Louisiana Native American Flute Circle

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Reflections on Playing NAF – “Mistakes”

Beginners on the flute are frequently painfully aware of their “mistakes.” Some in an effort to encourage will state that there are no mistakes. There are no wrong notes. Yet, the beginner who makes squeaking tones, or consistently overblows knows that they are not producing the kind of sound or music they wish.

I prefer the view that “mistakes” are simply signs of what you need to learn. Adults often feel that they ought to know something and are therefore reluctant to be beginners. “Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn this?” they may ask. One writer responds, “The same age you’ll be if you don’t.”

Slow down, relax. Examine your “mistakes” as guides to learning and growing. Examine them, learn from them, then forget them and move on. The Native American flute is easy to learn, but making music takes a lifetime. A good teacher can set the beginner on the right path, but only the musician knows what music is inside of them waiting for them to share it with the world.

2 Responses to “Reflections on Playing NAF – “Mistakes””

  1. John Stillwell Says:

    Good thoughts. I share your point of view. Check out my website if you haven’t done so already. Would you mind if I listed your flute circle on my links page? John S

  2. Paula Says:

    Thanks, John. I would love for you to add us. I have also added your link to our list of flute makers.

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