Individual Differences

Music West views each flutist as unique designing its programs to suit the learning needs of each individual no matter the student’s musical level or age. Individualized curriculum is offered through a choice of multiple private lesson programs and various ensembles. Attention to detail, as well as the genuine care about the student’s welfare and progress is given to each person.

While students glean inspiration and joy from the music itself, and it is indeed an aim to have fun playing the flute, the primary goal for the student is to focus on learning. Therefore, only those committed to regular practice and hard work will be admitted to Music West programs.

Music West’s teaching style adheres to a conservatory/university approach to teaching repertoire, concentrating on the classics of the literature (which is honed through fundamentals), scales, etudes and progressive repertoire levels.

Dr. Payne’s teaching style can be described as firm, yet gentle handed, using positive reinforcement.

Preparatory Flute Program

1-3 Months (20 Minutes Per Session)

At the Preparatory Level students learn assembly/care of the flute, how to maximize air flow through the head piece, and progressively learn left and right hand positions with basic note learning. The repertoire starts with simple rhythms in three note songs, progressing to five, then seven note songs in five key signatures. Prerequisites to the next level include mastering the dotted quarter note rhythm, playing one-octave scales in 5 keys and sustaining middle register notes.

Beginner Flute Program

4-8 Months (30 Minutes Per Session)

Emphasis at this level is on strong fundamental skills such as tone development, rhythm/pulse, and the ability to work with a metronome. Physical aspects of the flute include posture, hand position, and breathing. Preliminary technical aspects stress one and a half octave scales and arpeggios (up to high G), and sight-reading reading duets. Practice time required: 15-30 minutes, 5 days a week.

Young Artist Intermediate Program

Ongoing (45 or 60 Minutes Per Session)

This program is a continuation of the Beginner Flute Program with emphasis on musicianship, and further development of the 4 “T’s” – Tone, Tonguing, Technique, and Talent development. Because practicing is a fine art, Music West helps students discover more efficient and meaningful ways to organize practice time.

Students also learn how to use extended scale patterns in methodical and progressive technique books such as Taffanel and Gaubert’s 17 Daily Exercises. Fluid and fast scale development in 2-3 octave major and minor scales is seriously stressed at this level. Also included is an introduction to orchestral excerpts, and sight-reading advanced rhythms and ledger lines. A daily practice review of all material by the student is essential for progress. Practice time required: 45 minutes-1.5 hours, 5 days a week.

Young Artist Advanced Program

Ongoing (60 Minutes Per Session)

This is a continuation of the Intermediate Program, requiring work on multiple solos covering all historical eras per semester, plus advanced orchestral excerpts, extended techniques, and high level sight-reading skills. Regular Performance Master Class participation (see “Competitions”) is required to be eligible to enter a series of competitions, festivals, and accredited exam opportunities. Flute listening assignments, attendance at local professional concerts, and music journaling is also encouraged. Practice time required: 1-2 hours +, 5 days a week.

Young Artist Honor Program

Ongoing (1.5+ Hours Per Session)

In this competitive, mentorship program, each student receives 1.5-2 hours of instruction per week, one make-up lesson and one free Performance Master Class per semester, plus technique classes. The program is open to any age level however, prerequisites include entering competitions for memory and students must be in either the Intermediate or Advanced Programs above. Furthermore, they must pledge to attend all guest artists master classes, and perform in 3-5 Performance Master Classes and/or a combination of recitals by memory per semester. Practice time required: 1.5-2.5 hours, 5 days per week.