A FLUTE STORY
The story of the flutes start with ancient history and the beginnings of sound, vibration and the idea of using wind to create that sound.
Throughout the world, humankind has made wind instruments out of bamboo, clay, wood and later metal.
Innovations over thousands of years have allowed humans in different cultures to develop their own style of wind instruments - their own unique structure, patterns and ideas that reflected their geographical environment, traditions and beliefs. Whistles that developed as simple 'bird calls' thousands of years ago later became multiple pitched single-shaft flutes in a variety of cultures. Fipple or whistle flutes are practically universal in their existence and are found around the globe.
Our fipple flutes are made of PVC plastic piping and a single wine cork cut at an angle and inserted into the flute to create a vibration by blowing.
Our trained flute makers at Flutes Across The World prepare the flutes before each workshop or hands-on program for the students.
At the beginning of each program, students learn about the ancient world of wind instruments. They get to hear a demonstration of many exotic and rare wind instruments. These in-school programs are lead by award-winning teaching artist, John Zeretzke, or the trained Flutes Across The World master teaching artists.
Children will see images and hear stories about the Flutes Across The World programs and music missions that have taken place in other far off lands and countries. They will learn about how children in other parts of the world live each day and what their world is like.
Each student receives 2 ‘blank’ flutes, either plastic or bamboo, depending on grade level or age.
Students learn about ancient symbols of peace, well-being and good wishes. Individuals students will decorate their flutes with one personal symbol of their choice for both of their Friendship Flutes. They learn and practice simple concepts in visual arts such as tesselation, contrast, design, pattern, etc.
They will continue to decorate their flutes with traditional patterns from around the world from a variety of diverse cultures.
Each student will have their photo taken, with permission, to be laminated and tied onto their 'giver' friendship flute.
Every student will practice writing a note to their unknown flute friend. They then transfer that note onto a small piece of paper to be rolled up and put inside the bottom of the flute. It's a message-in-a-flute!
During the workshops and instruction, children will learn through the oldest form of learning music in the world, by ear, how to place their fingers on the flute and play a tune. Within a very short time span, students who have never played an instruments before will be leaning songs and music. In a short ‘Giving Ceremony’, students give their 'giver' flute back to the instructor to be taken on a Flutes Across The World music mission to another part of the world, or sometimes given to children right here in the United States.
Students can follow the missions via the teacher and email notifications and links to our blogging as the Music Missions take places, sometimes months after the instruction ends.
The music missions take on a whole different adventurous dimension as the missions take much planning in the office, overseas and with various contacts and logistical support. Time is allowed for the packaging and preparation of the flutes for their final send-off.
We are met overseas with our contacts 'in country' to begin the many legs of the journey to get to children in various places who will receive the flutes. The flutes will travel in planes, helicopters, buses, jeepneys, cars, motorcycles and any means of transportation to get the flutes to the children, sometimes in very remote areas.
During this adventure, the flutes manage to find their rightful new owners.
In orphanages, hospitals, schools, churches and various locations, workshops are given. Children get to pick out their new gift flute, receive instruction on how to play their new gift and sometimes a short presentation on the Flutes Across The World program in conducted along with a mini-concert.
At Flutes Across The World, we try to capture as many photos of the children with their new flutes as possible and get those photos back to the schools, organizations and camps where the flutes were made and decorated. We do this via blog, web links or live presentation back in the U.S.
The circle is connected and complete!
Continued programs in creating flutes in other countries and supporting indigenous flutes of various cultures is part of our sustaining and ongoing outreach when support is possible.