chops