Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Wyoming Summer Flute Intensive 2019

Last month to register!

Wyoming Summer Flute Intensive

June 21-23, 2019
Spend three days with Dr. Nicole Riner, University of Wyoming, building your tone, learning creative practice tips, preparing audition music, and bonding with fellow flutists in this immersion course. Optional topics include an introduction to piccolo playing and overcoming stage fright. Come in a humble band flutist, leave a flute rock star! For advanced junior high and high school flutists, grades 8-12. Final schedule subject to enrollment. This reduced-tuition opportunity is available subject to our ability to meet minimum enrollment.

We always change up some of the schedule, so returning students will get a new experience each year.


Noon: check-in and registration begins (BCPA Box Office and lobby)
1pm: Welcome, Establishing a Breathing and Stretching Routine (BCPA Recital Hall)
2pm: Building a Better Tone
3pm: Conquering Performance Anxiety
3:45pm: flute choir sight-reading
5:00pm: dinner
7:30pm: Faculty Recital

8am: breakfast
9am: stretches/breathing/tone
10:30pm options: introduction to beatboxing OR introduction to piccolo
12pm: lunch
1:30: How to Practice / Technique Builder
2pm: Group Scale Class
2:30pm: Master Class
5pm: dinner
7pm: Open Mic Night: everyone plays!

8am: breakfast, check out of dorms
9am: stretches/breathing/tone
10:30pm: supervised practice/mini-lessons
11:50am: closing remarks
12pm: depart UW

Online registration is available here and will be open until May 20, 2019. Email if you have questions!  
nriner [at] uwyo [dot] edu.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Introducing the Rock Star Workout for Flutists

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I think it's crucial to have a daily routine for yourselves that encompasses all aspects of sound production, technique, and repertoire (or what I refer to as the Practice Triad of Triumph). No one needs another scale book out there in the flute world--we have plenty (and several really good ones downloadable for free on imslp.org). But tone, intonation, articulation, and vibrato exercises can be a little scattered in our repertoire. So, I created a handy, concise booklet of some of my favorites to cover all the bases every day. You can download the whole thing right here for free:

This workout is meant for advanced junior high school and high school students, but can serve as a fine review or starting point for flutists of all ages. I had the pleasure of taking it for a spin it at several schools in Casper, Wyoming a couple of weeks ago (thanks for your hospitality, Natrona County schools!), and we also teach a lot of these materials every summer at the Wyoming Summer Flute Intensive. I hope readers will find something new, something improved, or at least a helpful reminder, somewhere in this collection; now is a great time to start establishing a routine you can maintain all summer!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Springtime means dieting...from social media!

I am trying to think of all the ways in which my lack of self-control around social media has diminished my quality of life. Does every morning when I should be practicing my scales and long tones mindfully count? Because I often find myself at the end of the low register wondering how I got there. And I am definitely guilty of unnecessarily repeating those left-handed fingerings to click on a particularly adorable cat video.

Or how about all of the conversations I have missed before and after gigs because I'm busy posting that I am about to do / just did said gig? The annoying photos after a master class where we all have to ham in front of 5 or 6 people's phones on stage?

And then there are the work emails I really don't need to read immediately, but I do, and then spend an entire 4-hour hike (or all night in bed!) obsessing over the "fire" I'm going to have to put out when I get back to my phone.

I'm doing some spring cleaning right now, and I'm targeting my daily routines (though I also Mario Kondo'd the heck out of my sock drawer yesterday). So if you're like me (and in this way at least, I bet you are) and could stand to go on a social media diet in order to be more present in the world around you, may I share some tips I've dug up along the way?

Try some apps to help you develop self-control

  • News Feed Eradicator: Hides your Facebook news feed and replace it with an inspiring quote (but your profile and pages are still fully accessible for work posts)
  • Offtime: Keeps track of your social media usage and allows you to apply filters and schedule breaks
  • Buffer: Schedule posts to avoid distraction (squirrel!) when promoting is necessary
  • Self Control: Block the internet when you're working on your computer. 

Take control of your phone

  • Alter your settings: shut off alerts for all social media apps, and remember that airplane mode can be used when you're not flying! (I particularly like it right after I've posted something juicy so I don't keep checking for responses all afternoon.)
  • Consider deleting mobile apps: You can't function in Insta on your laptop, but you can definitely live without Facebook on your phone (and maybe save yourself a little privacy in the process). Same with Twitter, and who needs that much toxicity at their fingertips, anyway?

Change the way you scroll

  • Search with purpose: Start asking yourself why you're getting on and what you're looking for.  If your answer is "???" or "boredom", set the phone aside!
  • Take off weekends (or whatever time frame works for you): Have a weekly scheduled down time to get outside, remember the color of your partner's eyes, or cook an amazing meal.
  • Give yourself a time limit: You can limit the amount of time you'll allow yourself to surf and the number of times a day you do it. I look at Instagram with my second cup of coffee after breakfast, for instance, and that's it.  I don't log in to Facebook until afternoon, and I use it as a practice break, etc. Build in little brainless treats for yourself and leave it at that. 
  • Keep a calendar for future posts: If you're making posts for business/self-promotion/etc., you can plan them out and even write them offline. Stick them in your Google (or whatever you use) calendar and then all you have to do it get in, drop the post, and get out.  

Social media doesn't have to be the devil in your life, and it's a great (free) tool for reaching out and staying relevant. But we could probably all use an occasional reminder that "a little goes a long way".  Happy dieting!