Ellen DeCarlo

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Music and teaching are such enjoyable parts of my life!  I love playing flute and sharing what I learn with others.  After starting my music training on piano, I decided to concentrate on playing the flute eventually earning my college degree in music as a flutist.

I decided in kindergarten that I wanted to be a teacher.  So, after college graduation, I became an adjunct music professor in the community college system, a preschool and elementary school classroom teacher, and a private music instructor.

A few of the ensembles in which I play include West County Winds (a community band), Bell' Aria Flute Ensemble (a group ranging from two through nine or more members), Silverwood Trio (two flutes and one cello), and more.  As a solo flutist, I create recordings and perform at various events in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.  I am excited about playing music and want to help others enjoy it, too!

Of course, there are other things about my life that I find special.  These include my two sons, two cats, two chickens, an edible garden, and my friends.

I'm friendly and I look forward to each of our lessons together.  Your enjoyment of music is important to me.  I like to point out the positive things that you do as a musician  and  guide you toward improving whatever weaknesses you may, or may feel,  you have.  I take your desire to learn seriously and will often research new and inventive ways  to help you grow as a musician.  

I will guide you through playing your exercises and musical selections by  talking, singing, or playing the flute.  I am supportive, patient, and positive that you can succeed.

Master of Science in Education (1997) and Bachelor of Arts in Music (1975): California State University Hayward (now CSU East Bay) .

California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with Supplementary Authorization in Music (1981-present).

California Community College Lifetime Limited Service Teaching Credential.

National Board-Certified Teacher in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood (2009-2019).

Coordinator and performer for quarterly concerts sponsored by a local church (2008-present).

Member of San Francisco based Bell' Aria Flute Ensemble, Silverwood Trio, and other ensembles.

Member of West County Winds Symphonic Band, Contra Costa County, California.

I like to find out what you are interested in doing with music.  Are you just starting to learn?  Do you want to practice hard to compete with others?  Is your goal to study flute in a traditional manner with the hope of performing in an orchestra?  Are you returning to playing an instrument after keeping it stored away for a while?  Do you want to develop basic skills just so you can enjoy playing?

When I have an idea of your expectations, then I would like us to develop, and revise as necessary, your individualized plan for reaching your dream.

So, what might we do in a lesson?  I will try to answer/solve any questions/problems that you discovered during your past music practices.  You will play your instrument while I watch and listen for anything that might inhibit successful playing.  Perhaps I will ask you to try different things or experiment.  I might play for you to show you some things to try.  We might look at illustrations or listen to helpful examples.

At the conclusion of the lesson we will review the main points, I will suggest ideas for your upcoming practice sessions, and I might provide you with written notes to remind you what we covered and what you should practice.

Any method books, student texts, or music literature that you use will be determined by your music objectives, your likes, and your skill level.  We might start off with materials you already have, and later I might make recommendations based on your individualized plan.

The materials may include:  tone development studies, technical studies (scales/common patterns/arpeggios, exercises that develop the use of the tongue to articulate sounds), short-term studies/etudes, long-term music pieces,  orchestral studies,  or literature from any ensemble in which you play. 



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