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Playing with kids :-)

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by lermgalieu, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. I "volunteer" at my son's middle school Bluegrass Club - my son plays guitar in it, and I sit in with the bass section (three of us). As may or may not surprise you, despite my age I am not the most technically proficient of the three (the other two are eighth graders, both are very solid, but one of them has some impressive chops). But I do add value - I've been in bands forever and feel like I am showing them how to hold things down. Anyway, I say "volunteer" because it is actually just plain fun for me, and some of these kids (esp a couple of girls on fiddle) are REALLY good.

    We played an annual fundraiser for the local non-profit that raises money for local schools (including arts and music) last night at Sweetwater (Bob Weir's place here in Mill Valley), with the Grateful Bluegrass Boys. Man it was fun.

    No real point other than - play music with kids. They will love you for it, but you will love it the most.
  2. Here in Southern California in an elementary school in the high desert, a teacher, who also is the president of the Southwest Bluegrass Association (SWBA), teaches bluegrass instruments and performing.

    A large number of bluegrass instrument contributions have been made to this program, and there is also help provided by a volunteer or two. The bluegrass classes are extremely popular, the whole school is proud of the program, and the students routinely perform at local festivals.

    As you might guess, we local bluegrassers are very proud of this teacher and his ongoing program.
    Holdsg, Mrlen613 and lermgalieu like this.
  3. Brilliant.
    lermgalieu likes this.
  4. It's a great counterpoint to the classical/orchestral training many kids get. For the program I help with, the bandleader is a skilled bluegrass musician (she can play the #$%^ out of a banjo) who also teaches music in the local school district, but the leader of the orchestra program at the school also helps, and does a separate day of practice each week with the violins and violas. She loves how it shows (in conjunction with orchestra) the kids how to play more loosely, improvise, have fun, etc., and sometimes shows them a different path that might work better for them.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    Holdsg and dhergert like this.
  5. Mrlen613

    Mrlen613 Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    I play in the NJ Intergenerational Orchestra- it welcomes all ages and all playing abilities. There are three different levels- prelude, intermezzo, and symphony. It's really great to be playing with people of all ages. We have professionals, children, teens and everything in between, and a few older players who took up an instrument after retiring.

    The best part is that everyone is very welcoming and the more experienced players help others. There are many talented kids out there!
    Holdsg, lermgalieu and dhergert like this.
  6. My ex-SIL was a foster parent for years. None of those kids had even seen a musical instrument in person, much less had the chance to play.

    So of course I’d lead them into the Room of Basses, throw some random chunks of Bach or whatever at them. The kicker always was when I’d let them hold the bass and show them how to make sound with it.

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