The Flute as Sound Medicine – Christine Stevens

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As you move through this time of uncertainty and change, are you feeling called to step into a new story?

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Feel the healing effects of playing the flute — and the warm connection of a virtual community — as you expand your awareness, open your heart, and create a new song for your life.

As you move through this time of uncertainty and change, are you feeling called to step into a new story?

And as the world slowly reopens, do you long to seize this moment not only to heal, but to reignite your sense of aliveness, playfulness, and inspiration?

These days, many seekers are turning to beautiful wisdom systems and traditions from the past to bring healing during THIS historical moment.

The flute is the oldest known musical instrument, dating back 43,000 years, according to anthropological records. The earliest version, fashioned from a bird bone, was found in a cave in Germany.

And during these times, you can turn to the flute as a tool to help you expand your awareness, open your heart, and find inner peace.

As your life-breath moves through the flute, your grief, fears, and pain move through and out of YOU, too.

Join music therapist Christine Stevens on a 7-step journey to become empowered to play the flute — for spiritual practice, sound healing, prayer, connecting to Nature, personal transformation, and so much more…

You won’t need to know how to read music or play the flute — music is already written in your heart… and Christine will teach you in the oral tradition that’s been used for thousands of years. You also don’t need to purchase a flute. You’ll receive instructions on how to craft an inexpensive flute yourself.

Christine will guide you throughout the course to use the flute as a tool to become an open channel, removing your blocks so your soul’s music can finally come through.

Along the way you’ll come to embody the powerful truth that, when playing the flute, there are no wrong notes — and you can become empowered to move through life that way, too, as you realize your “missteps” and “negative” experiences all help you create the song only you can play.

You’ll connect to an ancient lineage of flute players dating back to Krishna and Kokopelli… discover the courting flute as a call to the Beloved… experience the sonic alchemy of breath and heart… and so much more.

Christine holds masters degrees in social work and music therapy — and inspires people all over the world with her message that music promotes holistic health, spirituality, and wellness.

She’s played her flute for healing in war zones and disaster areas, for battered women and witnesses of genocide, for surviviors of fires and hurricanes, and many more.

Now you can spend seven sessions with Christine, experiencing for yourself how the flute can help you move stuck emotions, feel uplifted and relaxed, and connect with nature and Spirit. Get ready to discover how to use this magical instrument as a joyous vehicle for self-expression!

Your participation in this new sound-healing program with Christine will also help the Descendents of the Earth, a nonprofit supporting an inter-tribal community in Southern and Central California. Christine and The Shift Network will be donating a percentage of the proceeds from this course to support this community in protecting its Indigenous lands from deforestation and in weathering financial challenges due to the pandemic. Christine has long supported the Descendents of the Earth, participating in many community ceremonies for healing and unity.

In this new 7-part course with Christine, you’ll discover:

  • The flute as a tool for moving stuck emotions and opening to your natural breath and the flow of the present moment
  • How many different cultures across the world play the flute
  • How the flute’s music connects us, uplifts us, and helps us heal and evolve
  • How to bless your flute, honoring its culture, spiritual lineage, and intention
  • Flute meditations and sound healing practices to connect with Nature, the Divine, and more
  • Basic techniques including holding position, air flow, finger placement, and note playing
  • flute meditation as you listen to the sacred flute played by Sri Chimnoy, a master guru in the Hindu tradition, and by Nawang Khechog, a celebrated Tibetan flute player and composer
  • A daily practice of grounding and uplifting using flute and drum — also known as the Music Tree of Life
  • How to paint brushstrokes of colors with each note’s timbre
  • A proven formula of healing melodies
  • How to share your own heartsong and play the music of others’ hearts
  • Supportive ways to listen to the songs of others as you deepen into your global community of seekers
  • Ways to craft melodies using leaps and spaces in the river of song
  • How to play your flute to the beat of a drum — a recording is included

What You’ll Discover in These 7 Modules

In this 7-part transformational intensive, Christine will guide you through the fundamental body-mind-spirit skills and competencies you’ll need to master the flute, one of the most accessible instruments to play for sound healing, self-expression, connection to Spirit, mindfulness, and more. (It’s highly recommended that you have a flute to receive the most from this transformational course. Suggestions for how to craft an inexpensive flute on your own, or what kind of flute to purchase, as well as instructions, will be provided.)

This course will feature teachings, training sessions, and experiential practices with Christine. Each session will build harmoniously upon the previous ones, so you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools, and principles you’ll need to access your flute-playing gifts.

Session 1: Befriending Your Flute — A Sacred Lineage

A 35,000-year-old flute — one of the world’s oldest known musical instruments — made from a vulture bone, was found in a cave in Germany. Nearby, archaeologists have found flutes dating to 43,000 years old.

The Kokopelli figure has been found in ruins dating to the year 200 CE. And from the Hindu deity Krishna to the mystical poetry of Rumi and Kabir, the flute holds an ancient sacred lineage of connection with the Divine.

In this opening class, Christine will explain how the space between the holes in ancient flutes matches the same scale we use today.

Christine will be joined by Martin Espino, whose native heritage is Yaqui (Sonora, Mexico) and Tepehuano (Durango, Mexico).

A performer, soundworker, meditation leader, and traditional flute maker from the Mexika tradition, Martin specializes in crafting traditional flutes, rattles, and drums.

In this first module, you’ll:

  • Be welcomed with a flute meditation played by Christine
  • Learn about the Native history of the flute with Martin — he’ll share flutes made of clay, bamboo, and cedar, as well as rattles and drums
  • Bless your flute, honoring its culture, spiritual lineage, and intention
  • Learn basic techniques including holding position, air flow, finger placement, and note playing
  • Discover the difference between smooth and tongued sounds, creating rhythm with a single note
  • Practice a mindfulness meditation through sound

Session 2: Ascending the Ladder of Bliss — No Wrong Notes

I am a hole in the flute that the Christ breath moves through, listen to this music.

— Hafiz

Can you imagine living your life as though there were no wrong notes? What kind of music would you feel free to create?

Many music lovers find freedom in the 5-note pentatonic scale — echoing worldwide in Asian, Pacific-Island, Native American, South American, and African cultures.

You’ll explore the origin story of the cedar flute — how it comes from the branch of the tree, carved by the woodpecker and played by the wind.

As you’ll discover, the powerful combination of the melodic flute and the driving rhythms of the drum is found all over the world. The symbolic roots and branches of this combination create a tree that reaches upward to the light, illuminating the spiritual path.

In this module, you’ll discover:

  • How the 5-note pentatonic scale is said to come from the potoo birdsong — according to Bernie Kraus, author of The Great Animal Orchestra
  • Ways to craft melodies using leaps and spaces in the river of song
  • How to paint brushstrokes of colors with each note’s timbre
  • A formula of healing melodies
  • How to play your flute to the beat of a drum — a recording is included
  • The magic of the 5-note pentatonic scale with no wrong notes

Session 3: As It Is in Nature — The Music of Birds, Mountains & Trees

According to Mexican tradition, the voice of creation includes drum, rattle, and flute. But how do you play duets with nature? How do you sound the inspiration of wind, water, and sky?

In this session, you’ll learn to decorate notes using vibrato of the breath and ornamentation inspired by birdsong and the sacred lineage of flute playing.

You’ll explore how long tones are used to quiet the mind, while jumping between wide intervals can create excitement and adventure.

In this class, you’ll:

  • Decorate notes inspired by birdsong, trill, toss, flutter-tongue, and vibrato
  • Play the music of landscapes — from mountain peaks to river-drone
  • Participate in a live improvised call-and-response session
  • Learn to travel and visualize nature while playing
  • Play a soundscape song of nature sounds
  • Learn a daily practice of grounding and uplifting using flute and drum — also known as the Music Tree of Life

Session 4: Exploring the Lunar & Solar Scales

I’m your flute.

I only drink from your lips.

Unless you play me,

I have no sound of my own.

If you see me silent,

I’m treasuring your sweetness within.

— Rumi

Throughout time, major and minor tonalities have been associated with emotions, mood states, and the dynamics of life.

You’ll explore the magic of the pentatonic scale — and how it combines two different energies Christine calls lunar and solar, representing the minor and major modes.

You’ll engage in the brightness of each note as a ray of light from the sun. Christine will guide you to engage in the mystery of each note as a phase of the moon — and discover where feminine and masculine meet, the joining of day and night, sound and silence, spirit and soul…

In this module, you’ll:

  • Explore solar and lunar scales as tools of emotional expression
  • Discover how different drone notes change the sound of your flute playing
  • Learn partner games to practice in class
  • Use your voice to connect with the lunar and solar notes of the flute
  • Practice call and response in the oral tradition of learning without music

Session 5: Sonic Alchemy — Healing, Mindfulness & Transformation

The pains and the sorrows the soul experiences in life are like holes made in a reed flute.

— Rumi

When Christine was working in the war zone of Iraq, she found the flute to be the sound that reached the hearts of survivors in a battered women’s shelter…

Once she played the flute, the women picked up the drums and joined. Within an hour, all the women were dancing together, finding freedom in the music.

She asked them through the translator — when was the last time they danced? One woman held up nine fingers, indicating it had been nine years.

You’ll discover how, in the sound healing tradition, you use intuition to play notes and melodies that are healing to others. You’ll explore how this all applies to yourself too — and you’ll transform the wounds of your life into music, just like the holes in the flute.

In this session you’ll:

  • Begin with a flute meditation to set a healing intention
  • Learn to use your sonic intuition to play healing sound
  • Discover how to turn the intentions of others into music in ceremony and healing
  • Integrate breathwork and energy work while playing your flute
  • Honor the space between the notes, balancing giving and receiving

Session 6: The Magic of Improvisation — Free Your Note & Be in the Moment

Improvisation is the courage to move from one note to the next.

— Bobby McFerrin

Neuroscience has found that improvising music in the moment — without trying to read musical notation — brings many neurological benefits.

A study by Charles Limb, MD showed that improvisation deactivates the areas in the brain involved in self-judgment, criticism, and self-monitoring.

Meanwhile, the medial prefrontal cortex activates the parts of the brain involved in meditation, telling your personal story, and experiencing the moment.

You’ll discover how improvisation helps build your creativity. You’ll explore the many ways it’s a daring practice of self-expression — a tool that changes your brain from the default network to the presence or mindfulness network.

Everyone can be inspired by prompts and partners. playing solo or in duets and ensembles. It’s a powerful way to create poetry as you learn simple structures of beauty that sculpt your songwriting freedom.

In this module, you’ll:

  • Learn to play a flute haiku, inspired by Japanese poetry
  • Discover the universal keys to improvisation from one quality note to simple repetition
  • Discover compelling research on the brain benefits of improvisation and playing from your heart
  • Learn how to use play-along tracks and apps for creative prompts and expression
  • Experience tools for online jamming with others

Session 7: Courting the Beloved — A Heartsong Practice

The flute of the Infinite is played without ceasing, and its sound is love.
— Kabir

Beginning with its origins as a “courting flute” in the Native American tradition, the flute plays the heart of love and longing.

You’ll move through the flute’s connection to love throughout many different traditions and times. You’ll discover how, in Hindu tradition, there’s a shabda, a sonic current of love that encircles the universe forever.

In the Zen temples of Japan, shakuhachi flute players wore barrels over their heads to avoid the ego of being performers, and to allow their playing to be an offering to Buddha.

What music did Krisha play that drew the gopis to follow? What song did Kokopelli play that brought rain to the thirsty earth? What response do you hear when you play your flute as a question to the Divine?

This session will feature Guillermo Martinez demonstrating his heartsong practice — and sharing tools of playing the voice of creation using drum, rattle, and flute.

In this final module, you’ll:

  • Experience a flute meditation as you listen to the sacred flute played by Sri Chimnoy, a master guru in the Hindu tradition, and by Nawang Khechog, a celebrated Tibetan flute player and composer
  • Discover 3 parameters for finding your own heartsong — and expressing it on the flute
  • Be inspired by Guillermo’s teachings on reaching inward to create outward music
  • Explore sound and silence in the practice of connecting with the divine current of sound

The Flute as Sound Medicine Bonus Collection

In addition to Christine’s transformative 7-part virtual course, you’ll receive these powerful training sessions with leading visionaries and teachers. These bonus sessions complement the course and promise to take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level.

Healing Flute Play-Along Compilation

Audio Compilation From Various Artists, Exclusively Curated by Christine Stevens

Enjoy over an hour of play-along tracks to inspire your own improvisational flute playing. From pulsing rhythms to nature soundscapes to ethnic beats, these tracks can be used solo or in flute duets and dialogues. Features award-winning UK composer James Asher and drum circle master Arthur Hull.

The Zen of Flute

3 Play-Along Nature Videos From Christine Stevens and Haruki Niyekawa

Filmed in a Japanese forest, these videos demonstrate the Sparrow Hawk High Spirits cedar flute key of A. Join Christine and her colleague Haruki Niyekawa, the founder of Inner Silence Retreat, near a rice-field pond with the sounds of frogs and birds as your orchestra. These videos feature the oral tradition of call and response, or question and answer. Christine plays and leaves space for you to copy or improvise your own song. A great prompt to listen to, or to watch and travel into the zen of the Japanese landscape with the melodies and pulse of healing sound.

You’ll receive:

  • Call and Response With Drum Playing 4/4 Beat
  • Call and Response With Drum Playing 6/8 Beat
  • Birdsong Call and Response

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