23 Jun
2014
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Power of the Pan Flute

Power of the Pan Flute

I believe there’s magic in a pan flute.

More precisely, I believe music is magical and has the power to transform moods, circumstances and people.

There are multiple studies on the topic, but I’ve witnessed it first-hand in my family this summer. Making and learning to play the pan flute was the one and only thing my 9-year-old wanted to accomplish this summer. Rewind a few months to when my Facebook status update referenced J’s desire to play the pan flute. The owner of a local performing arts studio shared a YouTube video link of a group of pan flutists. That link solidified J’s desire to play the pan flute and showed me that becoming a pan flutist was an actual thing he could do.

Playing a tune on homemade pan flute

He asked incessantly about learning to play it. I searched multiple websites for hints on what to look for when purchasing a pan flute, how to teach oneself to play a pan flute and listened to multiple audio clips of the instrument. In May, we learned the studio our oldest plays the saxophone for would be having a pan flute camp. We prayed enough kiddos would enroll to make the camp available, and they did. J was overjoyed, and he is not one to show any type of strong emotion. The child was downright giddy in anticipation.

The camp stretched over the course of two weeks and changed our boy. J is a classic introvert. He enjoys being left with his own thoughts and tends to have his energy sapped in large groups. You won’t find him initiating small talk or wanting to share much of his inner thoughts and feelings. Of our four children, J is the least like me. He’s the one I find hardest to understand. I’ve had to train myself to not take offense simply because J doesn’t want to talk about everything.

Playing a tune on the homemade pan flute

Building and learning to play the pan flute opened part of J that was sealed closed. The pan flute gave him a skill he wants to share with other people. He’s always had a talent for art (painting, drawing, building models, etc.), but has never been interested in openly sharing his work with other people. His music on the pan flute is different.

Playing a tune on the homemade pan flute

We visited a friend, and the pan flute came with. Friends came over for dinner and were treated to pan flute music. We brought our oldest to band practice, and J brought his pan flute to show the owner just how much he’d been practicing. I couldn’t stop smiling on any of those occasions and not because I’m proud of his musical talent (although he has caught on to the pan flute quickly). My heart swells to see him sharing part of himself without anyone asking him to. He genuinely wants to share a passion of his. Part of his inner thinking he would normally keep to himself is being released. He plans on playing his pan flute in a public setting at a local festival. I’m grinning again.

The pan flute, an instrument very few people we know have any knowledge of, has a powerful pull on our son. For that, it will always be a favorite instrument for me, one that proves the magic of music.

 

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