Flute/Rosetti flutes


Hi Herbert ,
I have been teaching flute for the past 23 years and have been fortunate enough to mainly teach with Trevor James and some yamaha flute models, so have had obviously pretty good student results and standards over the years.
However, taking recession into consideration, my newer students are arriving to their lessons with Rosetti flutes, ( rented from our local instrument bank), which appear to be of exceptionally poor quality, seem to fall apart very easily, and also seem virtually impossible to adjust the mechanism, not to mention the tuning.
l plan on contacting the instrument bank to encourage them to purchase better models, but would love to hear your opinion on the Rosetti flutes based on your vast knowledge on a wide array of flute models and as a professional flute repair technician.

Kind regards,

Deirdre ( Ireland)

Hello Deirdre!

Let me start off by saying that I could not possibly agree more with your assessment of these flutes.

They're poorly built and designed and the padding and set up leave much to be desired.  They're often nearly unplayable even when they're brand new.  Whichever notes sound are often hideously out of tune and respond poorly.  

And as a final nail in the coffin, they're so poorly built that most repairers (myself included) will refuse to work on them, as standard repair techniques often cause additional problems due to the poor workmanship and materials involved, and even if you do fight your way through repairing one, the instrument still won't play very well.  They're money pits from the repair perspective, as you can chase problems around in circles for hours, which is why no realistic repairer takes these on....There's simply no money to be made on our end.  

Most parents buy these flutes because they aren't sure whether their child will like music enough to justify the cost of a quality instrument.  But considering that flute repairs are extremely labor-intensive (and thus expensive) even with quality instruments, the cost of addressing even seemingly simple issues can easily outweigh the purchase price of these junkers, so parents who buy these most often wind up simply replacing them anyway.  Consider the cost of buying a second (quality) flute so quickly on the heels of buying a Rossetti or the like along with the fact that these flutes have literally no resale value and it becomes obvious that they are an exceptionally poor investment.  Any perceived initial savings is quickly overshadowed by additional costs and an inability to recoup even part of the purchase price should the student quit.

And perhaps worst of all, these instruments almost exclusively wind up in the hands of beginners who already face a steep learning curve and do not need the added difficulty of fighting against a sub-par instrument.  In my opinion, no one besides the maker benefits from the sale of these flutes.  The student has to work significantly harder to achieve any success, leading many to wash out even if they could have excelled given a quality flute.  The teacher must work with the handicap of an unplayable instrument.  The repairer cannot realistically rectify the problems with the instrument.  And the parent doesn't actually save any money in the long-term.

In short, I absolutely support your opinion on these instruments.  I don't know how receptive your local music retailer will be to your recommendations as, frankly, they cannot be particularly conscientious to begin with if they're selling junk to young students, but it cannot hurt to voice your opinion to them and work to get any students of yours who are trying to play these into a better flute as quickly as possible.  While they may not all be able or willing to pay for a Yamaha (which are, in my opinion, the best student flutes on the market) or a Trevor James (which are also excellent), it's entirely possible to find playable instruments from reputable manufacturers for just slightly more than the Rossettis cost anyway.  In my opinion, there's really no excuse for Rossettis and the hundreds of other brands like them.

I hope this is helpful.  If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.



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Herbert Smith


I can answer questions about almost any flute-related topic.

I have trained professionally as a flute repair tech and music educator, and have a broad range of experiences as a performer. I also have experience with a huge array of flutes with any imaginable material or specification, and can comment on the quality of various instruments, as well as guide people through the flute-buying process. I'm willing and able to discuss various flute gadgets (Valgon rings, Foster extensions, etc.) as well.

I'm very familiar with piccolo, alto, and other harmony flutes (including those in unusual keys, such as Eb flute, Db piccolo, G treble, Ab alto piccolo, Flute D'amore, Contrabass, etc.).

I am also glad to offer advice on how to approach difficulties within pieces of music, offer teaching tips to those who give lessons, or answer just about any other flute-related query you can throw at me!

Please note, however, that I am not an appraisal service, and will not provide estimates of value. Please do not ask me about the value of your flute. I also must decline to date instruments based on their serial numbers.


I'm a professional repair tech with years of experience, and a veteran high school band director. I've maintained a successful studio for private flute lessons for many years, and have performed professionally in just about any imaginable venue.

I have bachelor's degrees in music education and performance from highly regarded universities, and have trained with one of the best flute techs/flute makers in the US.

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