Lizzo and the Crystal Flute: Making History

Multi-talented singer, songwriter, rapper, instrumentalist, and superstar(!) Lizzo, opens a new window was recently tagged on Twitter by the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, opens a new window. The tweet invited Lizzo to come and try out some of the flutes in the world’s largest flute collection, opens a new window which is housed at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the largest library in the world.

This included a crystal flute owned by former President James Madison. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that the Library of Congress had so many interesting collections, not  just of books and archival papers, but of things! It was fun to see a popular musician playing such an interesting instrument. 

Watch Lizzo play James Madison's flute at Library of Congress, opens a new window.

Did you know that Lizzo was born and raised in Houston? “A self-described nerd, Lizzo learned how to play the flute in fifth grade. In high school, she was in the marching band and trained with the Houston Ballet Orchestra.” Lizzo plays her flute, named Sasha Flute, during concerts. In addition to her many other accomplishments, Lizzo is also an icon of the body positivity, opens a new window movement and recently won an Emmy for her reality TV show Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, opens a new window

Check out the Library of Congress blog, opens a new window for more details about Lizzo’s time at the Library of Congress and the crystal flute. You can also check out their digital collections,, opens a new window specifically sheet music., opens a new window  

When a library offers equipment and materials that are not "traditional", meaning not books, we call it a Library of Things. Though the Harris County Public Library doesn't have a large collection of musical instruments, like the Library of Congress, the Freeman Branch, opens a new window and the La Porte Branch, opens a new window, have pianos you can use in-branch! 

Did you know that you can check out gardening equipment, opens a new window from Baldwin Boettcher Library?  

Explore the HCPL website to see all of our non-traditional (not just books!) library collections, opens a new window, including maker equipment, opens a new window

And check out these books to learn more!

The Self-Love Revolution


Carla Hayden

The Flute

SHEELER, JASON. “Lizzo Has Put in the Work.” People, vol. 97, no. 11, Mar. 2022, pp. 38–45. EBSCOhost

This blog was written by Sarah G. and first appeared in September 2022.