Starting Out review Lyndie Leviston

I still remember the day I taught my first student. Hand-me-downs from my teacher, I was plunged into the world of teaching with no formal training at all. As I read ‘Starting out - Tips, Traps and Troubleshooting for the Beginning Flute Teacher’ by Jude Huxtable and Jocelyn Fazzone, I found myself wishing I had been given this pedagogical guide to read before teaching my first student.

Covering 16 areas of teaching, from the first lesson, embouchure, posture, breathing, tonguing, intonation, motivation, group lessons, adult students and lesson plans, each chapter is divided into Tips, Traps and Troubleshooting.

Drawing on decades of experience, Jude Huxtable and Jocelyn Fazzone clearly and simply walk you through the correct way to teach a new concept, followed by common problems and what to look out for. Often we inherit students who are already entrenched in bad habits, so the section on Troubleshooting is particularly helpful. 

The final chapter ’Tying it all together’ challenges teachers to look at their own lesson planning with long term, medium term and short term goals for each individual student. Five lesson plan examples are laid out in an appendix at the back of the book. 

Particularly encouraging is the chapter on Professional Development - Instrumentalist teachers often work in isolation and are themselves at risk of being stale and discouraged. Opportunities abound to keep you enthusiastic. Many suggestions are given, such as attending festivals, becoming a member of a society or guild, staying alive as a performer and entering your students into competitions and exams.

Jude Huxtable and Jocelyn Fazzone are both prolific teachers in Sydney and have produced hundreds of advanced flutists. ‘Starting Out’ is an ideal gift to give an advanced student as they venture out into the world of teaching.

Lyndie Leviston
B.Mus Performers Australian Flute Festival Coordinator/Director