Saturday, January 14, 2012


As promised, here are the rules for the flute games mentioned in the Snow Day Survival Guide.  The idea with these games is to have fun and improve flute technique at the same time.  The rules are flexible and can be adjusted for any level of player.


At Flute Pro Shop, we use a wheel of fortune, pictured here.
This is dry-erase board material.  We write in the scales du jour, and spin the wheel for each contestant.  Depending on the age and experience of the players, each one gets one, two, or three chances to Nail That Scale as indicated by the wheel of fortune.  If a player cannot perform the scale in the agreed-upon chances, then they sit out the rest of the game.  A player can re-enter the game if they can perform a scale that another participant is unable to nail. To increase the degree of difficulty, use a metronome, and increase the tempo each round.  Generally 5 rounds (each person spinning and playing 5 times each) will result in every one having plenty of chances and getting a good flute work out.  If you don't have a wheel of fortune, it works out very well to write the scale names on little pieces of paper and draw them from a basket.  If you, too, would like a "Spin to Win," send us an email and we will be happy to sell you one!  I use this to jazz up swim practices for my adult swimmers...


 This game is great fun for all flutists.  The degree of difficulty is governed by the piece.
Everyone stands in a circle, with a metronome in the center, preferably one with a very loud click.  The group starts the piece, playing it all the way through, to the tempo on the metronome.  The metronome speed is increased by one notch and the piece is repeated.  This process is repeated until no one can play the piece at the tempo! 

Repertoire suggestions: Advanced J. S. Bach: Allegro from C Major Flute Sonata; Paganini: No. 5 from the 24 Caprices, Op. 1, the middle section known as perpetual motion; J. S. Bach: Badinerie, from the Suite in b-minor;the flute solo from the scherzo of Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream.  Intermediate Rondeau from J. S. Bach's Suite in b-minor; first movement of the Pergolaisi Concerto in G Major; Allegretto from the Godard Suite, Gossec's Tambourin.


This game works best with a large number of flutists.

Stand in a circle.  Starting with the leader of the group, the person on their right to play a scale That person gets 3 tries to play the scale perfectly.  If they can't play the scale, they sit down.  The game continues around the circle, until it gets back to the leader.  At this point, the scale requests are reversed, with everyone asking the person to their left to play a particular scale.  The game continues until only one person is standing.

Some interesting points: because the direction is reversed, if you have been nasty and asked the person on your right something like g# melodic minor, that person can "return the favor" on the next round, and ask you something like Eb melodic minor....

This game can be simplified to include only a small number of scales, such as 3-b's and 3-#'s.  Or, it can be made more difficult by including all Major, minor, chromatic, and whole tone scales.  To add yet another degree of difficulty, do the scales to the extreme ranges of the flute, going past tonic to the highest and lowest notes, and finally resolving to tonic.  Implementation of a metronome is another way to make it extra challenging.  Use your imagination!

Have fun with these, and please be in touch with any ideas you have to make these games more entertaining!!



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