Zara (Zadie) Lawler teaches Suzuki flute lessons, flute group classes, Flute Readiness, and Ready, Set, Play! at Silver Music.
Name: Zara Lawler, but everyone calls me Zadie
Age you began studying: 9
Why did you choose the flute? This is kind of a silly story. I had started on piano when I was in 4th grade. My father played the piano all the time and I thought it would be really fun, but the teacher and I were not a good match, and the piano and I were not a good match either! So, the summer after 4th grade, I took drum lessons as our local public school summer music program. I chose the drum because I loved banging on things in cool patterns and drums looked so exciting. In reality, I found it to be very boring! All my friends were playing either flute or clarinet and having such a good time playing tunes and songs…so I thought I would switch AGAIN to either flute or clarinet. How to decide? In the end, I chose the flute because I thought it had a cooler case. Lucky for me, it turned out to be the Best Instrument In The World!
One memory from your lessons or early study: My first performance was London Bridge is Falling Down, played for my whole elementary school. Afterwards, I cried because my tone was so airy! I had only been playing for about a month at that time… Anyway, I always think of that while working with my own students on making a beautiful sound.
Did you always like to practice? If not, how did you, or your parent motivate you to practice? At first, I didn’t really understand what practice was all about…I think mostly because my parents were both musical but I never saw them practice. My father would just sit down at the piano, and out would come the Maple Leaf Rag, sounding complicated and amazing. And at first, it didn’t take much work for me to progress on the flute. But I do remember distinctly learning to practice when I was in 7th grade, and I wanted to audition for a better seat in band. I had to play a really tricky passage from the theme song to MASH, a TV show Silver Music parents might remember! It was the first time I ever really had to work out how to get my fingers and my air to work together to be consistently successful. It was like I could feel the neural pathways forming themselves as I worked out how to play it and then how to play it over and over again the same way.
Did you ever want to quit? I did not ever want to quit but every once in a while I’ve gotten so frustrated I feel like throwing the flute out the window. Thankfully, I have never actually done that!
Current Favorite Suzuki Piece: I love the Woodall Serenade in Book 3, and also By the Brook in Book 7. I’ll be performing both at Flute Day at the Suzuki Music School in Westport CT on March 22: https://www.suzukischools.org/pillow-concerts
Any advice for budding flute-players?: Don’t wait until 7th grade to learn how to practice!
What else do you enjoy doing besides playing flute? In addition to being a Suzuki teacher, I’m also a Suzuki parent, and I am having a lot of fun learning about the cello, and learning about what this whole Suzuki triangle thing is like from the parent side.