Learning and playing a “C” on the flute is a fundamental pillar of Book 1. From Cuckoo to Bourée, C is found in every piece consecutively for a great reason: it’s challenging to play, yet a vital part of beginning the flute! Balancing the flute while playing is an excellent skill to acquire at such a young age, since one of the major challenges of playing is keeping the flute stable to make a consistent, beautiful sound.
Before C comes along, you should be looking for signs of good hand posture. Lets start with the basics:
ONE: Your child’s right thumb should be sitting on the underside of the tube, opposite of the keys, roughly between the F and E key on their instrument. Everyone’s thumb will sit differently, but we’re NOT looking for the flute to rest on the thumb knuckle or the side of the thumb – it should always rest on the fleshy part of the thumb.
TWO: Fingers like bananas! All of our fingers should be curved just like bananas, gently resting just above each key, waiting to play! We’re NOT looking for fingers straight up in the air, or fingers crunched back behind the keys, or fingers lying straight over the keys.
THREE: Stable hand posture comes with a firm lock between the lip plate and chin. If that lip plate is completely centered and “super-glued” to the face, a student will have a much better time securing the flute in their hands. Their chin will act as a resting pillar for the flute.
If you find your child is regularly “dropping Cs” or the flute is significantly shifting when the note occurs in their piece, here are some remedies:
-The left pointer knuckle (roughly where the finger and palm meet) should wrap around the flute, and give the flute a BIG hug
-Look for big movements in the hands right before C comes along. Usually, the hands make a drastic change without your child knowing – we want to minimize this!
-The Left thumb lifts only enough to open the B key. Otherwise, left thumb also needs to be gently resting over the B thumb key.