Flute lessons cover all of the fundamental aspects of playing. Students learn to hold the flute with the correct posture and hand positions, and develop good embouchure and breath control. Right from the start the focus is to aim for low notes that are stable and beautiful before progressing further. And of course, students will learn about pitch, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, the structure of music and how to listen well.
Flute was not traditionally an instrument that young children start on. It was simply too long for them to manage. However, recent developments in flute design have made it possible for children to begin around the age of 5.
Curved head joint designs make the flute shorter, lighter, & easier to balance. They have the same pitch as a full sized flute and produce an excellent sound. Furthermore, they can be played for several years before a new flute is needed. Even then, it is possible to purchase a straight head joint, & fit it to the existing flute.
With the practical difficulties taken care of, flute can be taught to young children in an age appropriate way. Suzuki starts with an ear first approach. Listening skills are emphasized through imitation of recordings that the children listen to.
Instrumental skills are introduced in many small steps, playfully, with much repetition & reward. Parents/carers attend lesson with their children, participating in these activities & supervising them at home. Games don't necessarily feel like they are about the flute, but they will help with the flute. For example, we might blow feathers (in a COVID safe way of course!) for as long as the phrase we're listening to, developing breath control and understanding of musical phrasing. In amongst these games are the seeds of good technique which will continue to be carefully built upon.