There are many different beginner flute books out there and each of them have different strengths and weaknesses. Finding the perfect beginner flute book is vital if you are to ensure music making is fun.
All students that you teach will have a different set of requirements and so deciding which beginner’s book to use is very important. Perhaps clear illustrations are important for helping your student with reading music, or maybe you just need something clear to teach the basics quickly.
In this post I will look at some of the best beginner flute books out there that I have used myself and also with my flute students to learn the basics of good flute playing.
This is one of the best beginner flute books for the young beginner. It moves really slowly through the different notes, giving students time to spend on developing good tone. I really love the fact that this book begins by showing you the different sections of the flute and explains the mechanism and how you go about making and producing a sound. Illustrations are included throughout the book showing correct posture and fingerings. These are all done in a more child friendly way than some of the other beginner books out there.
One of my favourite aspects of this book is that many tunes use just one note. There is a whole chapter of pieces just written for the note B, which as a flute teacher is incredibly useful if you have a student that is struggling to make a sound. It helps the student to see progress without having the pressure of learning loads of new notes.
The book comes with a CD that includes backing tracks for all pieces in the book. Having a backing track for every piece in the book can give more structure to the very simple pieces so that pupils can feel a bigger sense of achievement.
I have used this book in many different scenarios and find that it is useful for group or individual instruction.
This book works best for slightly older students as it moves a little more quickly. This book jumps straight in to pieces using the notes B A G which is a little more advanced than the previous book.
This book is packed with great music and focuses on a few different notes at a time and although does move reasonably fast is definitely slow enough for the older beginner.
One thing I love about this book is that you can also buy a piano part that has accompaniment to most of the songs in this book which is extremely useful for school concerts and other performances. Lots of beginner books do not include piano accompaniments and when using it for students in school in particular it can be frustrating to have to source a CD player just for the student to be able to play with accompaniment.
The Rubank elementary method is one of the original flute method books out there. It was published in 1990 and you can definitely tell that this is the case! This book uses a very traditional method and covers all aspects of learning the flute. It is very clear with useful fingering charts throughout.
This book would be most suitable for older beginner students as it is not as fun as some other methods out there, due to purely black and white images and no illustrations.
However, if you are looking for something that teaches you all the basic aspects of flute technique and music theory then this is a great book!
This is an American book and you should bear in mind that the note names are referred to with the American terms such as quarter note, half note, whole note etc. As a musician it is definitely useful to know both the American and British terms for the note lengths.
Trevor Wye Beginner’s Book for the Flute
Trevor Wye is a British flutist and teacher and has written many flute books for beginners, intermediate players and advanced.
Perhaps the most famous series by Trevor wye is his practice books for the flute. These books come as either separate books or as an omnibus edition. These books focus on all the different aspects of flute playing, including developing good tone, good finger technique, articulation and more. These books are best used for intermediate players.
Trevor Wye has also written beginner flute books and these are excellent at clearly showing good technique for beginners. Trevor wye encourages the enjoyment in playing music and this book for the flute is ideal for using in individual instruction or group lessons. Trevor wye focuses on developing good tone and in particular, a firm low register. A focus on tone and a firm low register is often something lacking in a beginner’s book for the flute and so this flute book is unique in having this focus!
Clear illustrations are included throughout these books and these help by showing the correct posture and fingerings for a beginner flute player.
There are two parts to the Trevor Wye Beginner book series.
This book is based on the traditional Suzuki method and is a more usual entry in our best beginner flute books list. The Suzuki method books for beginners were originally written for violin and the flute book is based on the same ideas, students are taught using the mother tongue method. In order to learn these pieces there is a big focus on listening. Each book comes with a CD and you also have an option to download the tracks.
This book is an old school classic and is very well written. There is a new version published in 2017. The pace of this book for the flute is relatively gentle and included throughout are photographs and diagrams to ensure that you have the correct posture, fingerings and more. There is a wide selection of music that includes duets and so much more.
It has an accompanying CD so you can play with backing tracks.
I love how at the start of the book you are shown how to put the flute together, how to clean it and then lesson 1 spends a bit of time specifically on breathing, tonguing and embouchure.
As with the Abracadabra book for the flute, this book does jump right in with three notes, B A and G and so may not be completely suitable for complete beginners. The many duets is a huge selling point.
Choosing the perfect beginner’s book hugely depends on who you are teaching, absolute beginners, young students, older students and whether or not you are doing group or individual instruction. It is very hard to say which is the best flute book as each flute book focuses on different things, whether that be theory, a huge range of songs, duets or specifics on the instrument.
The important thing is that you choose a book that focuses on developing good playing and music making. I personally like to have a flute book that has illustrations throughout showing correct posture and fingerings so that flute pupils have something to refer back to when practicing at home without the instruction of a teacher.