I'm happy to announce that this August I will be joining the outstanding music faculty at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music/Flute.
I'm looking forward to sharing more flute blurbs and concert announcements as they unfold. Stay tuned.....
Competitions and recitals are always optional for my private flute students, but they can be a lot of fun. Check out ones that you may be eligible to do or see:
Choosing a flute solo for a flute competition in Middle School can be a big challenge. You want to find one that's easy to memorize, fun to play, and challenging (but not too difficult). Some pieces sound easier than they are and vice versa.
Plan to pick a solo that was originally written for the flute and that's not an arrangement of a piano solo, orchestral piece, or Disney tune. Often you will find judges at competitions have strong opinions and you want to set yourself up for success by picking a piece they find suitable. If you don't know where to start, check out my top five recommendations.
Movement II: Sonata in Eb Major by J.S. Bach is a beautiful choice. It looks harder on the page than it is to perform because it's written with a lot of sixteenth notes. I like this one a lot. Breathing can be a challenge, so be sure to plan out your breaths in advance of the performance and write them into your music.
Gavotte by Gossec is a standard "first" flute solo and you've probably got it in a flute solo collection you already own. It has an easy piano part and requires some dynamic contrast. The breathing isn't too difficult, but make sure that the fast spot is possible before diving in. To do it well at competitions make sure you're practicing lots of scales slurred and tongued.
Movement II: Idylle from Godard's Suite is a beautiful piece that requires a lot of breath support and projection. It's a mature piece when a flutist is ready to use air to his/her full advantage.
Movement I of La Flute de Pan by J. Mouquet is a great option for an advanced Middle School flutist. It requires good rhythm, focused tone, and musical timing.
Sonata in G Major by Telemann offers several movements to choose from. You can select one movement or perform them all, depending on the time constraints and rules of the competition. Breathing is easier in this piece and you'll want to work with a teacher on how to approach the trills. Check it out!
“Music is love in search of a word.”
― Sidney Lanier
The Encouragement: Pick a solo that pushes your boundaries as a performer and sparks your desire to master it. Be realistic (with the help of a teacher) and be brave. There's beautiful music within your reach no matter what your ability level currently is.
The Challenge: Pick a solo that you can love. It doesn't have to be a perfect piece of music that reflects everything you love about the flute, but it needs to have an "it" factor. The flute solos you perform in high school help shape how you view performing and practicing. If you don't love how it sounds you'll be left with loving the competition more than the music itself.
This Collection: Here are six recordings of flute pieces that are worth a look. Enjoy!
Ellen Johnson Mosley is a flutist & fan of fine television.