"Jazz Flute Lessons...Not Just For Losers Anymore"
On a recent trip to the toy store, I walked past all of the new Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games now available. So many fake instruments to play, and it seems this is having an effect on which instruments kids want to take... for real. So far you can (fake) play guitar, drums, bass, vocals... but no fake flute! You can see the effects online with thousands of sites offering guitar lessons but hardly any offering flute lessons! I thought, "how can this be? Don't kids still listen to Jethro Tull? Didn't kids see Anchorman?" Then it dawned on me, the song Aqualung does not have any flute on it, and Ron Burgundy may not appeal to every teenager.
But even if the biggest stars aren't regularly blowing mean flute solos on stage, this doesn't mean it isn't cool!! All sorts of, dare I say, lesser mainstream instruments are gaining momentum. I saw a show recently where one guy just bangs on a large pipe with a string and some drum pads tied to it and lots of people dug it! And then I saw the other day that the band MTV rated as Boston's 'breakout band of 2009' is lead by.. that's right.. you guessed it... FLUTE!!
It's time to start thinking out of the box. While kids might be driving a video crowd wild with his fake guitar, they need to be aware of all the other really cool instruments available to them. There may not be a game called Flute Hero, but if you could play the flute like Ian Anderson, you will most certainly be a hero in the world of music.
Written by Lee Neckritz, Photo by Don Hankins