I know how difficult it can be to find a reliable teacher who focuses on flute lessons. I teach ages 9 and up and enjoy teaching all abilities. I have taught many beginners on flute, and coached high schoolers to successful solo and ensemble performances as well as college auditions. I individualize lessons for each student's needs and I love helping solve problems in their playing and improve performance ability and understanding of music.
Left: Erin plays a duet with student Bridget in the old studio in Missouri
The piano is such a wonderful instrument, and an excellent choice to start anyone's musical education. Piano lessons are available for ages 5 and up. I work with my students to be independent in their musical learning - the goal is that they eventually won't need me at all! This involves becoming confident with reading the notes on the page, as well as playing selections from a wide repertoire. My piano students also have opportunities to accompany my flute students, especially when siblings are learning together.
Left: Harrison performs Cossack Ride
I believe that through learning music, students have the opportunity to enrich their lives through self-expression, building connections with others, and using their creativity while also learning valuable real-world skills such as critical thinking, public speaking, and persistence. One of my favorite parts of teaching lessons is looking back with students to discover that a skill that used to be hard is now easy!
My goal for my students is for them to not need me anymore. I strive to teach a lifelong love of music, and the independence to pursue that love. I help students to attain accurate rhythm, beautiful tone quality, and expressive musicality. I encourage them to use their analytical skills to evaluate their skills and work out solutions to their own problems. Lessons with me are fun and positive, with high expectations that you can and will do it. Risk-taking is encouraged; mistakes are a normal part of the process to be learned from and celebrated. Students are expected to participate in recitals with themes like “Around the World” or “Night at the Movies” each semester, with additional performance opportunities available. I write my own sheet music for student ensembles so that they can play together with students at similar and different levels to inspire each other.
As a student, music came naturally to me, but when my second son was born, a strange complication paralyzed the left side of my face. I am recovered now but I had to relearn how to play the flute and get my skills back to the level they were before he was born. This process taught me more about what to do as a teacher when something doesn’t come naturally to a student. That’s when we have to become scientists and conduct experiments with our flutes! While making a beautiful sound is important, I also incorporate modern techniques to allow students to explore the wide variety of sounds available to us as flutists. We’ll explore ways to play more than one note at once, sing and play at the same time, and flutter tongue.
Playing with other students is a major part of what we do at Spencer Music Studio. Whether that’s playing in a flute trio with others at a similar level, or performing in the flute choir with students of all levels, I create opportunities for my studio to be a thriving community of musicians. Piano students are encouraged to accompany flute students from their first year in lessons, especially when siblings are taking lessons and can play together at home. Most pianists are in college before they get the chance to play with another instrument but in lessons with me you get that opportunity from the very beginning!
A typical lesson with me will begin with improvising back and forth over a pop backing track, and then we will proceed into individualized exercises to improve specific skills, and finish with solos that students select. I am always willing to help with auditions and school ensemble music.
You will get out of lessons what you put into it: if you have a solid practice routine at home, we can achieve so much together. Parents receive resources on encouraging good practice habits at home and I am always available to answer questions.