Music as medicine: Flutist’s music is his prayer of gratitude

Music as medicine: Flutist’s music is his prayer of gratitude


When he was a child growing up in Gray Mountain, Arizona, Jonah Littlesunday’s grandmother Bessie Singer used to listen to cassette tapes of world-renowned flutist R. Carlos Nakai while she did her weaving.

“I loved it,” said Littlesunday. “I used to try to whistle his songs.” At 10 years old, Littlesunday would go to the nearby trading post where they allowed him to play with the flutes in the store. By the time he was 14, he had saved up enough money to buy his own. His grandfather Calvin Singer, a hataalii, encouraged him.

“My cheii was adamant about me understanding music and how prayer can be flowed through everything,” said Littlesunday. “He wanted me to pray and play together, and use the concept of Native American flute healing.

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