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How do I Become a Flautist?

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  • Written By: Erica Stratton
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a flautist, you will need time, patience, and practice. There are several options for learning to play a wind instrument, from teaching yourself to attending a conservatory. The type of lesson that will be the best fit for you depends on your learning style, your goals, and to some degree your budget.

To begin, you will need an instrument to practice on. You can either purchase your own flute, or rent one from a music store. There are several kinds of flutes to choose from, from the Indian bamboo flute to the Western concert flute. If you rent, it will allow you to see if the instrument you've chosen is a good fit for you with a minimum of risk.

Some beginners find it most comfortable to teach themselves to become a flautist. There are many books, videos, and websites devoted to self-tutoring. For example, you can read several online guides that show the proper way to form your lips into an "embouchure," the best mouth position for blowing air into the flute.

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Others wanting to become a flautist benefit from the structure of attending a class. You don't necessarily need to learn to play while still very young — many colleges offer music courses. If you are at an advanced skill level, you can also take graduate school courses to become a flautist, or enter a music conservatory. Since there are relatively few positions for the flute in a high level orchestra, higher education courses strictly for playing the flute are extremely competitive.

Once you have chosen your instrument, you will need to practice regularly in order to become a flautist. Just like any other skill, gaining mastery of the flute requires constant practice. Even on vacation, top flautists will practice their technique for several hours a day in order to keep "in shape."

When you have gained the appropriate level of skill, you may want to seek out a position that involves playing the flute. To get a permanent place in an orchestra, a flautist may be evaluated for a period of several years before getting a tenured position. Other examples involve becoming part of a local musician's group, becoming a teacher, or providing live music as part of theater.

An important part of learning to play any instrument is immersing yourself in the work of other musicians. Wherever you are in the learning process, listening to flute music, watching videos of orchestral performances, and talking with your local musicians can all help you improve your technique.

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