Vo’s Interests: Flute

An Vo

Studying music has been my passion since I joined the Central Intermediate’s band during sixth grade. I chose to play the flute because the sounds produced from the instrument made me reminisce about my childhood. I would watch a video of a musician playing the flute and replay parts of the video where only the flute could be heard.

I admired the sweet tone of the instrument and I thought the design was astonishing. I never knew the name of the instrument until I started middle school and joined the band. My classmates had laughed at my decision to play the flute because they believed it was a female-dominant instrument, so I made it my goal to work hard to become dedicated in becoming a better musician.

When I first started, I didn’t know how to make a sound. My music teacher, Mr. Oshiro, taught me and my classmates about instrument families and how they function. He would send my section to the restrooms to practice blowing into the flute’s mouthpiece while looking at a mirror to see what position our embouchure (mouth shape) must be to produce a full sound. I had a difficult time trying to blow into the flute so I spent weeks trying to maintain a good tone with just the mouthpiece.

Mr. Oshiro eventually taught everyone how to assemble and maintain our instruments. He then handed out music books for our class to practice playing excerpts from a multitude of songs to enhance our musicality. For the first few months, I didn’t make a sound on my flute. All I heard was an airy tone. I finally produced a sound as I continued to practice forming my embouchure on the flute.

From then on I advanced from intro band to intermediate band and then to advanced band in middle school. I admit that McKinley’s music program is much more progressive in terms of studying music than Central Intermediate. However, I enjoy the challenge of learning about music vocabulary and reading rhythms.