Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I had fun at Chatham J.A.M. Camp!

Kudos to Tim Tron and all the other fine folks who have worked to put together this year's Chatham County JAM Camp! What an experience ... great kids, playing music, singing, dancing, trying new things, and having a blast doing it!

For those who don't know, JAM stands for "Junior Appalachian Musicians." Chatham County JAM is an ongoing music program for kids, grades 3 - 8, affiliated with Regional JAM. Their mission is to "provide music education in basic old time string and bluegrass instruments accessible to children regardless of eligibility to pay or own their own instruments."

The hammered dulcimer is not one of the traditional instruments, but I was invited (for the second year) to lead afternoon "enrichment" classes one day during the week of summer camp. Today was the day! We had a fabulous afternoon ... four classes, a total of ~ 50 kids.

We gathered on an outdoor stage with four hammered dulcimers:

We had plenty of hammers to choose from:

And all kinds of rhythm instruments:

The kids were focused! The youngest ones were hammering out various rhythms on the dulcimer - including the rhythm of their own full names - while being accompanied by their friends on rhythm instruments. The older kids were taking turns playing melody lines and backup on the dulcimer, or rhythm on the shakers and other percussion instruments. By the end of each session we were jammin'! Wouldn't you love to play music with this crowd?

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