1. Part of grandfather’s approach is based on a belief in animism, what a person
    owns or uses develops an affinity for that person that will be reflective in the way
    it performs.
    A flute could be played by anyone, but also takes on the voice of it’s owner.
    So upon completion of a new flute for a little one it is placed in proximity
    to them, most commonly hung on the outside or above a crib where it can be
    seen but out of reach without adult oversight so they don’t poke themselves in the
    eye or view it as a binky.
    As the child grows they begin to handle it, and as they become walkers and talkers
    so too do they begin to develop the ability to extract notes from their flute.
    Flutes and drums are among the oldest of musical instruments – you don’t
    need music sheets or “classical training” to become an adept at either – that
    may not be true of modern reed instruments or drum sets but it is of the drums
    and flutes indigenous people have always used globally.
    Children seem to naturally gravitate to just about anything that produces sound,
    and I think it important to encourage them if that is where their interests lays
    as they grow older – but parents also seem to want live vicariously through their
    children and that can lead to “music lessons” a child has zero interest in, a form
    of drudgery leading to resentment.
    I know an older man, seventy to be exact, that I’ve done some work for on his house,
    he told me as a child his mother was determined he would learn how to dance. So
    she enrolled him in an Arthur Murray dance class – said he was so bad and so lacking
    in interest that his resentment probably became an obstacle to improvement and finally
    much to his relief the dance studio refunded the check his mother had written and said
    it was hopeless.
    It’s an hilarious story as he tells it but the message is unmistakeable as well,
    that is that children are their own person, they aren’t meant to be clones or fulfill
    every desire/fantasy of their parents.
    I asked grandfather once if as his grandchildren grow they set aside their flute
    would he be bothered by that – he responded by saying no, that a gift is a gift
    and shouldn’t be an expectation.
    In the case of the flutes if they lead to a lifelong friendship well and good, but
    if they amount to little more than a childhood pastime there’s nothing wrong with
    that either.

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