Question: I live in a city of about 50,000 and am the only flute teacher. So far, I have just taught private lessons, but am thinking of adding a flute choir to my program. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Having a comprehensive flute program is a great idea. Individual lessons are only one component of a studio. Ensemble playing offers students the benefits of developing better rhythm, intonation, and listening skills, as well as more performance opportunities and friendships with other flute players.
If ensemble playing is a new concept to your students, start by programming a special performance centered around a seasonal or community event such as a Valentine’s Day or St Patrick’s Day program and encourage all of your students to participate.
Be clear about your expectations regarding attendance and practice. I would also encourage a small fee as parents often equate a tuition fee with the value of the activity. There are many wonderful works for all ability levels and for all combinations of flutes. Trios and quartets can easily be adapted for larger ensembles of all C flutes. If you have piccolo, alto, or bass flutes, that will add more dimension to your ensembles.
Another option might be a flute choir for amateur adult flutists in your area. You might consider an amateur adult ensemble that meets weekly. Many would probably like the opportunity to play more and would feel more confident in a group than as a soloist.