Vision Maker Media
Flute School

2018 Workshop Program

The following is the list of workshops for the 2018 Native Rhythms Festival. All of these workshops are free, except as noted where a nominal fee is charged to cover the cost of materials the attendee will take away from the workshop. All of these workshops have limited enrollment (most limited by the space in the workshop tent). Early (on-line) registration is strongly encouraged.

Workshop Registration

Use the form at the bottom of this page for advanced registration for individual workshops. Seats in all workshops will be allocated on a first-come/first-serve basis, beginning with advanced registration from this page. Any remaining seats (not allocated by advanced registration) will be available for on-site registration on a first-come/first-serve basis at the workshop check-in tent. Once all available seats have been allocated, a waiting list will be established for each workshop.

When registering, please limit your selections to 5 workshops that you actually plan to attend. PLEASE do not register for workshops that you "might" want to attend. It's not fair to others if workshops reach their stated capacity only because numerous people who aren't sure they will attend have registered, and others who really want to attend are blocked from registering. If you have more than 5 workshops that you want to attend, list those additional workshops in the "comments" field on the form and you will be placed on the waiting list for them.

Upon receipt of the on-line registration form, our workshop registrar will send an e-mail to you to confirm your registration or indicate your position on the waiting list. That confirmation message will come from the e-mail address Nothing else will be accepted as confirmation of your registration. The automated response that is generated when your form is transmitted to us does not constitute confirmation of your registration. You may wish to print out your confirmation e-mail message from when it arrives, and bring it with you to the festival. 

In the past, some of our flute enthusiasts have registered for all workshops, including those they did not actually plan to attend. This prevented people wanting to attend those workshops from registering. We ask all to please be respectful of others. Do not sign up for workshops that you don't definitely plan to attend.

On-line advanced registration will open when the workshop schedule is published and closes at the end of the day on Monday, November 5, 2018. A workshop check-in tent will be set at the entrance to the large workshop tent. On-site check-in for those who pre-register on-line is required, with empty seats filled at the check-in tent on a first-come/first-serve basis. A waiting list will be maintained when the workshop capacity is reached.

All advanced (pre-registered here) registrants must check-in at the workshop check-in tent upon arrival at the festival on the day of their workshops to confirm their presence and their plan to participate in the workshops for which they have registered. Seats not confirmed in this manner will be reopened and made available to those on the waiting list.

Although most of the workshops are designated as "space available" and likely will be able to accommodate all who wish to participate, we request that those who wish to participate in them submit an advanced registration form below so that we will have an idea of the number of people to expect and can plan accordingly.


Basic Introduction to the Native American Style Flute  (David Jenkins & Indian River Flute Circle)

Veteran's Benefits Overview  (Annie Artis)

Overcoming Performance Anxiety  (Dr. Patricia L. Bay)

Stories from the Moundbuilders   (Pamela Bennett)

Animal Totems - The Power of Nine (Basic and Advanced)  (Arvel Bird)

Stick Weaving  (Joyce Bugaiski)

Walking With Wisdom - A Path to Understanding  (Will Davis)

Home Recording with Audacity  (John Ellis)

Native Flute Playshop  (Clint Goss & Vera Shanov)

Introduction to Shamanic Healing with Music, Flutes and Drums  (Randy Granger)

World War II Navajo Code Talkers  (John Pasko)

Recording Your Music  (Randy McGinnis)

Traditional Flute Playing  (Jon Norris) 

History and Evolution of Flutes in North America  (Jon Norris)

Rhythmic Connection: Drumming and Fluting Together  (Painted Raven)

Intro to Rim-Style Flutes  (Sydney Kokopelli Girl Phipps)

Painting Images with the Native Flute   (Sydney Kokopelli Girl Phipps)

Stepping Back in Time  (Dock Silverhawk)


Basic Introduction to the Native American Style Flute

Leader: David Jenkins supported by the Indian River Flute Circle members
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Anytime
Program Length: Variable
Location: Main festival grounds near the Workshop Tent
Class Size: No limit

A separate vendor-style booth will be set up near the main workshop tent for on-going instruction in the basics of playing the Native American Style Flute. Skilled players, including volunteers from the Indian River Flute Circle, will rotate in leading this workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring their own flute, although loaner (PVC) flutes will be available for those who do not yet own one. Instruction will include hand placement in properly holding the flute and covering the playing holes, mouth placement and basic breathing techniques, playing the basic scales, and other basic playing techniques. Instruction techniques will vary by instructor.

Veteran's Benefits Overview

Leader: Annie Arlis
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Saturday, 9:00-10:00AM
Program Length:  45 minutes
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Will provide information about veteran services, benefits; hot to file a claim, burial information, widow's benefits and dependent children benefits and information.

Overcoming Performance Anxiety

Leader: Dr. Patricia L. Bay
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Saturday, 12:00-1:30PM
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Performance anxiety is the most common phobia in the USA. When you get lost in the fear of failure instead of focusing on your performance, anxiety overshadows all the fun. Learn what is happening in your brain and specific tools for overcoming performance anxiety. We will use group relaxation techniques to get in touch and release the origins of your anxiety.


Patricia L. Bay, Psy.D. is a Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist with a private practice in Redding, California. Since 1979 she has loved working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. She also conducts trainings and workshops to pass along what she has learned to others.

Piano, classical flute, Native American flutes and didgeridoo are musical passions of Dr. Patty. She combines her therapeutic work regarding anxiety and trauma to help musicians overcome performance anxiety. Join us for an informative workshop that can help with many types of anxiety.


Stories from the Moundbuilders
Leader: Pamela Bennett
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Friday, 3:00-4:00PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Information in the oral tradition is meant to entertain and inform. Using a number of resources (documentation), the focus is on the lifestyles, traditions, and beliefs of the people of our region - the Southeast - & specifically the Mississippian Moundbuilders of the woodland era.

Southeastern stories of the ancients, a trilogy of short stories about the Native peoples of the Southeast, the moundbuilders:

  1. Why do Native people use smoke to pray? (Sacred plants)

  2. Why dp we burn red cedar in the Southeast? (The Legend of Red Cedar)

  3. How did the people get fire?  (How the animals helped us)


Animal Totems
- The Power of Nine (Basic and Advanced)
Leader: Arvel Bird
Fee: $35 (covers 2 handout workbooks, for either or both workshops)
Scheduled times: Basic: Saturday, 10:00AM-12:00PM
                          Advanced: Sunday, 10:00AM-12:00PM

Program Length: 2 hours each day
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: 30.

Saturday - The Power of 9 - Discover your true personality and your 9 power animal totem guides. Attendees will learn how the animal totems relate to all 9 directions, North, South, East, West, Above, Below, Within, Right and Left and what that means in your life.  In the workshop, Arvel will take you on several shamanic journeys where you will discover your animal totem guide and learn the basics of how to interpret their meaning in each direction.

Sunday - Navigating life’s challenges and crossroads using your 9 power animal totem guides (identified in the Basic Workshop).   During the workshop you will learn how to read and interpret the messages of our animal totems. You will also learn how to use your 9 Power animals to help you make decisions, identify potential issues and overcome problems early before they become big problems.  Includes Shamanic Journeying and Vision Questing. 

Click here to download the workbooks for these workshops.

Arvel Bird became interested in animal totems and their medicine power when he began to research and study his own Paiute heritage. He grew up knowing a significant part of his ancestry were of the Southern Paiutes of Utah, however, no one had spoken of it in his childhood, so as an adult he became curious and discovered to his surprise that he held a great respect and affinity for the ways of not only his ancestors but of all the North American Indian people. 

During this time of ancestral discovery, he also began to write and record music of birds and animals, composing the instrumentals to represent the characteristics and power of these spirit animals. This led him into the desire to discover and relate to his own animal totems. Through study, searching, and journey he found the alignment he held in spirit with 9 power totems that were there to show and encourage him to drop the energy he was carrying from his childhood imprinting and to embrace the strength and characteristics of who he truly is. This shined a spot light on his underlying motivation or basic desire in life; his way of perceiving and focusing on higher meaning and purpose; his way of acting by channeling his energy into completion of a task despite difficulties, and his life task which is to discover and reveal that which is most relevant and essential to his life’s journey and to share these insights with those who would be receptive to these perspectives on their own life experiences. This explains the reason Arvel leads Animal Totem workshops. Arvel has facilitated dozens of Animal Totems workshops at churches, private events, and festivals in Arizona, Colorado, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, Utah, Wisconsin, Utah, Florida, Toronto and others.

Stick Weaving

Leader: Joyce Bugaiski
Fee: $5.00 (optional, to cover the cost of materials supplied)
Scheduled time: Sunday, 3:30-5:30PM
Program Length: 2 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: 30

Stick weaving is a simple and versatile weaving method using sticks, that may have been brought to Europe by the Crusaders, but there is little evidence. The North American Indians were using this method to create straps and belts in the Great Lakes area when the French trappers came across them in the 1500s.

Supplies will include everything you need to learn this weaving method and take home a treasure. The cost for supplies will be $5.00. This includes a set of five weaving sticks, yarn, and instructions. (If you bring your own yarn and weaving sticks, there is no cost.)


"I love sharing my art and mostly 'self-taught' skills with anyone who wishes to learn. I find great joy in seeing the excitement of someone who has just learned how to do something new that I have taught them.  It fills my heart and spirit with great satisfaction of knowing traditional skills and crafting will continue on for generations.  

In my adult life I have overcome many obstacles to reach my goals in learning and sharing."

Joyce's art has been published many times, including 6 editions of the Cherokee Heritage Calendar, and has illustrated 2 children's books. She has also won over 100 awards for her art, including several at previous Native Rhythms Festival competitions. Joyce currently serves Native Rhythms as the competition coordinator and regularly leads workshops teaching crafts such as various styles of beading, dream catcher making, etc.

Walking With Wisdom - A Path to Understanding

Leader: Will Davis
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Sunday, 9:00AM-1:00PM.
Program Length: 4 hours
Location: Candlewood Suites conference room
Class Size: Space available

Participants will leave this workshop with a greater understanding of what wisdom is and how connection is vital to oneself and their greater environment. 

Walking With Wisdom-A Path To Understanding…is a workshop/seminar based on the book written by Will Davis, by the same title. The workshop/Seminar will be an abbreviated version of the offered full day workshop/seminar. During the several hours of this seminar presented at the Candlewood Suites as part of the Native Rhythms Festival, the participant will engage in defining what ‘wisdom’ means for them and sharing some accolades of how it has worked in their lives. The participant will be guided through several meditations including a short walking meditation. The idea of connection and being connected will be part of the presentation. Will, has a Facebook page also by the same name. Copies of the book, “Walking With Wisdom-A Path To Understanding” will be available for purchase. 


Will Davis is an experienced workshop/seminar provider for over 25 years. He has provided professional training for areas such as mental health, HIV/AIDS awareness, Human Resources, Stress Management, Communication Skills, Cultural Awareness, and Spirituality. He has presented all over the country including, Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington, DC, and Oregon. 

Home Recording With Audacity

Leader: John Ellis, performing as Johnny Kee
Fee: Optional Your Home Recording Studio book available for purchase
Scheduled time: Saturday, 3:30-5:30PM
Program Length: 2 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Musicians in general, and flute players in particular, often want to record their music. We do this for a variety of reasons, ranging from having something to evaluate your own playing to producing something that can be shared with friends, or even sold commercially. It wasn't that long ago that personally recorded performances were limited in both sophistication and quality. Doing anything more than just capturing a live performance on a cassette recorder required expensive equipment and significant technical skills. That has all changed with the advent of relatively powerful personal computers and inexpensive, good quality audio equipment. 

One key element of a modern home recording studio is the software that runs on that personal computer, the centerpiece of which is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). While professional studios tend to use DAW software costing many hundreds to thousands of dollars, there are low cost, and even free, DAW packages that allow a home recording studio to be set up with a cost within the reach of almost everyone. One such free DAW program is call Audacity, put out by SourceForge, an "open source" software sharing organization where programmers pool their talents in creating high quality programs for free public distribution and use.

This workshop will provide a general overview of what is needed to set up an inexpensive home studio, including downloading and installing Audacity, and then go into detailed descriptions how to do key recording operations in Audacity. Most of the time will involve a live demonstration of these operations. 

Because a lot of material will be covered in the two hours allocated for this workshop, the presentation will be fast paced. To allow attendees to pay attention to the presentation and not get distracted by taking notes, a companion book will be available to fully documents everything that is being presented and demonstrated. This book will be available at the workshop to attendees at a discount. This is an updated and expanded version of the book first published for the Native Rhythms Festival workshop in 2014.

John Ellis has been playing and singing traditional European/American folk music for over 50 years. Appearing under the stage name Johnny Kee, he added the Native American Flute to his multi-instrument repertoire over ten years ago, and from that came his interest in playing the flute in his folk music performances (including old hymns, spirituals, and gospel songs) . Although he has purchased some commercial software packages, he has predominantly used Audacity for all his recording. His soon to be released CD "Echoes From The Trail" used Audacity exclusively for effects and mixing, and includes multiple tracks of flutes (solo and duet), guitars, banjo, autoharp, drums, rattles, and harmonious vocals. Since this workshop was first presented in 2014, numerous people have said that they have used the lessons from the workshop and book to undertake their own recordings.

Title: Native Flute Playshop
Leader: Clint Goss and Vera Shanov (
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Saturday, 9:00AM-12:00PM
Program Length: 3 hours
Location: Candlewood Suites conference room
Class Size: 30 participants (pre-registration strongly recommended)

The Native Flute Playshop is a special program for people who play (or wish to play) the Native American Flute. We will gather for the workshop with a focus on building confidence playing the flute in many settings and styles and expressing your inner voice. 

We will explore: 

the elements of music - melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and silence; 

basic improvisation techniques such as call-and-response, solo over drone, and repeated patterns; 

song forms such as A/B/A contrast, blues, and rounds. 

And we mean it when we say Playshop ... participants will be playing most of the time! You will get an opportunity to play solo and in ensembles in many settings, and work with facilitators from many different corners of music. 

Regardless of your current level of experience, if you want to bring your flute playing to a new level, this is the weekend to attend! 

Reference list of Clint's links:

* Join Clint and Vera’s Native Flute list
* Flutopedia (Native Flute encyclopedia)
* (index of all our web sites)


Introduction to Shamanic Healing with Music, Flutes and Drums
Leader: Randy Granger
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00AM
Program Length: 1 hr
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: 25

In ancient traditions, healing is about returning to wholeness. It is about facilitating the return to harmony and to balance the dynamic inter-relating, interconnectedness of everything: the individual (body, emotions, thoughts, and spirit), nature and the cosmos itself. In this workshop we will briefly review the history of Shamanic healing and its goals. The class will then learn and perform an example of this. You may bring a Native American style flute in the sacred key of F# or a drum or rattle. 

Randy Granger is an award-winning recording artist, composer, flute instructor and performing artist. He is classically trained in percussion, voice, and performance. A former instructor with the Yamaha School of Music, as well as teaching private students in guitar, percussion, voice, and flute, he now conducts workshops around the country on flute and Hang playing. The majority of Granger's private students are now taught via Skype with students all around the world. He has performed and shared the stage with R. Carlos Nakai, Michael Graham Allen, Peter Phippen, Skip Healy, Scott August among many other top recording artists. His workshops are extremely popular and he has facilitated flute playing workshops at INAFA, Zion Canyon, Native Rhythms, Oklahoma Flute fest, and Handpangea, to name a few. (

Title: World War II Navajo Code Talkers
Leader: John Pasko
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Saturday, 1:30-2:30PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

An historical presentation of the role that the Navajo Code Talkers played in World War II through the display of artifacts and a slide show presentation. While the allies were able to break the most secure codes of the Axis powers, The code talkers "code" was never broken.

U.S. Marine Commanders initially opposed the idea of using the Native American language again in the war (they had been used in WW I), but later agreed to a test mockup trial run for secret battle intel to be sent via NCT vs the more common cryptography. A group of (30) Navajos were initially recruited and after a sucessful test, more were authorized. After testing, 29 remained, which now are commonly referred to as the First 29.

The code was created. During the first two days during the Battle of Iwo Jima, 800 message were sent, and all were flawlessly received. Where the cryptography machines sometimes took 25-30 minutes or longer to decipher its message, the NCT accomplished this within minutes. A total of 400 NCT were used during WWII and less than 11 survive today.  

In search of a way to help honor first responders and military personnel, the Founder-CEO of Families of the Shield, John A. Pasko, a (Ret.) Police Officer, located one of the few remaining United States Marine WWII Navajo Code Talkers (NCT), from Keyenta, Arizona. Pfc. Samuel Tom Holiday and members of his family agreed to come to Florida to participate in the show and was also honored by U.S. Congressman Bill Posey. Holiday received a Special Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his contributions to our country during WWII.

As time went on, both families became friends and John was invited out to Window Rock, Arizona, to attend as a guest of the Holiday family, to the National Code Talkers Day; August 14th by Helena Begaii, (Samuels daughter).  Helena introduced John to the Navajo Nations President Russell Begaye and VP Jonathan Nez and many other high ranking dignitaries. 

Recording Your Music

Leader: Randy McGinnis
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Friday, 11:00AM-12:00PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available


There are "do's and don't's" to recording your music. We will go over a few "do it yourself" options, as well as hiring a professional studio and engineer.

Randy McGinnis, international performer, is the Native American Music Award Winner - 2017 Native American Flutist of the Year. In 2010 he was the NAMA award winner for Best Musical Compilation and has been nominated for six additional NAMA awards. 

Traditional Flute Playing

Leader: Jon Norris
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Friday, 1:00-2:00PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Native American flute music as it was traditionally played is quite a bit different than the music we hear today. In this one hour workshop, we will listen to examples of some of the earliest recorded flute music, explore how songs are structured, and learn some basic techniques that will allow you to play in a similar style. 

History and Evolution of Flutes in North America
Leader: Jon Norris
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Saturday, 2:30-3:30PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

The modern flute that we all know and love is a fairly new creation. In this workshop, we will explore the origins of wind instruments in North America, starting with primitive bone instruments and the rim-blown flutes of Ancestral Puebloan cultures. Then, using replicas of several historical instruments as well as some more recent flutes, we'll take a look at how the Native American Flute has evolved over the last 200 years to become the instrument we play today.

Rhythmic Connection: Drumming and Fluting Together

Leader: Painted Raven  (Annette Abbondanza and Holly Harris)
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Sunday, 2:00-3:300PM
Program Length: 1 1/2 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Enjoy getting back to basics with Painted Raven (the Native American Flute and World Music duo of Annette Abbondanza and Holly Harris) through experiencing the rhythmic connection between drums and flutes.

We will begin by connecting with each other and the rhythm by learning basic cooperative drumming skills. We will then learn and practice rhythmic flute techniques. This will be followed by each individual having an opportunity to play flute along with the group providing supportive drumming.

Attendees are encouraged to bring along their own flutes and/or hand drums (djembes preferred). The class is tailored towards beginners, but anyone of any ability is welcome.

Intro to Rim-Style Flutes

Leader: Sydney Kokopelli Girl Phipps
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Friday, 4:00-5:00PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: 20

This workshop will include a brief history of flutes, group instruction of rim techniques, and small-group/one=on-one instruction of techniques to help participants develop skills.

Please bring a flute with you if you have one. I will have a few available for loan.

Painting Images with the Native Flute

Leader: Sydney Kokopelli Girl Phipps
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Sunday, 1:00-2:00PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Learn how to create mood and emotion in your music by applying flute techniques. This workshop is intended for amateur flute players that are ready to take the next step. BYOF  (Bring Your Own Flute)

Title: Stepping Back in Time
Leader: Dock Silverhawk
Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Friday, 2:00-3:00PM
Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Dock will be displaying and playing several very old Native American flutes that have been gifted to him from a private Native American collector. He will also be telling the stories behind them.

Personal Professional Instruction

Accelerate your flute playing by taking private lessons from one of several of our headlining recording artists. One-on-one or as a couple, take advantage of the opportunity to get personal guidance in a private lesson.

The following performers have agreed to offer private, personal instruction for a fee. Contact the individual artist to make arrangements for your personal lesson. These artists will be available throughout the weekend at the festival site, or contact them by e-mail to make arrangements prior to festival weekend.

Arvel Bird:

2018 Workshop Registration Form

Fill out and submit the below form to register for individual workshops. If you are registering for a limited seating workshop, you will be notified as to whether you have a confirmed seat in that workshop or have been placed on the waiting list. Please submit a separate form for each person registering.

* Indicates a required field...

Name: *

Phone (cell preferred): *

e-Mail Address: *

Select all workshops you wish to register for and actually plan to attend:

    Annie Arlis: Veteran's Benefits Overview (Saturday, 9:00-10:00AM)
    Dr. Patricia L. Bay: Overcoming Performance Anxiety (Saturday, 12:00-1:30PM)
    Pamela Bennett: Stories from the Moundbuilders (Friday, 3:00-4:00PM)
    Arvel Bird: Animal Totems - The Power of Nine (Saturday, 10:00AM-12:00PM)
    Arvel Bird: Navigating Life's Challenges & Crossroads (Sunday, 10:00AM-12:00PM)
    Joyce Bugaiski: Stick Weaving (Sunday, 3:30-5:30PM)
    Will Davis: Walking With Wisdom - A Path to Understanding (Sunday, 9:00AM-1:00PM @ Candlewood)
    John Ellis: Home Recording With Audacity (Saturday, 3:30-5:30PM)
    Clint Goss & Vera Shanov: Native Flute Playshop (Satuday, 9:00AM-12:00PM @ Candlewood)
    Randy Granger: Introduction to Shamanic Healing with Music, Flutes and Drums (Sunday, 9:00-10:00AM)
    Randy McGinnis: Recording Your Music (Friday, 11:00AM-12:00PM)
    Jon Norris: Traditional Flute Playing (Friday, 1:00-2:00PM)
    Jon Norris: History and Evolution of Flutes in North America (Saturday, 2:30-3:30PM)
    Painted Raven: Rhythmic Connection: Drumming and Fluting Together (Sunday, 2:00-3:30PM)
    John Pasko: World War II Navajo Code Talkers (Saturday, 1:30-2:30PM)
    Sydney Kokopelli Girl Phipps: Intro to Rim-Style Flutes (Friday, 4:00-5:00PM)
    Sydney Kokopelli Girl Phipps: Painting Images with the Native Flute (Sunday, 1:00-2:00PM)
    Dock Silverhawk: Stepping Back in Time (Friday, 2:00-3:00PM)

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