My annual Flute Festival retreat was last week. It was magical. I had 22 of my students for 4 days in the mountains. The youngest was 7 and the oldest was 17.
One of the best ideas I ever had was to have “Flute Buddies.” Each day I paired a younger and older student. They had to eat one meal together and perform their piece for each other. My older students were so sweet to the younger ones and the younger ones fell in love with the older ones. When I asked one little third grade girl,. “How was your swim today? She enthusiastically answered, “I swam with Fred (age 17) almost the whole time!”
Try to find some ways in your studio to pair kids of different ages. When the younger ones hear the older students play they can easily visualize what they can sound like in a few years. They also see these older students having fun with music and it makes them think that music is pretty darn cool. The older kids really take an interest in the younger ones and they too can see how far they’ve come and get a little practice being teachers themselves.
We talk about the students in my studio as being a flute family and last week they really were.