a natural breathing exercise that I use.
I was Professor of Flute and Chamber Music at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, in Hartford, Connecticut, until 2007 and have taught classes in Italy, England, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Finland, and Canada.
At The Hartt School I had a class of between twelve and fifteen graduate and undergraduate students. I encouraged students to be double-majors or even to be non-flute majors. Students with degrees in Education, Music Management, Accoustics, Engineering, Chemistry, as my students often have, are generally assured of jobs on graduation. Some go on to graduate work in flute, but all seem to have productive musical lives, whether professional or amateur. One of my earliest students, Janet Arms, was an education major who went on to Juilliard as a flutist and became my colleague at both the NYCO and Hartt.
My undergraduate lessons were quite structured. I started lessons with a duet, used Taffanel & Gaubert Daily Studies , studies, orchestral excerpts, and repertoire, following my published suggested guideline. My graduate lessons were less structured; often the first year was spent dealing with problems not solved or repertoire not studied as an undergrad.
My students participated in a weekly class where they performed about once a month a piece they had rehearsed with the class pianist. At the end of each performance the rest of the class offered comments. In this way the performers got feedback on their progress and the others developed skills of observation and verbal expression.
At the start of each semester, behind screen auditions of a professional nature were held for placement in the school orchestra, or wind ensemble. The ten most common excerpts were required, five each semester. As a result students got good preparation for surviving professional auditions.
While many Hartt students are from the northeast I had students from all parts of the US, Canada, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Some students who have successful careers as performers are Janet Arms (NYCO), Ali Ryerson (jazz soloist), Barbara Hopkins (Hartford Symphony), Asako Arai (Mexico City freelancer), Susan Torke (London freelancer). Alicia DiDonato, class of 98, won a position in the New World Symphony after graduation.
Recent undergrads have gone on to graduate work at NEC, Yale, Manhattan, San Francisco. You can read about past students from the newsletter or from the list of graduates
Many of the articles that I have written for magazines, along with my responses to pedagogic questions on the internet flute list as listed below, may be found here.
Letter to Amy about Practice
Further comments on Practice
Mastering the Low D
John Wion Champions Romberg
SING - the latest book by John Wion
SING - the Introduction by John Wion
Advice on Choosing a Major
On Non-Performing Careers
Comments on Breath Support
On Open Hole Flutes
On Holding Position and Tendonitis
On Prokofiev, Classical Symphony
On Alexander Method
On Breath Control
On Slow Practice
Di Lorenzo Review
Schubert Variation 2
On Key Extenders
On Mozart Tempos
On University vs Conservatory Instruction