• Suzuki Training at East Tennessee Suzuki Flute Institute International and the Great Lakes Suzuki Institute
• B.F.A., State University of New York at Purchase
“My father was a musician and he played flute as well as other instruments so music was always there in my house,” says Rie Schmidt of why she decided to study flute. She began playing recorder in school at age eight and switched to flute two years later.
A teacher at Bloomingdale for 18 years, Rie initiated the Suzuki flute course of study at the school. “In trying to start this program, I have been excited to see the progress of my students who will be the core of the program for future years. The Suzuki method is a positive, success-oriented approach to music education which believes in each child’s potential and strives to support and nurture the child in a loving atmosphere.” Since the Suzuki method encourages teaching children the flute when they are very young, Rie works with students beginning at age four. “Younger children need more support at home and so an important structure in the method is the triangle of student-teacher-parent. They are all equal partners in the learning process.”
Rie’s goal as a teacher is “not so much an aim to produce a concert flutist as it is to produce a person who possesses self-confidence, a good self-image and appreciates music! After ten years as a parent of two Suzuki violinists, I can safely say the benefits of studying with this method will far out-weigh any rough spots in the road. The lessons they learn will be more than how to play the flute.”
Rie describes her musical tastes as “eclectic. I probably listen mostly to classical music, but I also listen to pop, rock, hip-hop, Motown and world music.” As a musician, Rie enjoys an active performance career as a soloist and chamber and orchestral player. In her free time Rie studies yoga and reads.
In 1983, she gave her Carnegie Recital Hall debut as a winner of the Artists International Competition. Ms. Schmidt is a member of the Westchester Philharmonic and the American Symphony and has performed with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra and many Broadway shows. She and her husband, guitarist Benjamin Verdery, concertize as a duo throughout the US and Europe, and have recorded two CDs of music for flute and guitar. She is a founding member of Flute Force, a flute quartet, which has three CDs: Flute Force (CRI), Pastorale (VAI) and Eyewitness (innova). Her publications include Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé (McGinnis and Marx) arranged for flute quintet, and Barber’s Adagio (Schirmer Music). Ms. Schmidt was the president of the New York Flute Club from 1995-98.