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The club of musicians who teach online then Sir James Galway his online flute

On Friday February 7, at the Music Expo at the Barbican, Sir James launched his online flute education programme First Flute, designed for beginners who don’t have access to weekly lessons, as well as for those who already play the flute but want to learn more. Education has always been important to Sir James, who turns 75 later this year – he frequently gives masterclasses and is the longstanding president of Flutewise, an organisation for young flute players. First Flute is the culmination of his years of teaching and experience. There are 15 lessons in total which start with ‘getting your flute out of the box’ and end with ‘your first concert’. More advanced players can skip the introductory lessons on assembling the flute, embouchure and posture, and fast-forward to the sections on studies, articulation and breathing. Each lesson includes several ‘Practice Room’ sessions, comprising exercises played by Sir James which are complemented by printable sheet music. Students can also download lesson highlights and fingering charts along the way. No online lesson will ever replace the experience of learning one-to-one in a traditional teacher-student environment. But as an introduction to the flute, or as a ‘top-up’ for those lapsed flautists among us (the daily practice sheets and studies are particularly useful) – First Flute is a noble effort. Sir James comes across as down-to-earth, friendly and, above all, ego-free – quite an achievement for a musician who learned with the great Marcel Moyse and played for six years in the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan. ‘So many flute players, of all levels, have reached to me over the years,’ he says. ‘I am thrilled that I can share this advice in a systematic way.’ Sir James Galway appears with his wife Lady Jeanne Galway at Cadogan Hall on May 10 at 7.30pm

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