As a flute teacher, of course I’ll say, yes! But that’s not just because I’m biased. There are plenty of reasons why the flute is a good instrument to learn. It’s small, it’s lightweight, it’s popular, it’s played in almost every ensemble group, it’s affordable, it’s easy to put together and take apart…the list goes on. In fact, I’d say that the only downside is that if your child is young, small, or thin framed, he may have a difficult time extending his arms out far enough and for long enough to adequately play the flute. But even with that, it’s only a temporary downside that will go away as he grows. It can even be countered by purchasing a curved headjoint to shorten the length of the flute. Here are 8 reasons why the flute is a good instrument to learn.
8 Reasons Why the Flute Is a Good Instrument to Learn
1) Small Size – The flute is thin, small, and fits into an easily transportable case. When I was in elementary school band I could fit my flute case into my backpack or set it under my desk chair. My friends who played the trumpet, saxophone, or even clarinet were not so lucky. They’d have to carry it by hand, which made it more difficult to transport and easier to leave somewhere by accident.
2) Lightweight – The flute isn’t heavy, which makes it easier to carry around. It’s also lighter and easier to hold up as you play.
3) Easy to Put Together and Take Apart – The flute comes in three pieces. All you do is insert the headjoint into the body joint and then stick the foot joint on the other end. By contrast, the clarinet has five parts to put together. The flute may have more to it than the trumpet (only the main instrument and the mouthpiece), but for a woodwind instrument, it’s nice and easy.
4) No Reeds – Other woodwind instruments like the clarinet, saxophone, and oboe require a wooden reed to make a sound. These have to be broken in, rehydrated, protected from damage, rotated, and if they ever crack or break, they have to be replaced. It also takes some time to get used to them, and as you get better at playing, you have to readjust to playing on thicker reeds. In contrast, all it takes to make a sound on the flute is to blow air correctly into the mouthpiece. And let’s hope you’re not running out of air anytime soon!
5) Availability and Cost – As a popular instrument, there are plenty of flutes and all kinds of brands for buying or renting. It’s also one of the most affordable instruments, which gives it a huge advantage over others.
6) Popularity – The flute is a fairly popular instrument, which means you’ll definitely make friends with other flute players. You’ll also always have opportunities to play it because it’s used in both band and orchestra.
7) Solo or Group – Flute can easily be played solo, in a small ensemble, or in a full orchestra or band.
8) Used in All Kinds of Music – From classical to band to jazz to religious, the flute crosses many musical genres. You’ll never have to worry that there won’t be music for you to play, because there is always good music for flute players.
If you’re thinking about buying a flute for yourself or your child, I think it’s a great choice! Be sure to go to a music store and have a professional flute player test out the contenders before you buy. I’d be more than happy to test out flutes with you. Also be sure to invest in private flute lessons so that your progress accelerates, you learn correct habits from the beginning, and you receive one-on-one attention with an expert flute player to help you master this beautiful instrument.