You’re never too young to put down some bluegrass roots.
Kids interested in learning the basics are invited to participate in free bluegrass workshops offered through the Lewis Clark Bluegrass Organization on the last Saturday of every month beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 25. Having music skill, knowledge or an instrument is optional — the only thing required of students is an hourlong attention span.
Taught by Don Mills, the workshops are an opportunity for new to mid-level students to learn bluegrass and play with other youth. They’ll cover everything from history and methods to basic instrument maintenance and selection.
And of course, there’ll be plenty of playing around. Kids will learn by “show and play.” Mills teaches by ear and repetition, rather than written music. While kids try out different fingering and techniques, additional musicians will be around to help students master skills.
“Bluegrass is really a handed-down musical form,” said Karen Lombard, workshop coordinator. “It was traditionally played by ear; families just got together and told their stories.”
When the Sprouts have grown a little, they’ll have a chance to perform on the Valley Bluegrass Stage, which has three concerts each year, along with a June festival.
“Usually it’s the kids who get dragged to bluegrass festivals and concerts,” Lombard said. “We’re hoping the workshops will be a fun time for kids to get together. We’ve got jams for adults, but this is geared for kids.”
The organization is collecting instruments for students who lack their own to borrow for the workshop. According to Lombard, the more instruments they collect, the better they’re able to put instruments into the hands of those who don’t have them.
Registration is required for participation. To register, contact Karen Lombard at (509) 780-3731. The workshop location will be provided upon registration.