flute lessons austin

The Secret to Nailing Difficult Runs [Video]

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I recently received a message from a flutist on Instagram. She is preparing for an audition and having a hard time nailing particular runs in her piece, despite having spent a lot of time practicing slowly.


In addition to just practicing slowly to learn the notes and ingrain muscle memory, there are a few extra dimensions to slow practice that I find crucial when it comes to effortless technique.


Watch the video below to find out the Secret to Nailing Difficult Runs!


(Samples played from Karg-Elert's Sonata Appassionata, Op.140 for Solo Flute)


1. Mental and Physical Influence (0:38)

2. Replacing Doubt with Positive Alternatives (0:58)

3. 3 Ways to Practice to Observe the Startle Response in the Body (1:33)

4. The Whole Picture Surrounds a Musical Intention (4:53)




Instagram FAQ: Cameras, LefreQue, and Playing Fast!

One of my favorite things is connecting with other musicians via Instagram! In honor of hitting 10K followers this month, I decided to round up my most frequently asked questions and answer them all in one post!

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  • What camera do you use for photos and videos, and how do you get your photos to look like that?
    • I use a Canon EOS M3 with a Rode microphone attached.
    • I recently had the honor of talking about creating images for the blog and Instagram in an interview with The Flute Examiner! Click here to read it!


  • What kind of flute and piccolo do you play on?
    • I play on an Altus 1507 with a David Williams-Gary Schocker Headjoint, and a Burkart Professional piccolo.


  • What are your thoughts on fill-in-the-blank-flute-brand?
    • I don't have a strong preference for or against any brand of flute, and I believe that choosing an instrument is highly personal because everyone is unique. My best advice if you're in the market for a new instrument is to take your time and try as many brands and models as possible - don't rule anything out until you've experienced it for yourself!


  • Where did you get your baroque flute?
    • I purchased my Simon Polak baroque flute from his booth at the National Flute Association Convention. You can find out about his instruments and see which conventions he'll be visiting at his website: www.earlyflute.com.


  • What is that thing on between the headjoint and body of your flute?
    • It's a LefreQue sound bridge! Find out all about what it is and how it works on www.LefreQue.com.


  • What are your thoughts on the LefreQue?
    • I took advantage of the free trial offered by many distributors, and tried a Silver, Yellow Gold Silver Plated, and Rose Gold Silver Plated in 41mm.
    • During the trial, I rotated through each option for two days. With the silver, I noticed no change at all. With both gold options, I noticed an added resonance to the sound, and also a subtle sense of "forgiveness" from cracking notes. I ultimately went with the Rose Gold option because it was a bit warmer than the Yellow Gold, which seemed a bit more harsh.
    • The difference is very subtle. If you're expecting a complete change in tone, note that it's an enhancement that's attached on the outside of the flute - it won't have the same impact as a new headjoint!
    • From my experience, it really varies from instrument to instrument, and the metal you choose can make the most difference, as well. (I had a friend try my LefreQue on her silver flute with a gold headjoint, and it seemed to stifle the resonance of her instrument.) I can't say if it will work for you, so I highly recommend taking advantage of a trial to test each of the metals and decide how well it works for your instrument. 


  • What app are you using when playing off an iPad?
    • I've actually never tried a music-reading app! I often pull pieces up right on IMSLP or flutetunes.com using Chrome or Safari. 


  • Why do you have a skeleton?
    • Because of Body Mapping! Learning to play and teach based on anatomical reality has transformed my approach to playing. Having a full-sized, three-dimensional skeleton as a reference is extremely helpful for observing and applying information about the body while practicing and teaching. www.bodymap.org





  • Do lessons via Skype really work?

    • The self-awareness techniques that guide my lessons are uniquely and perfectly suited for lessons via Skype! Lessons involve questioning, guided experimentation, and discussion to identify habitual barriers to uncover greater freedom. The verbal and visual feedback that occur during experimentation mean that breakthrough moments are more than possible via Skype! I have a great amount of experience listening and watching students carefully to detect and address subtleties in all areas playing.

See what current Skype students have to say!

Practice Tips





Thank you all for following along on Instagram, and for the opportunity to support you in your own journeys as much as you support me in mine!



Summer Workout Practice Planner [Free Download]

Summer is a great opportunity to spend some serious time practicing! If you're on break from school, perhaps you have a list of repertoire to tackle before the fall semester begins, or you're using your free time to work on pieces that have been on your to do list for a while.

I'm constantly grappling with the number of exercises and etudes I've gathered over the years, in addition to all the pieces in my library that haven't been thoughtfully practiced yet.

I'm always looking for ways to organize my thoughts onto paper and make sense of a realistic plan to help me feel well-balanced when it comes to practicing.

See how I'm organizing my summer practice below and download your own planner!


Click the button below to download a free PDF to print and use!

TIPS For Using Your Planner

  • The first page contains spaces for fundamentals and ultimately creates 3 different practice scenarios.
  • In the DAILY boxes, write the bare-minimum that you'll commit to each day - the tasks that you're motivated to do daily and help you feel "in shape."
  • The combination of Warm-Up, Tone, and Technique DAILY tasks may equal 20-30 minutes, and should be your basic practice session on the busiest days!
  • The A & B boxes should be the additional materials you'll do in addition to the daily tasks. You can either rotate daily, weekly, or separate your tasks into the first half of your summer and the second half to focus on only a few at a time.
  • The second page contains repertoire, excerpts, etudes, and miscellaneous tasks, and can be divided into two sets. 
  • (For myself, I'm dividing my repertoire into the first 4 weeks, and the second 4 weeks, for example, working on one piece at a time, doing a little bit each day.)

Here's My Own Example:

Want to Track Your Practice Progress?

Happy Practicing!

- Jolene


Are you using the Summer Workout Practice Planner? Share yours on Instagram and tag @joleneflute or use #practiceroomrevelations!