David Bertrand
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David Bertrand

David B.

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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I use approaches from canonical flute method books (Marcel Moyse, Taffanel & Gaubert) along with etudes as a means to strengthen the fundamental technique of my students.

With beginners, demystifying tone production, vibrato and hand placement are emphasized in order to have the better enjoy the process of learning the instrument.

I'm also interested in working with students who want to focus on alto flute and piccolo and address the idiosyncrasies of these members of the flute family.

About David B.

I am a flutist/ multi-reedist & composer originally from Trinidad & Tobago now based in Brooklyn, NY. Before moving to the United States to I performed at a number of jazz festivals in the Caribbean and since arriving have played at the Kennedy Center as well as several notable jazz venues including Twins Jazz Club, The Cornelia Street Cafe, ShapeShifter Lab and Club Bonafide both as a sideman and leader.

Though most of my work is centered around jazz and improvised music, classical pedagogy and wind ensemble playing was my foundation and I believe that both of these great musics have and will continue to build upon each other as they enrich us all.

I use traditional woodwind pedagogy to ensure my students have a solid foundation but also bring my non classical experience to make the lessons engaging and relatable especially for students keen on studying these instruments within the world of jazz and other contemporary forms.

*** Lesson Details ***
I advocate a holistic understanding of the instrument, a relationship established in fundamental technique through the use on canonical studies and etudes(Moyse, Taffanel/ Gaubert, Klose, Rose).

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. I bring a similar aesthetic when exploring the clarinet as well

*** Specialties ***
Flute: Jazz flute, doubling on multiple flutes

Clarinet: Wind ensemble, bass clarinet doubling

Saxophone: Foundational technique


Write a Review
7 Reviews
Rob E.
Profile-location-online Online

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.

Posted Jun 2, 2015
Rob E.
Profile-location-online Online

very helpful!

Posted May 6, 2015
Elisa C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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.

Posted Mar 4, 2015
Sarah C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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.

Posted Sep 8, 2014
Ollie M.
Profile-location-online Online

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.

Posted Jun 30, 2014
Alexander C.

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!

Posted Apr 23, 2014
Will J.

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.

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos


Woodwind Instructor
Oct 2014 - Present

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (Music Partners Division)

Teaching woodwinds and Afro Trinidadian rhythms to Grades 4 – 6 in various public schools in the borough of Brooklyn.

Woodwind Instructor
Feb 2014 - Jun 2017

Union City Music Project (UCMP)

Teaching woodwinds (flute and clarinet) to students ranging from Grades 4 - 8. Rehearsing/coaching sectionals, advanced orchestra and chamber ensemble


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



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency

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