Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and I’ll earn a commission if you shop through them

My first memories of music is playing a keyboard around the age of 6. My father taught me the music he created himself (which I am waiting patiently to publish) and so music was a big part of my life. I was pretty good at it. Even though my hands were tiny and still are, I never had problems with playing pieces like Fur Elise (Although I never got passed the first part and played a lot slower!)

Cover tiny file
look inside
Fur Elise – Easy Piano
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Edited by Dale Tucker. Masterworks; Piano Solo; Solo. Classics Made Easy Series. Classical Period. Single piece. With fingerings and easy piano notation (does not include words to the songs). 3 pages. Published by Alfred Music (AP.6707FP2X).

 

As I got older I got interested in guitar and had a few lessons, but I didn’t like the idea of singing so that didn’t last very long.

It was when I got into high school that I found my instrument, the Flute. My high school offered a music class for grade 8 and then you could join the high school band after school in the following grades. Those were the best experiences of my life because we went on field trips to Ottawa and played in local community events.

I can’t really remember what I kind of exercises I did, but I do remember sitting with the band practicing the pieces my teacher chose for the next concert. I practiced a lot, and my father even bought me a flute to encourage my playing.

Unfortunately the first flute did not work very well, and it was returned and I remember thinking that we had to get one that was double the price to have a decent sounding flute.

I wish I could say that from that point on my flute ability improved considerably and I was admitted to the finest School of Music…

No! I quit Band in Grade 11 to pursue other interests. My flute stayed in the box for the next 14 years.

Now I play regularly at a local church, and help out at my children’s school. I help girls (there are no boys interested in learning flute) as young as 8 to play the flute and it just amazes me the way they can learn and progress…

So if you think you can’t learn an instrument as an adult, think again! I taught myself how to play again and maybe I’ll never be a “professional music performer” but I love playing and learning more techniques. Here are my best tips to picking up the flute again after 14 years…

How to learn an instrument as an adult

 

1. Buy an instrument based on quality

You are not a child and you will probably not break your instrument, or drop it, or sit on it. There are many cheap flutes out there, but if you are serious about playing, then I would suggest to go to an actual music store and try out several flutes. Even the most expensive, well, maybe not, because I’d be scared to touch this flute {Pearl Vigore 695RBEVGR 695 Dolce Vigore Open Hole B Foot Split E Flute, C} . Some music stores have a wide sale every year, and I’ve been to one, where they take out all the instruments and you can go in and try them. Try to find a flute that fits your hands, and try out some student models (the sales team will know what that means).

 

2. Get a Method Book

Essential Elements is what my children’s school uses, and is a great tool. It has an online feature where you can log in and listen to all the practice exercises.

Cover tiny file
look inside
Essential Elements for Band – Flute Book 1 with EEi
Essential Elements for Band. Instructional and Play Along. Softcover Media Online. 48 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.862566).

 

3. Practice 30 mins daily.

I mean it..practice 30 minutes every day, whether it’s just you trying to get a noise out of the flute. This can be one of the most discouraging and lengthy parts of learning the flute. Your mouth needs to be relaxed, your throat needs to be open and if you smile, you won’t get any note out. The trick is figuring out your sweet spot on your face, usually located right under your bottom lip, in the crease between your lip and chin.

Cover tiny file
look inside
Complete Daily Exercises for the Flute – Flute Tutor
Essential Practice Material for All Intermediate to Advanced Flautists. Music Sales America. Softcover. 128 pages. Novello & Co Ltd. #NOV120850. Published by Novello & Co Ltd. (HL.14036424).

 

4. Practice long, boring, one note sounds.

If you haven’t already passed out from blowing into the flute really hard to get a note, then you are ready for taking the longest note possible. One of the reasons we get winded from playing is because we haven’t exercised our diaphragm to sustain long notes. Unless you are a singer of course. Take a deep breath right now and slowly exhale it out… easy right? You can probably count to 12 and are still exhaling… now try doing that on the flute. It’s easy when you have only one note to think about, but when you start adding 2, 4, or 8 different notes, our minds and body might get messed up and we have trouble keeping our breath in check.

Cover tiny file
look inside
Flute Aerobics
Flute Instruction. Softcover Audio Online. 112 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.141372).

 

5. Practice your scales!

This is great for finger coordination. This is also a boring exercise but very important! It will help with finger movement, going from one note to another. Some notes require all the fingers, like E-Flat, or only one finger like C-sharp. It can be tricky to simultaneously press the needed keys at the same time. Only practice will fix that.

Cover tiny file
look inside
The Flute Scale Book
A Path to Artistry. Method. Book. With standard notation. Theodore Presser Company #414-41206. Published by Theodore Presser Company (PR.414412060).

 

 

So there you have it. Please keep in mind that learning an instrument is a long process, and you will not sound like all those music covers you watch on youtube for a couple years (if at all, but don’t let that determine your own ability to learn!)

Do you have a question or want to talk to me about your favorite instrument?? I love to chat about music so leave a comment below!