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Young flutists have a camp all their own

Children are learning a lifelong, valuable skill at the comically named, Tiny Tooters Flute Camp.

At the current Tiny Tooters Flute Camp, instructor Rebecca Wortham is teaching Frederik List, Mathilde List, Joshua Wortham, Caleb Wortham, Kathryn Veno, Kathryn Tippie, Anna Garcia and Meagan White.

Frank and Robin Cotton, owners of Madison Band Supply, approached Rebecca Wortham about teaching the flute camp. Rebecca and William Wortham teach music and history camps in their home studio (harmonyhomemusicstudio.com) and conduct flute, violin, and brass choirs that perform in the community.

Campers learn instrument parts, care and maintenance, proper embouchure (pouting), breathing, articulation and basic note reading. The camp is similar to sectionals in marching band, with “instrumentalists congregating and learning from each other.”

Students name their flutes to build a bond for proper care, she said. Campers learn songs requiring only the left hand and “grow from there.”

They also play games and have “treasure chest incentives. We clap and jump rhythms and blow tissue paper balls through an obstacle course,” Wortham said.

After two camp sessions, children were playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” using their mouthpiece and finger. Next week, they’ll learn “Hot Cross Buns.”

“The best suited flute for smaller hands is one with a curved head joint,” she said. “The curved head joint shortens the length of a traditional flute and allows smaller hands and little fingers to reach all keys.”

Research shows that students starting music lessons early in life yield greater ACT/SAT scores, Wortham said. “Their GPAs are higher. Music lessons teach spatial reasoning, mathematics, responsibility, endurance and listening skills.”

Wortham’s mother taught music, her father played trumpet and drums and her grandmother was church organist. “Music became a part of my soul.” She started violin at two years old, piano at four and flute at seven.

After touring the United States and Europe with honor bands, Wortham completed master classes at The Juilliard School. She studied music at the University of Montevallo and Jacksonville State University and holds a master’s degree in education. She is band director at Lion’s Gate Christian Academy and Lindsay Lane Christian Academy.

The Worthams’ sons, ranging from 18 to 4 years, are Zachary, Jacob, Joshua, Caleb and Benjamin, who play piano, flute, violin, baritone and guitar.

Each Tiny Tooters Flute Camp lasts eight weeks. Camps will run throughout the year.

To enroll, call Madison Band Supply at 256-325-2263 or visit harmonyhomemusicstudio.com or Facebook.

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