Crafting the Beautiful Etude - July 2020

About Crafting the Beautiful Etude with Amy Likar and Rena Urso

Transform a technical etude into a soloistic work and find greater ease and fluidity in your playing.

What problems are we solving?

  1. The challenge that many flutists experience with the study and performance of standard etudes, specifically how to play technical etudes as musically as possible.
  2. Finding more ease in our bodies as a whole when practicing etudes.
  3. Whole body organization; application of basic Body Mapping as it relates to music making in etudes. 

How would this class serve the participants who take it?

  1. Explore ways to break things down into smaller, more manageable chunks, always in a musical fashion.
  2. Apply Body Mapping to the whole process.
  3. Discover how  to “mine for the melody” in each etude.
  4. Create phrases and phraselets. 
  5. Apply practice techniques to make phrasing and body organization easier. 
  6. Discover the etudes that also work well on the piccolo.

What we will do.

  1. Work with students both individually and as a group, providing clear and useful feedback that is constructive and applicable to other areas of their playing. 
  2. Help students extract as much as they possibly can musically from the etudes with the end goal for each etude to making them sound more like unaccompanied solo works instead of technical studies. 

This is a 3-week course showcasing etudes from:

Anderson Op. 30 No. 1, 3, and 6
Anderson Op. 15 No. 1, 3, and 6

How It Works

Students can connect to the online platform using a tablet or computer with reliable internet. To actively participate online students also need a webcam with microphone. The live sessions are recorded so that all enrolled students can review the class sessions following the live class. Class recordings will be available for viewing within 48 hours of the live class. The class is covered by the Lessonface Guarantee



The class will meet for 3 90-min live online sessions on the following schedule:

Wednesdays, 12 pm EDT | 9 am PDT | 16:00 UTC.

  • July 22
  • July 29
  • August 5

Class is limited to 15 performers. There's no limit for auditor seats.

Enrolled students receive lifetime access to the video recordings of the classes.

  • Signed up already? Click here.


    About Amy Likar

    Amy Likar, flute and piccolo, is a San Francisco Bay Area based performing and teaching artist. Equally at home in an orchestra, as a chamber musician or as a soloist, Amy is also a passionate and committed teacher of all ages. As member of the Oakland Symphony, she is committed to the symphony’s mission of classical music for all and mentors for their Music for Excellence Program and advocates for music education on a regular basis. For almost twenty years she has been an innovator and educator for musicians’ wellness as a teacher of Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique. She is the Director of Training for the Association of Body Mapping Education (formerly Andover Educators), a not for profit organization of music educators committed to saving, securing, and enhancing musical careers by providing accurate information about the body in movement.


    About Rena Urso

    Rena Urso enjoys a flourishing career as a freelance orchestral and chamber musician all over California. In addition to being on the faculty at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University Long Beach and California State University Stanislaus, she is the Second Flutist of the Oakland Symphony and the Oregon Coast Music Festival Orchestra. She previously held Piccolo positions and performed on many US tours with the New York City Opera National Company and San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater. Rena performs frequently with many of the orchestras throughout California including the San Francisco Opera, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Monterey, Marin, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, Modesto, and California Symphonies, Carmel Bach Festival, and Festival Mozaic. She has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Hawaii Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra. As a versatile musician who has recorded for video games, television, radio, and film, Rena has also performed extensively with the National Tours of Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.

    Students Say

    I think that this class went beautifully through what it said it was out to do (navigate the hidden beauty of Andersen etudes) but also so much more. I had lessons with Amy before and I remember telling her that lots of those little adjustments or exercises she taught me were like "magic". Now, this "magic" was explained through body-mapping and mindfulness training that both Amy and Rena discussed throughout the class; it still feels like magic but I know more of how it works instead of mere bewilderment. Feeling embodied in the act of practicing and in performing helped enrich my experience of music as not only temporal but also spatial– the room I'm in and my situated-ness in it... or in other words the "environment"/ world I'm in also help contribute to the creation of music and is not just internal. So in other words, it was a great class that exceeded my expectations in terms of flute playing as it also affected me philosophically and improved my sense of well-being.

    — Elijah

    This was an excellent class. Amy and Rena worked well together alternating between Body Mapping exploration and musical exploration. They are both articulate, empathetic and perceptive. They had lots of ideas on how to practice, how to find music within a study and how to coordinate body movement with musical intention.

    — Verified Student on Lessonface

    It was fun and I really appreciated learning about the omohyoid muscle! I always need to think ease and awareness when I play. I can manage 10 seconds, I think! Lots of good information this morning and I found my playing much clearer when I thought about my tongue staying more relaxed and forward and not back in my throat.

    — Tony L.


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