David Bertrand

David B.

Brooklyn, NY

About David B.

Background check: Last verified 04/17/2016
David passed a background check on 04/17/2016 that included the following:
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David teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: December 2001
Last sign in: Within two months


I am a former principal flutist of the National Symphonia of Trinidad & Tobago and performed at several jazz festivals throughout the Caribbean. After graduating from the M.A. jazz program of Queens College, I've performed in a number of jazz, world music and musical theater groups including the quartet that performs my original music. I presently teach through the Music Partners Program of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Union City Music Project.

I use traditional flute pedagogy to ensure my students have a solid foundation but also bring my non classical experience to make the lessons engaging and fun.

*** Lesson Details ***
I address all aspects of fundamental flute technique through the use on canonical studies (Moyse, Taffanel/ Gaubert) and etudes. The emphasis on making the lessons engaging and comprehensive for students of all levels to encourage progress. I especially love working with saxophone doublers as well those interested in jazz flute and Latin/Brazilian flute.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A music stand, tuner,metronome, a library of various flute methods and a computer for printouts and audio/visual examples.

*** Travel Equipment ***
A music stand, tuner and metronome. The student should have their own instrument.

*** Specialties ***
Flute: Jazz flute, piccolo/alto flute doubling

Clarinet: Wind ensemble, bass clarinet doubling

Photos and Videos

An excerpt of my quartet performing one of my songs (Wood Slave) during Make Music New York, June 21st 2014.


M.A. in Jazz Performance

Sep 2009 - Jun 2011
Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens College)

B.A. (Upper 2nd Class Honors)

Sep 1996 - Dec 1999
University of the West Indies

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency
Write a Review

7 Reviews on David B.

Rob E. Jun 2, 2015
Flute · Online
Verified Student
Great teacher! I am a beginner but I also wanted to know about jazz. Fascinating! Like drinking from a fire hose. I need some shed time to digest all this then I will be back for another 5 lessons.
Rob E. May 6, 2015
Flute · Online
Verified Student
very helpful!
Elisa C. Mar 4, 2015
Flute · In home
Verified Student
My son thoroughly enjoyed his lessons with David. A tight schedule and added hours to piano studies, has led him to place the flute on second tier, but David is a dedicated and patient teacher and if my son could set time aside for private instruction in flute, for sure we would contact David again. Very recommendable.
Sarah C. Sep 8, 2014
Flute · In studio
Verified Student
David is a born teacher. I began my sessions with David after a 20 year hiatus from the instrument (gave it up after 8th grade), and brought a considerable amount of insecurity and awkwardness with me to our first few classes. However, David was able to put me right at ease with his easygoing and humorous manner, and following his lead I have made more progress than I would have thought possible in a few months- particularly with improving my tone and embouchure. Every class leaves me feeling more confident about my abilities to become a respectable flutist, despite being a latecomer to the instrument. He inspires with his own beautiful playing, and enlightens with great metaphors that somehow finally help me understand what my mouth and breath are supposed to be doing :) I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and I'm looking forward to all our future sessions.
Ollie M. Jun 30, 2014
Flute · Online
Verified Student
My flute skills were rather rusty when David and I started working together. Give his emphasis in jazz performance, I thought that I would have to work with another teacher to reinforce my technical skills. Not so. David has been OUTSTANDING in both the jazz improvisation side of our work together, and also in the reinforcement of the technical flute skills I wanted to master. His easy-going personality, combined with his high standards for excellence works exceptionally well for me. Even when my practicing hasn't been what it should have been, David's creative teaching skills have turned what could have been a lackluster lesson into a substantial learning experience. I cannot recommend him highly enough. I was concerned about studying the flute via Skype but that is a non-issue. Even when Skype may be having issues, we are able to make the time work well and make progress toward my goals.
Alexander C. Apr 23, 2014
Great guy and a great player.

David is a superb woodwinds player who really knows his stuff. Really easy going guy with tons of information to share. As a friend and colleague of his, I highly recommend him to any aspiring musician of any age. He also has an amazing collection of instruments!
Will J. Nov 22, 2013
An amazing teacher and creative musician

David Bertrand is remarkable not only for his high level of craftsmanship on the flute but also for his gift of being able to communicate with agility and ease. He is at once imaginative, erudite, hilarious, patient and caring. He has the ability to communicate in the moment, drawing from his own direct experience - never leaning on dry book knowledge or sequential instruction.

David has helped me tremendously, particularly with breathing and tone quality on the flute. His unique way of explaining the breathing process through visualization led to me having what I felt was a major breakthrough on the instrument. David is absolutely serious about his own work and study, and his infectious passion shines when discussing the flute, flautists and music of all kinds. I would highly recommend David for anyone who is looking to study with not only a one-of-a-kind creative musician but a class act teacher and person.
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