How To Love Your Flute . . .

August 17, 2017 | Bill V.

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I blame my hippie-child older sister Mary for exposing me at an impressionable age to the flute. She owned Paul Horn's album Inside (later reissued as Inside the Taj Mahal) featuring him playing the flute inside the Taj and these amazing echoes. I listened to it over and over and over until I wore a groove into it. Was it the seductive sound of the echoing flute or the tiny crush I had on Paul Horn? Hard to say, but ever since I've been cursed to be a flute lover. 

Paul Horn Inside The Taj Mahal

Lately my thoughts have been turning to "what will I do in retirement?" I began to imagine teaching myself how to play the flute just like Paul Horn.


 The first book I came across was How To Love Your Flute: A Guide to Flutes and Flute Playing. 

I was very excited to see Paul Horn wrote the prelude (how much synchronicity can a simple librarian stand!!):

"Shepard has come up with the most unique flute manual I have ever seen. It is direct, complete, informative on every aspect, and – most important – comes from the standpoint of pure love and respect for the instrument. . . . This book serves as a model for our times, and it is an inspiration for those who want to get more out of life through the joys of flute playing." -Paul Horn


How to love your flute  a guide to flutes and flute playing

Once I started doing some research, I found there was a lot of material on how to play the flute. I liked Tipbook Flute and Piccolo: The Complete Guide because it has sections on how to buy a flute and what kind of instrument I should consider – in addition to practical tips and techniques on how to play. Good for the newbie. At the same time, I could see how I Used to Play Flute: An Innovative Method for Adults Returning to Play would be really helpful to someone returning to the flute.

  Tipbook Flute and Piccolo The Complete Guide    I Used To Play Flute An Innovative Method For Adults Returning To Play

There is also:

One day though, I hope to be able to benefit from something a bit more advanced like Nancy Toff's The Flute Book: a Complete Guide for Students and Performers.

The Flute Book A Complete Guide for Students and Performers

There is also the well respected Michel Debost's The Simple Flute From A-Z.

The Simple Flute From A to Z

Also, for the more advanced student, there is a master class DVD of Emmanuel Pahud at the Royal Academy of Music, London works for flute: Hüe, Sancan and Schubert.

  Ultimate Beginner Series Flute Basics 

Not surprisingly, for such an interesting instrument, in addition to Paul Horn, there have been many famous flautists including:

Looking at Sir James Galway's works you see a lot of sheet music that he's produced for the flute. The Toronto Reference Library Arts Department has over 30,000 music scores, most of which you can borrow, including lots on flute music. It's great to come up to the fifth floor and browse, but you can also place these on hold and pick up at your local branch library. To give a hint of the riches that await you . . .

  100 Flute Solos

100 Solos, Flute is a music score collection that's graded and has arranged flute solos that do not require any accompaniment. In terms of other sheet music there's also:

There's also sheet music for flute and guitar, flute and piano, flute at Christmas time or flute with other instruments.

And for those jazz hipsters out there . . . there are jazz flute music scores and some jazz flute books too. Who knew?

So, why not discover your inner musician just waiting to bloom at your local public library branch?