I feel the practice of music the same way that poet Adrienne Rich described her writing practice. As in, “a fierce, destabilizing force, a wave pulling you out further than you thought you wanted to be. You have to change your life.”

Studying – really, surrendering yourself to a process – is like that. I’ve been fortunate (aside from a Masters degree in Flute Performance) to have learned from teachers such as Keith Underwood, Tara Helen O’Connor, Erv Monroe, Janet See, Sarah Jackson, Zart Doubourian-Eby, Kirana teachers of Hindustani music, Barbara Conable, Marilyn Shotola and Rebecca Steele. I have absorbed just as much from brilliant musical collaborators from all over the world. My own artistic practice, which you can read about here, is ever-moving, with multiple flutes, genres, histories and media. 

Students creating graphic scores in my residency workshop, “Building for the (Un)Reliable Narrator”

At this point my teaching practice is selective. I teach masterclasses when I travel, and private lessons where I live in NYC. I have taught a lot online, and am evolving ways to do this. I like teaching students who are awake to new sounds, new concepts, and to keeping our many traditions bearing fruit. I only work with students who are fully engaged, and willing to stay energized in a culture that often works against them.

Masterclass at Sacramento State School of Music

I am offering an 8 week private course of regeneration for flute players who want to shake things up a bit… My work is inspired by all kinds of traditional and innovative artistic cultures, and I love to pass them forward. Recurring themes that come up all the time with flute players include how to successfully collaborate, the comfort of good physical technique, and how to keep a creative process – that joy! – going.

The practice is about widening your self-expression to help you focus it. I’m interested in how you, the flutist, sense/feel/think about sound, and what you want to create. During those weeks we narrow the lens to specific pieces, techniques, technologies, and ideas, through all kinds of listening and self-expression. So that you leave with energy and confidence to express your sound in the world.

Here is the root of the matter. What kind of artist do you want to be? And what will you add to the table?

Tessa age 10 playing flute duets with her aunt Athena