Flying Flutistas

Hanging Around Before Class

Learning to be a stronger musician by learning to fly on the trapeze!

As I sat on the bench, full of regret watching my family ride the old wooden roller coaster, one of my family’s favorite activities, I decided it was time to take action and face the fear of heights that had begun to limit me.  I signed up for a Flying Trapeze class at TSNY Beantown to face the fear head on.  In my first class, the fear dominated my experience, I was hesitant to do even a knee hang. By the end of the second class I began to let go a little.  My instructor, Theresa urged me to come back in one week so that the fear would not have time to build up again. She was right, in the third class I moved beyond fear to discover that flying was exhilarating and full of insights.  These insights benefited my work as a musician, flute teacher, and licensed Andover Educator, teaching musicians about the art of safe, healthy movement for music-making through a method known as Body Mapping.

My colleague Lynne Krayer-Luke, also a flutist and fellow Andover Educator, was intrigued by my experience and decided to join me to see what the hype was all about.  In our first class together, Lynne noted multiple parallels between trapeze flying and music-making.  For example, each flight is a lot like a musical performance: building anticipation, preparing to start, performing a sequence of highly refined movements, followed by post performance observations.  We were intrigued and hungry to learn more!

In September 2013 we signed up for our first Intensive Flying Workshop.  With the support of our Intensive Flying Workshop teachers, Theresa, Rob and Adam, and our fellow flyers and the staff of TSNY Beantown our flying skills have grown. At the same time, our music performance and teaching skills are reaping the rewards of this experience.  We love to take what we learn on the bar into the practice room, teaching studio and concert hall.  The experience has rekindled our appreciation of the small steps involved in learning new motor skills, and has lead us to create a new blog where we share our insights and experiences.  We explore topics such as training attention/awareness, the connection of the breath to fluid movement, the emotional process of performing, and use of intention.

Our continuing development on the bar and the growing popularity of our blog inspired us to create a workshop for the 2013 Andover Educator biennial conference in Ames, Iowa.  Our workshop, “Learning to Learn Again,” explores what it’s like to step into the shoes of a beginner and learn a new movement or motor skill.  Follow us, Boston’s own Flying Flutistas, as we continue learning and transform into “Super Heroes” that fly through the air!

Fear has taken a backseat to all of the possibilities that life has to offer, the sky’s the limit!  Read about our insights and movement adventures:

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