Blocki Flute Method by Kathy Blocki
Hi there! My name is Stéphanie Superle and I’m thrilled to be a guest contributor this month for Flute Thoughts of Larissa. When Larissa reached out about reviewing The Blocki Flute Method, I jumped at the opportunity to talk about the book that made a tremendous impact on my teaching! For anyone unfamiliar with The Blocki Flute Method, the first valuable piece of information to know is that this book was written by award-winning flute pedagogue, Kathy Blocki - she is the inventor or the Pneumo Pro Wind Director and the creator of The KinderFlute Method. These two innovations have been significant in the evolution of flute pedagogy so if you’re interested in teaching young flutists (or improving elements of your own playing!), you should definitely check them out! The first edition of The Blocki Flute Method Book 1 was written in 1997 and in that time has seen several revisions and edits. The most current edition is the 5th edition and, according to blockiflute.com, here’s what’s new: “After using the method for over 10 years, we knew which pieces the students loved and which ones were just “okay.” Anything that was just “okay” has been replaced with kid tested exciting pieces. There are many new duets and since students love trills we’ve included many more. These trills have transformed boring octave exercises into motivating pieces such as Half Pipe Stunts, Trampoline Tricks, and Bungee Jumping A’s. Other new favorites include the Yankee Doodle Theme and Variations (which kids love because it makes them sound almost virtuosic), The Sad Singing Swan, and the Daring Detective.” What else will you find in The Blocki Flute Method Book 1?
- Flute embouchure photos on both the flute and the Pneumo Pro Wind Director - Music Theory Basics - Head Joint activities: for head joint and Pneumo Pro - Student composition activities - Student-Teacher duets - Interval activities - Note reading games - 5-note scales, songs, intervals, games, activities - Accompaniment tracks are available on YouTube - Lots of head joint-only activities to develop tone & flexibility - Photos of embouchures, head joint placement, hand position, and how to use the Pneumo Pro For anyone new to The Blocki Flute Method, the Teacher Manual is quite helpful in understanding Kathy’s approach and will help with introducing new concepts before they arrive in the book. For example, teaching B to C happens earlier in practice than it does in the book. The Teacher’s Manual gives you all of Kathy’s tips and tricks for teaching with this method. There is also a corresponding duet book. One thing to keep in mind is the length/size of Book 1. At 86 pages, it’s rare for students to complete it in the first year - at least in my experience. I always wondered when working with and learning from Kathy how she manages to get through the book with her students so quickly! Thankfully, Kathy has just released a new series called Flute Zoo that addresses this concern by sharing The Blocki Flute Method in smaller “bite-sized” segments for young beginners. Stay tuned for the next Flute Thoughts of Larissa blog post for the scoop on Kathy Blocki’s new Flute Zoo Books!!
PS - if you’re as big of a method book nerd as Larissa and I are, come join us in the FlutePlay community where we explore a new method book every month. Together we have created a safe and welcome space to learn, explore, and connect on all things flute pedagogy!!