Believe it or not, playing the flute takes more air than even a tuba, and a product called the Pneumo Pro Wind Director has flute players using all that air more effectively.
The Pneumo Pro looks similar to a flute head joint but has a series of small fans attached. By teaching students to aim at the correct fan, they learn how to direct the air column to the right place and at the right speed.
“Most flute players that are in junior high or high school have a slightly airy tone,” says Kathy Blocki, inventor of the Pneumo Pro and flute teacher/clinician. “It’s because they’re taught to blow like a pop bottle. If you blow the same way on the flute, you get this airy tone, and they don’t realize that to get a really good sound you need to get that air column down, way down.”
Because blowing into the Pneumo Pro has no resistance, it takes twice as much air than just playing the flute—making it great for building endurance and breath support. An added benefit is that flute players can play on the Pneumo Pro during rehearsal when the director is working with another section, allowing them to practice breathing and fingering without making a sound.
Even advanced students can benefit by using it to practice double/triple tonguing and multiphonics. Professional flute player James Galway even uses it in his master classes, according to Blocki.
Visit www.blockiflute.com for more information.