Summary: I am not a Flute Player, or any other Wind Instrument Player for that matter, but did have a Recorder when young and found it relaxing just to play whatever came out of my imagination for a while from time to time. I bought this Fife with the same intent. However, thanks to my ignorance as regards wind instruments, I did not realize how much more difficult it would be to get any kind of reasonable and pleasant sound out of a Fife than a Recorder.
Summary: As a flute instructor, I have found starting young students on this "fife" to be the most economical and efficient way to develop tone and technique, especially when paired with Liz Goodwin's "The Fife Book". The embouchure and fingerings are identical to the flute and after several months of instruction, students can make an easy switch to the traditional concert flute if/when desired, while maintaining their full tone and fingering skills.
Summary: I received my fife two days after I placed my order. I was successful at producing a nice sound from the fife. I am going to practice my long tones and fingering. I like the way it's made, You'll have to make adjustments so that you can blow the fife comfortabley. That's nothing new because I made those same adjustments with the nickel flute that I own, as well as with my recorders. Overall, I'm happy with my purchase.
Summary: Although this is not a traditional fife but it comes with lovely warm tone and accurate intonation. I own another cooper fife and I don't think the Cooperman fife has better intonation than this Yamaha "TOY" that I bought with $5 with shipping included. (25 years ago it was $6) If you are a flute student or you want to learn playing flutes you should buy one.
Summary: I was interested in this "Fife" and at the price I could not resist. Here are the quick pros and cons: Pros: Beautiful, "pure" sound. Not too breathy. Good esp for the price. Great for transitioning from a recorder/pennywhistle to a transverse woodwind instrument (eg flute, fife, irish flute, piccolo, etc) The plastic feels sturdy Tight two-head construction allows for it to be somewhat tuneable Cons: This is not a true Fife. It is actually a transverse recorder.
Summary: The unique fingering on this instrument is not helpful. True recorder fingering would have produced clearer pitches, and easier fingering for playing in all keys, but Yamaha decided to invent a different spacing to the holes. IF they had just used recorder fingering, they would have had a pretty good cross-blown, chromatic instrument with tried and true fingering.
Summary: This is an ideal inexpensive first real instrument. My six year old daughter wants to learn to play the flute and this is the instrument they play in the first class. Her instructor says her students learn the same finger positions as they use on a high quality fife. She also says that because it's even a little more difficult for the mouth with the Yamaha fife, the children who first learn on this instrument develop good technique.