2020 Summer Camp  – June 28th through July 4th

DOWNLOAD: 2019 Block Schedule

Online Registration Form

DOWNLOAD: WFB Summer Camp Poster 2020

The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle Camp in Blowing Rock – New and More for 2020!

As our summer camp enters it’s 18th 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:  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. Please remember you must bring a properly adjusted instrument to the class(s) you have chosen. There are no stores that sell strings, or repair instruments near by, so bring extra strings, and get your instrument checked out before you arrive! If you are taking the slide guitar class, please bring a slide with you, and a regular steel string guitar.Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!

Level Guidelines

Advanced Classes:

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

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

To take an instrument class at the Advanced 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, may be working in Suzuki Book 5 or higher.  Or 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. 

Advanced Level Guitar 

To take guitar classes at the Advanced 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. 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”.                                                                                                                                                 

Intermediate Level  Classes

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

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 Book 3 thru Book 4. 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.

Beginning 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 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.

We Invite Beginning Musicians To Our Camp!

New Player Classes 

For: Fiddle, Guitar, Penny Whistle, and Ukulele

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, ukulele and penny whistle depending on enrollment and teacher availability.

And now, a word about Evening Jam Sessions: Awesome!

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 players can also choose from the classes listed below. Read on!  

Jam 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!!

A bevy of new classes, all in a row, new ideas based on old traditions!

Bodhran – Andrew Finn MaGill

The traditional Irish drum

There is a lot to learn about playing a Bodhran, first is how to say the name. It is an Irish word, and as such the “d” is not sounded. It is pronounced Bow – (described as either rhyming with cow, or with the word low) – Rawn (like the name Ron). So, can you say BowRon? We will have a few on hand, so you may be able to borrow one, but it would be very nice if you could bring one with you. It is a frame drum that comes in all price ranges, some tuneable, and expensive, and some very simple and affordable. Please go to the internet and learn a little about how it is used and how it sounds! Should be a pulsating good time!

Jam Band Jr.  – Aisha Ivey 

Multi-instrumental and singing group for ages 12 and under

This is a new take on our traditional Jam Band. This one will stretch the concept of making small bands as described above into the direction of singing and playing togeher. Aimed at younger students, 12 and under, Aisha will divide the group as above, and usher in some new types of ensembles, with what folks love to hear, young folks singing and expressing the timeless art with their compatriots. We can’t wait to see what develops here. Pick out some song from home, and be ready for this fun class!

Introduction to Old Time Music  – Christen Blanton

For younger musicians

Another new idea for a class! Christen has a way with old time music, and here is a chance for younger musicians to get a chance to play Old Time Music at a less frantic pace! We are looking for a variety of instrumentalists who want to give this grand old form a try. Fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, cellos and basses welcome. This musical form is a true invention of the American experience, and is should be experienced by the native peoples of the land!  Come ready to play those potatoes and shuffle your feet! (The potatoes are a introductory shuffle rhythm!)

Suzuki Group Class – Jennie Brunner and Meghan Parrish

For violin Suzuki students playing from mid Suzuki Book One (Etude) up throught the end of Book Two) 

This is a traditional Suzuki gorup class that will be a comfortable situtation for a lot of students at our camp. Many of our  players are Suzuki students, and they will have a chance to work on their technique, tone, and intonation. Jennie and Meghan have taught many students, and know how to get them to focus and develop thier skills while they are having a good time. Depending on the size of the class, there may be time for some Master Class work (one on one!) Help us get this off the ground!

Yoga for Kids – Landon Walker, Yvonne Ritchie

All Ages

Right before lunch, the kids would enjoy a trip through stretching and finding new ways to move their body. What a great opportunity to work with a well trained yoga expert and his kind and sweet assitant, Yvonne! Kids will have a blast!

Brazilian Music – Andrew Finn MaGill

Intermediate and Advanced, multi instrumental

This will bring a new sound and rhythm to our camp! Brazil has produced so many incredible musicians and styles of music. Andrew lived there for several years, and came home playing all kinds of incredible tunes and even brought his own Brazilian trio here, and they are amazing. Check out his bio!. We can’t wait to hear the tunes will come out of this class. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Introduction to Celtic Music -  Ashia Ivey

Multi Instrumental Celtic group for youner musicians

Similar to Christen’s Intro to Old Time, Ashia is offering the same kind of class with the focus on Irish music. Here is a chance to play those Irish tunes you are hearing at the evening jam sessions, and learning to play some new ones. If you have been taking Bodhran from Andrew, you would be welcome here, along with fiddles, guitars, cellos and whistles. No saxaphones, please!

Fundamentals of Music for children -  Linda Minke

Movement, rhythms, singing, no instruments needed

The last period of the day can be a time of fun and discovery. Linda will lead this group and guide them into being confortable with new rhythms using movement and singing. Linda has a way of making children feel at ease while they are learning the basics of what we all are working towards. The students will look forward to the end of the day!

Suzuki Jam for Violin and Cello -  Jennie Brunner

Mid Book One through Book Two

This class will be more of a playing Suzuki tunes for fun, possibly with cellos joining in! Less emphasis on technique, and more on enjoyment, and creating new ways of playing the standards. Jennie will be joined by her Dad, Scott Walker, as he will be visiting several different classes this period. Come on in!

Chamber Ensemble Linda Minke and Jennie Brunner

Intermediate and Advanced 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 Scott Manring

Intermediate through Advanced 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, with help from his son, Seth Walker, a professional song writer

Intermediate through Advanced 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! Bring your lap top or tablet. We end the week with performances of these pieces, if the students wishes. It has become a highlight of our camp to hear the students’ pieces brought to life by the composer sometimes with other musical helpers. 

Multi-cultural Music Session – Aisha Ivey

Intermediate through Advanced 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. Aisha will determine your exact itinerary, but being a wonderful Scottish Fiddler, he tour will include a visit to that Bonny land to learn this unique  fiddle style. It is very like Irish fiddle music in many ways, but extremely different in others, just like the people themselves. Learn the differences!! Aisha also offers a unique, and rare trip to the world of Arabian music. She and a belly dancing friend of hers in Tallahassee founded a Middle Eastern musical group , and the group has flourished over the years. She has  produced several arrangements of ancient and authentic tunes that come from such an amazing history, from places like Lebanon and Iran, or formerly, Persia. You will learn special nuances that make the music sound authentic, and and be transported by sound that is so different from what our American ears are used to. Give it a try!! 

Afternoon Group Sessions

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

For Beginning and some Intermediates, we have what we call a Slow Jam, and a Kitchen Sink class. (Described below)

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 – Andrew Finn MaGill

For the Intermediate through Advanced 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 Intermediate through Advanced 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 - Christen Blanton

For the Intermediate through Advanced 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 – Meghan Parrish

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!!

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!




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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!

  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 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:

    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.
    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,

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