Melissa Freilich is an accomplished musician and teacher. A native of Ambler, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Freilich began her flute studies with at age ten. She has been a soloist with the Ambler Symphony, the North Penn Symphony, and Young Peoples’ Philharmonic, and has given recitals in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Ann Arbor areas. Melissa is the winner of the 1999 Montgomery County Concert Band Scholarship, the 2003 Mildred Tuttle Scholarship, and the 2004 Nelson Hauenstein Memorial Scholarship.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan School of Music, where she studied flute performance. Melissa’s primary teachers include Veronica Mascaro, Amy Porter, and Joshua Smith. She has performed under several prestegious conductors including Leonard Slatkin and Franz Welser-Möst. Mrs. Freilich can be heard on the 2005 Grammy Award winning recording of William Bolcolm’s Songs of Innocence and Experience.
Mrs. Freilich has been teaching privately for twenty years. She has coached chamber music at Cleveland Heights High School and was on the teaching staff at Dexter and Belleville Public Schools in Michigan. Mrs. Freilich held the position of Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan. She served on the faculty of Hallahan Catholic Girl’s High School and Kennedy Kendrick High School. Melissa is currently Director of the Wissahickon Summer Pops. Mrs. Freilich maintains a thriving flute studio in the Upper Dublin area. He students perform with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, and Delaware County Youth Orchestra the Delaware Valley Young Musicians Orchestra, and have represented their schools in Montco Band, Bux-Mont Honors Band, and PMEA District, Region and State Festivals.
Private lessons are an essential part of a thorough musical education. Melissa is experienced in training flutists ranging from very young beginners to college students and adults. Lessons are offered in demanding yet caring environment, and lesson plans and expectations are catered to students’ individual abilities and goals.
Students typically meet with Melissa on a weekly basis. Thirty-minute lessons are recommended for beginners whereas older students, typically with 3 years or more experience, are encouraged to elect a one-hour lesson. Scheduling is as flexible as possible and may be adjusted as conflicts arise.
Students are encouraged to participate in studio recitals, studio flute choir, and to seek outside performance opportunities. Please feel free to contact Melissa with questions or to set up a meeting.
Feel free to reach out with any questions, inquiries, or to get started with your first lesson.
1225 Hartranft Ave, Fort Washington, PA 19034, US
Provided that reasonable notice is given, missed lessons may be made up. Make-up lessons are available during designated “make-up weeks,” or during any openings that may arise during the week the lessons is missed.
I do my best to work with students to find a make-up time that fits their busy schedules.
The most common question I get from parents is “How much time should my child spend practicing?” For me, this is often a very difficult question to answer. I don’t think there is a “one-sized-fits-all” amount of practice time that will work for everyone.
Each of my students has individual goals, individual priorities, and their own individual batch of interests and activities that demand attention. In fact, that is why you have all chosen to take private lessons. Since this is not a group or school sponsored class, we do not have a set curriculum. We don’t need to “keep up” with the rest of the class, nor do we have to stick to repertoire that is too easy. That is what I love most about teaching students individually. We can move towards our own goals at the speed that works the best for us.
I will say though, that whether you practice an hour a day, 2 hours a day, or just 10 minutes a day, I would urge you to make practicing your flute part of your daily routine. Playing an instrument is a mix of both intellectual and physical skills. Your muscles need to practice and repeat motions, just as they would need to practice and repeat motions for a sport. New skills are often forgotten on days off, and this almost always causes frustration. Of course you need to do your homework. Of course you have other commitments, but you would be amazed what short amounts of concentrated effort can add up to over time.
Private lessons are a time commitment and a financial commitment. You will get far more out of your lessons if you make practice part of each day.
Our flutes are complicated, fragile, and expensive. For February, here are some flute care reminders that we should all keep in mind.
♪ When assembling the flute, do not grip the flute by the keys. The keys are very fragile and can be bent. Instead, hold the flute by the neck above the keys. Gently twist the pieces together.
♪ Brush your teeth before you play your flute. Any eating, drinking, or chewing gum will cause sugars to build up in the pads. This will make the pads sticky and cause them to tear.
♪ Be careful where you put your flute. Flutes should not be left on chairs, on the floor or on the music stand. I have many times see flutes that have been sat on or stepped on. This can be very expensive to fix if it can be fixed at all. Flutes left on music stands are just asking for trouble.
♪ Please do not swing your flute around while you are holding it. Dropping or hitting the flute can cause dents, bent keys, and other problems. Hold the flute by the neck about the keys, not by the headjoint in case the body is loose.
♪ Make sure that you clean you flute out every time you play. A build up of spit and condensation inside will damage the pads. It is also much healthier to clean out the spit and avoid a build-up of germs. Wipe off fingerprints or dirt with a soft cloth.
If you take the time to take care of your flute you can save money on flute maintenance and also the aggravation or need flute repair. Please be careful with your valuable instrument.
When giving a performance, how you look and act is often as important as how you play. Projecting an image of confidence will leave an audience with a better impression of your abilities as a flutist. Here are some tips to establish a good stage presence.
♪ Dress appropriately. Dressing nicely will show an audience that you take your performance (and yourself seriously). Inappropriate clothing can cause the audience to think about your clothing instead of your music.
♪ Smile! An audience wants to know that you are having a good time.
♪ Make eye contact. Look at the audience before and after you play. It will show that you are confident.
♪ Do not make faces or roll your eyes. Mistakes will happen in a performance, but they are almost more
obvious to you than to your audience. Rolling your eyes will draw attention to your mistakes instead of your achievements.
♪ Bow at the end. It is important to acknowledge your applause with a smile and a bow. Bow for longer than you think you should. Many performers bow too quickly.
♪ Have fun! A performance is a time to be proud of your hard work and to enjoy sharing your accomplishments with the people who love you. Be proud of all that you have accomplished and the joy that your music brings to others.
One of the most valuable skills we can learn is time management. Using our practice time wisely when we have little time, can make an enormous difference in the long run. Here are some tips to help get the most out of the time that is available:
♪ Practice with a pencil. Writing in hints to prevent mistakes can save countless repeating to get something right.
♪ Schedule your practice time. If you have already set aside time, however short it may be, it will save time debating about what to do next.
♪ Use your down time. Finger though scales or difficult passages in band class, either before the rehearsal gets started, or while the teacher is rehearsing with another section.
♪ Leave your flute assembled when you are home until late. This way, you can squeeze in a few minutes here and there while dinner is not quite ready or it is not quite time to leave.
♪ Practice without your flute. Even when we don’t have time to practice, there are thing we can accomplish without our instruments. Practice double tonguing or triple tonguing while you walk between classes. Listen to recordings or your repertoire (or any classical repertoire for that matter) in the car. Finger flute passages on your pencil when you’ve finished a test in class.
♪ Practice breathing well when you can’t sleep at night. Take in deep breaths to inflate your tummy (not your shoulders) as you lie on your back in bed. These relaxed deep breaths will not only improve you breath support for the flute, but will also help you get to sleep.
Remember that the little things that we do consistently add up to big things over time. If you have any other time saving tips please share them.