2016 Summer Camp  – July 3rd through July 9th

Listen to what our students, parents, and teachers are saying about Walker Family Band Workshops!

Our State Magazine, July 2007

Read “Fiddlin’ Around” an article written by Mary Ellen Hammond and published in Our State Magazine (NC)  about the Walker Family Band and their Blowing Rock Music Workshops.

Comments dated 2011 from parents and students below were taken from a survey we sent out to gather feedback and suggestions…we tied a new format this year.

Yvonne, Blowing Rock, 2011

Your description is good, but it is so much more than that.  My children take Suzuki music all year and are not inspired; they enjoy their friends and continue for the socialization.  But your camp keeps them hooked in to their instrument.  You really put the music in their soul.  It is almost like you put a fire in their bellies that they must put out with music.  They are happy to put this fire out every day and practice EVERY DAY.  This is an amazing concept!  My children recently got a trophy for practicing 1000 days in a row….Thanks to your camp.  I know when they close their eyes and play their favorite song (this year it is Pig Ankle Rag) they are there with you all in the common room. I can’t thank you enough for sending out those first brochures, because your camp will keep the music in our family.

This is the way I talk about your camp to my music friends…”Can you imagine a place where kids are free to roam with instruments on their backs and a smile on their face? A place where the talent permeates the walls and music friends become family.  Do you want your children to play music or enjoy playing music?  The Walker Family Band camp will catapult your child into the next level of musical enjoyment.  Enjoy a class and be inspired as the music gets into your child’s soul and rekindles yours.

Lydia, Blowing Rock, 2011

My children learned an enormous amount at Walker Family Band Camp. In addition to an astonishing collection of Celtic and Appalachian tunes, they also learned the following: Music is fun! It’s hard, it’s interesting, it’s rigorous, it’s communication, it’s love, it’s togetherness, but above all else it is FUN! They learned that teachers can interact with students as fellow musicians, not just as authority figures. Kids can be independent, have their own room key, get themselves to classes, eat with their friends in the cafeteria, find their own way around campus, how to jam, groove, improvise, and play music collaboratively and spontaneously. My daughter learned to play the tin whistle, in a week! My son learned an amazing amount of guitar theory, in a week! The faculty packs in an insane amount of instruction, all while making the kids feel like they’re only “playing.” Classes are taught by warm, funny, supportive professionals. The camp atmosphere is loving and safe. Everyone looks out for each other’s kids, and by the end of the week, you know everyone’s names. My children were welcomed, loved, and assisted by all the other parents and the staff, and I enjoyed getting to know their kids too! My daughter had a new best friend in just a few days, and my son was for once surrounded by people who have as much joy in music as he does. This experience was something we never thought was possible, and we will definitely be back!

Lobna, Blowing Rock, 2012

If one is looking for a musical camp that is educational and enjoyable, then this is the one to be at. The relaxed atmosphere that the instructors create as well as the staff and the location put everyone including children and parents in a very relaxed and happy mood. The children do not feel the pressure of learning and practicing their instruments, rather they like to be challenged and they love the practice time for they consider it a time to show what they learned to others. My family gets energized mentally and physically every day during the camp and that is done in the friendliest, most loving and stress free environment possible.

 Laura, Blowing Rock, 2006

I have used your name in almost reverent tones with folks in my path since our experience at your family music camp. Thank you Scott, and extend the thanks to Teresja, Landon, Linda, Scott and Robbie. What a team with a capacity to give and love the kids into a higher place. Thank you.

Mary Ellen, Blowing Rock, 2006

You’ve already mentioned in your letter so many wonderful things about the workshop–it truly was the best of the three we’ve attended. As a parent, it felt luxurious to be able to have TWO yoga classes a day, and be able to play chamber music with all those younger students who can, and did, blow me away.

I was really impressed by the quality of the music played on the final night. As a vegetarian, I thought the food had improved, as well. Teresja is so skilled at working with both children and parents. The BRCC is really a wonderful place to have a fiddle camp.

I think this year the scheduling was just right–each student had two morning and two afternoon classes, with no holes. And how wonderful for them to be able to change if they wanted to, even if that left the instructor with a fluctuating number of students–or none at all! Scott, your large class on the last day was so much fun to watch–the children all loved it, and as you know, the parents were thrilled.

Julie, Blowing Rock, 2005

We loved camp! The entire family had lots of fun. We love the family-orientation of the camp, especially the opportunities (origami, penny whistle, yoga, arts and crafts, fun and games) for pre-musicians (not non-musicians!) to participate and feel included. We loved the yoga and nature walks in the morning.

The instruction was excellent. The group classes brought home the true pleasure of playing music. I feel this is often missing in a Suzuki environment where so much emphasis is on solo performance. The mixed instrument class brought this group experience even more fully. One day, by coincidence, Kellby’s cello group played a song and almost immediately after, his mixed group played it. The song really came to life. We really appreciate the mixed instrument classes.

We thoroughly enjoyed the faculty performance, student showcase, final night performance, and especially the jam sessions! What a great motivator for learning to play the songs!

Zsofia, Blowing Rock, 2005

Fiddle camp was so wonderful! Leon and Audrey has not stopped playing the songs they learned there. Audrey started to play them on the violin and does a beautiful job. We keep talking about it every day.

Gabi, Blowing Rock, 2005

Joshua and I had a great time at camp. Joshua had fun and learned alot from Robbie and Scott (guitar). I was glad that Robbie was there to work with the kids on traditional fiddle and other kinds of music as well as Irish.

BRCC is a wonderful place for a conference, plenty to do and relaxing atmosphere. We loved Blowing Rock and the surrounding area. What a beautiful part of the country! We are actually thinking about moving to Asheville now. Really!

Carolyn, Blowing Rock, 2004

“Thank you all so much for such a wonderful time at camp!! It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life! “The camp has given me a lot of motivation to play my violin more because the songs are so much fun to listen to and even more fun to play! The jam sessions at night were some of my favorite things; almost tipping over in the “funyak” with Rebecca was a memorable moment…It is hard to choose just one thing out of the whole week that was best because it was all SO GREAT!!!! I like the individual classes that you had with just your instrument because you were able to learn a lot and have fun. There is a lot more to playing Irish fiddle music than I realized!“ Thanks once again for the gift you guys have given me…playing my violin is so much more enjoyable now! It was fun before too, but there’s just something about fiddle music that just draws you in and makes you love it!”

The First Ever Walker Family Band Workshop

Blowing Rock, NC, June 2003
Reflections by Landon Walker

The first Walker Family Band Workshop was truly a joyous event!  We all arrived on a drizzly Monday afternoon at the Blowing Rock Assembly Grounds high on the ridge looking out over the valley towards Grandfather Mountain.  We all got together Monday night to meet one another, and played some tunes to start feeling in tune.

The gentle rain kept us cool but didn’t dampen our spirits as we began classes Tuesday morning.  Almost everyone showed up for yoga at 8, then breakfast.  We were excited to be learning and playing so many tunes, and all the students eagerly began making plans for the talent show Thursday night.  Origami classes inspired many creative paper folders and we soon had dozens of cranes, dogs, macaws, dragons and some that defied naming.

Tuesday night the Walkers played a concert in front of the fireplace in the lobby, and afterwards everyone joined in for a short jam.  The weather was cool and the fire felt great!

But Tuesday night’s jam was NOTHING compared to the next night, when we all played together for almost two hours, every tune we knew and then some.  The parents had to drag the kids off to bed.  We were jumping up and down, it was so much fun.

We had hoped to go rafting Wednesday afternoon, but the weather was still rainy, so some of us decided to go for a hike at Grandfather Mountain, then dinner in Boone at a wonderful vegetarian restaurant, Angelica’s.  The weather cleared while we were out, so we saw our first blue skies, clouds hanging below us in the valleys, sunlight peeking through.

Thursday morning was the first time we could have a nature walk.  It was beautiful in the woods, quiet and peaceful.  Afterwards the walkers went back to gather some sticks so we could make mobiles with our origami models.  Most of the mobiles hung over the stage Thursday night for the talent show.

After yoga Thursday afternoon many of us lay on the floor and laughed our heads off for ten minutes straight – this was Laughing Meditation, a chance for us to release ourselves to the joy of the universe.  We felt cleansed, refreshed, and a little sore from laughing so much.

The talent show was wonderful, so much great music.  The students had made signs which they posted all over BRCC, so everyone staying there came to listen – a very appreciative audience.

The swimming pool was busy every spare moment, but it seems the favorite pastime for many of the kids was ROLLING DOWN THE HILL.

Friday morning it was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but we’re sure to meet again, and we all have wonderful memories of the spirit we shared and the music we made there on the ridge.

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