Classes

2016 Summer Camp  – July 3rd through July 9th

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The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle Camp in Blowing Rock – New and More for 2016!

As our summer camp enters it’s 14th year, we are so grateful to have shared our mission and our music with families from coast to coast.  Many have made our summer camp in Blowing Rock an annual event and we are so appreciative of your friendship and support. The camp has grown and evolved over the years, each with a distinct “personality”. As each new individual or family has joined us, they have increased our awareness and offered us a chance to view our mission and our music from broader perspectives. Each year, our summer camp assignment is to learn from YOU! Our challenge is to use that knowledge to improve the WFB Music Workshop  experience for each participant, whether new or returning annually. It is our hope that this summer fiddle camp will offer all our participants an increased opportunity for musical development and experimentation while remaining true to our mission of a holistic approach to not only our music but in all aspects of our lives.

Music Classes 

NOTE: Due to increased enrollment over the past few years, important new music level guidelines are listed below! Please read the guidelines carefully before registering for classes. Appropriate class placement is important to ensure participants are musically challenged while enjoying a comfortable fit. The class groupings below also enables our faculty to offer more individualized instruction by minimizing their class size and allows them to select music that is suitable for the group as a whole. The WFB music faculty reserves the right to adjust any participant’s schedule to an appropriate music level which best benefits that student, the class as a whole, and supports the instructor conducting the class. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!

Level Guidelines

Advanced & Semi Pro Classes:

For:  Fiddle, Cello, Guitar, Bass, and Banjo

(Advanced mandolins and penny whistle players are scheduled in the fiddle classes.)      

Advanced & Semi-Pro Fiddle, Cello and Bass                                                                                             

To take a bowed instrument class at the Advanced & Semi-Pro level, players should have been playing for 6 years or longer, may be participating in a college level orchestra, a high school honors all state orchestra, be working in Suzuki Book 6 or higher, and be strong music readers. They should also have a good number years of experience playing fiddle music, with a fair repertoire of tunes memorized from the Old Time or Irish traditions. They should have had experience performing fiddle music with a group, at the Walker Family Band Camp (or similar camp), or studied with a private teacher for a significant time. This class should stretch players into new areas, and give them new avenues to explore their instrument. We expect to have musicians in this level who are learning to perform in professional settings, with other “part time-pros”.

Advanced & Semi-Pro Level Guitar

To take guitar classes at the Advanced & Semi-Pro level, participants should be very familiar with their instrument. They should be fluent with all the standard chords used in fiddle music, and should be able to form some alternate types of chords, such as bar chords or a few ”jazz” chords. Players should have had some experience backing up groups or soloists in traditional music styles, and playing melodies as well. They should have had experience performing acoustic fiddle music, with a group, at the Walker Family Band Camp (or similar camp), or studied with a private teacher for a significant time. As with the bowed instrument classes of this level, this class should stretch players new areas, and give musicians new avenues to explore their instrument. We expect to have musicians in this level who are learning to perform in professional settings, with other “part time-pros”.                                                                                                                                                 

NEW!  Veteran Level Classes

For: Fiddle players

To take classes at the Veteran level, musicians should have been playing for at least 5 years or longer, may be participating in a high school level orchestra, or be working in Suzuki Book 4 through Book 5. They should have been actively playing fiddle music long enough to have a number of tunes memorized and they should be in the process of learning new tunes. They may have attended fiddle workshops or be playing with a fiddle group or taking private lessons.  Players at this level should be able to read music fluently, and have the ability to quickly pick up tunes by ear.

Intermediate Level  Classes

For:  Fiddle, Cello, Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin and Penny Whistle

Intermediate Level Fiddle, Cello and Bass

To take classes at the Intermediate level, students should have been playing for 3 to 5  years, may be participating in a middle school level orchestra, or be working in Suzuki, from mid Book 2 thru Book 3. These students should feel very comfortable with their instruments, and have the ability to play easily in all the “normal” fiddle key signatures; C, G, D, A, E minor, A minor, and sometimes B minor. Some experience with fiddle music would be helpful. They should have ability in reading music, or tablature, and/or play well by ear. They should expect to learn and memorize quite a few tunes during the week.

We Invite Beginning Musicians To Our Camp!

Beginning and New Player Level Classes

For:  Fiddle, Guitar, Cello, Bass and Penny Whistle

To take classes at the Beginning level, students should have been playing for 2 to 3 years. They would be working in Suzuki from mid Book 1 through mid Book 2. The students should have the ability to play simple songs with good tone and intonation in 2 or 3 of the beginning fiddle keys, D, G and A. They may be new to traditional music, and not know very many “fiddle” tunes. They may have started reading music, but do not have to be experts. They should expect to learn quite a few tunes during the week.

 New Player Classes

These classes are for all musicians, adults or kids who are just starting to play an instrument. The Walker Family Band Fiddle Camp usually offers New Player classes for students interested in learning violin, guitar, and penny whistle depending on enrollment and teacher availability.

And now, a word about Evening Jam Sessions:

This is definitely one of the most, if not the most entertaining, educational and edifying activities of our camp! Many times, those familiar with playing in a jam session look forward to this experience above all else. Our goal is to help students feel comfortable and relaxed in this setting. Just a warning: This does not usually happen the first time you try it. Don’t be surprised if joining in these traditional style jam sessions proves difficult even for more advanced players who have grown up reading music, and are not used to playing by ear.  However, by the end of the week you will not only learn how to pick up new tunes by ear, but also become more aware of the nuances of session etiquette. For best results we recommend if you are new to session play, begin by observing and listening! Our great heritage of traditional music has been preserved and passed to many new generations of musicians in exactly this way!

For a well rounded schedule, Intermediate through Advanced & Semi- Pro players can also choose from the classes listed below. Read on!  

NEW! Jam (Family) Band – Scott Walker

For All Levels

Here is an experience for entire families, for persons seeking a temporary family, and for sojourning musicians of all types. We will mix and match different levels and ages, find ways to go cross generational, and just go ahead and plan to have a good time doing it.  As an advanced or veteran player, you can become a teacher, and help others with their songs, and show them how to play a simple part that fits into the mix of the more complicated song you are playing. Bring your Showcase Group (talent act) into this class as a unit, and Scott will coach you, and you can have lots of practice time on your own! We’ll divide into duets, trios, quartets and try lots of combinations, caring for each other, like a family would do!  If you want you can bring your “second” instrument to the class and challenge yourself in a new way! Let’s mix it up!!

Chamber Ensemble Linda Minke 

Veteran and Advanced & Semi- Pro level players

Our camp is full of orchestra musicians, students, parents, and teachers! Bring your talent to this class, and let’s enjoy playing and then performing as a group; the more the merrier! Playing music in this way is one of the most fulfilling pursuits possible! Keep your spirits and your chops up!  We will add seasoned players to the group as we near the concert.  Music will be chosen to fit the group after it is formed.

Slide Guitar – Will Straughan

Intermediate through Advanced & Semi- Pro level players

This may have been one of the first ways that people played a string instrument, along with plucking, and bowing. Very early it was used as a basic way to play the blues on the guitar. The technique is found in many kinds of modern music, and would be a great addition to your skill set! You will need an acoustic steel string guitar, and a slide, which can be just about anything hard: a bottle neck, a metal slide manufactured for the purpose, or even a screw driver. Join in with one of the best players and teachers around and explore the fun and versatility of slide style guitar!

Song Writing – Scott Walker

Intermediate through Advanced & Semi- Pro level players (11 years or older)

End the week with your own masterpiece! Learn the basics of how songs are constructed, with some introductory discussions of form and theory. Also, learn how computers can enhance your creative skills!

Cross Cultural Traditional MusicScott Walker

Veteran through Advanced & Semi- Pro level players

Take this opportunity to branch out! Explore the world through the study of fiddle styles from different parts of the globe! The fiddle is so versatile that it has become indigenous to many if not most cultures of the world. Fiddle styles and tunes have traveled the globe over the years, leaving their mark wherever they land. The tour will include the Shetland Islands, where the fiddle music is a blend of Irish, Scottish and Norwegian traditions. Then back home to Texas, USA. You can hear a significant influence from the Irish immigrants who came there escaping the troubles back home. Back across the pond to Sweden, and a special visit with a modern Swedish group called Vasen. This amazing band writes  tunes based on traditional Swedish forms, bringing the style a new life and rhythm that is exciting and fresh. We will be listening to the best musicians of these and other cultural styles and giving a few tunes a try on our instruments. Scott Walker has been working on transcribing some of his favorites, and making them accessible to our intermediate through advanced students. Should be interesting! Give it a try!

Afternoon Group Sessions

These sessions are for learning and playing tunes in a group. For the Veteran through Advanced & Semi- Pro levels (Intermediate mandolin, guitar, and bass), we will divide into different styles, Irish or Old Time, and into an Improv Jazz session.  

We recommend the Slow Jam session for Intermediate players and the Kitchen Sink session for Beginners.

These groups will be meeting at the same time, the last period of the day, so you’ll have to choose one or the other. If it is not suiting your fancy, we’ll let you change your mind after the first couple of days! One thing to note is that the Irish and the Old Time sessions have the responsibility of playing for the Contra Dance, led by Ruth Pershing on Thursday night. Playing for a dance is challenging and fun!

Traditional Irish Session   

For the Veteran through Advanced & Semi- Pro Levels

If your heart is shaped like a shamrock, this is the class for you! You will be introduced to some new tunes, and we’ll have some time to explore some you already know.  Jigs, Reels, Hornpipes, Polkas, Mazurkas, Set Dances,  Waltzes and Aires are acceptable. As we get closer to the dance night, we will choose a couple of reels and a couple of jigs and a waltz for the occasion! Basses need not apply, but we will accept cellos who are willing to try to keep it on the light side. Banjos that fit in this music are the 4 string tenors that play the melody with a pick, like a mandolin would. Claw Hammer Banjos, please go next door to the Old Time Session! We are looking for the traditional sound, with emphasis on the melody, made by fiddles, flutes, concertinas (accordions) and whistles, accompanied by bouzoukis, harps, and guitars, with the tenor banjo and the mandolin adding to either the melody or the accompaniment. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Improvisation and Jazz Session – Landon Walker   

For the Veteran through Advanced & Semi- Pro Levels

Give yourself a chance to break free from the written music. You don’t have to fly without a net! It is amazing how learning one type of scale, or one type of mode can set you up to improvise on so many songs. This kind of knowledge coupled with many repetitions puts flying into the unknown neatly into your comfort zone!

Traditional Old Time Session 

For the Intermediate through Advanced & Semi- Pro Levels

An Old Time good time! Old Time Music is meant for fun! This is a true American original art form, complete with it’s own set of easy going rules. Recently a whole group of old time players who recently decided to do away with song titles, they said it was just cause all the songs sound the same, and no one really knows the actual names for them anyway. The other part of that is, “let’s not take it quite so seriously! The normal quartet includes fiddle, claw hammer banjo, guitar, and bass. Mandolins are sometimes seen! Big sessions are fun, and can include multiples of all the instruments. A recent session here in Greensboro sported 4, count them, 4 basses. There were over twenty people in all, kind of a free for all!

Slow Jam 

For the Beginning and Intermediate Levels

Here is a chance to slow those fast tunes down to a manageable level for new “jammers”! One of the ways we describe our camp is to say: “It’s where the kids call the tunes!”  Your teacher will let you pick some of your favorite tunes that are played at the jam sessions, and you will have a chance to play them without all those speed freaks! If there is a tune that you are hoping desperately to learn, your teacher will slow it down into manageable and understandable terms! It’s all about picking songs you love, and playing them over and over; that’s where fun and, without thinking about it, the improvement lives!!

Kitchen Sink

For the New Players and Beginning Levels  

This class brings in all the tunes that students might have learned at the beginning stages, not just fiddle tunes, but also Suzuki tunes, folk tunes, famous classical themes, or even commercials! Let’s try a round, or let’s try to march or dance as we play! A fun and easy going way to round out a day of learning and practicing!

Family Classes for Everyone

Art and Pottery with Kim Burroughs

Open to everyone, loved by All

Everyone is involved in making pottery, which includes a firing at some point during the week. Other creative artistic activities in the past have included photography, journal making, painting…… something new every year!

New! Contra Dance with Ruth Pershing

Open to everyone!

The popularity of our Dance night last year went out the roof!

Returning to our camp again this year is Contra Dance expert, Ruth Pershing! She will lead a Dance session at the end of classes every day this year, devoted totally to learning contra dance moves, and other traditional dance steps. These sessions will have a different emphais everyday so Ruth can have a chance to show people of all ages the moves needed for the big dance night on Thursday evening! We will also be encouraging people to dance at our evening jam sessions. We hope to have some flat footing, and/or some Irish step dancing to go right along with the music, which is just the way it ought to be! So, Moms and Dads,  students, and kids pack you dancing shoes and join the fun! Feel up to the challenge Calvin Crazies?…show us your best moves!

Origami with Yvonne Ritchie

Ages 9 and up is our soft guideline – folding can be tricky!

In this class students learn the beginnings of the ancient art of paper folding. Included traditional figures like the crane, the frog and the tortoise, and some modern figures as well The students will be encouraged to create their own models out of their imagination.

Yoga with Landon Walker

Energize your Body, Mind and Spirit

At the conclusion of classes before dinner each evening, Landon leads an hour and 15 minute yoga class open to everyone at camp…all ages. Stretch and unwind with deep cleansing breaths as Landon soothingly guides you to a peaceful relaxation that will return you back to unity of body, mind, and spirit.

Silent Nature Walk with Scott Walker

Begin each morning with a Silent Nature Walk. Open your senses to the music of the natural world around us. We encourage everyone to join Scott in the morning for this refreshing activity. One of the most important lessons we learn in music is

listening! Receiving music in wholeness of body, mind and spirit is just as important as playing the music!

The Nature Walks, Yoga Classes, Dance Classes, and evening Jam Sessions are open to participants, their families and guests who may visit us during camp week. These group activities are our gift to everyone to encourage friendship and sharing. We encourage you to try all these activities during camp week. You do not have to pre-register, simply take part whenever you choose.

Showcase Ensembles

During any workshop…but ESPECIALLY at summer camps… showcase combos are encouraged as an avenue to collaborate with fellow musicians and to share your musical interests and talents with our “camp family”. As we did last year, we will feature an outdoor concert on Thursday afternoon in the gym on the newly prepared stage in the gymnasium, away from afternoon thunder showers! The afternoon of student performances will be followed by a picnic dinner served at the shelter below the parking lot, and to cap off the evening, the faculty of the Walker Family Band Music Workshop will performed their favorites for the participants and their families. Sometimes we bring in special guests artists for this concert.  Our event is advertised and offered as a free public performance to the community. Many of the most amazing performances scheduled that day will come from our pool of Showcase participants. Sometimes these groups are invited to provide a lunchtime entertainment or perform at our final concert on Saturday night.

Showcase registration begins Sunday and ends Tuesday at dinner. The show is Thursday, so you need time to practice! Participants often form groups with friends and family members, but we also also encourage you to reach out to other participants…make new friends! Each group must decide what they want to do and then ask a faculty member to approve and sponsor your group. You can see if a faculty member wants to JOIN your group! Once you have the okay, it is up to you and the other members of your group to get together and work on your performance. When you think you are ready, your group will schedule another meeting with your faculty adviser to perform a “dress rehearsal”. Your sponsor can give you tips and critique your performance so you will be ready to schedule a performance time…Scott Walker handles the lineups!  Because most of the faculty members have a huge daily teaching schedule, we want to be very respectful of their time. If you need a little help before your dress rehearsal, ask your faculty adviser if a practice time can be scheduled. Make sure everyone is on time and your group has already planned your act and rehearsed together.  Your adviser is there to hear you play, offer performance tips, and help you polish your well planned performance!

THANK YOU!!!

 

 

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7 Responses to “Classes”

  1. teresja Says:

    Hi Donna,
    We would love to have you participate in our camp! There are music teachers enrolled in each session…violin, cello, guitar, and flute…and other adult participants too. Class sizes are small so instruction can be very individualized. You may not have a chance to have this much fun all year, so definitely come to camp! I’m emailing more details!
    Teresja

  2. George Bageant Says:

    Looking for violin instruction for my 9yr. old grandaughter who is probably advanced beginner. Fred Lail at Artley Violins suggested we contact you.

    George Bageant
    Asheboro, NC

  3. Teresa Fox Says:

    Hi I’m really interested in your summer camp for next year. We just found out about your camp from our summer violin teacher. We live in Hong Kong but come to the US every summer and my oldest daughter has been playing violin for 6 yrs. she’s in book 4 Suzuki. I’d be coming with my 3 girls but my other 2 play piano not sure what they Kyle do except enjoy the camp. Maybe you could give me some ideas? Thank you so very much.

  4. teresja Says:

    Thank you so much for your interest in our camp…and PLEASE THANK YOUR VIOLIN TEACHER!!!
    There are classes for family members to enjoy during camp and maybe your piano students would be interested in taking a beginning penny whistle or guitar class to get them started in traditional music. It’s hard to carry a piano around or even play a keyboard by the campfire, but a penny whistle will go anywhere! You are welcome to email me at thewalkerfamilyband@earthlink.net for information in greater detail.
    PLEASE also sign up for our newsletter…we don’t send out many, but we do send out notifications when we have new music and when we start camp and workshop enrollment. By signing up for the newsletter, you will be automatically added to our mailing list and you will receive all the information for next year early enough to plan a great camp for every member of your family. We will be looking forward to meeting you next summer…may you enjoy many happy music day until then!

  5. cynthia Mott Says:

    Hello,
    I found your website by searching for violin/fiddle lessons. I’m looking to get back into music after taking about a 20 year leave of absence to raise a family. I played violin from 4th grade on into college but have not played much at all since. I can read music and have all the basic skills and miss playing. I’d like to just play for fun at this point in my life. I am located outside of Greensboro NC. Thank you for your time.

  6. Sharon wheelis Says:

    I am interested in bringing my 3 boys to summer camp this year. They are ages 8′ 11′ & 14. They currently have been taking Suzuki violin since around ages 5 yrs. can u give me a ballpark price for the 3? We will not need to stay overnight. We can con mute from o ur family vacation home. I am excited that this year we can hopefully make it work!

  7. teresja Says:

    Hi Sharon,
    Thanks so much for your interest in our camp! I am including a link to the online registration form below.
    http://www.thewalkerfamilyband.com/?page_id=2814
    You can see pricing for all the tuition and additional activities there. You will have to fill in the required fields to get to the second page, but you don’t have to submit. Even if you do submit a registration form, it is not tied to any payment requirement, so we can always edit or delete it later.
    The pricing for a primary full tuition is $425.00…primary partial tuition is $320.00 and a single class tuition is $100.00. A full tuition includes 4-5 daily classes…a partial tuition includes 2-3 daily classes. We offer discounted pricing on additional family members’ tuition costs. You can download a pdf of the block schedule detailing the full schedule for each faculty member on a number of the website pages. This will help your sons choose classes.
    If you have questions as you look through, just email me; I’ll be happy to help.
    Commuting to the facility from an off site residence is fine. Please check with the Blowing Rock Conference about their commuter fee. It is minimal, but required. The daily activities at camp start at 8:00 am…if you want to participate in the silent nature walk…but classes start at about 9:15. There are classes and activities throughout the day and into the evening so you might want to check with BRCC about their meal pricing. The cafeteria meals are scrumptious and very reasonably priced for the week. You may find it more convenient to have meals on campus even if your lodging is off campus so the boys do not miss out on special performances and events that may occur during meal times.
    I hope this helps a little. Email any time or if you need assistance with the online registration.
    Scott and I look forward to meeting you and your sons in Blowing Rock this summer!
    Warm regards,
    Teresja

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