Flute On The Road

I always bring my flute with me when I travel - usually to keep up with practicing, but also to take advantage of any interesting opportunities that come along. I invite my students to do the same. I have had so many amazing experiences as a musician, meeting other people via music, that it is not to be missed!

This summer we traveled to Newfoundland, and I brought both my gold Brannen flute and my plastic Nuvo flute, in case of poor weather. :)  Actually the weather was great! But I took some fun pictures with both: my Brannen flute on the ferry, where I did a little quiet playing despite the thin walls, and in a sea cave at The Arches provincial park. We may have had a lot of sun, but there was also a lot of wind, and rocks underfoot... well, it's called The Rock, after all.


A Young Flutist's Anthology CD

The YFA CD has been released and is enjoying steady sales on the Band Camp platform.  You can purchase your download copy here: https://kellywilliamson.bandcamp.com/releases  Hard copy CDs are also available, as well as copies of the original poster - please contact me for details.

Comments from flute teachers include:

"The Album is beautiful, I've been dancing around my living room to it with my 7 week old daughter for the past 2 days..."

"[students] immediately responded to the beautiful and creative playing of flutist Suzanne Shulman and pianist Valerie Tryon"

“…escuchando el disco que acaban de editar, realmente emocionado con la belleza que contiene, disfrutando de sus sutilezas, de su claridad, de su amabilidad para con el que escucha,  Gracias por este regalo maravilloso!"

"What a joy... I listened in my car right away and put songs on repeat already, so very beautiful.  What a gift to us all!"

"Very nice project! This is so Welcome to get some fresh recordings on these pieces! Thank you!"

On taking the aural route

Here is a good article in support of developing the musical ear before proceeding to the notation, as is done in the Suzuki approach.  I wonder if the author is correct in the assumption that the focus on reading music - without assuring that the necessary prior experience and understanding had been provided for - came largely from a combination of undertrained teachers, and the proliferation of music exams and assessment models?  That seems like a pointed attack!  Nevertheless, the author does not neglect to mention that folk music and jazz have been taught this way throughout their histories, and it is only in classical music where a different approach has become the norm... this is one of my favourite arguments in favour of the "note versus rote" approach (see Edward Kreitman's "Teaching From the Balance Point").

Worth the read for parents who want to understand more about what is different with the Suzuki approach!


Listening list - pick me up

These are certainly hard times.  Every day the news brings us both the very best, and the very worst that human beings are capable of.  If you need a boost of faith - in yourself, in humanity - here's some music that never fails to put me in a better perspective.  There's a little something for everyone (with nods to Canadian artists and also the 80s!), and I've included the timing of the songs... if you have 40 minutes to sit with a cup of coffee or tea, Keith Jarrett's Paris Concert (October 17, 1988) always reminds me of the potential for greatness that lies inside all of us if we strive to reach it.

Imagine - John Lennon (3:06)
Redemption Song - Bob Marley and the Wailers (3:47)
Something Within Me - Take 6 (3:40)
We're Here For A Good Time - Trooper (3:34)
Let It Go - Luba (3:41)
Hands - Jewel (3:55)
Symphony #7 mvt II Allegretto - L van Beethoven (7:57)
October 17, 1988 - Keith Jarrett (38:24)
Let It Be - The Beatles (4:03)
A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke (3:11)

Regrouping - summer 2015

The first half of the summer has been full to bursting with great experiences and opportunities for growth - teaching once more at Colorado Suzuki Institute in mid-June and being honoured with this year's Outstanding Faculty award... being a student again the following week for Stage 3 teacher training in the Suzuki ECE program... teaching a Suzuki flute Unit 1 pedagogy course for six teachers at Great Lakes Institute in Hamilton, where I have been spending a week almost every summer since 1996!  And finally, being part of the International Guest Faculty at the European Suzuki Association convention in Davos Switzerland.  It was a privilege to be invited to work with these esteemed colleagues and be inspired by their words and ideas. From Koen Rens of Belgium, the reminder to do each thing 100% while you are doing it - from Martin Ruttimann of Switzerland, that it's time to get the word out about the fine work we are doing as Suzuki teachers - from Christophe Bossuat of France, many words of wisdom including the gentle admonition to trust ourselves.  I am grateful to have a couple of weeks to pause, breathe, reflect, make plans, and start to turn them into action before it's time for the next summer institute!