Giving a flute as a Christmas Gift

For a musical kid, teen, or adult flutist who wants to take the flute up again, a flute is a great Christmas Gift.

For the beginner player there’s the choice between nickel, silver plated nickel and silver. When you see a flute referred to as ‘silver plated’, they usually mean silver plated nickel or brass. Sterling silver flutes are a LOT more expensive and only used by professional musicians. You can get a silver plated flute that sounds great at a more reasonable price (still usually around $200.-).

Perhaps you plan to buy the flute for yourself or maybe you plan to give it as a gift to a child that wants to play the flute. Probably the most common of flutes is what is called the 16 hole flute. It is also referred to as the standard western concert flute. Having 16 holes allows for a range of three octaves and will include all of the half-notes that might be a part of the music being played. 

People who are prone to allergies should avoid a nickel flute – nickel allergies are quite common. A safer choice would be one that is silver plated because there is less concern about allergies. Flutes for beginners and for more advanced players can be found with the silver plating easily. There are also silver alloy flutes but those are really meant for professional flutists. They are more expensive but will also have a better sound. The silver alloy flutes are lighter in weight but due to the purer silver content they are also more fragile than a plated one will be.

Lauren LFL100 Flute

A nice choice for a beginner on the flute would be one from Lauren. It is affordable for a first flute and comes with a cleaning rod and polishing cloth. You also get a plastic case that has a nice plush lined interior to protect the instrument. The Lauren Musical Instruments Company is located in mainland China and specializes in wind instruments like the flute.  

Suzuki FL-SC Flute A flute from Suzuki is also a nice choice for a student or one who has a little more skill than the beginner. Besides the silver plated flute you also get a cleaning rod, cloth and tenon grease. There is also a cleaning and maintenance guide for the flute. A nice aluminum case is also provided. Suzuki Musical Instrument Company is a Japanese company that offers many types of instruments in the world of music. Founded in 1953 it began as a harmonica maker but has expanded over the years to include many types of instruments for beginners, intermediate players and more advanced players.

Gemeinhardt 2SP Silver Plated Flute Outfit This flute is more expensive than the student models but it is also triple plated with silver and professionally padded. Gemeinhardt flutes have a long history when it comes to flute making. Kurt Gemeinhardt was the 4th generation of flute makers in Germany who came to the US in the late 1920s to work for an instrument company. After 20 years he started his own company that is well respected in the industry as making fine flutes.

Any one of these three flutes would make a nice gift for someone who plans to play the flute whether they are just beginning or have some experience with the instrument.

What to think about when you buy a student flute for Christmas

  • It’s half way through the school year: will there be a teacher ready?
  • Does the school band allow beginner players half way through the year?

If there IS a teacher ready, an alternative would be to get flute lessons for the second half of the academic year, and apply for band in September.

What is the best flute to purchase for a child?

If your child has decided that he or she wants to learn to play the flute, you may be wondering what the best flute to buy for a beginner would be. If you are not musically inclined or really do not know anything about playing the flute, you may not be sure just which way to go for your selection. One thing to keep in mind, a beginner flute for a child is different than a beginner flute for an adult would be. In the paragraphs that continue down this page, I will explain a little about what to look for and give you some options as to flutes that would be appropriate for children.

Flutes make such lovely music when an individual learns to play one. Help your child get off on the right note, so to speak, by choosing a good instrument that will be easy for them to learn on.

wooden-recorderBeginning To Play A Musical Instrument

Many music teachers will start children on what is commonly known as a recorder. It is a flute like instrument that teaches children several things about playing a musical instrument. Learning about fingering (placing fingers over the holes) is an important step for then advancing to the flute. They will also learn about blowing into the recorder (later the flute) to make the sounds that eventually will become music. Holding their breath for long or short notes and they will begin to learn how to read the music that they want to play. So, a recorder is really the beginning of the beginning when it comes to playing an instrument, especially if the child wants to progress to a real flute.

Personally I would invest in a wooden soprano recorder instead of the more common plastic ones: their sound is better and they don’t need to be expensive at all.

A Flute For Beginners With Lots Of Trimming

Any beginner flutist whether a child or an adult should start with what is called a closed hole flute or a student flute. They are easier to learn to play. What is nice about this closed hole flute is that it also comes with other things the child will need. A music stand, the cleaning tools and a case for their flute.

A Few Things To Keep In Mind When Buying A Beginner Flute For A Child

Children need a slightly different type of flute when they are beginning to learn to play. I mentioned above that you should choose a closed hole or a student flute but there are a few other things to pay attention to, also. A child will need what is their flute to have an offset G. That is the key that is pressed to get the musical note G and in a full sized flute with they key in its normal position, a child will have a difficult time reaching that key. To compensate for a small hand, flute makers offset the key to make it easier for small hands.

You should also choose a “C” flute for them to learn on because it is the easiest for them to be able to blow into for making the notes they will want to play.

An Offset G Flute For Young Flutists

This particular flute is a very nice choice for the child who is just beginning to learn to play. It has the offset G key, along with being a C foot and it is silver-plated which makes it more durable. Flutes like this one are specifically made to accommodate those smaller hands which will help your child be more successful in learning to play this instrument. Here are two examples of this type of flute.

Not All Offset G Flutes Are A C Flute

A child needs the C foot to learn to play on. You can get a flute that has an offset G that are not also C flutes. For instance some are a B foot or a Low B foot which would be more difficult for a child to play.

Curved or straight? 

Generally you will wait to move your child to a flute till it’s old enough for the hands to comfortably move over the keys. However, if they’re very precocious musically, and good with their fingers, they may be ready for that before they are big enough for a full length flute. 

When that happens: don’t be tempted to give them a piccolo. It may be small, but that only makes it harder to play!

Instead you can have a flute with a curved headjoint. 

The Flute Is Part Of The Woodwind Family Of Instruments

Woodwind instruments are simply musical instruments that require wind to get them to play. There are two types in this class of musical family. The reed instruments and flutes. The ones that require a reed require the individual to blow air into a mouthpiece that has a reed attached making the reed vibrate to make the sound. Flutes, on the other hand, require the individual to blow air into a hole and further into the long cylinder of the instrument.

Members of the woodwind family of instruments include:

  • piccolo
  • oboe
  • clarinets
  • saxophones
  • flute
  • bassoons
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