Q&A with Jenny Shin by Jennifer Bendelstein

Jenny Shin is my dear friend from San Diego! We grew up together and studied with the same teacher. I’m so lucky that we’re both in Chicago now! It’s so nice to share moments in your musical journey with friends, for many years in the past and future. Jenny has helped me think more about networking and has been a great friend when I’ve had doubts about my playing and performing. Here’s some great advice from Jenny!

How did you get started with the flute? 

I started out playing the violin and piano when I was 5 years old. I quit the violin after 3 months, but kept up with piano lessons. I started flute lessons a little before I moved to the United States, and for some reason, flute was much easier than the other two instruments, so never complained. 

What kind of flute are you playing on now? 

Right now I play on a Yamaha (YFL-977AHCT #D64 with a type "K" headjoint). I love it for its effortlessly bold and big low register and clarity in sound. 

What advice would you recommend for students serious about studying the flute? 

Make sure you are constantly checking your posture when you play. Hands, back, shoulder tension... all of these can make you hurt yourself. Also, always play with a beautiful sound..at all times. Don't forget to listen to yourself, and not just get told by your teachers how you sound. 

Which flutists do you look up to? 

This is a hard question... I look up to all of my teachers. Dr. Jonathan Keeble, John Thorne, Claude Monteux and my high school flute teacher, Jane Masur. I would not have been able to be a flute player I am now if it wasn't them. 

What are your daily practice goals? 

I try to not run through pieces, but work mostly on problematic areas, and I practice them really slowly. 

Do you prefer flutist or flautist? :) 


What’s your favorite piece of flute repertoire, and why? 

Jolivet's Chant de Linos. This piece never gets old to me, and I always get so excited when I have to play it. 

BM University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MM Northwestern University
DMA Candidate University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A native of San Diego, California, Jenny Shin is a rising artist of the current generation whose playing has enjoyed critical acclaim.

She has garnered top performance prizes from numerous competitions, including the National Crescendo Awards, Yamaha Young Performing Artist, Musical Merit of California, Illinois Flute Society, and San Diego Flute Guild.

Recent public engagements include a solo recital given as the winner of the 2016 Krannert Debut Artist Competition and performances at the 2012 Music for All Summer Symposium at Ball State University. In addition, she has performed throughout the Midwest in venues ranging from the Chicago Cultural Center, to Copley Symphony Hall, to the Krannert Center of Performing Arts.

Ms. Shin received her bachelor's degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her master's degree from Northwestern University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois. Her primary teachers include Jonathan Keeble and John Thorne.

In addition to her thriving career as a performing artist, Shin is a passionate teacher. She has been a part of the faculty with the Illinois Summer Youth Music Pre-College Flute Camp since 2014 and has served as teaching assistant at both the University of Illinois and Northwestern University. 

Ms. Shin is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


Tips for Awareness, Posture, and Integrity in your practicing by Jennifer Bendelstein

"Essential for a freed breathing is an upright posture, giving room for relaxed movement of all parts of the respiratory system. At the same time breathing also influences the posture. Most of the muscles part of the respiratory system are connected with the cervical spine and the lumbar spine. Thus breathing also has an influence on stability and position of the spine. At the same time the position of the spine affects speed and quality of breathing. Thus efficient breathing means correct posture and the other way round."

- Feldenkrais

1. Use a Mirror

The mirror is a great teacher! It seems that I might be stating the obvious here, but you'd be amazed at the amount of useful information you receive from with a mirror. 

The mirror will give you visual feedback on your progress, in real time. Using a mirror, you will become more aware of your habits. The mirror is especially helpful in monitoring the evenness in technique, shape of embouchure, and integrity of posture.

Here's a video for guitar students...still contains some great ideas! 

The mirror will provide you with a visual perspective in your practice. Increased attention around your habits will make you a more self-aware artist. 


2. Stand Up

It's much easier to take deep breaths and stay fully aware of your body in space when you're standing. Stand with a neutral pelvis, with the feet in a comfortable position, so the feet and legs can support your torso. 

The lung itself is a passive organ, activated by movement in the surrounding structures (thorax and abdominals). The air stream entering your lungs is triggered by a pressure difference due to increased volume in the lungs. Naturally it makes sense to maximize your lung volume with an upright, open, and standing posture. 

When you're free to use the full range of your lungs and abdominals, you'll take deeper breaths, resulting in longer and more supported phrases. You'll also have much clearer and more powerful articulation. 


Brandenburg Concertos at Harris Theater by Jennifer Bendelstein

Hi all,

Don't miss out on the Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach!

Date: 12/20/17 at 7:30

Location: Harris Theater (205 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601)

With the lovely NYC-based flutist Carol Wincenc (Julliard School)

Here's the discount ticket flier I received got from Chicago Flute Club...

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By the way check out Viviana's Guzman's interview with Carol Wincenc while you're at it:

Also here's a beautiful recording of the Brandenburg Concerto No 5 with the Croatian Baroque Ensemble:

Classical Music - CHICAGO! by Jennifer Bendelstein

Hi all,

Here are links to concert venues, programs, and listings in Chicago.

This list is primarily a classical outlet. I've slipped in a few other links that lead more to folk, jazz, and experimental expressions.

Some of venues listed are more kid friendly than others, but this of course depends on the child's age, interests, and tastes. 

It's a great idea to attend concerts on a regular basis, even for younger children. I think a student benefits from a concert experience. Attending a performance can add perspective to the daily flute practice and lead to further inspiration. Even if a student would prefer to have music as a personal hobby, it's good to know how music-making fits into a larger framework. Playing in an ensemble offers students a rewarding camaraderie, not to mention a historical and scientific backdrop for classical music studies. 

If there is anything more you'd like to see in this list, please let me know!

"Use Bachtrack's search facility to find concerts, opera and dance events not only in this city but right around the world. Bachtrack has the largest number of upcoming events of any website, and if you want to read reviews of events which have taken place here, or in another country, you can search here for exactly the reviews which interest you."

"Inspired by the world around us, Artistic Director Scott Speck and the Chicago Philharmonic bring together world-class talent to perform moving and beautiful works. Ranging from beloved traditional showpieces to a brand-new commission and a family friendly extravaganza, this year’s program has something for everyone."

"From Mikhail Baryshnikov to Renée Fleming to the Paris Opéra Ballet, the Harris Theater Presents series brings internationally acclaimed music and dance organizations to our stage."

"The Old Town School of Folk Music opened in December of 1957 with its first home at 333 North Avenue. The first five years of the School’s history mirrored the boom in folk music at that time...'The mission of the Old Town School of Folk Music...is the cultivation of an interest in and an understanding of folk music and its related forms that have evolved from this traditional base.'"

"Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world.

In collaboration with the best conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over one hundred concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago’s North Shore. Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through best-selling recordings and frequent sold-out tour performances in the United States and around the globe."

"For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been Chicago's summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus, can have a transformative impact on the city."

"Ravinia is an internationally renowned, not-for-profit music festival that presents outstanding performances by the world’s greatest artists. 

Ravinia, North America's oldest music festival, stands today as its most musically diverse, presenting over 140 different events throughout the summer. These concerts run the gamut from Yo-Yo Ma to John Legend to the annual summer residency of the nation's finest orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra."

"Using sound, lights, and video, performers from around the world create new experiences that expand your concept of music. The MCA’s musical events take place in the intimate Edlis Neeson Theater, on the Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden, or other spaces around the museum."

"Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946.

CYSO serves more than 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, and supplemental programs including chamber music ensembles and composition. CYSO musicians receive superb orchestral and chamber music instruction from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, perform in the world’s greatest concert halls, and gain the self-confidence and discipline necessary for a successful future."