Coordination and balance
while playing the piccolo

In this short excerpt, Rena Urso gives us her tips for having good balance in the piccolo grip.

This video is an excerpt from the course “Body Mapping for the piccolo player” by Rena Urso, Flutist/piccoloist Oakland Symphony and Licensed Body Mapping Educator.

In this course, you will learn how to implement Body Mapping in your piccolo practice to gain body awareness, well-being while playing, reduce and prevent pain, and achieve your best physical shape.

Keep reading this page to learn what lessons you will find in Rena’s course.

Lessons of this course:

1. Exploring balance
At times, we piccolo players experience unwanted tension, limitation, and pain. Learn how to develop greater awareness, and enjoy more ease, freedom, and fluidity in your piccolo playing with Body Mapping!

What you will learn:

  • What are body maps
  • The six places of balance
  • Why the AO joint is crucial for piccolo players
  • How to allow your neck muscles to be free
  • How to move your arms correctly
  • The tendency to make ourselves small
  • The results you will get working on your body maps
  • An exercise to recognize over engagements of muscles
  • How to find the best sitting position
2. Articulation ease
Continue your search for body awareness thanks to the application of Body Mapping!

What you will learn:

  • Body Mapping to get more freedom and ease in our articulation
  • The hyoid bone
  • The homohyoid muscles
  • How to get a more freer, crisp, sparkly articulation
3. The arm structure | part one
In this lesson you will learn the anatomy of the arm structure, how to prevent wrist and forearm pain and how to feel expansive vs small when playing piccolo.

What you will learn:

  • Arm structure anatomy
  • Rotation and flex joints: why do piccolo players have wrist pain?
  • An exercise to expand your space
  • How to get a floating arm structure
  • An exercise with the physio ball
4. The arm structure | part two
In this lesson you will continue to explore the arm structure with Rena, practicing with 4 exercises to gain more freedom of movement while playing.

What you will learn:

  • 4 exercises
  • The latissimus dorsi
  • How to budget your practice time
5. The arm structure | part three
In this lesson you will continue to explore the arm structure with Rena, focusing on the hands.

What you will learn:

  • Hand anatomy
  • The texting thumb
  • The importance of the thumbs for a piccolo player
  • The wrist joint
  • How to find balance in the handle of the piccolo
  • The carpal bones
  • How to map your hands correctly
  • The muscles of the hand and of the forearm
  • Coordination and balance while playing the piccolo
  • An exercise if you're working your way back into playing

Other courses:

80+ specialist piccolo lessons on 17 in-depht topics
New lessons added every month
Downloadable pdf exercises
English subtitles in all lessons
Orchestral & piano backing tracks
Write your specialist questions to Nicola Mazzanti
Watch on desktop, mobile, tablet

What our members say about us


Piccoloist of the
State Theatre orchestra
in Košice, Slovakia

“Hello, my name is Zuzana, and I have been a subscriber to IPFA since its beginning. The incredible lessons we are given are full with information, useful tips and tricks to play at our best level. I am eternally grateful for the inspiration all of the artists give us, and I highly recommend this platform to anyone who wants to attain deeper knowledge and proficiency on their instrument.”


A piccolo player
of the Saint-Petersburg
Philharmonic Symphony

“Hello, my name is Ksenia Kuelyar, and I want to thank Nicola Mazzanti for the wonderful Piccolo Academy he inspired the creation of, this is a great opportunity for me and my students to improve our playing and skills, to learn a lot of new things.
Thanks to the academy’s professors for your experience and knowledge!”


Master’s Degree Student
in Music Performance
Zurich University of Arts

“I have been subscribed to the IPFA for the past 3 months and it has been extremely enriching! Learning from the most prominent piccolo teachers from today is a great deal for students like me who also pursue a piccolo job position.
The content of the Academy is 100% rewarding!”


Piccoloist at the
State Musical Theatre orchestra
in Klaipėda, Lithuania

“Having completed my academic studies and begun my professional career, I find IPFA to be an unparalleled tool for learning and delving into piccolo speciality.
The online courses combine a wide variety of topics: from playing technique to human and instrument anatomy. Prominent piccolo artists give inspiration with their individual approaches to improving one’s performance. IPFA gives me the feeling of a creative community that helps each member grow, flourish, and contribute in their own way to the today and tomorrow of piccolo music.”


Winner of
Gazzelloni Competition Cat. Piccolo

“Hello, I’m Elena and I have been subscribed to the IPFA right from the beginning.
The Academy is an amazing project conceived by Nicola Mazzanti and supported by amazing teachers and musicians; in a world where technology permeates and sustains learning, the Academy gives young students and also professionals the chance to deepen the instrument’s pratice following the precious advices of the world-wide most renowned piccolists, reducing the often remarkable distance’s barriers.
I personally thank Nicola and all the professors involved in the Academy and I highly recommend the subscription to whoever wants to increase skills and awareness about the piccolo.”

Frequently Asked Questions

The International Piccolo Flute Academy is a streaming platform that allows you to access video lessons created by internationally renowned piccoloists, as well as further added services such as piccolo backing tracks and the possibility to ask specialist questions to Nicola Mazzanti.
We want everyone to have the opportunity to learn the piccolo with the best teachers in the world. The International Piccolo Flute Academy is a team project, where piccolo professionals have decided to join forces is to give the best materials to every flutist who wants to engage in this wonderful world.
The subscription allows access to the entire catalog of video lessons and any other educational material available to users, divided into these topics: fundamentals, embouchure, sound, intonation, high register, flexibility, scales and arpeggios, warm-up, posture and handling, body awareness, orchestral excerpts, legato, staccato and piccolo choice.

You will find also backing tracks for piano or orchestra designed specifically for those who play the piccolo, using virtual instrument technology. You can slow it down, speed it up, or choose the bpm that best suits your practice.

Every month Nicola Mazzanti selects some of the questions that users have written in the appropriate form, answering them in the episodes on the “Nicola answers” section, available to all subscribers.
You can take advantage of all materials at any time and anywhere, by logging into the website with your credentials after signing up for the subscription plan.
The subscription costs 14.99 euros and has a duration of 1 month, renewable from month to month. You can also choose to purchase the annual plan, which has a duration of 12 months and costs only 9.99 euros per month (billed annually), thus saving 4 months of subscription.
All prices shown are inclusive of taxes. You will not have surcharges.
Our purpose is to help you in your training, so if you are not satisfied with our materials or our service you can request the cancellation of your account and get a full refund of your payment within the first 30 days of your first subscription activation.
You can cancel your subscription by accessing your account settings or by sending an email here. You will still be granted access to all subscription materials and services until the date of the next renewal.
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