The 10 Best Flute Lessons Online (Free and Paid)
With online lessons becoming more popular than ever, learning to play the flute is now more accessible than it has ever been. More and more passionate flutists are teaching their craft via the internet – making learning flexible, cost-effective, and stress-free.
The wide range of options on the internet can sometimes get overwhelming. So, to help you narrow down your search, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best flute lessons online. Some of these platforms are completely free, while others are paid (or free with additional paid features).
1. Artist Works (Paid)
Artist Works is a great platform that allows students to learn from some of the best instrumentalists and musicians in the world.
Jeffrey Khaner – the principal flutist of The Philadelphia Orchestra and faculty member at Juilliard – teaches the flute through 100s of pre-recorded video lessons. They are designed for players of all levels and styles. You can learn the basics at your own pace and then eventually move on to playing classical pieces and developing your orchestral and solo repertoires.
A feature that sets Artist Works apart from other platforms is its Video Exchange Library. If you have a question or a doubt, you can record a video and send it to the instructor through the website. The instructor will then send you a video response addressing your specific issue. This pair of videos will then become available in the Video Exchange Library for other students to watch and learn from.
This gives you the benefit of a worldwide community of flute learners – all learning from and through each other under the expert guidance of an internationally renowned flutist.
Depending on the availability of the instructor, you may not always have the option to submit new video questions. But you will still get unlimited access to the video lessons and archived video exchanges.
2. Udemy (Paid)
Udemy is one of the most popular platforms for online learning these days. In addition to courses on just about every topic imaginable, the site also has several flute courses designed for different proficiency levels.
Not only can you choose a course depending on your budget and experience level, but you can also choose the style of flute music you want to learn. Apart from western orchestral music, Udemy has courses that teach Carnatic music on the bamboo flute.
Courses on Udemy are quite affordable, and the site also offers heavy discounts from time to time. Once you master the flute, you could even choose to create and put up your own course on Udemy!
3. First Flute (Paid)
Designed by renowned flutist Sir James Galway, First Flute is an online flute course that uses interactive lessons to hone and polish the fundamentals.
The course starts from the basics of assembling a flute and embouchure technique, so beginners will get a strong foundation. However, intermediate flute players can also benefit greatly from the course.
Sir James Galway gives hundreds of tips and tricks and sheds light on potential problems to keep in mind while playing. The course is divided into 15 main lessons with exercises, music theory instruction, and interactive practice sessions. The lessons also include short biographies of the composers whose music you will be playing.
Additionally, you can download the sheet music – with the exercises and repertoire – for offline practice.
4. Fluteland (Paid)
Fluteland is a platform that provides holistic flute education for learners of all types. Even teachers will benefit from the material and resources on this site.
Once you sign up for membership, you’ll get access to video flute lessons that start from the very basics. Lessons also come with fingering charts and lesson plans that have notated exercises and audio samples.
You can even learn live with a teacher through video conferencing, or send in queries and get a response from a teacher. You can do this through email as well.
The site also has a forum, where students and teachers can discuss anything and everything related to the flute, and bounce ideas off of each other. A strong, supportive community can significantly enhance and optimize the learning process, and who knows, you might even make some new friends here.
5. Fiverr (Paid)
Fiverr is a platform where freelancers from all over the world offer their services for a fee. You will find flute teachers here as well, across all levels of experience and price brackets.
You can choose a teacher who you feel you’d be most comfortable with and then choose an appropriate plan.
You can then discuss a system with your teacher and come up with one that suits both of you. Working with a freelance tutor online can offer a lot of flexibility in terms of lesson time, duration, and payment options.
Once you become comfortable with the instrument, you could offer to tutor students online on Fiverr as well. You could even offer to play as a session musician for other artists and gain some professional experience.
6. Learn Flute Online (free/paid)
Created by flutist Rebecca Fuller, Learn Flute Online is a platform where you can start learning the flute for free.
The beginner flute lessons are free and help learners with the very basics. They are simple, easy to understand, and a great way to get confident about learning the flute before committing to paid lessons.
The premium levels flute lessons are paid and suited for intermediate and advanced players. Students who opt for these also get access to live group classes and a private support group.
Additionally, this platform also offers mini-courses that are genre-based or devoted to a particular skill. For instance, there are courses devoted specifically to Irish flute music, hymns, and jazz, or techniques like vibrato and tone.
7. 8 Notes (free)
8 notes is a great site for all instrumentalists and musicians. For flutists and aspiring flutists, the platform offers written flute lessons, starting from the very basics of holding the flute and creating a sound.
The lessons are simple, clear, and have images, notation, and audio samples wherever required. They progress sequentially towards more advanced topics, with the final lesson on vibrato.
The site also has free flute sheet music of different genres – from classical to rock and pop, and separate collections for wedding and Christmas music.
A great feature of this site is its set of play-along jam tracks. There are several backing tracks of popular rock, pop, and jazz songs – ready for you to play along with. These will make practicing fun and enjoyable, and help you be more consistent with your practice.
8. The Flute Channel (free)
The Flute Channel is a YouTube channel run by flutist Amelie Brodeur.
It has lessons starting from the basics of assembling the flute and playing the notes, along with loads of other content to aid your flute education.
There are videos with exercises and scales that make practice sessions interesting and varied. She also has podcast episodes, where she talks about her experiences and learnings as a flutist.
The channel also features videos of her performing classical flute pieces and flute covers of popular rock and pop songs.
9. Easy Flute School (free)
Unlike most of the other platforms on this list, the YouTube channel Easy Flute School teaches the flute on the bansuri or bamboo flute.
The instructor – Murtaza Kabir Murad – starts from the basics of how to play the bamboo flute, with tips, tricks, and solutions to common problems. He goes on to teach the different Ragas of Indian classical music on the flute. Ragas are frameworks similar to melodic modes in Western music, but not directly comparable. Each Raga is said to represent a particular emotion, time of day, or season.
Apart from tutorials, the channel also has videos of the instructor’s performances of different Ragas. Although the tutorials are all in English, the introductions of some of the performance videos may be in Bengali.
10. Katieflute (free)
Katieflute is another YouTube channel dedicated to the flute. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Katie uses her channel to post educational videos, videos of her recitals, vlogs, flute tips, and fun flute challenges.
Her beginner flute topics playlist will also help you decide which flute to buy, and choose between open holed and close holed flutes.
This channel can be a great, fun companion as you learn to play the flute.
Some Interesting Facts
The flute is played in a large number of cultures across the globe – from Western orchestral music to traditional Indian and Chinese folk and classical music. Although flutes can be made of different materials and have different scales and structures, playing all of them involves two main skills – embouchure and fingering.
Embouchure is the posture and position that helps you get the best sounds out of woodwind instruments while fingering pertains to the positions of your fingers over the holes. Beginners often struggle with the embouchure and quit when they are unable to get full, pleasant tones out of their flutes. However, with focused guidance and enthusiastic encouragement, everyone can learn to play.
Your choice of platform depends on your budget, availability, and experience level. But you also need to keep in mind the mode or format of teaching, and how well you relate to your teacher.
I hope the above list simplified online flute lessons for you and helped you shortlist some learning platforms. Although a great teacher can make a huge difference in learning any skill, remember that practice, perseverance and a love of the instrument will take you further.