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Flute: Get Ready for Band by Sarah Broughton Stalbow

From the Best Start Music Lessons series is Flute: Get Ready for Band. This book is designed with the primary purpose of preparing flutists for joining a band. Flutists usually need a specialist to help them at least learn the basics because of how a flute’s sound can change depending on how it’s held. Of course, it helps with all instruments but with flute, one does not blow directly into the instrument like other wind instruments. This is where Get Ready for Band and a flute teacher are effective tools. Starting in a position to get better sound quality and more effective note ordering, the flutist using this book will develop a greater sense of security and confidence playing the flute. It also helps flute students progress as quickly, if not more, than the band. Result: can we get a flute choir, please?

The book begins with the Best Start series reading music and flute resources which includes parts of the flute, how to read a fingering chart, and basic music theory. This is then followed by a variety of blowing exercises (did you know flute takes AN ABUNDANCE of air?), exercises for forming the lips to make great sound, and rhythm exercises. I strongly recommend referencing back to at least a few times as you go through the book for each of these exercises. The order of notes provided in a logical sequence from a flutist’s perspective. Most band books start with Bb with D and C following soon after, which is cruel in my opinion, and asks inexperienced/new students to execute a full finger switch. Get Ready for Band starts with B (natural), A and G, then moves to octaves soon after. Bb, C and D are about the 6th through 8th notes learned, providing students with a better opportunity to learn how to properly hold the flute.

There are several repeated songs in the book, allowing for discussions about transposition and possibly some ear training too! Some tunes are also taken from major to minor. Scales are introduced on the 5-note level far sooner than most band books which start them off in the one-octave range (an intimidating task!). Single-octave scales are covered at the end of the book, as well as the basics of ledger line notes and notes in the treble clef staff basement.

Get Ready for Band Cheat Sheet
Download PDF • 535KB


  • Written for beginning band flutists

  • Can be used as a flute group or individual lessons

  • Flute resources like parts of flute, fingering chart, basics of music reading

  • Exercises for embouchure, headjoint, and rhythms

  • Starts on different notes than band book, but gets to band notes quickly

  • Songs repeated on different notes

  • Starts with 5-note scales, by the end are full octave scales

  • First ledger line notes started by the end

From the Author:

The purpose of this book is to provide extra materials for flute students in band programs. Ideally, it should be started before a student attends their first band practice. I also wanted this book to be a resource that would assist parents to help students at home, especially in the first few lessons when they are learning how to make a sound.

With Get Ready For Band, I have attempted to fill in some of the gaps in the traditional band

method books with more flute specific exercises. For example, it begins with exercises for head joint only, focusing on developing breath control and embouchure on the head joint before moving to the whole flute.

Unlike traditional band methods, this book starts with the notes B, A and G. Each note is

introduced one at a time, and then in combination using well known folk songs. The same songs are used throughout the book in different keys as each new note is introduced. Students are also encouraged to play in multiple octaves from early on with the songs being transposed one octave higher. While introducing Bb and Eb early on so that students are prepared for band, I have also introduced B natural and E natural, so that students do not become limited to only band repertoire!

I have also included some five and eight note scales, as well as short technical exercises such as slurred octaves. These can become daily warm up exercises for students.

Get Ready For Band is aimed at beginners around age 8 and older, however the beginning pages on blowing and embouchure development are also suitable for younger beginners.

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