If you would like to share your Summerflute memories, please email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
from Lynne Krayer-Luke of the Flying Flutistas:
I have attended Summerflute several times because it helped to dramatically change my playing. Summerflute was a unique opportunity to take the time and space I needed to overcome some major limitations in my playing. The teachers are the most patient, brilliant teachers I’ve ever come across. Amy Likar, Liisa Ruoho, and the others have a way of cultivating an environment that feels safe and supportive whether you are in a private session, workshop, or a master classes. I used to be an incredibly self conscious flute player, and would have been scared to try anything new in front of another person, let alone a whole group of people; but every participant and teacher in the room was so warm and supportive that I felt ok stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying something new. The weeks I spent at Summerflute have turned out to be some of the most important, influential weeks of my entire music training career.
from Julie Long:
Summerflute is a different kind of flute class. There’s no underlying question about “who’s better”. No competitive vibe. It’s a safe environment in which flutists are united by finding solutions to their flute problems. I’ve been to 5 sessions. I find that as I grow and change as a flutist, I come away each time with new ideas. I am a huge fan and look forward to returning.
from Christina Van Nostrand:
Summerflute helped to jumpstart my journey of becoming a more mindful and thereby a healthier musician. Since I went to the course two years ago, I have been able to improve overuse symptoms I had been experiencing and am now playing at a level I had been unable to before! Amy, Stacey, Liisa and everyone else were so welcoming and so full of knowledge! It was a flute experience I will never forget!
from Meerenai Shim:
In 2005 I went to my first Summerflute course where Liisa Ruoho, Amy Likar, Lea Pearson, Stacey Pelinka, Bob Britton and Sandy Seefeld were teaching flute masterclasses, Body Mapping, Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais. It was my first time experiencing all these different ways to learn about movement.
By the time I finished my masters degree I was experiencing some intermittent nerve pain and numbness in my arms and hands so a good friend of mine suggested that I seek advice from flutist, Alexander Technique teacher and Andover Educator Amy Likar. I wish I had made an effort to see Amy earlier but Summerflute was just what I needed to get back on track with healthy performing and body use.
At Summerflute, I learned that I couldn’t move freely because I was trying to move in a ways that my body was not designed to move. One of my many mismappings was that I thought that my skull connected to my spine at the back of my head and I was working very hard to work around and accommodate this incorrect body map. I also had no idea how my arms connected to my torso so my arms felt immobile and my shoulders felt frozen.
At Summerflute, body mapping teachers showed me how my skeletal structure is designed to move, Alexander Technique teachers showed me how to use the anatomical information to experience good quality movement with their guidance, Feldenkrais lessons gave me the gift of non-judgmental self awareness, and most importantly, I learned how to use all this information to perform with better sound and technique as a flutist during Lissa Ruoho’s masterclasses.
Thanks to Summerflute, I am a new musician and a much better flute teacher. I continued studying body mapping, Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique since my first time at Summerflute and am proud to say that I became a Licensed Andover Educator in February 2012. I have been going back to Summerflute ever since 2005 as a student or as a student/organizer and I hope to bring the kind of freedom of movement in music making that I experience now to others.
from Anonymous (in response to Meerenai’s testimonial):
“I loved hearing how Bodymapping and the Summerflute experience helped you learn to integrate and use what you had learned and how it allowed you to continue to grow as a musician and person. I remember you well from that 2005 Summerflute session; you clearly had the talent, drive, and personality to make it as a flutist and teacher.
I benefited greatly from that workshop and from subsequent short term work with Amy Likar and Stacy Pelinka. I wish I could have lived closer to them to have regular lessons and supervision of my practice. I was experiencing excruciating back pain when I played the flute for more than 15 minutes and my playing was just “off”, nothing felt right or comfortable any more. (50+ years of bad playing habits can really do you in!! And, it all gets harder and more critical as you reach my advanced age: I will be 71 this week.)
I found that working consciously on what I was doing in playing the flute, sitting at the computer, reading quietly, and walking in the world make a lot of difference. Also, gaining a better perception of where I “really” was in space and how to feel when I was truly in balance eased my tension and let me play (and live) more freely.
In addition, starting to workout regularly at a fitness center to improve my strength and endurance and doing stretching exercises for more flexibility helped a lot as well….as did losing 20 lbs!!
I wish I would attend this year’s Summerflute and hope you have full attendance at it. I would love to be able to work with Liisa Ruoho again–she is SO perceptive and able to zero in on just what needs attention.”