Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) wrote Les Carnaval des Animaux - The Carnival of the Animals, in 1886.

Of the 14 movements in this piece, 3 require a flute/piccolo: Aquarium, Volière and Final. The 10th movement, Volière (The Aviary), is both beautiful and technically challenging. The quickness of some of the passages call for alternative fingerings, which follow.

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote the incidental music to Ein Sommernachtstraum - A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1842.

There are many famous movements in this piece such as the Wedding March, but the Scherzo is one that as flutists we know best since it's an audition excerpt.

Even though Felix Mendelssohn was a romantic composer the Scherzo sounds classical, and we need to approach the general character and articulation of this movement as such.

One of the difficulties that we face as flutists is the need for large volumes of air. This is further aggravated by the need to take breaths in quickly, since many composers often write long phrases or long passages of fast moving notes for the flute.

The following is an exercise that I practice, and that I have my students practice as well, to train ourselves how to breathe and play in the most seamless possible way.

Over the years I've had to remind myself that most of my students belong to a different generation, and that what I say to them might mean something different to them than it does for me. One such example is metronome markings: when I tell my students to practice an excerpt at one tempo several times and then to go up one notch, for them it means to go, let's say, from 80 to 81 bpm, whereas for me it means to go from 80 to 84 bpm. Here is why.

Very often I'm asked by band directors, or see posts on flute forums about which Bb (Bb1 & Bb2) fingering is best to teach first. As frequently, I see passionate responses, as if they were dogma, about what one famous teacher or another said about that subject. I'd like to add my own thoughts, and hopefully present a valid argument to why and when we should use one fingering or another.

This second part of Quick Tone Fixes deals with how to develop a more flexible and consistent tone. It also addresses how to find your own voice by listening and being aware of your tone.

If you go to any university or conservatory practice rooms early in the morning, you’ll hear the sounds of flocks of flutists practicing the “Moyse Exercise” (i.e. exercise 1 from On Sonority, Art & Technique by Marcel Moyse). We all have been told by our teachers that it’s one of the best and most fundamental tone exercises, but what can we do when we want to improve a specific aspect of our tone?

When we have a clear idea of what we want to achieve, it’s easier to reach those goals. Long term goals are important, but it is useful to have specific short term goals for each exercise, particularly for tone development.

In the first movement of Pini di Roma, "I pini di Villa Borghese", Ottorino Respighi writes an F#A3 tremolo in the first flute part.

This tremolo is awkward to play with regular fingerings, and hard to sound with harmonic fingerings (F#1 & A1) without any modifications.

Most of us use the FG3 trill that we first learned where we finger F3 and trill with our thumb. That trill is useful in most situations, but has the disadvantage of yielding a flat G3. What if we needed to play that trill in the orchestra in tune with an oboe? 

Many flute players have requested this fingering repeatedly in the FLUTELIST forum, which I posted a few years ago (2004-09-22).

Antonín Dvořák's Cello Concerto, op.104 is a favorite among cellists, audiences, and flute players. It features the flute prominently in many solos and dialogues with the soloist.

At the end of the first movement, in the first flute part, Dvořák writes a high B to high C# trill (B3C#4). Most flutists, including myself, tend to forget how to play that trill since it's seldom used in the flute repertoire.