Flute Overhaulin’

Wow! Just got my flute back after a long overdue overhaul and I cannot believe the difference! The sound is so resonant, the low notes come out without coaxing, and the runs really rip. It’s amazing!

Finding good repair people can be really difficult, but I have had excellent luck sending mine to the US distributor for Miyazawa Flutes, West Music in Coralville, Iowa. I play a hybrid, a Miyazawa PCM body with a silver Powell head, so sending it to the Miyazawa shop just makes sense to me. The tech Erik did such a great job! It was a complete overhaul, new springs, new corks, those fancy Straubinger pads, and a thorough clean and polish. It looks like a new flute, it is so shiny now. They even crafted and installed a brass nut to replace the washers and putty that I had put in the crown when I was experimenting with adding weight to the head, ala Patricia George. I bet that was a nasty little surprise when they pushed out the cork!

Because it has a ‘foreign’ head joint, all the repair techs had to try it out. The reviews sounded favorable, but Erik did comment on my “funny old head joint”. I had to politely point out that the body is older than the head.

My poor flute had gotten so bad that I was convinced that I needed a new flute (of course, who doesn’t think that!), but now I think I can hang on a little longer. Though I take great pride in being able to do basic cleaning and oiling and make some adjustments myself, I will definitely not let it go so long next time. I’m always telling students to go get their flutes fixed, it’s about time I followed that advice!

Flutes in Space

Hope everyone had a festive and safe St. Patrick’s Day! Here is another Flute Treat for you. In case you did not know, one of the astronauts on the International Space Station right now is also flute player and she has been posting videos of her playing different flutes in space. Imagine what it must be like to play flute in zero gravity!

Here is a link to her St. Patrick’s Day video, playing a 100 year old Irish flute loaned to her by one of the fabulous Chieftains. Enjoy!

Welcome to Practicing Flutist!

Hello!  If you have visited the previous incarnation of this site, you may notice that I am changing the format.  This will take a little time, but I hope that once it is done, I will be able to offer regularly updated current issues content as well as useful information about practicing the flute in a format that is hopefully both fun and easy to use.

In the works are weekly tips for practicing, articles on specific flute practice issues like intonation and technique,  announcements and discussions of fun, new flute stuff like recordings, videos, books, etc., all things flute!  Much like it was before, but in a more user-friendly (and author-friendly!) format.

So here are links to the latest “Flute Treat”, the release of flutist extraordinaire Greg Patillo and Project Trio’s newest EP, available for download.  This group really tears it up!



what a pretty new flute

Well it came today!  A beautiful, shiny, new flute from Burkhart that I get to try for the next week.  It’s so exciting!  It’s been a long time since I seriously thought about buying a new flute, but it is time for a change.  There are so many flutes to choose from these days!  It wasn’t so long ago that there were only two real choices for serious flutists.  When it was time to get “the flute”, the one you went to college with or got just after graduation, you bought a Powell or Haynes.  Now there are lots of great flutemakers offering all kinds of options.  Wading through all those choices is overwhelming, but I think I have it narrowed down to two, and Burkhart is one.  Can’t wait to really play it!