Your Stories of the Native Flute: The Journey to Red Rock Canyon

Posted on September 29, 2019 by Odell Borg

My journey with the Native American style flute began five years ago following two events that happened within approximately six months of each other. The first was hearing one of my patients playing his flute as he recovered from a serious medical illness. The second was hearing the speaker of a professional seminar play her flute as we, the participants, returned from the lunch break. Both experiences moved me. The voices of those flutes touched my heart and my mind. And it was at the seminar that I decided to begin my journey in learning to play the Native American style flute. I am glad I began, and I am glad I have continued! 

Beyond the experience of playing my flute for self-expression, I believe my greatest pleasure with the flute is the joy it has brought to others, especially those who have been traumatized and afflicted by medical illness.  Prior to my retirement, I had been a clinical psychologist working in a large regional medical center providing support for the patients and families in the Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation unit.  Over the past five years of learning the flute, opportunities have arisen allowing me to play for some of my patients. There is nothing quite like witnessing the healing effect that the notes, tones and music brought people as they slowly closed their eyes and listened to the melodies drift around their room. 

I retired from clinical practice in 2018 to care for my wife following her suffering a significant stroke that affected her speech and walking. Her hospitalization and recovery brought new opportunities allowing me to play for the nurses and staff, as well as other patients.  No matter the audience, the results are always the same - comfort, peace and quieting - for them, and for me. 

I consider myself an amateur player with perhaps a moderate skill level.  And, while not a professional, I believe that status is unnecessary to have great fun with the Native American style flute. Over the past five years I have acquired four flutes, in three different keys, and I’m now wondering which flute and key will be my next.  I enjoy improvisational play and love to play along with backing tracks, like in my song, Red Rock Canyon.  I enjoy playing from my heart and recording my music on my home computer.  And, one day, I hope to put together a commercial CD of my own!

Douglas Griffith

Free Song Download - Red Rock Canyon

Email us your stories! We would love to share them in this ongoing series. 
Unless otherwise specifically stated, we will only include the first name and last initial of any names in your story (including yours). 


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