Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I receive over on Instagram and Youtube.
What brand is your flute?
I play on a 9-karat rose gold Muramatsu with a silver mechanism. My piccolo is a Burkhart and I play on a copper alloy Trevor James alto flute.
How long have you been
playing the flute?
I started playing the flute when I was 10 years old through my school's band program. I began private lessons a year later when I was 11, and have been playing ever since! I graduated with my Masters in Flute Performance in 2016, so I will let you do the math ;)
Where did you go to school?
I completed by Bachelor of Music degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where I studied with Paula Robison, and my Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in NYC, where I studied with Robert Langevin. I did some additional studies at the Peabody Institute in the Graduate Performance Diploma program with Marina Piccinini.
Do you play any
I started with piano lessons around age 8. It became clear to me that I wanted to focus on the flute by middle school, so I wasn't as dedicated to my piano studies. However, I still play occasionally for fun, and I recommend studying piano to any serious musician!
What flute should I buy /
where should I buy a flute?
For the ultimate beginner, I would recommend checking out any of these student flutes from the Flute Center of New York, or you can check out my YouTube video where I share my three favorite student flutes. I would caution against purchasing a flute from places like Amazon, Walmart, or even Wish.com, as these instruments are poorly made and will cause a lot of frustration for the player! As a beginner, it is most important to have a well made instrument that functions properly. Later on when moving up to an intermediate or professional model flute, individual taste comes into play. Finding the right flute for you is a very personal endeavor; there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution! The most important piece of advice I could give would be to try as many flutes as possible from as many flutemakers as possible. You can visit a shop like the Flute Center of New York, which carries all different brands of flutes and allows you to take the instruments out on a trial period. If you aren't able to visit the FCNY in person, you can set up a trial on their website and they will ship the flutes to you! Use my code KTFL for free shipping, an extended 10 day trial period, and an extended 18 month warranty.
How can I get into Juilliard?
Apart from the question about what flute I play, this is probably the second most common question I am asked! Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer. Like all top music schools, Juilliard has a very rigorous audition process and a notoriously low acceptance rate (ranging from 5.5% - 8% over the years!). A successful audition requires A LOT of preparation, and a bit of luck. I always recommend that prospective students of ALL music schools take a lesson with the teacher(s) that they wish to study with before the audition. This allows the teacher to get to know you, and for you to hopefully make a good impression! A lesson will also help you get to know their particular teaching style- you might decide that it's not for you, and that's okay! It's much better to figure this out ahead of time and potentially save a another trip for an audition. It can be easy to fixate on the "brand name" of these top schools, but the number one most important factor when deciding where to apply should be the private teacher. Your teacher will be the one guiding you over the next four years, so choose wisely! So if I had to neatly sum up the answer to the "how do you get into xzy top music school" question in simple terms, the answer would be 1. begin auditon preparation as soon as possible and 2. take a lesson with the teacher.