Seeking the title of a book I read a part of from an elementary school reader. In it, a young boy runs away from home to seek out a teacher to learn to play music. The teacher would be from an alien race that the colonists haven’t seen in a long time. The city he went to was mostly water. And I think the instrument was similar to a flute. The school reader would have been from the 1980s or 90s.
Sweetwater by Laurence Yep
On the planet Harmony, Tyree and his people are fighting to survive. Their beautiful world holds terrible dangers -- vicious sea creatures, diminishing food supplies, and, at the heart of it all, a rising tide that will soon destroy the city where they cling to their way of life.
Tyree has secretly befriended Amadeus, the greatest songmaster of the native alien race. Amadeus teaches Tyree about the power of music, and, to Tyree's blind sister, he gives an awesome treasure. But his gift kindles the fears of Tyree's people -- fears more dangerous than the sea itself. Tyree must help his people before they tear their community apart.
In this richly inventive science-fiction novel, acclaimed children's author Laurence Yep creates a future world that is as haunting and as powerful as the song that Tyree learns to play.