The Flute Show - flute expert
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About The Flute Show
Robert Estrin

Robert Estrin is a pianist who truly lives his instrument. Not only does he play and teach with proficiency and passion, but he also knows just about everything there is to know about pianos - from their construction to their history. Music is "all in the family" for Robert, with his father, Morton, a concert pianist; his sister, Coren, a pianist as well; his wife, Florence, an accomplished flutist; and his daughter, Jennifer, a violinist of great acclaim.

Robert studied piano and French horn at New York City's Manhattan School of Music, and he also received a degree in piano performance from Indiana University. He performs with symphony orchestras, at arts festivals, for music teachers' associations, at museums, and on college campuses. His most unique performance experience, however, is his Living Piano: Journey Through Time. In this creative endeavor, Robert dresses in period costumes and plays historic instruments, from his own collection, to tell the story of the piano over time to a wide variety of audiences - not just piano enthusiasts.

Robert maintains a vibrant online presence, with countless videos on YouTube and through Virtual Sheet Music. His videos, which have been viewed by millions, are engaging, entertaining, informative, and sure to enhance the knowledge, skills, and overall playing experience of pianists from beginners to the most advanced.


Florence Estrin

Florence Estrin and her "Family of Flutes" - bass, alto, piccolo, and standard - have won audiences over and introduced thousands to the beauty of her beloved instrument.

At just 19 years of age, Florence made her solo New York City debut with an acclaimed performance of Ibert's flute concerto with the 92nd Street Y Orchestra. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Before settling in Orange County, California, Florence taught at Evansville University in Indiana.
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Irwin on June 17, 2017 @10:46 am PST
Hi, I've been playing flute for 2 years and have difficulty with how much pressure against the chin vs. pushing the flute away. I really enjoy your flute videos on youtube.
Karlon on March 16, 2017 @11:20 am PST
Hi Florence, Two questions please: 1. I just saw a presentation on embouchure. I play on and Pearl forte headjoint but I also have a Trevor James Oxley headjoint. I like to practice on both flutes. Will switching back and forth mess-up my embochure? I'm really working on my sound quality and sometimes I sound better on one than the other (ugh!!) 2. My Pearl is a 10K med wall that the TJ is a heavy wall does that create problems practicing from one to the other? Thanks. I look forward to your response.
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Florence Estrin - host, on March 23, 2017 @5:09 pm PST
You may find it confusing switching back and forth. I used to switch from my Powell to my Haynes when the Powell was in the shop but I used the same head joint on both. I would suggest you decide which head joint you prefer and if you need to switch flutes hopefully your preferred head joint fits the other flute. If it is slightly loose you can use some silver tape (you can find this at an art supply store) to help fit it. If it is too big you are out of luck. However, if the only time you are playing your 2nd favorite flute is when the other one is being repaired I think you should progress well.
Karlon on March 24, 2017 @6:42 am PST
Thank you so much. I think that really clears up the issue and as well, helps me make some decisions!
jase nick on March 6, 2017 @5:23 pm PST
Dear Ms. Florence...
What's the correct embouchure for Low C? I just learned how to play flute, and it is so hard to maintain good and loud low keys... is that possible??
and, my dream is to become a great flutist just like you, so how much practice time that I need everyday to become someone as professional as you😀
And why you never posted a video again... your videos are very nice and instructable☺😀
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Florence Estrin - host, on March 23, 2017 @4:59 pm PST
Check out my video "How to develop security on the low register of the flute". Also, if your flute is leaking (the pads are not sealing properly) the low register suffers the most. As far as practicing, the most important thing is consistency. Practice EVERY day. Practice efficiently-it is not the sheer hours you put into it , it is the quality of your practice time.
Esther on September 15, 2016 @6:53 pm PST
Thankyou so much for all your educational videos!

No matter how hard I try, I can't accomplish a good sound above high D....any tips? Is it possible that the high notes just won't work on my student flute?
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Florence on September 18, 2016 @1:22 pm PST
Check your cork position! Please reference how to do that from my previous reply below. Two videos that may benefit you are "How to change octaves on the flute" and "How to play loud and Soft."
Marian on April 20, 2016 @3:48 am PST
Florence, really appreciate the instructional videos you post with your husband The Flute Show. They are so useful and interesting. I am really struggling with my embouchure eg adjusting my lips out like a kiss for the high register and a wider, less "stuck out" for the lower register. However, it seems to make no difference when I adjust my lips. C# is still sharp and the low register is flat. What can I do to exercise these movements (are you a fan of buzzing?) or otherwise to develop my lip muscles so these embouchure adjustments make a difference? Thank you!
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Florence on September 18, 2016 @1:17 pm PST
Check your cork position. You do this by taking the head joint and putting your cleaning rod in it. The line on the cleaning rod should be centered in the embouchure hole. If it is not, the intonation can be terrible. If it needs to come in more, loosen the crown of the flute and then push it till the line is centered. If it needs to go the other way you can push it with the cleaning rod. As far as your low register being flat, this is the situation on older flutes before the adjusted scale came about in the 70s. First Powell produced the "Cooper" scale design and then eventually most if not all flute makers adopted aspects of it. However, it is totally possible to play in tune on these older models. You may want to watch my video "How to play loud and soft." Make sure you are not dropping your face down when playing in the low register. Also, make sure you do not roll the flute towards you. Spread your lips for playing loud and bring them forward from the sides of your mouth to play softly.
Middle C# is the sharpest note on the flute. You must adjust by aiming your air far down into the embouchure hole- but do it without rolling in! Open your throat. Be careful not to overblow. Practice long tones every day to develop your lip muscles as described in my "How to play loud and soft" video.
James on March 25, 2016 @2:46 am PST
Hey I have this problem where when i double tongue the lower notes like D and Eb the sound dosent come out enough and too soft, it's it because of my tonguing?
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Florence on September 17, 2016 @4:47 pm PST
Double tonguing in the low register requires that you keep your tongue further back in your mouth. Try using Duh Guh instead of Ti Ki or Tu Ku.
Tehillah * VSM MEMBER * on March 7, 2016 @1:45 pm PST
Hi, Florence:

I've started playing daily again after a few years of sporadic playing and notice that my throat gets little hoarse after playing for an hour or so. What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance!
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Robert * VSM MEMBER * on March 9, 2016 @1:02 pm PST
I have never experienced that problem or witnessed it with any of my students. I would encourage you to talk with your doctor.
Tehillah * VSM MEMBER * on March 11, 2016 @1:56 pm PST
Robert, I was referring to flute playing, not piano. I directed question to Florence that's why I didn't specify "flute." I apologize for confusion.
Raul Tellez Rangel on September 26, 2015 @5:54 pm PST
My flute won't play D,E,F and G and I want to yous it in a wedding in 3 months.
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Florence - host, on September 28, 2015 @12:00 pm PST
It seems it is time to visit your flute repairman! It could just be a problem with the g key because if that is out of adjustment it would also affect the notes below g. However, if you have had the flute in the closet for a while it is possible you could have more serious issues.
Patsy Ann Simik on September 5, 2015 @4:21 pm PST
Ms. Estrin: Do you offer on-line flute lessons (such as Artist Works). I'm currently at mid-elementary level (Rubank). Perhaps the program would be for serious artists (I'm retired, able to read music and able to play the piano). Would I be able to work at my own pace over a couple of months? Thank you, Patsy Ann Simik
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Florence - host, on September 6, 2015 @12:52 pm PST
I currently do not have online flute lessons. If you have any questions about flute playing I am happy to respond here through Virtual Sheet Music and perhaps make a video addressing your question.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on September 7, 2015 @1:07 pm PST
Patsy, we are working to allow video lessons here on Virtual Sheet Music. It is just a matter of time, but soon everyone will be able to have video music lessons on these very pages. We'll let you know as soon as we'll be ready. Stay tuned!
Laurie Hufford * VSM MEMBER * on July 17, 2015 @8:08 pm PST
What would you recommend for breathing in Bach Inventions..., specifically Invention no. 1 ? I find it difficult to insert breaths without being obvious during sections of this invention. Any suggestions?
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Florence Estrin on July 22, 2015 @3:42 pm PST
Bach is always challenging for breathing! The Bach inventions are written for keyboard instruments. So, Bach didn't have breathing in mind when writing these works. However, there is still the sense of breath in all music! In any music that has continuous notes you should breathe more frequently with quicker breaths so that they are imperceptible. This way the musical line doesn't get interrupted. Also, in places in the invention that have eighth notes as opposed to sixteenth notes, it is easier to sneak a breath in without disturbing the phrase. As always, make sure you take a very large breath at the very beginning.
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