top of page

Relearning to Hold My Flute

Empowering Movement - logo for conference 2023

Stephanie Lupo

Hand Out / Document

After two surgeries to relieve De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, one on each side, I worked with occupational therapists to first regain movement in my thumbs and then to relearn how to use my hands. It started with everyday skills, like opening jars and other fine motor skills, but eventually I asked to bring my flute once I was allowed to hold that much weight. I worked with the therapists on how to hold the flute, using devices that might open the hands and make the flute more comfortable to hold. I have reexamined the way I use the three balance points in relation to the flute and, ultimately, align my flute differently than before. My experience has made me realize the importance of making sure my students are holding their flutes in a balanced and advantageous way too. I now encourage my students to start by holding their flute with the balance points each time before they play, making sure they are engaging the correct parts of their hands to hold the flute versus their playing fingers, which should be free to dance on the keys. This way, they will be more comfortable and anatomically well-aligned, both with their flutes and arm structures. This presentation will outline my recovery process, how it shaped my method of teaching regarding holding the flute, and the positive results that have occurred in my studio because of this experience.

Stephanie Lupo, author of The Piccolo Intonation Book (Alry), is the flute professor at Olivet Nazarene Univ. and principal flute of the Kankakee Valley Symphony. Dr. Lupo has performed, presented, and adjudicated at festivals around the country, including the National Flute Association Convention, the New York Flute Fair, the Upper Midwest Flute Association Flute Fest, the Iowa Flute Festival, the Northeastern Ohio Flute Association Flute Festival, and the Atlanta Flute Fair. She received a DMA from the Univ. of Iowa, and she is an ABME Licensure Trainee, working with Amy Likar (Sponsoring Teacher) and Kelly Mollnow Wilson (Training Mentor).

bottom of page