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Music lesson

Amy Porter, noted flute professor at the University of Michigan, will be guest-instructing a master class at USF today from 4-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“It would be of interest to music and non-music students to come to this master class because what Amy will really be doing is teaching the students that the musical expression that transcends through the instrument — the flute — applies to all life,” USF flute instructor Kim McCormick said.

Porter is the former associate principal flutist for the Atlanta Symphony and has performed as a soloist worldwide. According to McCormick, Porter has won prizes in several national and international competitions, including the Paris/Ville d’Avray International competition in France, the Kobe International flute competition in Japan and first prize in the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition.

The class includes two undergraduate and graduate students interested in the graduate program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which is home to the most well-recognized music department in the United States. The students were chosen based on their desire to attend the school.

Porter will highlight the significant difference between students as peers and students within their relationship to their instructors. Her central idea is that each student has his or her own voice. The flute, being a very specialized instrument, is the medium between the musician and their listener.

“This (idea) is also the same for journalism students,” McCormick said. “You want to be coherent, to engage your audience, to say something creative in a personal way. For journalism students, you do this through newspaper, television or magazines. Flutists do so by way of music.”

After listening to each student perform a short piece, Porter will provide ideas on creativity and performance, offer physical improvement suggestions and project ideas to present to the audience.

Students and professors within the music department encourage participation in various music organizations, such as the Florida Flute Association, a statewide non-profit organization for students, flute teachers and performers. The association’s mission is to enlighten flutists of all ages and abilities, especially focusing on exposing students to the best examples of high-profile soloists and masters, and holds several events during the year as well as an annual state convention, the Flute Fair.

The National Flute Association, which strives to encourage the spirit of helpfulness and fellowship among its members and the flute world, is another recommended organization for music students.

Music fraternity Tau Beta Sigma is recommended for further growth of student-to-student and student-to-instructor relationships. Sigma Alpha Iota, another music fraternity, is an all-female fraternity whose purposes are to foster interest in music and promote social contact among persons sharing an interest in music.

Following Porter, flutist Margaret Lancaster will be at USF on March 17 as part of a performance at the BONK Festival of New Music.