Music and the Spoken Word: The most important and lasting power

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Aug. 4, 2019.

We live in a world that seems obsessed with power — political power, military power, earning power. Popular movies even imagine superhuman powers. Few of us, if any, experience much of those powers. But there is a power that we can all have, and it’s the most important and most lasting power in the world. It is the power to influence others for good.

Think of the people who have helped shape your life and your outlook. Think of the teachers, role models and friends who helped you become the person you are today. For many talented flutists, the person they think of is Myrna Brown of Denton, Texas. Myrna was an outstanding flutist who performed in well-known orchestras. But her powerful influence was felt most strongly by her five children and the many aspiring musicians she taught over the years. And her influence extended around the world, as Myrna served for more than a dozen years as the executive coordinator for the National Flute Association, which now has thousands of members from more than 50 countries.

One of her former students described feeling nervous before her first lesson, but when she met Myrna, she said, “My nervousness disappeared.” “My new soft-spoken teacher introduced me to the many different aspects of the flute discipline,” she said. “But most of all, she taught me to find confidence within myself” (see “A Tribute to Myrna Brown” by Berlinda A. Lopez in The Flutist Quarterly).

That’s power. For Myrna, the flute was the means, but the method was her heart—helping others with gentleness and love.

One of those whom Myrna influenced is Jeannine Goeckeritz, now principal flutist in the Orchestra at Temple Square. Jeannine, like her mentor, looks for ways to influence others with her music. “To me, the flute represents more than beautiful music. It represents an opportunity to bless someone’s life — to bring people together, to lift them, maybe even to heal a wounded heart. That’s what Myrna Brown did for many people, and I hope I can do that too.”

The music of the flute is one of the oldest and most beautiful sounds in musical history. But the most beautiful music of all is the kind we create when we give of ourselves to influence others for good.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM,, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143), the Tabernacle Choir’s website and YouTube channel and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at