All You Need to Know to Start Flute Lessons | Lessonface

All You Need to Know to Start Flute Lessons

Are you or your child starting to learn to play the flute? Read on for advice from the experienced flutists and flute educators of Lessonface for what you will need to get started.

Required Supplies for Beginning Flute

Of course you do need an instrument in order to begin lessons on the flute. Juilliard graduate Barbara Siesel recommends, "Although it would be great for a student to have a flute before starting lessons, I can also help them figure out what to get before they spend a lot of money. For example they may want to rent a flute, or buy a flute. It's most important that they bring a notebook, and maybe some blank staff paper if they are beginners. If more advanced they can bring what music and supplies they already have."

In addition, professional music instructor and church musician Dawn Linebarrier suggests, "To have successful lessons, the student needs an instrument, music stand, method book, and metronome. The teacher will guide the student in selection of the method book. The student also needs to have a pencil at each lesson. A tuner is a helpful tool during practice sessions."

Where to Find Flute Supplies

Woodwind specialist Julie Pacheco told us, "It is always a good idea to talk about instruments and supplies with the teacher before buying anything. I've had some students come to first lessons with very cheap instruments they bought on Amazon or Ebay and the instruments didn't play well at all, making it much harder for the students to learn anything. When you're just starting out on the flute, all you need is a beginner instrument, but even within the beginner level of instrument there is a wide range of quality. There are certain brands (Yamaha, Armstrong, Pearl, Jupiter, Azumi, older Gemeinhardts) that are known for making high quality beginner instruments."

For online supplies, Siesel recommends Flute World.

Background Knowledge for Starting Flute

All of our flute teachers agree there is no background knowledge needed prior to beginning the flute, but Siesel does have one recommendation. She says, "Most of my students start the flute because they love the sound or love how shiny and beautiful it is to look at!  But, it's important to know that making a sound on the flute can be difficult in the beginning and to be ready for a little time getting used to blowing into the flute.  Of course every instrument has difficulties so it shouldn't keep you from beginning the flute."

Flute Instrument Maintenance 

As all flutists know, keeping the instrument clean is an important part of playing. Jazz and classical expert Alexandre Madeline informs, "Clean it after playing every time! It is also important to put the instrument in the case when you don't play."

Siesel goes into further detail, "Most flutes come with a stick that looks like a big needle- that is called the cleaning rod. Since flutes can get a bit damp after we play for awhile it's good to clean them out after each use. You take that big needle (cleaning rod) and "thread" it with a cotton cloth and push the cloth through the 3 parts of the flute to dry it out. You can also wipe down the outside of your flute."

Pacheco gives advice on purchasing a cleaning rod, "If you get a cleaning rod, it's good to get a plastic or wood cleaning one because metal rods can scratch the inside of the flute."

Recommended Songs for Flute Inspiration

Madeline's favorite song is Bach's Partita in A minor.

Linebarrier's favorite piece is Sicilienne by Gabriel Faure.

Pacheco enjoys Telemann.

More About the Flute Teachers Feature in this Article

Now that you know what you need to get started with flute lessons, sign up for your first lesson today! Choose one of the fantastic and qualified teachers featured on Lessonface to take the next step in your musical journey.

Barbara Siesel graduated from Juilliard with a BM and MM. In addition to being a music educator, Barbara has founded and continues to build new projects surrounding music.
Dawn Linebarrier has been teaching adults and children for over 16 years. In addition to playing flute, Dawn is also an accomplished clarinet and piano player.
Julie Pacheco is a woodwind specialist. She teaches and freelances in New York, as well as plays in numerous orchestras. Julie has played in over 40 musical productions, including many on Broadway. 
Alexandre Madeline is a well versed flute and saxophone player. He has been lucky enough to play all over the world. Alexandre received his diploma in jazz and classical studies before attending Berklee College of Music.