flute upgrade?(17 Posts)
DD is 11 and has been learning the flute for 2.5 years now. I bought her a Yamaha 211 once I knew she was going to stick at it, so her flute is now 2 years old.
Her flute teacher has suggested upgrading to a new flute with a silver headjoint (Yamaha 3 series?) but I was hoping her Yamaha 211 would last her a while longer. It has been repaired (a couple of valves weren't closing properly) and I am putting it in for a service soon.
I realise the Yamaha 211 is limited - though I don't understand the limitations - wrt open/closed holes and key configuration. Is it okay to continue with this flute for a while longer or should I be considering an upgrade? I was hoping it would last her a couple more years.
Her teacher would not have suggested it unless it was necessary. If finances are a problem have you thought about renting? Often you can get credit towards buying a new flute if you rent for a while too.
What grade is she ? I am in similar situation with DD who has just passed grade 5 clarinet and needs to upgrade. good clarinets start at £1,OOO.
Ask the teacher if she can recommend some brands of flute and does she know anyone with a good second hand one they may want to sell.
Where do you live ?
Google "second hand woodwind instruments and there will be a specialist shop somewhere within driving distance I am sure. there is a big dealer in Taunton.
People buy Yamaha instruments because they are familiar with the name. they are Ok for starters but there are other brands too which will provide a better quality of sound.
What grade is she? Open holes are only relevant after grade 8. DD1 had her Yamaha 211 until grade 7 at which point she upgraded to a muramatsu. The 300 series is not going to take a pupil to grade 8 and beyond. The most economic way to manage things is stick with the beginner flute till at least grade 6 then bite the bullet and get an intermediate level one.
A very good place to talk to about flutes is Justflutes.com - they have a physical shop in London, you really can't buy a flute without extensive trying it out (we were there for hours) - I believe they do send people flutes on approval though. Another reputable dealer is all flutes plus which is in central London.
But two years seems a very very short space of time to be shelling out again.
Thank you for your responses. DD is working towards Grade 3, so it does seem a bit premature to be upgrading now. We are in Sydney, Australia but there is a 'good' flute shop here - just had DD's flute repaired by them because she needs it for a band workshop on Sunday (everywhere else would have taken 7 days to repair, they took 30 minutes).
It might be that her teacher doesn't like her flute (though he hasn't said so before) - I will perhaps check with him after it has been serviced (during the July school holidays).
Ok, it's madness. Dd2 (9) is taking grade 3 in a couple of weeks. She is using Dd1s old 211 and will continue to do so until she is at least grade 7.
If you are someone for whom money is no object, then sure. But if your deminimus amount for transactions is less then £1K (in Aussie money) then don't upgrade yet.
I'm a flute teacher (and player) and I'd say don't bother at this point. I used a similar level of flute to the Yamaha 211 to grade 8 and passed with distinction. I only upgraded to a solid silver with open holes when at diploma/degree level.
I have a Yamaha 211 as my spare and student demonstration model and it is one of the best student models about. I think your DD's teacher is being premature. Have it serviced properly and make sure she knows how to assemble it without damaging the keywork (ie don't grip the ribs/keywork). It should certainly do for anything up to grade 5 and probably beyond if looked after well.
shelling I also used a similar flute (Pearl) to grade 8. No silver heads for me! But it was a different world when I was young (I'm from the 80s) so I didn't mind buying my DD1 her muramatsu (and in fact, my two now professional flautist friends at school did upgrade to similar flutes around DD1's age, but then - their families could afford that. Mine couldn't). But for an 11 y/o who isn't even at grade 3 yet, it seems bizarre. And these 'step up' flutes just seem designed to wring more money out of unsuspecting parents. I know the technology is amazing now, and the quality of the flutes is better, but it's just not relevant until post grade 7, I reckon.
We were told the yamaha 211 was the same flute as the 311 apart from the head. So when my dd took grade 4 we bought the 311 (silver) head, much cheaper than a new flute! We did have to have it fitted but that was done for free :-)
We have 2 2nd hand 211s. DD1 is on grade 6 & DD2 is on grade 5.
Fairly unanimous - 211 will do for now. Thanks for the tip bizzieb - might consider that in a year or so.
hells where did you buy 2nd hand? am looking for first flute for dd, she's been playing for about 6 months on a rented one. just flutes looks good, and plenty on ebay but I'm a complete ignoramus. And the prices are scary!
ninah If your dd leans at school, and it's a state school she will qualify for the assisted purchase scheme. Which means you can buy a flute VAT free. Which makes the prices a little less scary......this only applies to new flutes though.
I was lucky to have a beautiful silver open hole Miyazawa purchased for me when I was around Grade 5. Took me to diploma level and is still my 'baby'. Just wish I still had time to play it!!
Hi Ninah. We bought them off ebay. 1 needed a service though. We did bit on lots though as we were only going down this route if we got a good buy. Their initial flute was bought from Dawsons vat free. It was a Mirage and not very good but did the job as a starter flute. HTH.
thanks for that! not been brave enough for ebay, this time. There did look like some good options but I can't face the hassle of repairs etc.
Luckily she fancied a Jupiter over a Yamaha so am going with that, vat free (if her school agrees to the scheme). And her arms seem to be long enough now not to worry about the u bend.
She does love it, and practices without being reminded (much). It is endearing to me as I have never been musical at all. Am quite excited to be getting her a shiny new flute!
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