Flute Studio of Emma Pease-Byron

"Flute music is love music from the heart. It must not stop, lest the pulsing of the heart be broken." ~ Judith Redman Robbins

Flutastic Monthly – May 2014

Student Achievements

Students participate in so many events through the school year and work so hard to do well in every one of them. I don’t do a good enough job of singing their praises. I am proud of each and everyone of them!

The lists that follow are just a snap shot of their accomplishments over the last 9 months.

 Las Vegas Academy

Last Fall Alyssa Corso was accepted as a freshman and last month Dana Sullivan was accepted for next year.

 Junior Festival 2013

Alyssa Corso – Excellent Rating

Eryn Best – Excellent Rating

MacKenzie Puckett – Superior Rating

Megan Gleason – Superior Rating

Dana and Megan Duet—Superior with Honors!

Las Vegas Youth Orchestra

Last Fall Megan Gleason and Dana Sullivan were both accepted to the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras as 8th graders, They are currently working on their audition materials for next year. Auditions are open to all CCSD students and take place next month on the 17th.

 Solo and Ensemble

All students who were eligible participated in the CCSD Solo and Ensemble Competitions and almost all were awarded Superior (I) ratings. Three high school students, Eryn Best, Kevin Lozada and MacKenzie Puckett were recommended for regionals and both Eryn and MacKenzie competed.


Theory Exam: Dana Sullivan 92%, Umi Caldwell 93%, MacKenzie Puckett 94% and Emma Knightly 98%

 Cultivating the Practice Habit

I love change! I especially love the change from the school year to the summer and back. I’d like to use this summer to have everyone work on cultivating “the practice habit.”

Over the next few months let’s work to practice better and more regularly – daily! If we take this stretch of time that is free from marching band rehearsals, homework, sports and clubs and strengthen our practice habit, it will be easier to be consistent when our schedules are full.

If you don’t already have a daily practice habit you may want to start with a short increment, try 15 minutes a day, every day. It’s easier to form a habit when you start small and focus on celebrating consistency. The amount of time can be increased incrementally, add 15 minutes a week for example, until your ideal amount of time has been reached.

Protect your practice time by doing it at the same time each day. You may even consider practicing first thing in morning, even if that means getting up early.

Keep track of the days you practice on a calendar, put a sticker on every day you practice and soon you’ll have an impressive streak going. On days you don’t really feel like practicing, you might be motivated by your desire to keep your streak going.

The best part of habits is that they happen automatically. The best part of practicing consistently is the progress you make and the skills you develop. The biggest reward will be returning to school in better shape than you left.

 Practice Challenge 2014

According to conventional wisdom it takes 21 days to form a habit. While this is true for easy single step tasks (like making your bed first thing in the morning) more complicated tasks take more time. However, a 21 day streak is a great first goal.

This summer, starting June 1st and ending August 31st, we’ll participate in a practice challenge consisting of 3 levels: 21 days, 42 days and 92 days. To achieve each level, your days must be counted consecutively and you must play at least 15 minutes each day.

Each level will have different level prizes. We’ll use individual and studio wide charts to keep track and we’ll also keep track of total practice days for each student and the whole studio.

I am also going to participate. See if you can beat me!

Summer Events


  • Friday, May 9, 8pm, Henderson Pavilion – Henderson Symphony Orchestra: Brahms Requiem. Emma to play second part.
  • Friday, May 23, 2-5pm, Mallie’s Studio – Piano rehearsal for Spring Recital. Mallie studio: 431 Ackerman Lane, NV 89014. Schedule your rehearsal 20 or 30 minute rehearsal with Emma.
  • Saturday, May 31, 1pm, Family Music Center on Green Valley – Spring Recital. Please bring your family and friends!


  • Sunday, June 1 – Practice Challenge Begins
  • Monday, June 9 – Summer Lesson Schedule Begins
  • Sunday, June 14h, 2pm, CSN Cheyenne, Recital Hall – LVFC Student Recital. Open performance to all members under 18. Visit www.lasvegasfluteclub.com for more information.
  • Sunday June 29 and Monday June 30 – Mater-class and Recital by Paul Fried. Master-class has not yet filled, please contact Emma or the LVFC if you are interested in participating. Visit www.lasvegasfluteclub.com for more information.


  • July 20 – July 25, Alexander Dawson School – Desert Suzuki Institute. This year Emma will take the book 4 Teacher Training course and Helen will take her first Pre-Twinkle Camp! Visit www.desertsuzukiinstitute.com for more information.

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Musicality – Quick and Dirty Tips that Make Music Out of Noise: Small Gestures

Ever been told to play more musically, with expression or with feeling? I’ve always found those types of comments frustrating. As a high school and college flutist I wanted to play expressively, but I often didn’t know how. More commonly, I thought I was playing musically and was surprised to find out that I wasn’t. I didn’t have the rudimentary skills of musicality, expressivity and interpretation, which need to be taught and understood, just like tone, technique and articulation. In this column this year I will attempt to distill musicality down to its fundamental components.

The following small gestures should be handled the same way, more or less, in every piece of music. These are each small, basic ideas that all flutists, even beginners, can execute.

Put Space Between Repeated Pitches. This makes the second note easier to hear and distinguishes it from the preceding note. Imagine the way a pianist would have to play two repeated pitches; their finger would have to come completely off the key before re-striking, a lift you can see and hear.

Emphasize First Note of Two Note Slurs. This emphasis is made by articulating the first note heavier than you would normally and tapering, or creating a decrescendo, through the slur. Avoid accenting the first note or playing the second note shorter than written.

Create Variety in Repetition. When notes, or groups of note repeat, play successive repetitions louder, softer, or with gentle changes in tempo. Different notes in each repetition can also be emphasized by playing them heavier, longer or with different kinds of articulations. Always play echoes softer.

Crescendo through Large Ascending Leaps. In addition to creating a dramatic shape the additional air will help keep the big interval in tune.

Eventually these all become automatic, leaving head space for bigger, more sophisticated shaping. Along with following these tips, and the advice of a good teacher, listen lots of recordings of fine performers.


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