The ladies of Protected Harbor engage in a number of activities together, including a unique hobby they have grown to love.
The Protected Harbor Native American Flute Circle began in October 2016, all thanks to a man named Michael Simons. With Michael’s help, the ladies were provided with Am Native American Flutes and bags from High Spirit Flutes located in Patagonia, Arizona. Odell Borg, the owner of High Spirits was kind enough to give discounted pricing after hearing of the specialized program.
Michael meets with the women on Sunday afternoons for lessons. The program began with introducing the basic mechanics of the Native American flute, starting with the scale and breathing. As they became skilled at this, new musical patterns were introduced and the ladies mastered them over time.
In December, High Spirit Flutes donated 6 High Am flutes to the ladies as a special Christmas holiday present. “The women were so surprised and grateful for the new flutes,” Michael recalls. “The smaller flutes were easy for them to use.”
Some of the ladies picked up the new fingering patterns faster than others using the new instruments. To overcome this new challenge, Michael encouraged the ladies to play together and mirror each other as they learned.
In the last several months as the ladies improved their skills, two songs were introduced to them to play. These songs are very similar in style to help them use the fingering patterns they recently learned. The first song is a 3-part harmony song which many flute circles use for new students, and the second song is “Tatonka”, a Lacota Indian traditional song which honors the Bison.
Other Traditional Native American percussion instruments, drums, sticks, shakers have also been introduced to the group to help them learn rhythms and move their skills forward.
“I have fully enjoyed teaching the women the Native American flute, and I’m so pleased with their progress,” beams Michael.
The women all enjoy the gathering each time and are excited to continue learning the instrument and its history. Thank you to Michael Simons for all of your hard work teaching our ladies the art of music!