Recently I met with a lovely family interested in private tutoring. The child had been in band all year and was interested and engaged in learning music but the parent referred to the sound coming out of the flute as "noise". Within half a minute I saw that I had my work cut out for me. For over six months the child had been holding the flute incorrectly, with fingers in the wrong places (but compensating in a very creative way!) and hands in a position that made it very difficult to switch from note to note. Thankfully the interest was still there and the child was blowing well.
There are simply too many kids in band, and too many instruments with one teacher to catch problems as they begin and turn into habits. Kids can learn a lot in band but some struggle, especially at the beginning (and the flute is one of the most difficult instruments at the start). These kids are some of the most rewarding to teach. But- most of them don't get that far. They get frustrated or give up and quit band after a year or less.
So please, as soon as you see your child struggling in band, set up a few months of private lessons! It doesn't have to be a long term commitment. Often a short period of instruction can transform a negative experience into a positive one and point a child back on the path of music learning with a solid basic technique.
Hi! My name is Mariya, and I teach flute and piano lessons in Redmond, WA and am a performing musician. Here I share thoughts about learning music and helping others learn how to play an instrument.