Rare beauty of tone

Critics have noted “Ms. Payne exemplifies a rare beauty of tone, blessedly free of air, unsurpassed by even the greatest of flutists today”.

-The Brattleboro Reformer

What Parents are Saying

Attuned to the student's understanding and needs

My daughter has been with Dr. September Payne for years. Ms. September is very knowledgeable, experienced, and detail-oriented. Her approach is particularly attuned to the student’s understanding and needs. Her encouragement motivates my daughter proceeding to advancement. She challenges my daughter to try playing harder pieces and help her through it. My daughter loves to play her flute, and has progressed well thanks to Ms. September’s excellent teaching. I couldn’t recommend a teacher more than Ms. September.

Angela Xu, parent

Incredibly knowledgeable, skilled, motivated and passionate musician

My daughter Elisha started her flute lesson with Dr. September Payne about 4 years ago. It has been an enjoyable and exciting experience. Dr. Payne is an incredibly knowledgeable, skilled, motivated and passionate musician and teacher. She is loving, caring and always keen to her students’ need. My daughter has made great progress under Dr. Payne while enjoying music and learning. She loves her flute, her music and her teacher.

Douglas Tan, parent

She takes personal interest

Dr. Payne is my son’s (Rohith) flute teacher and music mentor or 6 years. Her depth and knowledge of theory and teaching flute are absolutely amazing. She takes personal interest in each student, planning and preparing for recitals, competitions and music exams. She his well known and respected in the musical community and worldwide. I could not have found a better coach.

Padma Kodokola, parent

Inspired and motivated

Dr. Payne has been a wonderful teacher and mentor to our daughter, Cecilia for 5 years. She takes a tremendous interest in her students and connects with them on many levels. Dr. Payne has inspired and motivated my daughter as I imagine few teachers could. She is a pleasant, yet thoroughly disciplined person and these qualities were displayed in her teaching. I highly recommend Dr. Payne to anyone who wishes to learn how to play flute.

Helen Xu, parent

Michelle Won!

Through Dr. Payne my daughter has placed well in several music competitions. Michelle won San Diego Youth Symphony Concerto Competition 2015, first chair of All-County band of Middle School in 2013, 3rd place on Bronze competition in 2015, and first place on Southern California Mozart Festival 2015. Concert band at school hasn’t assigned a seat but she has been picked for play ensembles.

Flora Liu

Emma started flute lesson with Ms. September since 3rd grade. She loves it and has made great progress.

The best teaching with Ms. September is, while challenging her students with the techniques, she also helps them realize the progress they have made along the way. This is essential to keep them interested at the instrument and pursuing further.

我女儿从三年级开始跟Ms. September 学长笛,到现在已经三年多了。我女儿非常喜欢。这三年的进步也是显著的。从一个家长的角度来看,我觉得 Ms. September 最大的成功就是对孩子的鼓励和认可,让孩子能感觉到自己的进步,保持对长笛的兴趣;同时,也会给孩子适当的挑战,提高技巧。

– Serene Li, Parent


Dr. Payne hosted the Sir James Galway master class at SDSU for over 300 students.

While marveling at Sir James Galway’s ability to connect with the students during that master class, it struck me: I had witnessed the same thing listening to Dr. Payne work with a beginning student.

It is a gift, they both possess.

Les Parker, Supporter of the Arts

What Colleagues are Saying


September is a personable expert in her field who produces great results. Many of her students from SDSU, Grossmont, Mesa, and Houston Colleges hold jobs in universities and orchestras. She is someone every San Diego flutist should get to know. Ms. Payne has been a private flute instructor for several of the student musicians at Grossmont College over the course of the last decade or so. She’s always been just excellent in teaching. She is well-liked and students have prospered with her help!

– Dr. Paul Kurokowa
Music Director, San Marcos College


September is a creative and entrepreneurial artists whose academic work and performance standards are distinct and from the highest traditions.

– Sir James Galway


September is the French style; color, flexibility, and interpretation.

A natural talent, a true student of mine, and friend of my family.

– Louise Moyse

I hold Dr. September Payne in especially high regard

Among numerous flute teachers whom I know (including many of whom I trained while I was Senior Lecturer in flute at the School of Music and Dance at San Jose State University for 33 years,) I hold Dr. September Payne in especially high regard. Dr. Payne uses the best méthodes of the French School of the flute–namely the 17 Daily Exercises of Tafanel et Gaubert; and Tone Development Through Interpretation (and many other publications) by Marcel Moyse. Indeed, she studied with Marcel Moyse and Jean -Pierre Rampal–both of whom were my teachers in France in the Sixties and Seventies.

As an exponent of the École francaise de la flûte, Dr. Payne places considerable emphasis on three areas: (a) the development of a beautiful, rich, open sound with a natural vibrato that is characteristic of so many renowned French flutists; (b) the development of technical virtuosity, especially the French staccato; and (c) perfect intonation.
Moreover, Dr. Payne is a nurturing personality as a teacher. That means she cares deeply about problems her students may be experiencing that impede their progress as flutists. It also means she inspires her students to surpass their own expectation of what they can accomplish. She achieves remarkable results with her students not with discouraging comments about their weaknesses, but rather by positive reinforcement of their progress.

Dr. Payne is co-founder of Coastal Flutes in San Diego–and in that capacity she has invited many noted flutists (including James Galway) to perform and hold master classes for Coastal Flute’s members. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of performing a recital and giving a master class for Coastal Flutes. Thus, I had the personal experience of working with with many of Dr. Payne’s students. I was favorably impressed by the solid technical foundation and the fine tone production of students at Coastal Flutes. To which I say “Chapeau bas!” to Dr. Payne and Coastal Flutes other founder, Dr. Elena Yarritu.

San Diego is fortunate to have such a talented, knowledgeable and dedicated flute teacher as Dr. September Payne.

Isabelle Chapuis, Principal Flutist (since 1983)
Opera San Jose

French School of Flute

Since our 1st meeting at James Galway’s Swiss Flute Seminar in 1990, I was drawn to September’s rare type of musicianship and similar interpretation that we both share. I invited Dr. Payne to teach and perform in my International Flute Seminar near Milan. She is an inspirational and talented pedagogue/performer and has a standing invitation to return and teach anytime.

She also has a unique knowledge and specialty in the French School of Flute Playing, which is fast becoming forgotten. She is one of the artists of the last generation to have studied with Marcel Moyse, and her lengthy, personal association with the “Father of the French School, and associations with his “deemed” successor Flutist James Galway, give her a rare and unique understanding of the French style of flute playing, making her distinctly sought after in this field both at home and internationally. Finally, as to her stellar reputation in the field, one would not find anyone that knows her, anything but praise for her character, generosity, talent and professionalism.

Raffaele Trevisani,
International Flute Soloist and
Professor of flute, Milan Conservatory


Dr. September Payne is a talented teaching artist whose devotion to her students and their musical and personal growth is unprecedented. Her attention to each student as an individual is a defining characteristic of her teaching style and her knowledge of the French flute lineage serves as an incredible amplification to any flutist’s experience learning from her.

– Dr. Ray Furuta


September is a highly educated and experienced flutist and flute teacher. She works with students and ensembles well and gives each flutist her attention and care during their lessons or rehearsals. I highly recommend her.

– Marion Garver
Flutist, Freelance Flute performance


highly organized, sensitive, and responsive to students

I have heard September Payne perform, saw her teach and played with her. Her abilities as a performer and teacher are outstanding. She is highly organized, sensitive and responsive to students and ensemble members and has great insight into the music she performs or teaches.

– Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin
Doctor of Education, Harpist


September is very generous with her time for her students

Dr. Payne’s students are very fortunate to have her. She is a teacher that takes a complete interest in each one’s needs individually. A few years back she brought her flute students to our home to have a casual “Master Class” with my husband. They all brought their saxophones and asked great questions. September is very generous with her time for her students and it’s all about giving the best to their education. She is one in a million.

– Linda & James Moody

What Students are Saying


A dedicated, inspirational pedagogue, Dr. Payne teaches beyond technical aspects of the flute to express ourselves. Her gift is imparting “how to”- from moving the sound, to a holistic approach to the fingers; she stresses integrity of rhythm, clarity of articulation. She enabled me to create the total musical ideal.

– Tim Nunnick
M.M., Graduate, San Diego State University, Flute Studio


Thank you for everything these past 6 years! I can’t even out into words how thankful I am for your teaching and guidance. I can’t wait for another awesome year with you!

– Elisha


Thank you for being such a wonderfully detailed teacher. You have helped me improve so much that I believe in myself and want to enter music school! You are truly the best teacher I ever had. Michelle reviews in quotes has a powerful effect on customers and makes them trust you.

– Michelle


Dr. Payne is extremely knowledgeable about the flute. She helped me improve my sound and technique all the while making it an exciting musical journey.

I highly recommend her both as an amazing teacher and for learning the love of music.

– Joanie Connell
Adult Student

Notes on a Sir James Galway Master Class

Hundreds of flute students, at all levels of development, were the lucky recipients of a lesson in the elegant basics on a Saturday morning in October at SDSU: the difference between knowing your instrument and being intimate with it. Sr. James Galway was giving them the knowledge to make the jump from being a player, to being a musician. Sr. James is a master at this:

The class that morning had many profound lessons and valuable references to his teacher, Marcel Moyse, as he used two of Moyse’s most famous books (“De la Sonorite” and “Exercices Journaliers”) to sum up the most worthwhile approach to practicing flute technique. He emphasized the secret to good flute playing is to join the finger technique wit the legato. To play seamlessly and a pure legato there are many elements: from fingers and tone to coordinating the breath-how to (hold on your breath while expelling it) support, packing and compressing the air and using smooth finger technique, fast finger technique, embouchure placement, which is connected with hand position flexibility, air direction, posture-standing -your foundation-left foot, right foot, arms -play the flute slightly in front of you, body-open stance, memorization-“I know the flute part to any symphony, I even know some of the other instrumental parts”, as he proceeded to play the viola part from a symphony.

“You must know where your “#C” is. It’ like looking for the Holy Grail, except you can’t find the Holy Grail but you can find #C!”

“Don’t press the keys down so hard you can hear them. Massage them! While using a lite touch, keep your fingers close to home.” “And while I’m at it, why do flutists slap the keys to get low D out? You can hear it in recordings because the microphone picks it up as an accent-it disturbs the phrase. There’s no ‘Bonk” in legato!

On vibrato he said, “We have to get rid of histerical vibrato….” Moyse called it “cache miseiere”. “Everyone! Say Hah. Stronger! Now Ha-Ha. Now Hah-Hah-Hah…. “. Step two, connect your hah’s and sing them-Aah, Aah-Aah and so on until everyone got it. Pay attention to the style of the music and what it says to you. Let the music dictate the kind of vibrato and the speed of it. Now put the fingers together and tell us a story-don’t just play the notes! You would never hear a great opera singer with hysterical vibrato or singing monotone, leave that for the back row of the Sunday church choir, he laughs.

“Memorize everything!”

While marveling at Sir Jame’s ability to connect with the students during that master class, it struck me. I had witnessed the same thing listening to Dr. Payne work with a beginning student. It is a gift, they both possess.

Les Parker, Supporter of the Arts