There are two things you need to learn to become a real flutist – or anything else for that matter.
- Learn how to practice effectively.
- Learn to enjoy practice.
After that, Everything else comes down to raw talent.
Effective Flute Practice
First, find a good curriculum that you like and stick with it. One of the biggest time wasting mistakes flutists make when they practice flute is having too much material available and switching around. The only reason for switching out of your curriculum should be if it does not meet your needs. For example, if you need more high note practice than your current studies offer, you may change to a different study or, better yet, temporarily add a high note study to your practice. There is a suggested curriculum on this site.
Know what the goals are for each level of your development and how each piece of your curriculum works toward your goals.
In general, develop a one third regimen. One third tone and scales at the beginning of practice, one third improving technique through studies and etudes and one third working on pieces and repertory.
Find a good teacher to guide your practice. A good teacher will help with everything above and show you how to reach your goals. Your teacher should be a flutist, the more accomplished the better. Do not be talked into studying with someone who is not a flutist, even (especially) at the beginning – “well, I was an oboist and the fingering has similarities and they are both woodwinds” – NO! Chances are the principal flutist of your nearest orchestra will not accept you until you are pretty advanced but he/she may have a student who will. Your teacher should have a flute at your lessons and be able to demonstrate how to play whatever you are working on, at least until you are quite advanced.
Finally, make practice a routine. is a lot like working out. Some people feel better playing in the morning, some like the evening after dinner. If you find your best time, you are more likely to make it a routine and enjoy it…
Enjoy Flute Practice
If you are practicing well, you will see progress toward the goals in your curriculum and you will experience the joy of playing the flute. You will find yourself gradually able to shape and control beautiful sound. The ultimate goal in music is to advance to the point where you no longer need to worry about the technical – you express.