We each have creative gifts and abilities that sometimes lie dormant. During a flute making workshop these skills will be re-discovered, used and refined.
A workshop typically begins with the opportunity for the participants to share a little about themselves as well as a brief explanation of my relationship with the flute. I believe this creates a cohesive work environment where participants will feel more comfortable looking to each other for help. This will reinforce new skills and create a feeling of “I can do this,” empowerment.
One young man, who had been severely burned as a child, was very fearful of using the propane torch to burn the holes into his flute. With encouragement and hand over hand guidance he was able to accomplish this part of the process. This helped him gain confidence and lessen the fear of fire he had for so many years. He was then able to help others work with fire for the rest of our week together.
Each step of the making process will be thoroughly described and demonstrated so as to provide a safe and predictable environment, a healthy respect for the tools and clear expectations of what to expect during the stages of building the flute.
The workshop can be modified to work with various age groups as well as length of time available. A typical workshop will last 8 hours. We use bamboo to construct the flutes because it requires less wood working skills therefore allowing more time to focus on the functional aspects of the flute.
What is wonderful is, as the day progresses there will be participants who move along at a faster rate than the others. They will naturally take a leader/facilitator role which then allows me to spend more one on one time. I make the effort to visit with everyone’s flute before the end of the workshop. There are little adjustments and “tweaks” that only years of experience will teach. Each person will have made their own flute and my help with an adjustment to bring the voice out a little more, or give it the feel or look they are after will not diminish the sense of accomplishment and pride of making a musical instrument.