Flute Studio

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Welcome to my flute studio.

I believe it is my responsibility as a teacher to provide each and every student with the tools to see music in a new way; it is not a compilation of notes to be conquered or a set of challenges to overcome, but rather a piece of history, a composer’s intention, that must be unearthed through thorough examination and expressed with sincere musicality.

The objective of empowering my students to become informed and expressive musicians, and ultimately inspirational teachers themselves, is achieved through a rigorous curriculum within the school of music. In private lessons, I assign balanced and versatile repertoire; students must be able to master the styles of Bach sonatas, Romantic-era show pieces, the Paris Conservatory test pieces, as well as more contemporary works. Student recitals must be programmed in consultation with me and must contain works from the aforementioned cornerstones of the flute repertoire. Outside of private lessons, flute students gather once a week for studio class. I believe that studio classes are most effective and beneficial when themes and topics are presented one week in advance and each student is expected to prepare excerpts or materials. Examples of studio class topics include selected orchestral excerpts, playing within an orchestral section, unaccompanied repertoire, solo repertoire accompanied by piano, as well as the effect of stress on the body and the importance of stretching and staying active. This studio class atmosphere provides an opportunity for students to perform as well as voice opinions and provide constructive feedback to peers. Classes will be comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students; the older, more experienced students act as an example and role model to the younger students. Other performance opportunities include masterclasses with visiting musicians. A second opinion or an issue met with the fresh eyes and ears of another artist can help students overcome challenges and also allow them to look at the music from another perspective.

 

I firmly believe that a demanding program must be balanced by a supportive and encouraging voice. As I have witnessed in my students of all levels, from beginners in middle school to university students, positive reinforcement fosters self confidence and growth. Ultimately, my program must be tailored to suit each student who is on a unique path. Just as I expect every student to attentively listen to my advice and performances, I too respect each student’s individuality and listen to his or her concerns and goals.

To promote well being, I hope to lead by example and show my students how to take care of ourselves as people as well as musicians. I have personally found a remarkable correlation between my breathing habits as a woodwind player and my active yoga participation; my breath control has improved with every breath-focused yoga class I attend. Other aspects of yoga, including the importance of centering thoughts and focusing, as well as my interest in Alexander technique and the benefits of its stress-eliminating practice, have improved my stage presence and confidence in performances. I share this knowledge and experience with my students by guiding them through simple breathing and stretching exercises.

As much inspiration as I strive to give my students through performance opportunities, peer reviews in studio classes, masterclasses, and positive feedback, I feel as though each student can excel most when he or she takes the tools and practice methods I teach into their own hands to push boundaries, take control of flaws and virtues, and harness the power to become his or her own best teacher. By taking responsibility and holding themselves accountable to the challenges of the program, the student becomes proactive in his or her education and is capable of achieving anything.

Finally, I can only be of service to my students by continually pushing my own boundaries in research and performance. As an active performer and soloist, I improve my craft and am continually immersed in the repertoire that my students seek advice on. My research fuels my drive to perform; I am interested in more obscure flute works and strive to introduce wonderful, yet more unfamiliar music to my audiences and students. Through this fascination with music history and determination to revive important works, I aim to be the most informative and helpful teacher for my students.

To inquire about securing a spot in the flute studio, email caity.massoud@gmail.com.

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