Mission

 

MUSIC

PEACE

JOY

The Walkers invite you to share the spirit of our music and our lives through The Walker Family Band Music Workshop.

We practice living in an atmosphere of Acceptance and Harmony. We play and enjoy music to radiate Peace and Joy to everyone around. We share a wealth of experiences and skills to help parents develop a home of peaceful and enjoyable music making. We encourage parents and participants to develop skills that satisfy the WHOLE SELF. 

We foster holistic approaches towards personal growth, group dynamics, music making and loving relationships. Our goal is to have a workshop that utilizes these approaches to help each individual improve his or her own skill level – increasing enjoyment in music making. We demonstrate how practicing these approaches positively influence every aspect of our daily lives.  

 

A Message from Landon

 

I’ll be the moderator of an ongoing discussion here, about the music, the tradition, the meaning of our work and any other topics that seem pertinent.  I encourage your participation in the discussion

 

 

A Garden of Tunes 

 

When Irish musicians get together for a session (an informal gathering to make music, usually in a pub), the most important element – some say even more important than the music, is the’craic’, that is, the good feelings and sociability.  The music is treasured, of course, but the music is an avenue to having a good time.  They will say it’s what happens BETWEEN the tunes that matters most.

 

And what does happen?  Besides just visiting and enjoying each other’s company (and occasional drinking), there’s usually talk about the tunes – where did this tune come from? where did you learn it? are there other versions, other names?   And at its heart, that is talk about the tradition, the lineage of the culture. 

 

Most of us in America have not learned music in a truly traditional way.  We did not grow up hearing our grandfather playing his fiddle by the hearth, our mother singing us to sleep with old lullabies.  We listen and learn from recordings, radio or TV, the internet, ipods.  We too rarely have that face-to-face transmission from one heart, one soul, to another, that intimate, powerful contact that is at the very heart of the human experience.  We in the WFB like to think that we are cultivating something of that experience, and surely we feel the wonderful reward of sharing music directly with youngsters and their families.

 

Traditionalists will say Irish music is not meant to be taught in groups, in a classroom setting. It is not to be learned from musical arrangements in books.  And surely to write these tunes down, these mysterious elusive tunes, is to fossilize them in a way, to pretend there is only one way to play them.  But most of us do not live in a society where there is an unbroken living tradition to draw from.  Folklorists would call us Revivalists: we receive the material second hand, removed from its original context, and create a shadow of what was there before..

 

But we in America have a strong tradition of remaking traditions, of taking the best of what we find, combining it with other ways of doing, negotiating the differences and going forward proudly.  It is the strength of our country.  As a player and teacher of jazz, which has been called the only true American musical style, I treasure its constant tendency to amalgamate, to absorb whatever comes and synthesize something fresh and vital from the mix.

 

While it may seem to some that the way most of us play Irish or Old-time “Traditional” music is anything but traditional or authentic, we are most certainly engaged in the process of building new traditions upon the old ones, honoring them when we can, replacing them if they can’t work for us.  A common misconception about folklorists is that they strive to preserve the old, and surely that is an aspect of their work.  But much more important is to celebrate and foster the process, and that is really what we are working for in the WFB.

 

Scott says that by teaching these tunes he is cultivating a garden.  As much fun as it is to choose, learn and play these tunes, the true joy comes from spending time in the garden, creating a community of gardeners, to engage the power of the experience of human creation in a society which has developed a sad habit of just watching, or just purchasing.  Music is the tool we use, but not the true product of our work.  Our ideal is to put music in the hands of our students as an avenue to share their spirit with each other, and with their listeners, and their students, and theirs, to create for all the joyful process of making and sharing the essence of the human experience.

 

Landon Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Mission”

  1. Jim Says:

    -beautiful way to put it Landon!
    Enjoy your writings,
    Jim

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