Why Take Piccolo Lessons (Not Just Flute)

You’ve played the flute for a while, and you’re ready to expand your skills by learning the piccolo. Before you go full steam ahead, consider why you should take piccolo lessons specifically.

Why Take Piccolo Lessons | Piccolo Perfection

While it’s possible to learn the piccolo on your own, it’s not ideal. Lessons offer many benefits, so read on to find out more!

Before we get into it, this post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure policy to learn more.

Learn the Instrument

Of course, if you want to learn to play the piccolo well, piccolo lessons are the way to go. Similar to the flute, a piccolo teacher can guide you as you learn the basics and more advanced techniques.

Sure, you can learn to play the piccolo on your own, especially if you’re already good at the flute. However, lessons will make it easier to learn good habits and avoid bad ones.

Whether you want to become a professional piccolo player or not, you need at least a few lessons. You can take lessons for a few months to get started or continue them over the long term for better results.

Study With a Specialist

Another great reason to look into piccolo lessons specifically is to learn from a piccolo specialist. This is a flute player who has spent a good chunk of time learning and mastering the piccolo.

They may still play the flute and/or low flutes, but the piccolo is their main thing. Because of that, a specialist can offer more tips and advice to help you play the piccolo.

Not all flute teachers enjoy the piccolo, so your current flute teacher might not help you on the smaller instrument. However, a specialist can offer the help you need.

Understand the Differences

You may also want to take piccolo lessons to better understand the differences between the flute and piccolo. Yes, the piccolo is a member of the flute family, but it’s more than a small flute.

The two instruments use different materials and have different bore shapes. And unless you get your hands on a Nagahara mini or a Braun piccolo, your piccolo will only go down to a low D.

Meanwhile, almost any regular flute you’ll find these days can play to a low C or low B. All of these differences can affect how you play and tune the instrument.

To Not Take Away From Flute Lessons

Maybe you’re already in flute lessons and learning a lot. You might ask your flute teacher if you can bring your piccolo and learn a bit in lessons.

However, if you do that all of the time, you won’t have enough time to get help with your flute playing. Even piccolo specialists should maintain their flute playing.

So to make sure you have enough time for both instruments, consider enrolling in piccolo lessons separately. That way, you won’t feel like you have to balance the two in a single lesson.

Motivate Yourself to Practice

If you struggle to take your piccolo out of the case, think of lessons as accountability. You can make sure you have something to work on for the next week leading up to your lesson.

Ask your teacher to help you choose what to work on or to assign something. Then, to make sure you do a good job in your next lesson, you’ll have to practice.

Not everyone needs this external motivation, but for those that do, piccolo lessons can be super helpful.

Prepare for an Audition or Competition

You may want to take a few piccolo lessons if you have an audition or competition coming up. Enrolling in lessons for a month or two means you can get help with whatever it is you want to prepare for.

A teacher can help you choose the right music for a competition where you have options. They can also connect you with a pianist and/or a recording studio if you need to record your audition.

Lessons don’t have to be this ongoing thing if you don’t want them to. Consider a few lessons when you have a tough performance coming up.

How to Choose a Piccolo Teacher

If you’re ready to take some piccolo lessons, consider a few factors before selecting a teacher.

Look at Their Piccolo Experience

First, you want to make sure the teacher has experience playing and teaching the piccolo. You can learn this information on the teacher’s website or bio page.

If you can’t find that info, you can also contact the teacher directly and ask. Now, you don’t need to study with someone who has decades of experience, but every bit counts.

Don’t study piccolo with someone who only ever played flute during their studies and career.

Review Their Schedule

Of course, you could find the perfect piccolo teacher. But if they don’t have any available time slots that work for you, you’ll want to consider another teacher.

Some teachers may list their schedules on their websites or use a booking program that shows available times. If you can’t find anything of the sort, ask the teacher when they can teach.

Along with the scheduling, though, don’t forget about the cost of lessons. If a teacher is a bit too expensive, ask if you can study every other week or take shorter lessons.

Ask for a Trial Lesson

Any teacher worth their salt will allow you to take a trial lesson before committing to a month of lessons. Some teachers offer free trial lessons, while others charge their full rate or a discounted rate.

No matter what, a trial lesson allows you to get to know the teacher and their teaching style. You can figure out whether you want to keep studying with them.

Consider doing a trial lesson with a few teachers to help find the perfect match for you.

Can You Take Flute and Piccolo Lessons From the Same Teacher?

Some of the best flute teachers are also good piccolo teachers. If your current flute teacher also offers piccolo lessons, there’s no reason not to study both.

However, you may want to move to a longer lesson time or to start taking two lessons a week. That way, your piccolo studies won’t cut into your flute studies.

Final Thoughts

Piccolo lessons are a useful tool for anyone looking to master the instrument. Be sure to consider a few reasons to take private lessons and how to choose the right instructor.

That way, you can make good progress on the instrument. But first, don’t forget to buy a good piccolo to make your playing much less frustrating!

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