The Flute Suite

The Flute Suite is a podcast for flutists who teach and flutists who practice! Join me in exploring creative, reflective and joyful approaches to personal practice, teaching and working with ensembles.

Reach out – you can find #theflutesuite on Instagram and Facebook, or me as Kathy Weidenfeller,flutist and at www.kathyweidenfeller.com

Would you like to help support The Flute Suite? Buy me a coffee ( just a couple euros can really help to ‘keep the lights on’!) : https://ko-fi.com/kathy25562


Latest episode:


Episode 18: Connections, Communication and Community


Reflections and stories on communication and community as The Flute Suite reaches the one year mark!

Earlier episodes:


Episode 17: Talking about Practice: Helping our students develop awareness


This is part two of my short series on practicing: How to help your students become more motivated to develop a personal practice. 

How to move from a ‘telling’ teaching style towards reflective questioning to develop awareness. The importance of being specific, lowering your expectations, and including movement, space, and awareness in lessons.


Episode 16: Reflections on Practice (part one): Cultivating Joyful Curiosity


I invite you to reflect on your own personal practice: not so much What you practice – but How you think and talk about it.

3 Pillars of good practice: Cultivating Joyful Curiosity, including Movement and Novelty, and remembering the need for Space and Time.

Some of the resources mentioned in this episode:

  • #music_360
  • #violincase (Hillary Hahn)
  • #justanotherflutist
  • Sophie Dufeutrelle: The Flutist’s Way, book III
  • #AmyLikar

Episode 15: Reflections

Reflections on this fall and the start of The Flute Suite as we reach the end of 2023! Thank YOU for listening!

Best wishes for 2024!!

And share The Flute Suite with a friend! Give us a rating where ever you listen.

Episode 14: Jaana Laasonen pt2 : Developing a life-long connection to music

Here is part two of the wonderful conversation I had with Jaana Laasonen, flute teacher at the East-Helsinki Music Institute and developer of the Colour Flute method of early-instrumental teaching. 

2.10 Challenges in the Finnish instrumental education system

12.00 Our students are our best teachers

22.00 Solfege as a tool for musicianship and composition

27.00 The visual aspect of Kodaly

You can find out more about the Colour Flute method here: https://www.colourstringsbooks.com/flute.html

Episode 13: Kodaly, Karelia and Family with Jaana Laasonen (part one)

Jaana Laasonen is Lector of Flute at the East Helsinki Music Institute, and the creator of the ‘Colour Flute’ method, a method for beginning flutists based on the theories and methods of Zoltan Kodaly. In this first part of our conversation, we talk about the importance of family and folk music in early instrumental education.

You can find out more about the Colour Flute method here: https://www.colourstringsbooks.com/flute.html

Episode 12: Finnish Flute Association Nuori Huilisti – Young Flutist competition

Get a taste of the Young Flutist Festival (Nuori huilisti!) organized by the Finnish Flute Association in colaboration with the Juvenalia Music Institute in Espoo Finland.

I share clips of performances and behind the scenes comments from organizers and teachers. I hope you enjoy!!

@suomenhuiluseura

@nuorihuilisti

Episode 11: More than the Flute
with Beatrice Macias

Here’s a conversation with the lovely Beatriz Machias: orchestral flutist, opera singer and founder of the Tampere Flute Festival here in Finland. In this episode, we talk about teaching, practicing, the possibilities that competition holds for young flutists – and especially being more than your flute!

·       1.41     How it all started!

·       6.15     Singing and flute playing

·       11.00   The Tampere Flute Festival

·       19.27   The importance of competitions and the upcoming Finnish Flute Association       competition

·       23.12   Practice and teaching

·       43.41   TFF 2024! 

For more information about Beatriz and the Tampere Flute Fest, follow:

@beatrizmaciasflutist 

@tampereflutefest

You can hear Dr. Pearson talk about the focal dystonia research I mention in
Episode 7 of The Flute Suite starting at 15.40


Episode 10: Listening is the Most Important Part with Annika Gummerus-Putkinen

In this episode, I sit down with Annika Gummerus-Putkinen, flutist, composer, writer and teacher at the Pop & Jazz conservatory in Helsinki. We got to have a  wonderful converstaion about the similarities and differences between our approaches to introducing our students to improvisation, and the important role improvisation can play in teaching, and in life in general!

You can contact Annika on her linked in page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annika-gummerus-putkinen-a7411133/

I mention David Doland in this episode – check out his fantastic work on classical improvisation here https://david-dolan.com/classical-improvisation/

I also want to shout out to Sophie Dufeutrelle and thank her for an interesting conversation we had several years ago on the history of music education in France that has helped me to put the role of improvisation in Western art music into context.

You can follow the Flute Suite on Instagram and Facebook 


Episode 9: Back to Basics #2 Singing and Playing

Today I’m continuing my ’back to basics’ series by talking about how to use singing and playing in practice and teaching. Once again, I’ve created a companion video to go with this episode, where you can see and hear how I produce and use this effect. You can find the video here.

In the episode, I mention John Wion’s workbook entitled ‘Sing’, sold by Falls House Press and Theodore Presser.

I also talk about Mattias Ziegler, and you can learn more about him and his teaching at his website

 Also, for more information on how fixed mindsets affect learning, I suggest this article: 

Heimhovitz, Kyla, Carol S Dweck, 2017. The Origins of Children’s Growth and Fixed Mindsets: New Research and a New Proposal, Child Development, 88(6), 1849–1859.

Again, I encourage you to share your clips of performances or practice sessions using singing + playing at #tfsbacktobasics or #tfsimprov2


Episode 8: Back to Basics #1: Not Long Tones

This week I’m starting a short series where I’ll share simple improvisatory explorations you can do in your own practice room, and with your students. Each episode will have a companion video (you’ll find the link in the notes), and I invite you to share your own improvisations with us at the general hashtag #TFSBtoB or #TFSimprov.

In this first episode, I invite you to dare to explore all the possible sounds you can make on one note (while moving!) – embrace the ‘dirty’ and ‘ugly’ and hopefully become more aware of how your whole self affects the sounds you produce on your flute. 

You can find the companion video to this episode here: https://youtu.be/Kp2kzLqOf_M

Please share a short video of your own explorations! You can use the general hashtags above, #TFSimprov1 or #NotLongTones.

The Flute Suite is on instagram and facebook. If you want to share your video in a private setting, join us on facebook! We have a private, supportive group where you can comfrtably share your explorations. 

Please reach out and let me know what you think of this series, and what you’d like to hear more of in the future. And share The Flute Suite with a friend!


Episode 7 : Creating a Safe Space for our Students with Dr. Lea Pearson

Dr. Lea Pearson is on a mission not only to help musicians perform freely and without pain, but now, also to help teachers use that information to create a safe space in our studios where students can freely explore and develop their musical selves. We talk about grounding ourselves and our students, being present and aware while teaching, how somatic teaching can help to create a safe space for our students, and so much more!

You will also find out that Dr Pearson has a connection to Finland!

If you want to know more… You can find Dr. Pearson on Facebook, where she is very active, Including a recently started discussion group on inclusive teaching

She is also the founder of Music Minus Pain where you can find her teachings on body mapping, helping musicians learn to use their body in a way that allows them to play freely and without pain. (you can find them on Facebook as well!)

Dr. Pearson’s article in the latest Babel flute magazine on how teachers can nurture young musicians.

And here is the citation for the article Dr. Pearson mentions in the episode; about child-centered teaching throughout Europe: 

Pozo,J. I,  Pérez Echeverría, M. P.,  López-Íñiguez, G., & Torrado J. A. Learning and Teaching in the Music Studio: A Student-Centred Approach. Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, 31, 1st ed. Springer, (2022)


Episode 6 : Who gets to call themselves a flutist?

Some summer musings about common themes I see come up over and over in online flute discussion groups.

Our online spaces can be wonderful resources, if we know how to make the most of them. I talk about three themes that come up pretty often in discussion groups that might be better addressed in different ways.

Thank you for listening! And stay tuned, as I have some wonderful interviews coming soon to share!


Episode 5: The Best of Finland Summer 2023

Since we’re in the height of the summer season here in Finland, in this episode, I share some of the best of what Finland has to offer flutistically this summer. A few concerts from the past few months that have been recorded – you’ll find the links below – new albulm releases, and upcoming concerts. Hopefully those of you located outside of Finland will be able to access these recordings, located at YLE-arena, the recording hub of Finland’s national radio. Enjoy!

You can find Clare Chase’s performance of Kaija Saariaho’s flute concerto with the Helsinki City Orchestra conducted by Susanna Mälkki here  

And Niahm McKeena’s premiere performance of Kalevi Aho’s flute and harp concerto (together with harpist Emmanuel Ceysson) again with the Helsinki City Orchestra, conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

 Sami Junnonen’s recording of the Teleman Fantasies

Here you can find a recording of the concert that includes the premiere of Bjørnar Habbestad’s performance of Antti Auvinen’s new flute concerto: ‘Ventilation Beat’ 

The Tampere Flute Festival’s website, where you can find links to their social media accounts as well as information on past and upcoming Festivals and other activities. 

The Finnish Flute Association’s website provides some information in English about the Association, and concert listings can be found under the menu heading ‘news’. It is in Finnish for the most part (the most important word: Flute = huilu) and for North American listeners – remember here in Europe, we write our dates ‘backwards’ (day first, then month).


Episode 4 : Scaling! playing with scales

I’m sharing some of the exercises I use with my own students to encourage them to play with scales (and learn something in the process!).

I’ve made a companion video for this episode to demonstrate these easy exercizes that you can find here: https://youtu.be/fh4BgfnzHn8

I also mention the flutexpansion’s guide to singing & playing, which you can find here: https://www.flutexpansions.com/singing-playing (while you’re there, check out all the other cool stuff they have on their site! And make a note of their next workshop, if you want some help)

As always, drop me a line and let me know what you think of this episode! You can find us on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theflutesuite/

and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/5890733031028026/


Episode3: Why I don’t tune my non-professional ensembles – and don’t think you should, either!

Flute ensemble directors – this one’s for you! I’m going to talk about how I improve my ensemble’s intonation without using a tuning note. 


Episode2: Studio visit

In this episode, I’m going to take you on a visit to my own flute studio: I’ll give you an overview of the Finnish music education system, and share some of the lessons I’ve learned from my students this year!

I share some examples of how important it is to create a supportive space where students feel safe to bring their whole selves to lessons and rehearsals, and how this can help to create a learning community where formal learning is enhanced by peer learning.

Episode1: Improvising 101

Looking for ways to add more improvisation to your practice, rehearsal or lessons? I’m sharing a few tips and some resources to help you get started right away.

Links for resources mentioned in this episode:

You can find a list of all of Sophie Dufeutrelle’s works as well as performance videos on her website: https://www.sophiedufeutrelle.com/accueil/catalogue/

 Wil Offermans’ works can be found on his website: https://www.wiloffermans.com/composition/

 And you can read my dissertation (and accompanying workbook) here:

https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-329-291-8