The Flute Show - flute expert

Are Private Lessons Needed?

Learn more about the usefulness of private lessons

In this video, Robert and Florence Estrin tackle the subject of Private Lessons by giving you a clear explanation of why your child might need private lessons even if they are only playing in the school band.

Released on February 4, 2015

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Robert: Hi, I'm Robert Estrin here at Welcome to The Flute Show with Florence Estrin. And today's subject is if your child plays in a band, do they need private lessons? This is a great question I'm sure a lot of you are interested in. And this is not just for flute. This goes for all instruments. Welcome, Florence, and maybe you can shed some light into the subject.

Florence: Okay. So band is a wonderful thing to participate in for all people including adults, by the way. But when it really comes to it, it's not a substitute for a great private teacher. Flute is a great example of that in that flute is maybe a little bit more tricky for a lot of kids to start learning how to get a sound out of and getting a good sound out of it. It's really important to have a teacher who can, you know, just tweak the flute on the kid's face. I'd have a student right over here and they're getting a fuzzy sound and I just like, this way or that way just tiny things that you can see from years of experience. You can just see exactly where it needs to be and boom. Then they get a great sound. It's really not the same thing in a band class where you have a teacher who has to handle all sorts of kids with all sorts of instruments.

Robert: And the band directors really appreciate the kids who have private lessons.

Florence: Absolutely.

Robert: It makes their job a lot easier.

Florence: Absolutely. Now, the other thing is that in band oftentimes there are auditions for different seats, and kids want to win this competition. They want to be able to compete well. And some kids who are taking private lessons always have a huge advantage. So it's really tough for a kid who doesn't have the private lessons to compete on that level.

Robert: Absolutely.

Florence: Now the other thing is that it's not just flute that this is about. Our two kids both took up violin when they were quite young. And it's really interesting, because anytime I would tell somebody that our kids were taking violin, they'd go, "Oh, gosh. How can you stand it? It must make this horrible sound, squeaking, squawking. My kid took it in school and it just, ugh. They sounded like this." And the two of us would look at each other. It was like, "No, not at all." They were never getting a bad sound out of the instrument because so much time was given to the setup. And it's the same thing with the flute or any other instrument.

Robert: It makes all the difference in the world. So that's the advice, I guess. Get your kids private lessons if they're in the band or orchestra or even the choir. Having some training can really make it more enjoyable and enriching, and they're more likely to succeed and stay with it. Well, listen, thanks so much, Florence, and this is The Flute Show. I'm Robert Estrin here at We'll see you next time.
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