Embouchure Variations

Embouchure Variations

What does the “perfect embouchure” look like?

I’ve been asked many times what a “proper” or “perfect” embouchure should look like. The answer is simple: There is no one right way to play the flute.

Go to¬†Larry Krantz’s website where you will see 18 pictures of the lips of professional flutists. (http://www.larrykrantz.com/embpic.htm)

A quick glance of the pictures will show you that there is a wide variation of embouchure formation. Some are off-center. Some of the lips show a pronounced “teardrop” in the middle.

The “teardrop” is a natural feature of some lips. I’ve heard of beginning band directors who will not allow students with a “teardrop” lip to begin playing the flute. That is absolutely ridiculous!

Early in my teaching career, I was interviewed for a book (Sign Me Up!). I talked to the author about how I felt that a child’s interest and enthusiasm were much more important than¬†their physical traits. I still feel that way after 20+ years of teaching.

With enough passion and careful instruction, students will adapt to whatever shape their lips happen to be.

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