Tag Archives: summer music camp

KV and the Stephen Foster Old-Time Music Weekend

The Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend has been held annually since 2005 at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, FL on the banks of the beautiful and historic Suwannee River.  Each year SFOTMW holds classes and jams on fiddle, banjo, guitar, and singing.  To teach and lead these sessions, they bring in premier performers from around Florida and the U.S.  This year they had the privilege of working with the Orpheus Supertones.

In March, we were contacted by Chuck Levy, the director of SFOTMW, asking if we could make a donation to their upcoming auction which would benefit the scholarship fund.  As we researched their program, we were impressed by the passion that everyone shared not only for Old-Time music but also for furthering the music education of  SFOTMW participants.  So, we gladly donated a violin outfit in hopes of helping out their program.

Today, I received an e-mail from Chuck letting us know that the auction was a success and that they experienced a record number of enrollment during the weekend.  He also sent us a photo of all the participants.  Congratulations to SFOTMW for a successful weekend!  If you would like more information about the Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend you can check out their Facebook page for the latest updates.

It’s never too late…


…to learn an instrument. Really.

Many people go nearly their whole life wishing they had learned to play an instrument. Later in life many find the joy and challenge of learning to play well worth the effort. It’s not something one can expect to master in a short time – far from it. At that point in one’s life, one does it for one’s soul. For expression. To see if you can do it.

Not because you expect to launch a second career as a concert soloist, but for the sheer fun of it. So you can join an orchestra and play all that great music you’ve listened to all your life.

I write a lot about introducing music to kids at a very young age for the benefits it gives throughout life, which are many. The brain development at that age is astounding as music builds many more connections than one would have without that training. These extra connections are a tremendous leg up on learning many other disciplines throughout the formative years.

But what of the person who for one reason or another just never had the opportunity as a kid, or the time as a busy adult, to pursue that interest, to scratch that itch? Many of the same benefits you get as a kid exposed to making music very early in life are the same benefits you get as an adult embarking on a new pastime. And for many adults, it becomes part of their lives in their retirement years. Never mind that you’re not going to be taking the world by storm with your mad skills on the violin. Rather, you’re going to be learning a new language and a new way to listen and to participate instead of watch.

Even if you played as a kid and never played again after high school, for example, there’s still time to go back and pick up where you left off. Many adults do and find that it’s one of the most rewarding things they do. They relish the challenge, enjoy the music and look forward to the camaraderie of playing in a local community group of like-minded musicians.

Kennedy Violins sells instruments to many, many adult beginners. Those intrepid souls who are finally going to learn the violin or the viola or cello and who need an instrument, will find a great selection of instruments well-suited to adult beginners at Kennedy Violins. The musicians of Kennedy Violins are also teachers and are very adept at helping you make the best choices for your needs.

Once the cobwebs are knocked off  there comes a time when it’s time to find some place to play. Community groups are the perfect place. Many welcome all-comers and have no audition process. Many originally started as a social outlet and eventually became a performing arts organization. Whether it’s a wine club-cum community orchestra or a non-profit arts organization with a board of directors and paid staff, many community organizations are full of adults who are amateurs just looking for a place to play. Why not join them?

And for grownups who want to experience summer camp again, why not check out a few of the adult summer music camps available around the US? It’s just like when you were a kid – except you’re not! Even though I’m a professional musician, I go to a camp each summer on my second instrument and have a blast. The age range is anywhere from the 30s to the 90s (really!). Doctors, lawyers, architects, teachers, nurses, and everything in-between, all attend this particular camp – many year after year. This particular camp is very popular, with people coming from all over the world, because one of the best things about it is the nightly wine tastings organized just for the campers. You won’t find that in your kid’s summer camp catalog!

Plus, you get to hang out with people just like you who are still learning, and just really love playing. For a lot of campers, it’s their one time of the year they can just do what they love and not worry about anything else. Camp’s not just for kids, anymore!

Have a great summer!