Essential flute maintenance reveals a hidden treasure

I’ve been doing some hands-on maintenance on my 19th Century wooden flute, which has now additionally been re-corked by local Lancaster flute maker Phil Bleazey. I found an unexpected treasure under the B flat key – the initial ‘N’ stamped on the back, presumably by the maker of the key. This flute, made by Bernard Lee & Co at 17, Old Bond Street London, dates from circa 1840, so the stamp was a very interesting find, like a message from the past.

Of course I had to try it out at the earliest opportunity. Here I am playing two reels I learned in South Sligo: The Cobblers, and I’m Waiting for You.

It’s never too late to pick up an instrument! Five tips for adult beginners.

If you’re considering learning to play an instrument, but are a bit nervous about taking the plunge or worried you may be too old to start, you should absolutely read this article. It is written from the perspective of a cello teacher, but it is 100% applicable to learning any instrument, including tin whistle and flute:

It’s Never Too Late to Pick Up an Instrument—Here are 5 Tips for Adult Beginnersby Miranda Wilson

I totally agree with Miranda’s perspective here. As the article says, it is important for teachers to recognise that adult learners have different challenges than children and younger people, and need to progress at their own pace with the right kind of support.

I have been teaching tin whistle and flute to adults for many years, and have never yet taught anyone who could NOT learn and progress with time, effort and a bit of nurture. I strongly believe learning to play music should be a fun endeavor in itself, and as a teacher I always approach it in that way. I always take it at your pace, teaching technique and repertoire incrementally, so that you’re always making progress and never feel disheartened.

So, after reading the above, if you’re thinking of learning to play Irish music on whistle or flute, and think you might be brave enough to have a few lessons to start you off, why not get in touch? Contact Bev


Some of the brave and talented adult learners at my last tin whistle workshop for Folkus

Website updated!

I have done a massive overhaul of my music website, including a list of all gigs in my diary for the coming year, and some more in-depth information about the teaching and performing I can do.

Some of the details information about gigs is still to be added, but I’m getting there!