an online community for flutists.
I have a student who is having a lot of trouble getting the higher notes above high "D"
Does anybody have any suggestions for a "fun way" to practice them. She is starting to get discouraged and I don't know how to help her.
I used to be a triathlete. I was very much into researching the 'best' way to do this and that. The cycling portion of races were always a problem for me. I asked someone who was really great a cycling one time how I should get better. He replied, "ride lots".
I think this analogy applies here. The best way to get better at the high notes is to play 'play lots'.
I teach all kinds of instruments and sometimes it helps to look at other instruments to see how they do it.
The trumpet, for example does lots of lip slurs, which strengthen the buzz and the embouchure. This is a great place to start for your student. Have your student do intervals, slurring notes up. Another thing I like to do is to have my students do long tones and I add a higher note each week. We will have contests to see how long she can hold out the note without cracking it. I will write down the seconds.
This might be a little beyond your student at this point, but I have found a great little book that has short, 3 line exercises for high notes. It is by Thomas Filas, called Top Register Studies for Flute. I think it is a great little book, the songs are nice and if you go through it, spend time on one per week, your upper register technique will definitely improve.
It helped me a lot to play harmonics on lower notes. I.e. playing the original note, then let it jump as high as possible. In the meantime, my teacher told me - one by one - a few things that I should change or pay attention to. In the end, my main problems were to get too tense and forget about breathing support. I think, the best hint my teacher gave me, was to think "up" when playing lower notes and "down" when playing higher notes.
Sorry, this comes very late for your student, but perhaps it will help another one.