It is gratifying to work with the students in my studio, at the community school and at the colleges. I also enjoy teaching master classes at universities, festivals, and various middle and high schools. In order to be the best possible teacher, I continue to hone my craft as an orchestral flutist, soloist, and chamber musician. I am of the belief that music is a gift we give to ourselves and ultimately to others.
My teaching style
Teaching flutists of all ages and ability levels has been my profession for close to 30 years. Each student has brought something special and unique to the studio. I am not a “cookie-cutter” teacher. I take time to get to know each of my student’s personalities, learning styles, and goals. The same approach will not be taken for each student, nor the same materials/books required. I take the time to share my expectations regarding proper practice routines and teach the importance of having the necessary “tools of the trade” on hand to help ensure success. Some examples of these “tools” are a tuner and metronome, lesson notebook/manuscript book, etude books, and solo repertoire. All goals are re- assessed and discussed at various points in a student’s development.
Maintaining an open dialogue with my students is very important. Effective communication is vital for a long lasting student/teacher relationship and in order for the student to ultimately trust the teacher. My students will receive positive encouragement. I do not speak negatively to my students; negativity hinders progress. Very early on, my students learn to leave phrases like “I can’t” or “that was terrible” outside the studio door. Positive thinking, speaking, and practice bring about positive results!
Lessons are a cooperative effort. I have high expectations for my students because I want them to reach their full potential, maintain a level of respect for themselves and for the music. I share with the student what they need to practice weekly in order to reach their goals. In return, they will need to practice faithfully in order to meet and exceed those goals. One of the special benefits that music provides is the opportunity to grow on many personal levels. It is a journey that requires patience, careful listening skills, self motivation, goal setting, cooperation, and relationship building.
IN THE STUDIO
Developing the fundamentals of flute playing are the keys to success. I will focus on tone development exercises, scales, arpeggios, posture, breathing/phrasing, dynamics, and rhythm. As students mature there are levels in the above skills that will be explored in order to develop the accuracy, technique, and musicality of each student as well as enhance their knowledge of music theory and history. All students will have the experience of learning/performing a variety of solo repertoire from various eras including Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. I am also a firm believer in providing my students with the opportunity to play duets and experience various forms of chamber music.
Student recitals are conducted each year. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to share their musical gifts with family, friends and the community. I provide a safe, supportive, and positive atmosphere in preparation for and during the event. A professional pianist is hired so the students can benefit fully from this wonderful experience.
Many students are interested in auditioning for various state competitions, youth orchestras, college entry, or graduate level music programs. I have a proven success record throughout my years of teaching in all of these areas.
Why I teach as I do!
I have benefitted from the wisdom of many wonderful teachers! I have respect, love, and sincere gratitude for all they have shared with me. Most of my teachers came from the great French/Paris Conservatory line of teaching. I have listened to many, many inspiring and sometimes amusing stories about Marcel Moyse and Georges Laurent, and Georges Barrere. I have taken this collective wisdom, incorporated my personality and experiences and the end result is a lesson in which students frequently speak of my energy, humor, compassion, and ability to help them achieve beyond what they hoped for in an encouraging, safe and enjoyable atmosphere.
Aram Bedrossian worked at the Powell Flute Co. and was a substitute player with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he was also a member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.
William Grass taught flute at the Boston Conservatory of Music and Boston University and played regularly with the Opera Company of Boston, Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Pops.
Lois Schaefer played flute/piccolo with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (retired) and taught at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Tom Nyfenger was professor of flute at Yale University School of Music. In addition to a very long list of accomplishments he was flutist with the New York City Ballet, Aeolian Chamber Players, and the New York Chamber Orchestra.
John Heiss teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University and is a renowned composer, conductor, flutist.
The benefits I have received from my students and continue to receive are too numerous to mention! I have former students that are now professional flutists working as performers and teachers. Others are doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, teachers, authors, accountants; the list of careers is quite varied. Many did not major in music, but continued to participate in music ensembles at their various institutions of higher education.
Many of my adult students are working professionals or retired seeking to regain their skills so as to participate in community bands, orchestras, or church ministry. Others have always wanted to play the flute and are now taking the time to do something creative for themselves. I so admire these students and we have a wonderful time playing music and getting to know each other.
In the studio there is what I call “the wall of fame”. It is the many faces of the students that I have taught throughout the years. Many of these students continue to stay in touch via social media, yearly holiday cards, a luncheon or they come back for summer lessons. A special bond is created in the music studio. Music lessons provide a unique opportunity for students to work one on one with a professional. I often mentor and advise my students a role I take quite seriously. The relationship between student and teacher in the music studio is one that I value and respect. The benefits gained by taking music lessons are well worth the monetary investment.
Elaine offers half-hour, 45 minute, and one- hour flute lessons. Weekly lessons are recommended, but depending on an individual’s needs, bi-weekly or other options can be arranged. Contact Elaine to receive information on lesson rates and to discuss scheduling.