Grammy winner helps locals build, understand flutes
Read the entire article: http://billingsgazette.com/
Condensed by Native Village
Montana: Flutist Joseph FireCrow recently held a flute-making workshop at the Western Heritage Center. Just as the students were finishing their projects, the Grammy Award winner let them in on a secret:
The previous three hours weren't just about building flutes.
"Each one of these flutes is going to have a different little problem," he said. "And that's going to teach us a lot about human nature."
FireCrow, who lives in Connecticut, hails from Lame Deer. He began the day by telling a story about the flute's origin. He said an elk had left a bone flute as a gift for a man hiking.
From there, he showed them how to glue together the flutes and sand them down. Students created a very basic version because it usually takes three or four weeks to build the kind Joseph performs with.
But the idea was the same. The goal, FireCrow said, wasn't simply to build a flute or learn how to play it. By working hands-on with the wood, one learns patience, calmness and an appreciation for the process, the music and it's history.
While organizers thought the workshop would appeal to youngsters, others had a different idea.
"Initially we geared it toward music students, but if you look around, it's about 50-50 students and adults," said Lisa Olmstead from the Western Heritage Center. "If you look around, every table has kids and adults helping each other."
FireCrow, who was named the Native American Music Association's artist and flutist of 2010, also performed. He used a drum, a rattle, his voice and about a half-dozen flutes. As he whisked through the songs, gasps, laughs and applause followed FireCrow's performance.
"We're just having a great time," he said. "There are real life's virtues that we learn."
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