Where Fearless Sound Exploration, Passionate Community, and
Trailblazing Flute Instruction Converge
...So that curious flutists, teachers, composer-performers, & improvisers can stimulate their curiosity,
expand their expertise, & supercharge their artistic voices.
2022 Artist Faculty
Morgann Davis, yoga
Meerenai Shim, Feldenkrais
The Flute Mechanic
Anne La Berge
I am BEYOND excited to say that I took part in the wonderful learning experience in FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion! It was extremely beneficial for my growth as a flutist. I learned so much. This is an experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
MM student Berklee College of Music
FXSI is NOT your typical summer flute program!
Do you ever wonder if you’re the only one who feels and thinks about sound and music the way you do?
We get it – good news, you’re not alone, we’re here with you!
What if you had time to absorb and digest new ideas and skills while receiving mentorship on incorporating what aligns with your artistic voice and goals?
Not everything needs to happen at lightning speeds or be your thing.
When was the last time you were given a supportive space to explore and experiment freely without pressure to perfect or “right”?
Let’s get messy together and explore all the possibilities!
Are your curiosity and imagination itching to expand your classical flute training in even more directions?
Come be radically slow with us and do some creative exploration of what lights you up!
Do you know you are meant to do more but you aren't sure how to do it or where to start or if it's even possible?
Been there, done that, wrote the book – we'll help illuminate your path!
Spoiler alert: yes, it's possible!
I got the encouragement and support I needed to start believing more truly in my abilities to compose my own music! I now feel I can compose, I can play, I can create an environment in which I want to exist as a flutist. I can better navigate in the modern art music field. This is a program for flutists who want to develop in their own way and explore their own path. I always felt very well treated. I really deeply appreciated how the faculty was looking at and talking to us participants as equals.
Josefine Persson, Sweden
Susan Geaney, Ireland
Improviser, composer, flutist
This is the ultimate experience for flutists, composer-performers, & improvisers who are...
Obsessed with sound (and want to be geeky about it!)
Ready to deep-dive into the contemporary flute universe
Insatiably Curious about creating & exploring the music
Craving more freedom, artistic expression and impact
And who want...
Access to top expert practitioners’ mentorship (come inside our world!)
Space to expand their expertise with new skills, ideas, & projects
Supportive community focused on learning and growth
A family of bonded colleagues
Inside the FXSI experience, you will have the opportunity to:
Set your own intentions for expanding your artistic expression and find mentorship support to pursue them
Build deep working relationships with like-minded flutists and flutist/composers and collaborate!
Master the contemporary repertoire on major competition lists
Develop skills and a deeper understanding of improvisation, composition, and electronics integration
Experience artistic growth that expands professional opportunities and creates powerful musical encounters for audiences and students
I’ve loved playing contemporary music for a long time, but I’ve often felt as young musicians we’re sort of nudged in the direction of just playing old music, or even winning an orchestral job is the way we know we’ve “made it” - not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s your thing, but I never really felt like I fit into that 100%.
At FXSI, seeing other people who are very successful doing things similar to what I want to be doing, receiving feedback and encouragement with projects I’m already creating, and learning so much more to build on those was extremely validating. It was such a rewarding experience both creatively and personally, and I realized that I *can* be successful in my preferred career path…and there is a place where I fit in. FINALLY.
Shannon Lewis, Canada
flutist, composer, artist
What would it be like to expand your artistic toolbox in a community-centered program dedicated to growth...
...where you can be imperfect and supported with mentorship while you experiment in any aesthetic and hone necessary professional skills?
Feeling superpower confidence to build the sound world and interpretation of any piece in an authentic way for you and your body
Being an artist of and for your time
Having a global family of bonded colleagues who celebrate your work and support you
Feeling confident in your prowess with electronics and multi-media integrations
Creating powerful sonic experiences for yourself, your audience, and your students
Being the first-call flutist when someone programs new music
Never having to say “I don’t know how to do that” in front of the orchestra
Collaborating with brilliant composers on boundary-breaking projects
Indulging your unlimited potential of artistic expression
This is what FluteXpansions
Sonic Immersion is about!
Nandin Baker, Germany
Flutist, Founder Meditative Music Making
What FluteXpansions offered was way more than just extended flute techniques – It was a way back to myself – finding the joy in composing, creating and making sounds with others who were also eager to do the same. It was the inspiration to be creative again!
I now have more trust in my creative process, and this was the vote of confidence I needed to forge ahead and plan a course to share my meditative flute experience with the world as well as to try out new compositional techniques.
FXSI was an absolutely fantastic trip to the frontiers of what is possible, pushing the limits in a friendly and constructive way. I am totally excited about reawakening my passion for composing and for passing on all the experience I've collected thus far in my life. You have widened and enriched my life!
I’m Shanna Pranaitis – radically traditional flutist, teacher, coach, and the Artistic Director of FluteXpansions.
I help flutists unleash their unlimited potential for artistic expression to create more joy in their lives and highly impactful careers.
I am also obsessed with sound – I’m endlessly fascinated by it.
Let’s stop and take a moment to appreciate just how amazing what we do as flutists really is. We take invisible air and turn it into something that can be heard and felt physically by blowing through a tube with holes in it.
Photo credit: Memoires en Or, Mouna Tahar
Our biggest obstacle as flutists is the belief that some technique is normal and some is extended.
Here in the 21st century, it is ALL simply technique we use to create sound (aka music).
In fact, there is nothing new about these sounds. Microtones, glissandi, percussive sounds, etc, have been used in flute music from around the world for thousands of years. It is far more traditional to incorporate a full range of sound possibilities into music than exclude them.
I believe the most (radically) traditional path for any artist in any discipline is to create and make the art of their time.
For flutists that means:
Mastery of all the different ways we can make sound with our instruments
Performing, learning and teaching contemporary music with the same level of excellence expected for Mozart, Bach, and orchestral excerpts.
Actively participating in the creation of new works for our instrument (as a performer, commissioner, collaborator, and/or a composer!)
Creating powerful experiences for audiences by curating programs that provide context for new works (possibly in dialogue with other styles and time periods)
Cultivating curiosity and awareness of all aspects of sound creation as perpetual learners
I’ve been captivated by contemporary music since I was 13, but what sealed my fate was hearing George Crumb’s string quartet, Black Angels. I had no idea music could sound like that, and I’ve been exploring sound ever since.
It wasn’t always easy. My early passion for contemporary music left me feeling confused by general attitudes towards new music and creatively out of place in university programs primarily focused on old music. Fortunately, I had amazing mentors, an addiction to learning, and unfailing curiosity to keep me going.
I have forged my own path – commissioned and premiered hundreds of works with colleagues around the world, founded ensembles, curated festivals, and developed tools I now share with students.
I’m not about choosing between historical repertoire or creating new music – I want BOTH!
Cultivating curiosity and awareness to include ALL sounds as musical possibilities is the key to releasing the unlimited potential for artistic expression in each of us.
FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion was created to provide a safe space for exploration, growth, supportive community, and mentorship, while immersing yourself in a world of sonic possibilities.
I have continually made it a priority to surround myself with inspiring mentors and colleagues who have forged their own luminary paths as flutists and artists. It is a priceless network of support and community.
The faculty for FXSI are those whose relationships have been so meaningful to me, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
I am inviting into our world a handful of highly motivated flutists and flutist/composers who are ready for...
...deep, intellectually rigorous explorations of sound and a bonded community of radically traditional artists.
You’ll get the support of the faculty artists over the course of 4 weeks to pursue your personalized journey...
I have to thank you for believing in me and providing me with this wonderful course. I am motivated and renewed for my future projects. This course is unique. It provides a healthy environment for discussions about flute and its expressive possibilities. Everyone is treated like an artist and supported. I have never participated in a course like this, which values the sharing of creative ideas. I really felt I could take risks, and the fear of making mistakes gave way to freedom and courage. Thank you very much!
Rodrigo Frade, Brazil
flutist, composer, PhD student
Renata Kambarova, Uzbekistan/Belgium
flutist, composer, PhD student
FXSI Program Details
Each FXSI participant receives:
Personalized plan sculpted to your goals and interests
Private Lessons (60 Min) with faculty artists, Full Faculty & Guest Bios
1 Private Business/Career/Mindset coaching session with Artistic Director, Shanna Pranaitis
Masterclasses and group classes in areas such as contemporary flute techniques, electronics, composition, improvisation, analysis, interpretation, Deep Listening, Q&A sessions with faculty, career/business labs
Mind/Body workshops: Yoga, Feldenkreis, and other sessions dedicated to well-being and mindfulness
Open studio sessions for collaboration and discussion
Special presentations with guest artists
Lifetime access to recordings of all sessions and lessons (All sessions take place on Zoom, this is a virtual program)
Exclusive private group for discussions & questions outside of classes
A community of bonded colleagues for life. A central tenet of FluteXpansions is the belief that we rise by lifting others, and we are committed to providing an environment in which you can feel safe to exchange ideas, explore new skills, be messy and fearlessly encourage your unique voice.
Additional benefits: FXSI participants also receive opportunities to present and teach workshops at intensives throughout the year, a yearly reunion in December, and permament reduced tuition for future attendance of FXSI.
Apply & Join before May 15 to unlock access to:
* Monthly Open Studios with the cohort, so you don't have to wait until July to start your journey and have community! Bring questions and get help – consider it a jumpstart! (February, March, April, May, June)
Delve even deeper into your goals and ideas, so you can get a jumpstart on your project & interests.
* 1 Extra Private lesson with a faculty artist during the program
* Early access to a private Voxer message group for extra jumpstart support and community
This luxurious support is all for you!
2021 FXSI Program Assistant
MM West Virginia University
Sonic Immersion was so much more than I thought it would be! The community fostered was so supportive and I learned SO much! One thing that makes this program special is how my whole personhood was addressed and not just my flute playing skills. Communicating with so many experimental flutists was incredibly validating to me as an artist.
The faculty were all generous, welcoming, and brilliant. I made incredible progress on my pieces in just a couple lessons, and I got to connect and work on exciting creative projects with flutists from around the globe and was introduced to new and cutting edge performance practices and technology. I've already told several friends to attend next time as I've never participated in a music program quite like this!
If you feel that Sonic Immersion could be for you,
here’s what to do next:
1) Book an application interview call
2) Fill in all the application questions, Submit the required recordings or links to performances.
3) Then, once you’ve sent your responses, all you need to do is check your inbox for confirmation details of our call – and I can’t wait to talk with you soon!
There’s no obligation, and absolutely zero pressure! I want you to get the best results possible, so this call is simply for us to see if Sonic Immersion is truly a good fit for you right now! You do not have to decide on the call.
This is a great time to ask about scholarships, extra private lessons, etc.
And if for any reason you don’t feel like it’s a great match, I’ll be sure to point you in the direction of other options that could be perfect for you!
One of my revelations that I had while at music school was I love creating music for myself and doing the pieces I love and want to do. At the course I never felt like I was performing to an audience or had to play something in the "standard contemporary canon." I was able to bring whatever I wanted and work on the pieces for me. I was able to experiment (composition and improv) at this course while also cultivating the things I love to do: research and music I feel drawn to.
It really was a flute course that was more than flute, and I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse range of experiences/mini-courses that were offered. It was an incredibly stacked faculty and I wish that I was able to have a private session with each of them. They were all delightful and each brought a different and unique perspective. I would definitely do it again.
BM West Virginia University
Early Application Tuition deadline is April 30
*Application received after April 30: $3,200
Application received on or before April 30: $2,500
Payment plans are available
*Applications will be considered while spots are available
Final Deadline to Apply is June 5 if space is still available
Yes, Scholarships are available
One exceptional applicant will be awarded a program assistantship
and receive a full-tuition fellowship to attend FXSI, apply by March 15.
Do you know you have a conflict with an entire week or two?
Book an application call and let's talk about it, there are solutions.
Scholarships are available – you don't know how much is available until you ask!
To apply for a scholarship:
1) Book a scholarship application call below
2) fill in the application questions
3) submit the required recordings or links to recordings
Anyone can book a call to discuss their goals, dreams, setbacks, and to see if FXSI aligns with their vision. If you are interested in attending FXSI, but are concerned about the finances, I encourage you to apply and schedule a call to talk about it with me! advocate for yourself!
To schedule a scholarship appointment, please click the button below.
FXSI Program Assistantship Details
One full-tuition fellowship is available
Deadline to apply for the Assistantship is March 15
Position could fill sooner! Apply early for best chance!
One extraordinary candidate will receive a full-tuition fellowship to be the FXSI program assistant
Must be available to attend the full program
Teaching assistant duties include attending all classes helping Artistic Director with operational and artistic duties
Application includes booking an application interview call, and an in-depth follow-up call.
How do I know this is right for me?
This is for flutists, improvisers, & performer-composers
Thrive off curiosity & imagination, learning & growth
Crave a deeper dive into contemporary flute sounds & music and/or ideas for teaching it
Have kind, generous hearts & love celebrating and supporting others' growth
Want a safe place in which to be “messy” while exploring and refining their practice
And NOT those who...
Believe they have nothing left to learn
Have no interest in contemporary flute sounds
Want only surface-level information about performing, interpreting or creating contemporary flute music
Are looking to show off, “market” themselves or partake in any kind of competitive or trash-talking behavior