The Suzuki Method focusses on young people because babies and children are most perceptive to language learning, and their aural abilities are at their most receptive, until 7-8 years old (Sheils, M.L., Eye before Ear or Ear before Eye: the Dilemma – how should we teach music to the young?)  While violinists and pianists can begin from the age of 3, the flute presents some physical challenges to little people.  Thus, age 4-5 is realistically the youngest that a flute player can physically hold the instrument (with curved headjoint).

Helen’s teaching methods are derived from highly experienced Suzuki Flute and Piano Teacher Julia Breen (Melbourne), and involve consistent listening to recordings at home, learning words to early pieces, correct posture, and fingering positions on a mock flute.  It takes time to coordinate breathing, fingering and note memory and to develop the correct embouchure.  By the time a child is ready to transition to a curved flute, they have solid foundations in all of these areas and are soon able to play pieces that have been carefully prepared.  From these foundations, and with consistent and enjoyable daily practice, playing the flute can be a real thrill for both these children and their families.