- 32 lessons teaching how to play 13 traditional reels with 6 Bonus Lessons.
- Progress at your own pace, pause & repeat videos.
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- PDF sheet music & mp3’s to download & keep for each tune.
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All About Reels is a study of 13 reels taken from Kirsten Allstaff’s album Four/4. Four/4 is so named after the time signature of the reel (4/4). The reel is a tune type that many players find challenging due to breathing obstacles, speed and stamina issues. Using the reel as the vehicle of focus, Kirsten shares with us pretty much everything she knows about the flute, how she dealt with her weaknesses (common to most players) and overcame them, tricks for improving breathing, practice apps and wonderful classical flute warm-up exercises that have been adapted for the Irish tradition.
This course suits the intermediate to advanced flute player who is really seeking to develop their talent and take their playing to a new level of dexterity and fluidity. Be sure to scroll down for an in-depth course description as this is the biggest course on offer here at OAIM and is packed with wisdom and guidance from a professional Irish flute player (and teacher) with over 30 years playing experience.
By the end of this course, you will have greatly improved the qualities of your playing with regard to tone, intonation, breathing, stamina, rhythm and speed. You will have learned some incredible warm-up exercises that will stand to you for your entire playing career. Plus of course, you will master the art of reels on your flute all the while adding 13 beautiful reels to your repertoire.
- Do you have trouble staying in tune?
- Are you aware that some specific notes on your flute are out of tune?
- Is your tone consistent between the two octaves, or does it weaken in your low or high notes?
- Do you have trouble breathing in the tunes, specifically reels?
- Do you have trouble holding long phrases?
- Do you often wonder where the best place is to breathe in reels?
- Do you want to learn how to create rhythm and momentum in tunes?
- Are you ready to start learning tunes using f natural keys?
- Are you ready to invest some time and TLC into your flute playing?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this course is a must for you.
In this course, you will learn skills to help you find your own breathing and articulation patterns in reels. Subtle variation, how and where to place these will also be explored.
You will also be introduced to a range of exciting music practice apps that will make your practice time more effective and infinitely more fun!
This course is for you if you are serious about taking your playing to the next level.
Lesson by lesson breakdown:
The odd-numbered lessons (1,3, 5… 25) feature the tune taught phrase by phrase with focus on ornamentation and at times variation. It is recommended to learn these tunes by ear, however, ABC and staff notation are provided for lesson support if needed. The Four/4 system of ABC tune notation provided makes the study of breathing, articulation and variation very easy.
The even-numbered lessons (2, 4,6… 26) hone in on the qualities we all want in our flute playing: strong tone, good intonation, effortless breathing and stamina, precise rhythm and speed.
Exercises work on:
- Embouchure flexibility
- Abdominal breathing
- Finger dexterity: scales and patterns
- Keywork: F♮naturals & B♮natural scales and patterns
Bonus Lessons: Complete Warm-up Exercises for Flute are included in lessons 27 through to 32. These 15-minute lessons cover exercises for intonation, embouchure, abdominal breathing finger dexterity (scales and patterns) and improvement of tone in each key (see list below). The modes of major, Mixolydian, natural minor and Dorian are featured as they are a real must in Irish music.
Here is the All About Reels lesson by lesson breakdown:
- The Braes of Busby.
- Introduction to intonation.
- The Street Player.
- Continuation of the study of intonation plus an introduction to abdominal breathing.
- The Temple Hill Reel.
- Continuation of the study of intonation and abdominal breath. Begin study on breathing in reels.
- Merry Nicht Under The Tummel Brig.
- Continuation of the study of intonation and abdominal breath. Continuation of the study of breathing in reels.
- The Robin.
- Continuation of the study of intonation and abdominal breath. Introduction to articulation creating emphasis.
- The Four Province Fling.
- Continuation of the study of breathing patterns and articulation patterns in reels. Introduction to variation patterns.
- Maggie Moore’s Pancakes.
- Tone improving exercises.
- The Watchmaker Reel.
- Continuation of the study of intonation, abdominal breathing, breath and articulation studies. Introduction to the study of scales and patterns for finger dexterity.
- The Commodore.
- Continuation of breath and articulation study. Introduction to using harmonies for improving tone.
- The Jug of Punch.
- Continuation of intonation, abdominal breath, finger dexterity and tune enhancement. Continuation of breath and articulation mapping. Introduction to notes in the third octave. Introduction to keywork.
- The Big Reel of Ballynacally.
- Continuation of previous studies. Focus on variation.
- Brian Quinn’s Reel.
- Introduction to a fun practice app!
- Paddy Fahey’s Reel.
- Conclusion of course. Caring for your keys!
- Complete Warm-Up Exercises for Flute: G Major.
- Complete Warm-Up Exercises for Flute: D Major.
- Complete Warm-Up Exercises for Flute: A Major/Minor.
- Complete Warm-Up Exercises for Flute: B Minor.
- Complete Warm-Up Exercises for Flute: E Minor.
- Complete Warm-Up Exercises for Flute: D Minor.
Sample Sheet Music
Download The Braes of Busby ABC Sheet Music.
Download The Braes of Busby Standard Notation Sheet Music.
Sample mp3 of The Braes of Busby
You can buy Kirsten’s album Four/4 here plus it’s also available on iTunes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Detailed questions and discussion on the course can be found in the Community Forum, available to paying members only.