New School Montessori’s Appreciating Differences teacher, Johnnyé White, invited guests, Edward and Lydia Ellis, to share Native American flute and drum music along with a story about the character painted on their drum. Lydia inspired students with tales of overcoming life-changing strokes to regain enough mobility to continue to express herself musically.
Lydia was a teacher in a school system for many years and taught flute lessons. Her life changed dramatically twelve years ago when she suffered from two strokes within a 48-hour period that left her hand and leg altered in ways that made it difficult to walk – and impossible to play the silver flute she had spent her lifetime mastering. Lydia remained diligent in her therapy and continues to regain function from her efforts. However, Lydia desperately missed being able to express herself musically. Then she discovered she could play a Native American flute using only her right hand.
Over time, she learned ways to add more musical notes, finding that she could use her leg at the bottom of the flute to partially occlude the opening. Doing this gave her three additional notes she could play. A craftsman added silver toggle keys to her flute, giving her even more range.
In 2017, Lydia auditioned for America’s Got Talent. She didn’t make it to the TV stage, but came in 3rd place in Lexington’s Senior Who’s Got Talent competition.
Click to see and hear a 30-second video performed at The New School Montessori during their visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cWvtuac-1LsuzUxH3KdXbk7v4lWrPhmK/view?usp=sharing
The New School Montessori (TNSM)