In this guidance I like to present some ideas about how to use Thumpy in music education for both the beginners and advanced flutists. Also you can find a Frequently Asked Questions list (FAQ):

For both the beginner as well as for the advanced flutist Thumpy can be used to learn to play a flute sound without tension and with enjoyment, promising an optimum base for the rest of ones (flute) life. Finally, the flute sound is not an obligation, but a natural phenomena to fully enjoy!

teachers manual

1/ Thumpy for Beginners

The time you take to work with Thumpy for each 'class', may greatly vary up to your specific teaching situation and the time available. The goal is:

  • to playfully develop a flexible embouchure and a stable tone, without the usual stress of holding the flute and placing the fingers.
  • to develop a musical sense and awareness, where each flute sound is not specifically related to a note name, but just a sound in the air.
  • to develop rhythmical qualities, both in individual as well as in group playing.
  • to determine a child's talent and interest for the flute, without having to invest in an expensive flute.
  • to first develop a flexible embouchure and stable flute sound, before switching to the Böhm-flute.

Class 1: Wind Sounds

Use the first lesson to make just wind tones in all kinds of forms and with various rhythms. Teach the students how to hold the Thumpy (logo to the right). Do different 'game-styles' pieces just with wind tones. Let them feel the joy of blowing, especially in group, by imitation, interlocking, playing rhythms, short and long wind-tones, include the T-tonguing attack, make a wind-story… Next, teach them percussive sounds and rhythms (hitting one end of the Thumpy flute with the hand-palm) and combine wind and percussive sounds into one piece.

teachers manual

Class 2: Flute Sound

In a next step, you want to teach to create a first flute sound. You can do preparing exercises, like blowing the candle flame (make it move without extinguishing the flame). Use the Thumpy to imagine the candle. Also use the hand to feel the air-stream. As alternative, use a long, narrow paper, which they hold on the nose, while blowing softly with the intention to keep it up in the air quietly (without waving or flapping of the paper!). Next they should try to blow the Thumpy in a similar way. Some will immediately produce a flute sound, while others may need a bit more time. They may help each other by comparing and observing each other. When dividing the group in two, you can conduct imitation-exercises and exchanging first wind tones and later flute sounds. At this stage, always use Thumpy with simply both endings open.

teachers manual

Class 3: Bird Songs

A next step would be to imitate bird sounds, for which you can study some of these 16 bird sounds samples. But first, teach them how to hold the Thumpy, how to easily close the endings with the thumbs, and about the split note-head and the open/closed combinations. Most birds use flute-like sounds, but for some you have to speak or sing into the embouchure-hole (like the Barn Owl or the Long-Ear Owl). Be sure to motivate them to use the requested articulation (tu-tu-tu or ta-taaa, etc.). Students can invent their own animal sound.

teachers manual

Class 4: Basic Five Notes

Next we learn the first five basic sounds. Obviously, here you could use the Thumpy Book and use the pieces from the book up to #34. Alternatively, one can teach the first basic sounds by imitation, and have your own exercises.

teachers manual

Class 5: Duo and Ensemble

This step can also be integrated in some of the other steps. But it is good to make some space to play some duo or/and ensemble pieces. Again, one can here use the Thumpy Book, or write your own pieces.

teachers manual

Class 6: Make your own Piece

In a final stage, you can invite students to make and compose their own piece. They can either use the notation system as proposed in the Thumpy Book (with the split note-head), but also invent their own system, like a graphical notation or an image story. Let them give the piece a title! It would be also great to memorize one or more pieces, and possibly to include some movement as well.

teachers manual

Ready for the Böhm Flute!

At this stage, with a wider sound understanding and flexible and relaxed embouchure, the student is ready to try the 'big' flute! I hope my thoughts may be of some good use for your teaching. Feel free to contact with me if you have any remarks or thoughts to share by using the Contact Page. Especially in these times where kids go 'digital' pretty early, it is my dearest wish, that we can attract them to enjoy analogue actions like blowing and creating sound from their own breath. Here the flute teacher has an important job to do, while also the possibility to attract new potential flute students.

teachers manual

2/ Advanced Flute Students

The Thumpy flute can be great fun for an advanced flutist, as a challenging flute as well as a study instrument. It brings you back to the essential elements of playing the flute: the blowing and the sound. Because the Thumpy demands more activity of the embouchure, it is great to further develop the flexibility of the embouchure. Thumpy is telling you: don't play with your fingers, but play with your breath. Here below some samples and ideas.

teachers manual

Thumpy Book

The Thumpy Book certainly has some exciting challenges for the advanced player. Very useful studies are the pitch bending studies to roll or turn the Thumpy flute (#38-41), the wind tones (#45-46) and the advanced pieces (#71-75). All these are really good for the flexibility of the embouchure. Another thing you can do is to make your own piece for Thumpy flute.

teachers manual

Study Whisper Tones

Studying whisper tones has great benefits for the flexibility of embouchure and tone in general. The Thumpy flute is a great flute for whisper tones studies, especially when you are travelling. For more information on the whisper tone see: or my book For the Contemporary Flutist.

teachers manual

Study Circular Breathing

The circular breathing is a breath-technique that not so many flutists study. At the same time, it is such a great technique, which simultaneously develops the embouchure and breathing in an incredible way! With Thumpy you have a flute, which you can grap immediately and at any moment. In this way you can often do a short study of circular breathing while keeping your flute safely in the box. For more information on circular breathing see: or my book For the Contemporary Flutist.

teachers manual


There are some wonderful samples of beatboxing on the Thumpy flute. Click the image below to start the video by Guillermo Thomson. Next, you should try it yourself!

teachers manual

Take Thumpy Outside

Since Thumpy is a most durable instrument - in contrast to the delicate flute - it is very easy to take with you when you go travelling or when you visit a park, a forest or other natural spot. And it sounds great outside!

teachers manual

3/ Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have collected some of the most frequently asked questions concerning Thumpy. Click a question to display the corresponding answer. Feel free to contact with us whenever your question is not listed.

Is Thumpy only for children and beginners?
Certainly not, as anyone can play the Thumpy! Beginners can enjoy it to discover a first flute sound in a spontaneous and amusing way and develop a flexible embouchure (before moving on to the 'big' flute). However, Thumpy is also a challenging flute for advanced flutists, to develop further flexibility in their tone and embouchure, or for studying whisper tones or circular breathing.
From which age can a child start playing the Thumpy?
That may differ per child, but from 7 years, and sometimes even earlier, is possible. Important point is whether a kid can close the endings with the thumbs (the centre ending-holes are 14 millimetre).
Which notes can we play on the Thumpy flute?
The basic five pitches are: F - Ab - C - Eb - F. However, Thumpy is a most 'analogue' instrument, which can produce many 'micro-tones', which we cannot find on the piano. See more about the basic five tones and sound samples on the Quick Start page.
Is the coating of the Thumpy Junior safe for children?
For wind instruments, and especially those also used by children, safety and hygiene are of great importance. To protect against moisture and other influences the Thumpy Junior has been coated with a paint, either transparent (Natural) or with a color pigment (colored versions). We have been assured that the paint is environment and child friendly and guarantees a non-toxic coating. To see all legal qualifications of the paint in detail, you can download the Safety Data Sheet of the paint in PDF.
How could the Thumpy flute be used in music education?
• In the flute lesson: the Thumpy flute can be used in the first flute lessons before touching the Boehm-flute. The student will learn how to flute, can develop the embouchure and can enjoy the flute and breath sounds. After some weeks, or months, the student will be ready to change with ease to the Boehm-flute. For those already playing the flute, Thumpy can be used to develop more flexibility in embouchure and breathing as well as to stimulate improvisational qualities.

• In musical projects introducing the flute at schools and institutions: Thumpy can be used as an accessible instrument to stimulate musical creativity, improvisation, group interaction and the ability to flute in an enjoyable way. It also can be a help to find out or a student has ability for playing the flute.
Should I dry my Thumpy flute after playing?
It is advised to dry the flute after playing. To do so, use a rod or stick with a cloth connected (like a flute-cleaner or recorder-cleaner) or a rope with a cloth (like saxophone cleaner). Use the included bag to store it safely and keep it away from any heating or direct sunlight.
Do I have to oil my Thumpy?
• Thumpy Junior (natural or color coated): No, this flute has a maintenance-free protective coating.

• Thumpy Classic (Pro): this model has been fully oil-impregnated during production using a special oil. To keep it in good shape, one should rub the flute frequently with a soft dry cloth. Depending on usage, one may also apply a very little oil once a while, like twice a year, to both the outside and inside of the flute, rubbing it strongly with a cloth or rod until the oil is absorbed. Use some wood-oil or otherwise olive oil will also do.
Where can I buy the Thumpy flute?
The Thumpy flutes and books are directly online available at the Studio E Online Shop. You can also contact with Studio E to inform us your order.
Is there any discount if I buy more Thumpy flutes?
Yes, there is a quantity discount in the Studio E Online Shop: order for more than €300 (excl. VAT tax) and you will automatically receive a 10% discount.
What is your production capacity per year?
As each flute is fully handmade, we have a limited capacity to make about 500 Thumpy flutes each year. About 10% are Thumpy Classic (Pro) models, while the other 90% are Thumpy Junior models.


Whenever you have any further question, please feel free to contact with us anytime and we will reply as soon as we can. Thank you for your message.