Over the past few years, Native American flute teacher Nancy Haga has tried to think of ways to utilize her talents to help the Adopt-a-Native Elder program that was founded by Linda Myers.

Haga had heard a sermon by Bob Kaylor at the Park City Community Church some time ago that encouraged the congregations to empower themselves by finding a need and filling it.

"That hit me and I had been thinking about it for quite some time," Haga told The Park Record. "Then a couple of weeks ago, I was watching a documentary on TV and saw Linda Myers talking about how she founded the Adopt-a-Native Elder program. She basically wove a rug and sold it and the proceeds were donated to the elders to buy firewood, food and other survival items."

That was when Haga had her 'A-ha' moment.

"I thought, 'Wait a minute. I can do the same thing,'" she said. "'Why don't I donate my time to raise money in the same way, but with teaching the flute.'"

So, Haga is offering native American flute lessons, by appointment only, on Saturdays at Riffs Acoustic Music, 1205 Iron Horse Dr., although the lessons are free, she will ask for a $20 donation to help the Adopt-a-Native Elder Program.

"I have been involved in the Navajo Rug show as a flute player and I've taught flute lessons on the Navajo reservation and was involved with that community," she said. "So, I have a soft spot in my heart with helping Native Americans."

Haga will provide the instruments during the lessons.

"When I taught on the reservation in Arizona for a few years, the school down there purchased, at my request, student flutes, so I could teach the kids how to play their instruments," she explained. "When I left to come back to Park City, I bought the flutes back. I have 10 flutes, and like to teach individually or a couple of people at a time, so they can advance and learn."

Although Haga teaches private flute lessons at her home, she decided to work with Riffs for these benefit lessons.

"Riffs has been very kind to allow me to teach there as a central location," she said. "People can just call me up and I'll call Riffs to see if there are time slots available. If we can work something out, the lessons will run about an hour a session."

Haga began playing the Native American flute four years ago at the Kimball Art Festival.

"I was walking up the street and heard this music that just drew me like a moth to the flame," she said. "There was a flute maker who was selling these instruments and we played together and I was hooked.

"I played the traditional flute when I was a kid in school, but felt boxed in because I had to play someone else's notes and never got into it," she said. "But when I started playing the Native American flute, I didn't want to do anything but go to the top of a mountain the play the music."

The difference for Haga was being able to play from her heart.

"I think the interest in the Native American culture, combined with a way to let my soul sing through an incredible instrument was the key," she said. "The beauty of it is that it's music that comes from inside your soul. It allows you to express all these emotions. It's kind of a musical meditation. Because of the healing and meditative aspect, the Native American flute music is used often when someone is getting massages and in hospice care, and I'm lucky to be able to give something back to the community."

Nancy Haga will teach Native American Flute lessons at Riffs Acoustic Music on Saturdays, by appointment. A $20 donation is suggested. The money raised will benefit the Adopt-A-Native Elder program. To schedule a class, call (435) 513-5999.