What is a Plastic Flute?!

I started learning the flute at school when I was 9 years old and both my beginner and advanced flutes were straight head, silver plated models. I was asked to play test the Nuvo student flute which is made from plastic! – a bit of an alien concept to me. However, I’m always keen to try new things!


Plastic instruments have only really emerged since the start of the 21st century. The interesting thing about plastic is that is has many advantages over traditional design metal instruments – lightweight, fun and  robust – all these things make it great for a child to learn on. It is also cost effective – priced at around £120.00 – making it an attractive proposition for schools who may buy 10 flutes for a school initiative. The recent huge success of the pBone Plastic trombone has really rejuvenated sales of the trombone.

Types of Nuvo Flutesjflute

There are two types of flutes from Nuvo. The Nuvo Jflute is essentially a flute with a curved head aimed at smaller players as young as 5 – by curving the head it brings it closer to the player meaning your arms aren’t required to stretch so far.

The Nuvo Student Flute is the standard straight head model aimed for beginners age 8+.

First impressions blackflute

A nice looking outfit – very attractive semi-hard case with contrasting logo motif.  It has a smooth rubber finish on one side whilst the other has a rugged gigbag feel. There is a useful adjustable shoulder strap, making it ideal for the school run. There is also a small outer pouch on the case for accessories (or curved head attachment if required.)

Inside the case there is a pull through cleaning cloth and rod, set of key extensions, O-ring grease and instruction leaflet.

What’s different about the Nuvo Flute?
The Nuvo flute has a number of interesting features you don’t get on a metal flute including:

Firstnote lip platelipplate
This is an alternative lip plate which is provided as an extra aid for beginners. It has a recorder-like mouthpiece to make it easy to get an initial sound on the flute while the learner gets to grips with the fingering and posture.

Removable Key Caps
This is a nice touch and enables the player to customise their flute! The silver coloured key caps can be removed and coloured key caps can be used. Also a useful teaching tool.

Lightweight Construction
The body and key work are made from advanced polymer resins which means that the flute is incredibly light and durable – the whole flute weighs in at just 250 grams.

Bayonet Fit C Foot
The foot joint on the Nuvo differs in that it only has the C and C# key whereas the D# key is on the bottom of the main body. This enables the student to practice without the footjoint until they are ready. The footjoint is quick and easy to attach and locks into the correct position.

Play Testgreenflute
The Nuvo is very easy to assemble – there are markings on the headjoint to help you set it up to your personal preference each time. It is comfortable to hold – I like the rubber area to support the left hand whilst playing – gives extra comfort and support for younger players.

It is an easy blowing flute with a nice tone.  I don’t think the tone is any better or worse than a standard student metal flute. The plastic lip plate obviously feels a bit different to metal on your lip but again, no better or worse.

Coloured key caps are available in three colours – pink, blue or green and are a great way of personalising your flute.
Flute Curved Head joint – available in black or white  – giving you the option to easily progress onto the straight head when you’re ready.

Great beginner outfit which comes in a range of funky colours – this should make it a popular choice with younger players and the customisable keys also adds to its appeal. A great choice for schools that are looking to start a flute ensemble that doesn’t break the bank.


About the author

Kerry is primarily involved with all aspects of e-commerce at Normans Musical Instruments. A Music Graduate from the University of Durham, Kerry has a wide musical knowledge with particular expertise in woodwind and keyboard instruments.




  • J Wong 22/11/2014 at 6:25 pm

    I started last year on a pre-owned Yamaha which now needs to be serviced and pads replaced. It’s going to cost more than a hundred pounds for that, so I’m tempted to get a Nuvo student flute instead of getting my Yamaha serviced. Would I be going backwards if I did that? Also, would it be possible at a later stage to purchase a B footjoint to fit the Nuvo flute?

    • Jeremy Smith 26/11/2014 at 11:29 am


      The Nuvo flute’s are perfect for beginners, but I would be inclined to say that the Yamaha is the more superior instrument out of the two. Servicing can be less expensive than you think and we only do the work that’s required saving you from a large bill. If you decided to go with the Nuvo flute I’m sure we can supply you with a B foot-joint at a later stage .

      Any more questions then feel free to contact us at workshop@normans.co.uk

  • Jeremy Chapman 01/08/2015 at 3:48 pm

    Hi, I’m a flute teacher, myself, and am thinking of ordering a Nuvo flute for my niece but I’m not based in the UK so I can’t come to select one. Will you check that a Nuvo flute is properly set up and sealing well before sending it out?

    • Diana Stone 03/08/2015 at 8:53 am

      Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. If you contact our sales team directly before ordering on sales@normans.co.uk or 01283 535333 option 1 we can certainly arrange for the flute to be checked by our technician before it is dispatched.

      I hope this helps. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Kam 11/11/2015 at 5:18 am

    I am looking to take up the flute again. The Nuvo flute colors caught my attention and they are affordable. I was not sure if I should purchase a Nuvo or shell out the extra bucks for a metal flute?

    • Diana Stone 11/11/2015 at 10:09 am

      Hi Kam,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Plastic flutes are great for beginners of all ages, however, they are mainly designed for the younger player as they are more durable and lightweight. We do offer the Sonata FLE701 Student flute that is a great quality instrument for beginners and not too much more expensive than plastic flutes:


      Whichever instrument you choose to go for, it will be great to get your started. We do usually recommend metal flutes for adult beginners.

      I hope this helps. If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact our sales team on 01283 535333 option 1 or sales@normans.co.uk who will be happy to help.

      Best wishes,