Julie McDonald's Flute Studio

My passion is music and playing the flute. My goal in life is to help students find joy in playing t


Repetition is a must, but what kind? Julianna Nickel has been telling me for years, take a break, think, what is the repetition for, what are you trying to accomplish? Mindless repetition causes tension, frustration & anxiety.


Do you ever notice that if you play something you’re comfortable with, you make it a song and there’s no tension?

When I see a bunch of crazy notes on the page and a tempo marking, my body reacts because my mind says, “you can’t play that, it’s too hard.” Or, “you can play it, but it will never be up to tempo.”
It’s good to remind myself -

There is a solution, you will be able to play them.
Breathe, relax. You’ve got this.


On days I try to skip a warm up and just go to rep (because I’m impatient) I don’t sound as good, have more tension, and get more frustrated and anxious.


Tension holds us back - in our breathing, our facility, and overall ease in playing. When I’m tired, like today, I actually play better because I don’t have the energy to hold any tension. It’s one of the reasons I like to practice when I first get up and before I go to sleep.

Schedule – The Flute Society of Washington, Inc. 01/18/2023

Schedule – The Flute Society of Washington, Inc.

Come see me perform on Saturday!
11:00- The Troll and the Fae
2:00 - The Low Flutes Project
3:00 - Woodbridge Flute Choir

Schedule – The Flute Society of Washington, Inc. Schedule of Events Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention 2023 Schedule of Events Time & Meeting RoomEventsType of Event (workshop, recital, etc.) 7:30 - 8:30 pm (Fri)LobbyRegistrationCheck-in for preregistered attendees.Festival & high school flute choir participants check-in at the evening rehearsal.Regist...


Welcome Nathan to the Studio!
Next gen low flute player - really enjoy seeing the growth in just two lessons!

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 11/15/2022

I died and went to heaven with all my flute friends this evening.

Emmanuel Pahud, Flute & Alessio Bax, Piano 11/14/2022

Emmanuel Pahud, Flute & Alessio Bax, Piano


Special thanks to Lucy Snell for letting me know about this FREE concert tonight!

Emmanuel Pahud, Flute & Alessio Bax, Piano The eminent flutist Emmanuel Pahud performs with pianist Alessio Bax, a frequent chamber music partner, to inaugurate the Elinor D. Sosne Fund, a new endowment created to support the Library’s Dayton C. Miller Collection. Join for a preconcert conversation with the artists at 6:30 p.m. in the Whit...


Rock the house Professors Nickel, Jewell, Mulcahy!


In the Spring of 2017, I took a Theory class taught by Dr. Jim Fay at NOVA Annandale to prepare me for my entrance exams for grad school at GMU. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to give back to NOVA Annandale as their new Adjunct Flute Professor!

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 08/23/2022

Performing with the 2022 Professional Flute Choir at the 50th Anniversary NFA Convention in Chicago was such an honor.
Pinch me! I played on stage with Jasmine Choi!
Thank you, Eileen Yarrison, PFC coordinator extraordinaire and Master conductor, Clyde Mitchell.


The flute is my voice through which I sing.
Playing my flute is when I feel most like myself.

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 05/18/2022

My final concert with George Mason's Wind Symphony, Thursday, April 28th. With Professor Mark Camphouse, and DMA conductor extraordinaire, Samantha Clarke.
I will never forget this week, one of the best of my life.

Julie McDonald, Flute, Doctoral Recital 04/26/2022

Julie McDonald, Flute, Doctoral Recital

Julie McDonald, Flute, Doctoral Recital Please join Julie McDonald in her doctoral recital for flute, featuring:Tone Roads No. 1 Charles IvesSet No. 6 : From the...

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 04/23/2022


Timeline photos 04/18/2022

I am overjoyed to play this concert with all these amazing musicians. The music is so beautiful.
Special thanks to Professor Julianna Nickel for your strength, honesty, and patience. You've taught me so much! So thankful for the past 5+ years. I would not have made it without you.

Pianist, Dr. Eunae Ko Han
Conductor, Samantha Clarke, DMA student of Marc Camphouse

Please come in person to hear this LIVE.
Family & friends out of state, here is the live-streamed link:

Grateful for this opportunity to play with everyone!

Timeline photos 03/26/2022

Grateful for this opportunity to play with everyone!


This was super cool! Thank you Flute Society of Washington for this opportunity to connect with so many people even though we were all at home. All the presentations will be available until mid-March. If you are an FSW member, the convention is FREE!!!
Become a member & watch all the awesome recitals & talks!


I am so excited to be presenting at my first convention!


Dr. Deanna Hamm and I begin Robinson’s HS Flute Choir next Friday, Nov. 8th!
So excited to perform for Tiny Tots this year!


Bravo to my students Sarah, Sam, Macie and Swara for working so diligently on your FSW HS Flute Choir Competition Music!

You got this!

Recording this weekend - so excited for you all!!!!

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 10/05/2019

First Concert/first semester of DMA!
GMU Flute Choir performed
Flutes of Nature, Mvt. I - Jonathan Cohen
Oblivion - Astor Piazzola
Tambourin - Gossec, arr. Ervin Monroe

❤️ flute family


First day teaching at Robinson!
There is something different in the air this year: the level of playing has stepped up a notch, and a positive, motivating spirit is in abundance. Happiness!


I am so thankful & honored to be awarded the Presidential Scholarship for the School of Music at George Mason University.

I have a created a website/blog for my research, so you can read along as I progress through my projects over the next three years.



So proud of the Robinson Flutes! We had such a productive Marching Band sectional today. It’s going to be an awesome year of fun, flute, and music!


Flute-filled 2019 Summer Posts ahead:
Iowa Intensive
Mason Flute Academy &
NFA Convention!

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 08/07/2019

National Flute Convention 2019:
Playing with Professional Flute Choir, Low Flutes Orchestra, & Gala Concert.
August 1-4, 2019.

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 08/07/2019

Mason Summer Flute Academy!
June 17 - 21, 2019.

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 08/07/2019

Iowa Intensive Masterclass: June 3-8, 2019.


Special thanks to Sydnee Stein, Contrabass Flutist Extraordinaire, for practicing with me to prepare for our NFA Professional Flute Choir experience in SLC - 4 days to go!

Mobile uploads 06/27/2019

Conducting the Mason Flute Academy at our concert Friday June 21st!


Summer is finally here for me, after my Masters recital, Graduation, Studio Recital, Iowa Flute Intensive, and GMU Flute Academy! Hooray!


So lucky & happy to be helping Professor Julianna Nickel at the GMU Summer Flute Academy!
What a pleasure meeting the students today and hearing you all play.


Congratulations to my student, Macie, for earning the Woodwind Section Leader position at Fairfax HS for her upcoming Senior year in Marching Band!
So happy & proud of you!

Profile pictures 05/29/2019

Flute Society of Washington’s Guest Artist
for February Convention 2020!
So excited!
We’re so lucky!

Photos from Julie McDonald's Flute Studio's post 05/24/2019

May 5th seems so long ago!
What a whirlwind it has been. I absolutely loved every moment of performing my Masters Degree Recital.
Thank you Julianna Nickel for helping me see the big picture!


So proud of my students!
Beautiful, expressive performances all around.
Special thanks to Pianist Sherry Graveson for accompanying us!


OMG. My students had our annual dress rehearsal/run through with our fabulous pianist, Sherry Graveson, and I am in AWE of my students’ preparation, musicality, and clarity of sound.
Every year just gets better & better!






Fairfax, VA

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