I still remember why I wanted to learn to play the flute: I was six years old when I heard a flute for the first time. The sound was magical and the girl playing the flute had red hair-- another first for me! In my 6-year-old's mind, I decided that my hair would turn red if I learned to play the flute. I already played the piano; I started pestering my mother for flute lessons too. When she finally agreed, we found out that I was not a "natural"-- it took weeks for me to make a sound! However, once I could play, I loved my flute teacher and playing flute so much. I even stopped caring about having red hair!
Years later, while an undergraduate Flute Performance major at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, I discovered a natural talent for teaching-- perhaps because when I was young, I struggled with (but overcame) so many issues with my own flute playing. After graduating summa cum laude, I pursued my Master's degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a student of Tim Day. Subsequently, I went on to a prestigious four-year fellowship with the New World Symphony under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. While playing full-time with New World, I was fortunate to be coached by many of the best orchestral flutists in the United States (members of the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, and more).
All the while, I made a point of teaching to pass on what I was learning. My students were advanced high school students; adult amateurs, beginners, and "re-beginners"; and professional doublers (saxophone/clarinet players who also play flute). My students auditioned and won spots in the World Youth Orchestra at Interlochen, placed in national competitions, and went on to become music majors in college. When my fellowship in Miami Beach ended, I moved back to the Bay Area. Living in Noe Valley, I discovered a passion and aptitude for working with young beginners as well!
Regardless of age or level, I try to see each student for who they are. My focus is on each student's individual strengths and needs. I tailor my teaching style to their interests while imparting the fundamentals of good musicianship and proper flute playing. I encourage students to seek out music that they would like to study, and I teach all of my students how to practice so that they progress as quickly as possible.
Please contact me if you have any questions!
© 2014 Katrina Walter All Rights Reserved