View Full Version : Encouraging the next generation

Randi Gormley
Apr-11-2009, 2:59pm
A few members of my band, including me, made a school visit recently (one of those free gigs that were discussed on another thread), and after we played our set, the students asked to come up and touch our instruments.

I don't know if any of them had seen a mandolin before, but judging by the line that immediately started before my chair, they certainly were willing to learn. I sat them down one at a time and let them drag a pick across the open strings and explained that the sound changed when you put your fingers on the frets.

This particular student seemed to get the hang of it right off. Who knows what we may have started?

Apr-11-2009, 3:44pm
good for you

Apr-11-2009, 4:50pm
We did one of these things a few years ago at a school for kids with special needs (and got paid if I recall, but that's neither here nor there). Afterward we had kids up to look at and touch the instruments. It's a great chance for these kids to see and hear something they probably never got to hear before. If you get the chance to play, by all means go for it.

Apr-11-2009, 5:20pm
That's neat Randi!
The California Bluegrass Association, has a program called 'Kids on Bluegrass' and the Southwest Bluegrass Association has one called 'Bluegrass in the Schools' that helps youngsters who are interested learn to play BG instruments.

They feature the kids at BG festivals letting them play onstage and they are, as you can imagine, adored by the crowds. I'm not sure about the 'Kids on Bluegrass' but I know the 'Bluegrass in the Schools' program lends instruments to kids so their parents can see if the kids are going to stick to it before laying out cash for an instrument for their kid.

Also, Scott T. and the Mandolin Cafe have donated to the 'Kids on Bluegrass" program...Kudos to Scott and many thanks. These programs, and others like them around the country, or world, will ensure that bluegrass music doesn't fade away when all the bluegrass "old F**ts go to the big sleep.

Randi, if you already haven't thought of it, you might weant to give some thought to starting a similar program in your neck of the woods. You can check out the program on the California Bluegrass association website.


Apr-11-2009, 6:43pm
I just started a guitar group at my elementary school this year. A few kids have taken an interest in the mandolin and even purchased their own. One kid bought a bass and several have guitars. I have a small group of the best ones doing a bluegrass thing with me. (The rest of the 30 aren't that good yet.)

Here is a picture of us at Cultural Arts Day at my school a couple of weeks ago. It was fun.

Jim Rowland
Apr-11-2009, 7:26pm
That kid is into it Randy! Wonderful thing you're doing. When I was a kid I longed to even touch a string instrument. My uncle was the only player in the family and I was forbidden to touch his guitar or his fiddle. I'm sure he eventually would have helped me,but he died of TB when he was only 21.

Randi Gormley
Apr-12-2009, 10:11am
thanks, all. Lynn, that looks extremely cool!