Flute Curriculum

Jan Angus and Sophia Gibbs Kim
Senior Instructors


Introductory Level

(for beginning students with no prior exposure to music reading or school music instruction on the flute)

Introductory Skills

Sound production on the head joint

  • Formation of embouchure/aperture and placement of flute on lips
  • Learning to breathe correctly

Correct assembly and cleaning of the flute
Learning correct hand position as well as good posture when standing or sitting
Introduction of musical notes and corresponding fingerings
Introduction of music notation, the concept of time and key signatures as student is able

Suggested Methods as student is able

Anzalone –Breeze-Easy Method Books 1
Steenland & Weber – Flute Student Books 1
Rubank – Elementary Method
Wye – A Beginners’ Book for the Flute, Part One and Part Two

Sample Solos

L. Moyse – Forty Little Pieces


Level I

(beginning students with prior school music instruction)

Musical Skills

Proper breathing
Sound production and the formation of embouchure/aperture and placement of flute on lips
Introduction of long tones
Understanding time signatures and basic note values

  • Begin to verbalize rhythmic patterns

Understanding key signatures and their relationship to major scales

Technical Skills

Good hand position as well as good posture when standing or sitting
Introduction of basic articulation (single tonguing, slurring, staccato, accent)
Range: D1 to D3 (to G3 if able)
Scales, thirds and arpeggios in the major keys of C, F, G, Bb, D, Eb, A, one octave, memorized
Chromatic Scale C2-C3
Consistent fingering of D2 and Eb2 with no left hand first finger; use right hand pinky consistently on all notes but
D1 and 2

Ensemble Skills

Be able to count independently and stay with a conductor

Suggested Methods

Anzalone –Breeze-Easy Method Books 1
Steenland & Weber – Flute Student Books 1
Rubank – Elementary Method
Wye – A Beginners’ Book for the Flute, Part One

Sample Solos

Burgstahler – Flutella
Gretchaninoff – First Waltz
Lewallen –Petite Poem
Mendelssohn – On the Wings of Song
L. Moyse – Forty Little Pieces


Level II

Musical Skills

Continued attention to the mechanics of tone production
Continued close attention to good body, hand (curved fingers) and head position
Learning to hear and produce a focused tone

  • Understanding the aperture and the angle of the air stream and its relation to producing a clear and projecting tone
  • Strengthening the embouchure
  • Understanding related diaphragmatic support and breath control

Introduction of harmonics and their role in playing high register notes
Introducing the concept of control through crescendo/diminuendo

Technical Skills

Begin removing corks from open hole flute as student’s hand position allows
Range: C1 to G3 (B3 as able)
Scales, thirds and arpeggios in major keys up to 5 sharps and 5 flats
2 octaves in quarter notes
Begin minor scales
Chromatic scale D1 – G3 (higher if able)
Use of the thumb Bb
Intonation of C#2

Methods and Etudes

Anzalone –Breeze-Easy Method Books 2
Garibaldi – 32 Instructive Studies for Flute
Rubank – Intermediate and Advanced Volume 1
Steenland & Weber – Flute Student Books 2
Wye – A Beginners’ Book for the Flute, Part Two

Sample Solos

Burgstahler – Spinning Wheel
Dick – Dorset Street and Sun Shower
Faure – Berceuse from Dolly Suite
Gossec – Gavotte
Handel – Sonata in g minor
Masson – March of the Buffoons
L. Moyse – First solos
Voxman – Concert and Contest Pieces


Level III

Musical Skills

Begin setting performance goals (ECMS recitals, NYSSMA solo festivals)
Discuss good practice habits and performance mindset; learn how to deal with nerves and stress
Sight reading practice
Focused work on tone production using T. Wye: Tone
Concentration on building smooth, even finger technique
Understanding simple phrase structure

  • Use breathing that clearly communicates the phrase
  • Using articulation that helps shape a phrase

Introduction of vibrato
Harmonics, whistle or whisper tones
Introduction of odd meters

Technical Skills

Range: 1C to B3 (C4 if able)

  • Facility with foot joint notes

Scales, thirds and arpeggios in major keys up to 6 flats/sharps

  • 2 octaves in quarters notes, eighth notes as able
  • Memorized
  • Played with varied articulation groupings

Begin memorization of minor scales
Chromatic scale, C1 to B3
Introduction of double tonguing; flutter tonguing

Methods and Etudes

Bona – Rhythmic Articulation
Cavally – Melodious and Progressive Studies, Bk 1
Gates – Odd Meter Etudes
Guenther – Book 2
Lester-Terry – 60 Rambles
Reichart – Seven Daily Exercises
Rubank – Advanced Method Vol. 2
Wye – Practice Book for Flute, Tone, Volume 1
Zachert – Melodic Studies

Sample Solos

Gaubert, Madrigal
Handel – Sonatas in F Major and G Major
Telemann – Sonata in F Major
Continuation of Voxman – Concert and Contest Pieces Ex: Anderson, Scherzino, Gluck, Menuet and Spirit Dance; Bach, Polonaise or Cavally – 24 Short Concert Pieces


Level IV

Musical Skills

Develop good practice habits
Continue vibrato work
Develop tone through use of crescendo, diminuendo
Whisper (whistle) tones
Tone bending and intonation work


Memorization of all major scales, thirds and arpeggios, 2-3 octaves
Memorization of minor scales, 2 octaves
Chromatic scale, C1 – C4
Facility in using various articulations
Develop speed and evenness of double tonguing; triple tonguing
Develop facile finger technique


Continue previous studies.
Taffanel et Gaubert – 17 Daily Exercises
W. Kujala – Vade Mecum
Maquarre – Daily Exercises
Cavally – Melodious and Progressive Studies, complete Book 1; Book 2
Hugues – 40 Studies

Sample Solos

Bach – Sonatas in Eb Major and g minor
Debussy – Syrinx
Faure, Morceau de Concours
Selected sonatas by Blavet, Handel, Quantz, Vivaldi
Mozart – Andante C Major
Quantz – Concerto in G Major


Level V: Diploma Level

Musical Skills

Focus on the development of critical faculties
Learn to diagnose musical and technical problems
Encourage the evolution within the student of her/his own concepts of musical expression, style and tone (refining the interpretation of musical terms)
Maintenance of vibrato, developing different speeds


Range development with greater facility, incorporating C#4, D4
Maintenance of all scales played the entire range of the flute and played in varied rhythmic grouping (3, 4, 5 notes/beat)
Diminished and augmented arpeggios
Maintenance of facility with articulation groupings

  • Add triple tonguing

Multiphonics and “singing and playing”


Continuation of previous daily exercises.
M. Moyse – Exercises Journaliers
M. Moyse – De La Sonorite
Anderson, 24 Studies Op. 33
Berbiguier – 18 Studies
Cavally – Melodious and Progressive Studies 11and III
Voxman – Selected Studies

Sample Solos

CPE Bach, Sonata in a minor
Bach –, E Major, C Major, A Major
Boccherini – Concerto in D Major
Morlacchi – Swiss Shepherd
Muczynski – Three Preludes
Telemann – Suite in A Minor
Hoover – Kokopeli


Level VI: Honors Level

Preparation for potential conservatory education

Preparation of a compelling college audition (if applicable), including four contrasting works including a major concerto, sonata, French Paris Conservatory Piece and contemporary work

Familiarity with the piccolo

Etudes and Studies

Mastery of Daily Exercises
Continuation of the previous studies
Gilbert – Sequences
Gilbert – Technical Facility
Altes – 26 Selected Studies
Anderson – 24 Studies, Op. 15
Karg-Elert – 30 Caprices, Op. 107
Baxtresser – Orchestral Excerpts for Flute

Sample Solos

Bach – Sonata in a, e, b minor
Dutilleux – Sonatine
Hue – Fantasie
Martinu – Sonata
L. Moyse – Music of French Composers
Mozart – Concertos in G and D Major
Varied solo literature of all periods
NFA commissioned works for the high school competition, e.g.

  • Brown – Trillium
  • Dick – Lookout
  • Offermans – Honami
  • Colquhoun – Charanga

Musical Skills

Development of musical style and artistry
Demonstrate the highest musical potential, pushing boundaries of technique and musical expression
Demonstrate facility in entire range of instrument with greater ease
Knowledge and application of musical terms

Technical Skills

Continue all scales, major and minor, 3 octaves incorporating C#4, D4
All arpeggios – major, minor, diminished, augmented
Chromatic and whole tone scales including C#4, D4
Demonstrate facility with all articulation groupings including double and triple tonguing
Alternate fingerings for intonation and facility
The student will be expected to exercise initiative in gaining orchestral and chamber music experience, both in school and in the community.
Prepare for Honors Jury to be played in January of senior year.
The student may wish to enter one or more of the following competitions:

  • Rochester Flute Association Recital or Master Class Competition
  • Penfield Symphony Concerto Competition
  • Hochstein Recital Competition
  • Geneseo Concerto Competition
  • Greer Young Artist Competition (Rochester Philharmonic League)
  • National Flute Association High School Flute Choir or Soloist Competitions

In addition, students may wish to attend various summer festivals and workshops for flute or piccolo performance. These are listed annually in the Flute Talk magazine, the National Flute Association magazine and published by the Rochester Flute Association in a spring newsletter.


Last updated: 5/30/08


Student Handbook Table of Contents