Research at Flute Haven

This page provides descriptions of recent research carried out at Flute Haven.

Flute Playing Physiology

Flute Playing Physiology In a research study conducted by Clint Goss and Eric B. Miller, flute players were instrumented for EEG brain waves and cardiac measures and followed a program of playing low-pitched and high-pitched flutes, listening to various styles of music, and sitting in silence. Five papers resulted from this research, which can be found on the Flutopedia site on the Your Brain on Flute page.

An article for general audiences (edited by Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl) appeared in the May 2014 issue of Overtones, pages 10–14, published by the World Flute Society.

In Brief

  • We measured brain wave and heart responses while playing flute and listening to flute music.
  • A key heart metric improved significantly when participants were playing Native American flutes.
  • Results of this study can give us some guidance when developing music facilitation activities.
  • There is a potential for using Native American flutes in therapeutic settings for specific clinical conditions.

Breath Pressure

Intraoral Pressure in Ethnic Wind Instruments High breath pressures when playing some wind instruments can cause serious health issues. This study measured the range of breath pressures in 149 ethnic wind instruments, including 71 Native American flutes, and the results were compared with prior studies of speech, singing, and other wind instruments.

Full results can be found on the Breath Pressure in Ethnic Wind Instruments page on Flutopedia.

In Brief

  • The range of pressure in Native American flutes closely matches pressure reported in other studies for normal speech.
  • The maximum observed breath pressure is below the highest subglottal pressure reported in other studies during singing.
  • Results show that ethnic wind instruments, with the exception of ethnic reed instruments, have generally lower intraoral pressure requirements than Western classical wind instruments.
  • This implies a lower risk of the health issues related to high intraoral pressure.


An in-person study and additional survey were carried out at Flute Haven 2014 to look at issues of comfort, finger reach, and correlation with various physical measurements. Results are currently being analyzed ...