I finally broke down and bought a flute stand and piccolo stand. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Since I play both instruments in band, one of them is always sitting on my lap. The problem is, when I’m seated in one of those uncomfortable blue hunks of plastic that pass as band chairs, my lap slopes down. I constantly have the sensation that the idle instrument is going to roll off my lap and land at the conductor’s feet.
I’ve developed a few strategies to cope with the effects of gravity. Rather than sitting with my feet flat on the floor, I often sit resting on my toes. That’s enough to level out my lap and keep the instrument in place. When that gets tiring, I sometimes rest one foot on top of the other. Not exactly good playing form. Wearing heels helps, but I live in Minnesota. Imagine walking across an icy, snowy, dark parking lot in the middle of January to get to rehearsal. Did I mention that it gets really cold here in the winter? Heels are a seasonal solution at best.
I don’t have the same problem when I practice at home since I don’t practice sitting in a chair. I either stand or I sit cross-legged on my bed. I know, that’s terrible form, but I’m an adult. I can sit cross-legged if I want to. I don’t have to worry about my flute rolling off my lap, but my home practice habits present a new set of problems.
I tend to practice intermittently throughout the day. When I need a break from my computer I spend ten minutes working through some technical passage with my metronome. In between these mini practice sessions, the flute sits out on the bed or dresser or some other handy surface. Sometimes I find my cat Zayda snuggled up next to it. It’s also irresistible to my young daughter. If my flute is sitting out when Molly gets home from school, she’s poking at the keys or pulling the headjoint off and doing her best to produce a tone.
My flute stand has not done anything to break the allure that my flute holds toward Molly, but it has solved some of my other problems. No more cozy cats or rehearsal contortions and definitely no more heels.
There are a number of good, solid piccolo and flute stands to choose from at affordable prices. If you’re going to haul it around in your flute bag, look for a stand that folds compactly, yet is solid and sturdy when assembled. Think about where you’re going to use it and how crowded the space is. You’ll want to feel secure with it standing between you and your neighbor during rehearsal.
If you’re looking for something more elegant, consider a wooden stand. Wooden flute stands are available with one or more pegs and often come with elaborate engraving on the base. These flute stands are works of art that look beautiful in your studio or on stage. Many wooden stands have removable pegs for more portability. Expect to pay considerably more for the wooden variety, beauty has its price.
Do you expect to leave your flute on the stand in your studio or practice space for extended periods of time? Consider a flute cozy. These cloth sleeves slip over your flute to protect it and keep it warm while it’s on the stand. Flute cozies feature a decorative fabric on the outside and a soft, tarnish resistant fabric lining the inside. These beautiful sleeves are a stylish way to care for and protect your flute.
Life with my new piccolo and flute stands has taken a little getting used to, but overall I’m pleased. Zayda the cat has the bed to herself and I’m free to choose practical footwear to wear to rehearsal this winter. Molly is still attracted to my flute like a moth to a flame, but her tone is getting much better. She starts band next year. Maybe it’s time for Mother/Daughter matching flute stands. I can’t wait!
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