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Fife

Fife next to a flute

Let me tell you a little bit more about the fife to see if you feel it would be the right instrument for you to start your flute lessons on?

Most pupils spend the first term of lessons on the fife before transferring onto the flute.

The fife is half the size of the flute and is made in two pieces of shaped plastic. It is similar in size and range to the descant recorder but is a transverse instrument (it is held to the side of the body like the flute). Many of the fingerings are the same (or very similar) to the flute. There are no keys on the fife and the notes are formed by covering finger-holes; again, like the recorder.  The embouchure (lip shape needed for blowing the flute) can be learned effectively on a smaller less complex instrument which is much lighter and easier to hold, particularly for smaller children.

I have extensive experience in teaching the fife as an introduction to the flute and enjoy working with the instrument. I have found that with some effort, practice and determination, children can and do succeed very well on the fife and find the accompanying tutor book fun to work from with its colourful cartoon cover and many well known and simple tunes which can be played within a couple of lessons. I have taught children on the fife from the age of eight through to fourteen and have seen its appeal across a wide age range!

Some advantages of the fife to consider when starting on your course of flute lessons:

- Light and easy to hold. No complex key-work to worry about.

- Fits easily into your bag and is virtually indestructible!

- Much cheaper to buy than a flute so you can decide if it suits you before making a larger investment.

- Allows the effective teaching of good posture, hand positions, embouchure and other basic flute techniques.

- A more manageable size to suit a smaller child even as young as six or seven.

- Reasonably priced and fun tutor book containing tunes you’ll recognise and enjoy learning to play!

Copyright(c) 2005 Jemma Bloch