Playing the flute with braces!

Dentist: You need braces.

Patient (me): *GASPS*

It seems simple and irrelevant to most people. Small pieces of metal and wires to pull your teeth into a straighter position which happens to hundreds of people across the world everyday. But the first thing I thought of was how it would impact playing the flute. It seemed daunting, at first. I imagined frustration for months as I’d be carried back to where I started. Holding my first hire flute as I struggled to even make a sound. It was especially scary because of how far I had come. I was just about to take my Grade 6 exam at the time when I was just told I needed them, so I wouldn’t need to worry about having them just put on when I’m taking the exam.

But still! It’s the future I worried about. What if they completely changed my mouth and the way they reacted to the flute? What if they ruin my tone which I have worked on for years? What if they completely obstruct the air flow and I cam never play the flute again? I asked myself so many questions and it took me time to even decide whether I would go through with getting braces. But, because of a complicated situation with some missing roots, I decided that I needed to get braces.

I’m writing this blog a few days after getting braces so I can give you the best explanation about my thoughts of braces and how they have impacted my flute playing. So let me give you all the details. When I first got them on, they obviously felt quite uncomfortable and naturally, I had to bring my lips over them and around them because having braces is an extra part of your mouth which changes your stance originally. In addition, I only had minor pains which weren’t really an issue. So, when I first picked up my flute, I brought my lips further forward and positioned myself into my normal mouth position for playing and I simply tried it. These were my first impressions:

  1. Β Oh my god I can actually make a fairly decent sound!!
  2. And with a decent high and low register
  3. Quite an airy sound which isn’t quite my normal quality of tone.

At first I was very happy with the position I was in, because I found it quite easy to get a good range of notes out. So that was a good start! But I have advice of how to get the best notes out of the flute with braces and in the shortest amount of time.

CHANGE YOUR LIP POSITION: Before you get braces, look on you tube at videos of how to play the flute with braces. I found some good ones which demonstrate lip positions and the way you should place your mouth according to your braces. When playing the flute with braces, you have an extra obstruction in your mouth which means you need to bring your lips round and over the braces and then back into your “original flute playing position.” This is an essential, because otherwise, the air will just be blocked by your braces which you breathe in and you will be left with an airy sound.

KEEP YOUR MOUTH TIGHT: When you have your slightly adapted mouth position, I found that it helped improve the tone of the sound if you ensure your lips are outstretched and tight because it will create higher pressure and a more defined and clean sound. However, you should only think about doing this one you can get a good sound out of your flute with braces.

DON’T OVERWORK YOURSELF: When you are trying to get notes out of the flute with braces, you probably won’t get you original and best sound first time. This can be frustrating, especially when you are a higher grade flautist who is used to good tone and a solid sound. So don’t pick up your Grade 6,7 or 8 flute book and try to play the most difficult piece! You need to start simple and get used to easier pieces again so you can become familiar with the notes and how they should sound with your braces. Then, work your way back up. When you pace yourself, it won’t take long.

PERSEVERE: Your best sound won’t come instantly! You need to keep practising and then you will get a decent sound with your braces.

I hope you find this advice useful if you are getting braces and you play the flute! please feel free to ask any questions about the flute and braces in the comments and please tell me if there’s anything you specifically want me to write about!

Thank you for reading! πŸ™‚

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Music FutureΒ 

Hi! I’m so sorry I haven’t been writing on this blog recently! I have been so busy with school work and music. I have just got my result for my Grade 6 flute and I passed with distinction! This was my fifth distinction in a row and i couldn’t be more happy!! 

With music currently playing such a large part in my life, sometimes I stop and wonder…

  1. Will this ever end or will it just keep going as a hobby? 
  2. Do I want music to be my career path?
  3. What career in music would I want?

I find it difficult to think now what is the best option because there are still so many things which I would consider as a future whether that be with the involvement of music or not. 

However, I have this idea of a perfect future with my perfect choice of career in a certain department of music…

*drum roll please**

COMPOSITION WOOO

At school, my favourite thing to do in music has to be composition! We use a piece of software called Sibelius which allows us to use a basis of any structure of sheet music we want with any instruments, like string or woodwind quartets, instrument solos with a piano accompaniment or a full orchestra score. I love to compose on this because it allows you to be so creative and you can add so much detail which completely transforms pieces.

What I love most about Sibelius is that there is always something else you can do. It’s never perfect which allows you to keep improving and improving something until it becomes the best that it can be.

But anyway, back to my perfect future!

I would want to live in a big and modern flat in London in a quieter location, maybe near or in Covent Garden. I would have just finished a degree in music at Cambridge and I would have a sausage dog (my one dream in life).  I would get a job working for a large film company like Disney or Dreamworks and I would compose music for their films! I would have my one little office and I would use software like Sibelius to make the best soundtrack for upcoming movies and productions.  That is my perfect  life! 

But then reality hits and I realise it’s not that simple. If music was my certain choice of career, I would start small. Get a degree in a music and then begin teaching, meanwhile writing songs and scores. Then, I would apply for an assistant job at a Music Promotions Centre, meanwhile still writing my music and then, with my experience, I would try and get further and more upfront to a film composition job!!

It’s like a music mountain. It’s high and it’s a long way to the top. Let’s hope there’s a coffee shop half way 😊

Thank you for reading and I would appreciate any comments or for you to share my blogs to increase my readers! 

Bye for now! X

21 chump Street

Before I start, no that’s not a typo. It is actually supposed to be 21 chump street. If you love Hamilton, you’re going to love this.

21 chump street is a short musical written by Lin Manuel Miranda between “In the Heights” and Hamilton and it is about a high school in the US where a student called Justin Laboy is thrilled when a new pretty girl shows up in two of his classes.

BACKSTORY…the musical as a whole is based on the situation when youth police employees went undercover as students to investigate drug dealing in schools. The girl who turns up at Justin’s school: Naomi Rodriguez, is one of these undercover police employees. 

Anyway, during the first of about five songs, Justin asks Naomi to prom during “what the heck I gotta do” and throughout the show, the characters go and interview this councillor type person who is played by Lin Manuel Miranda and the character of Naomi reveals that she is one of these undercover police officers.

Throughout the production, Justin tries to get hold of drugs for Naomi thinking that she will then love him and be with him. However, there is a huge plot twist for Justin when he gives them to her and he expects her affection, but she just offers him money.

What I love so much about this part, is that Justin learns what love actually is and it’s not just about doing things to please and impress whoever you like. He gets her these  drugs just in hope to achieve her love and affection and everyone around him and Naomi herself can learn something from this. 

Justin ends up going to prison in the end and all because he commuted and illegal crime for love. He really did believe in the quote love is all you need.

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. Please follow me if you enjoy this post! 

Thanks for reading 😊

Playing Hamilton on the Flute

Hello.

I’m writing this sitting in my school gym waiting to perform in a concert. I’m playing my flute in an ensemble and an orchestra and I’m waiting in the gym with about one hundred other people playing several different instruments and some are yelling Hamilton lyrics at the top of their lungs. That part really doesn’t bother me though.

Just to set the scene.

I’m going to say this and I’m sorry if this sounds sad.

I’ve seen the new beauty and the beast three times.

Yes. That’s right. Three times. But I’m not sorry actually, because I love it so much and I especially love it because of the music. I’ve noticed that every single song’s music represents each character differently. If you get the chance to see it, please do.

Anyway, I’m going to get into what I wanted to talk about today. That is, flutes and how I got to where I am today (music wise).

I started playing the flute about six years ago and at first I couldn’t get a single noise out of it. I don’t even remember why I chose the flute, but at first, it was a stubborn stick of metal. It took me a good month to get my first sound out of it but when I did, it was so rewarding.

I did hard core practice at the beginning. I literally practiced everyday and I gradually developed and I became more confident. I am working towards my grade six now.

My favourite part about being confident at an instrument, is that I can play the majority of sheet music from my favourite musicals and songs!! It’s great just to be able to belt out My Shot whenever I want to. (The Hamilton references are becoming common, please get used to them).

Anyway, this was a random post and I hope you enjoyed it if you are new! Please follow me if you enjoyed it and comment below if you want me to talk about anything to do with music or musicals!

Bye for now!!

Hamilton – Include Women In The Sequel

Hamilton the Musical is about one of the founding fathers of the USA: Alexander Hamilton. The Musical follows him throughout his life and it was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I LOVE HAMILTON and I have listened to the album on my phone too many times. Here’s why:

  1. Each time I listen to the album I discover something new about the whole production
  2. The songs get stuck in your head SO EASILY (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing!)
  3. The music is so interesting and different.

The music behind Hamilton has been written to demonstrate all the character’s personalities in each song. When a character has a solo, their objective and thoughts are also clearly demonstrated.

FOR EXAMPLE…

ELIZABETH SCHUYLER (it’s a pleasure to meet you :))

Elizabeth Schuyler is demonstrated as a kind and simple character but she is later shown to be a woman to aims to empower women as a whole. In songs such as: “That would be enough” she is shown to be a kind; innocent and fairly neutral character. However, what’s clever is that in “Burn”, she completely transforms and the anger which motivates her into this song shows how she can be a much stronger and confident character which empowers her role as a woman in the whole show.

In addition, the character of Angelica in the show also is promoting the idea of “empowered women.” This is especially shown in her famous line in the song “The Schuyler Sisters.” The line being:

“To include women in the sequel…(work:))”

Angelica and Eliza (and Peggy:)) both want women to be included in whatever comes next. They want them to be involved in the world just as much as men. This objective and passion which they both have is shown in the songs and throughout the whole story which was a clear aim that Lin-Manuel Miranda had when writing the Musical.

Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it! If you have any requests for anything then please comment! It would be much appreciated πŸ™‚

Bye for now πŸ™‚

Music Rewind

Hi πŸ™‚

In my opinion, music is something which everyone has a different perspective on. There are more types of music that I could write down, but is that a good thing? Yes. It offers people an opportunity to decide what they like and what they don’t. That’s what is so special about it.

I chose to start this blog to be able to express my life and how music plays a part in it. Let’s put it this way:

Music plays a VERY big part in my life.

I want to share my everyday thoughts with anyone who is interested in a person’s perspective on music itself. Specifically, music on the radio and popular compositions and my views on them. I want to talk about everything I do regarding music whether I share that everyday or once a month.

Anyway, hello! I am a young musician and I play the flute and piano. I am currently working towards my grade 6 flute exam and I haven’t started grades on the piano. If you play any instruments and you love music, I hope you will like my blog! I chose to name this blog “Music Rewind” because I want to essentially “rewind” to past things that have been done in music, But that doesn’t mean that I will only write about Mozart and stuff. I will write about current music too. But I have nothing against Mozart. A woman called Vanessa Carlton said: “If Mozart were alive now, he would write a killer rock song.” 

I couldn’t agree more Vanessa πŸ™‚

So I just wanted to share a little introduction about what this new music blog will be all about!

Thank you for reading!

Bye for now πŸ™‚