If you have a child who is wanting to learn to play the flute, you might find it a little confusing with all of the choices and price ranges available. A student flute should not be chosen from the price range, but rather from a brand name that you recognize and trust. A lower priced student flute might be tempting but they are usually not the best choice for your beginner. If you are not familiar with trusted brands of flute makers, ask the music teacher or band director at your school for some guidance.
The concert flute, also known as the C flute, is probably the best known flute across the world. It is also the best choice when picking a flute for the beginner to learn to play on. Let’s look at some good possibilities for your student flute.
LJ Hutchen Silver C Flute with Case
The best flute for beginner band players. LJ Hutchen flutes have a reputation for being the best student flutes available. They’re also reasonably priced, though not quite the cheapest (despite what their website says).
When you start learning an instrument, you want it to sound good. However, you don’t know yet how to get it to that point. Mr. Paul Effman taught music at private schools for 30 years, so he knows that frustration first hand. And THAT is why he decided to start LJ Hutchen Fine Band Instruments.
- Silver plated body and keys
- Gold plated crown
- Double-bladder, Prestini style pads for durable and consistent performance
- Extra care give to joint fittings
- Includes a flute cleaning rod, plush lined hard shell case
I played a flute for several years growing up. I started at 11 I think and kept at it for a few years. It was a challenge, because playing the flute requires very conscious breathing. That’s not something I was ever very good at.
On this page I’ve reviewed the four types of flute people are tempted to consider when buying their first student flute. Let my start by saying: don’t buy a colored flute. They’re just not made for beginner players. They will teach your child the wrong kinds of holding the flute and the technique of blowing will also not be learned correctly.
What you’ll need to have on the flute you select
All the flutes I show here have closed holes. Open holes will only make the playing harder for a beginner. The teacher will know when they’re ready for the advantages of open holes. They’re also silver plated and come in a hard box for safe traveling. The keys have pads on the inside so the opening and closing will make minimal sound.
Popular Choice Of Student Flute By Educators
This particular model of flute is often recommended by music teachers and music stores when asked about the best flute for the student flutist. It has proven reliable for decades with quality craftmanship.
Gemeinhardt comes from a long line of flute makers. The present day company began with Kurt Kemeinhardt being persuaded to come to Elkhart, Indiana in 1928 to create his instruments. After 20 years, he decided to start his own manufacturing facility.
Gemeinhardt 2SP Silver Plated Flute Outfit
A plateau model (closed keys) with professionally padded keys the flute has a triple silver plate finish with stainless steel springs. It has an offset G key.
At What Age Should You Begin To Play The Flute?
The flute is one of the most popular musical instruments for both listening to and learning to play. Is there a good age to begin learning? Actually there is. Obviously an adult can learn at any age. What about children?
In the United States it is common to begin with children when they reach the 4th or 5th grade level in elementary school. Part of that is due to the necessity for the student to be able to reach the keys without straining their neck or hands while playing the instrument. Typically, by the time a child reaches the 4th grade they are physically developed to begin flute lessons.
If you decide that you want your child to begin earlier, there are curved headjoints that can be added to the flute to make it easier for them to reach the keys without strain.
Jupiter Student Flute
This is a good choice for a student flute because even if the child is physically developed enough to reach the keys they can use the curved headpiece for a while until they get used to playing the flute and the finger positions for notes.
Jupiter Silver-Plated C Flute
Silver plated with a high nickel content which gives a rich sound for a student flute. It has plateau keys and comes with a curved and straight head and includes a case.
Curved or straight?
Curved flutes have been around in different forms for a long time and can be a good way for a petite player to get started.
The pitch of the instrument is effected by it’s ‘speaking length’. How it gets to that length; straight, curved even zig-zag, does not effect the pitch , though it can have a small effect on the timbre or colour of the sound produced.
Conclusion: get the flute that fits your (or your child’s) size, and if that means it needs to be curved, that is not a problem. In the end it’s the length of the metal tube that matters for the tone, not the shape. Similarly trombones and trumpets have wrapped up coils in their design – it gives them a longer ‘speaking length’.
Pearl is probably better known for its percussion instruments than for flutes. For several decades they have been producing flutes with innovative methods that are really suited well for the student flutist and mid-range flutes. They are highly regarded for the use of French Point keywork and the pinless mechanisms for the keys which are less likely to snap clothing and allow moisture inside the flute.
Pearl PF500 500 Series Student Flute with Case
A case and cover are included in your purchase of the flute. It has a c footjoint and a split e mechanism.
Other considerations for choosing a beginner flute
Some people will tell you to get a cheap flute, don’t worry about the sound. Well, if you think a beginner player doesn’t care about the sound – then think again. If they have any musical sense at all, they’re going to appreciate a well sounding flute. Don’t be cheap unless you don’t have the budget.
Read more: How to Choose a Flute
Get your child that silver plated flute that has a decent sound to start with. A decent flute will sound good even on that first note. Which is also less of an annoyance in the house. It will reward your child for proper technique by giving a better sound too.
Don’t get a piccolo. These are small flutes, but very hard to play. An ordinary C flute may look too big for your child’s hands, but it is easier to deal with.
Standard Flute By Yamaha
Yamaha is well known for its manufacture of musical instruments. It is also a brand that comes highly recommended by music teachers for a student flute. Music teachers like them because the open sound that it produces and the ease of playing that it provides a student. One of their recent improvements is the post design that is stronger and prevents the posts from being bent.
Yamaha YFL-221 Student Flute
Silver plate finish with an offset G it is a plateau model and includes a case for the flute.
Members of the Flute Family
Did you know that a flute is not just a flute? There are different types of flutes that produce different sounds. The members of the flute family include:
- E flat
- concert or C
As mentioned above the C flute is the best flute for the beginner.
Suggested For Children Under 7 Years Of Age
A younger child will have difficulty reaching the keys of a standard flute. The best solution is to have them begin on a flute recorder. It is played in front of the body instead of at the side and this makes it easier for a child to learn the fingering of the notes while they learn to read music and control their breath for playing an instrument.
Hohner 9550 Pearwood 2-Piece Soprano Recorder model 9520
Do go for a wooden flute: the sound is so much nicer. This one has an ergonomically designed build, for ease of use.
A beginner flutist needs to be capable of creating a good sound when they are playing properly. If they are doing their best, and doing what their teacher tells them, it can be terribly discouraging when it doesn’t sound good. The last thing you want is for the student to give up.
If a more experienced person was to play it, like the teacher, the flute definitely should sound good on the first note. You are right about that.
That being said, the student may not sound fantastic on the first note, but that’s ok. That’s why they’re learning.
Another suggestion I might make for purchasing a new student flute: Go to the local music repair shop and ask them which brands they can repair. Many overseas brands are impossible to repair because they don’t import parts for them. Instruments are precision machines and need work from time to time. You don’t want to buy a whole new flute just because a part is broken. Your inexpensive flute ends up being more costly in the long run.