Even after ten years of teaching classes at John Campbell Folk School, there is always that nervous anticipation before arriving and meeting my students. I have been busy preparing my teaching materials, new song arrangements and exercises, for weeks, and then comes the time to see who has come, what experience they bring, what concerns they have as a student, and how do they work as a group.
The group was rather quiet that first night, but all came with specific ideas in mind and ready to work to get there. Any fears I had were relieved that first morning. Everyone was so congenial and excited to get to work. They worked hard during the first session to learn new techniques that improve their playing, and enjoyed playing a multi level part song. Then during the afternoon, the magic started happening as everyone began to feel more comfortable and take their chances. As we played a new song they had learned from a lead sheet, they began to sing, and not just the simple melody of the folk song, but three part harmony, with their own accompaniment! I was blown away. I had never had so many students who were comfortable singing with their harps. It was truly heavenly music.
The week has just gotten better and better and we we have learned a tremendous amount of music, shared stories and songs, lots of laughter, and chocolate!
The week has just gotten better and better and we we have learned a tremendous amount of music, shared stories and songs, lots of laughter, and chocolate! We have made relationships that will last a lifetime as we exchange emails and pictures. And now we anticipate the closing showcase, sharing our music with the rest of our fellow students that we have shared meals and activities with during the week.
Every year it’s the same…”this has to be the best class ever!”
The David Rakoff Scholarship Fund
To celebrate the life of David Rakoff, The John C. Campbell Folk School has established a fund that will award the first David Rakoff Scholarship in 2013. This Scholarship fund will provide tuition and board for a week-long class. David was a student, a dear friend of the Folk School and a member of its Board of Directors. In a New York Times article, David wrote, “The week I spent there is as close as it gets to my idea of paradise.” This scholarship fund will help deserving students experience this unique school in the North Carolina mountains that David loved. We hope that you will consider joining us in this endeavor and make a tax deductible donation to help strengthen this fund. (click here to read David’s entire NY Times article)
As a thank you for donating $500 or more to this fund, the School would like to send you a Folk School t-shirt and a copy of our Emmy-nominated DVD “Sing Behind the Plow”
About the School
The John C. Campbell Folk School, located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening. Over 6,000 people a year participate in 800 hands-on, non-competitive classes in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing. The Folk School also makes available a vast range of public activities including free concerts, literary readings, lectures and demonstrations. For more details about our School please visit www.folkschool.org.
Our distinctive educational experiences allow students to acquire new skills, not only as artists, but as thoughtful individuals working together in a community. Students accomplish things here that they never thought possible. They learn to build, create, and craft new things in a no pressure environment— a rarity in today’s world. This type of non-competitive learning has a profound impact on a student’s life. It offers them a new perspective on art, fine craft, and the world around them. It gives pride and a sense of accomplishment in work well done. As a student once said, “There is no other place quite like the Folk School. I hope to return often for being here gives me clarity and focus on how I would most like to live my life.”
The John C. Campbell Folk School is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. (EIN: 56-0552780)
Students jam on the screened porch at the Dining Hall during Dance Musicians’ Week
Have you heard about Dance Musician’s Week at the Folk School?
If you’re a musician, then you’ll love a fun-filled week devoted to learning and improving techniques of playing and arranging music for traditional contra, square, and couple dancing. Class time includes slow-tune jams, ensemble playing, instructor presentations, tutorials, discussions, and dancing. Instructors and students also play for nightly public dances.
The Dance Musicians’ play nightly dances in the Keith House
Ability to enroll ends next week so sign up fast! Call the office to find out more: 828-837-2775
We’ve taken a peak in some of the classes at the Folk School this week. See what they’re up to!
Folk Harp with Lorinda Jones (that’s her class playing and singing in the video!)
Charleston Sweetgrass Basketry with Sarah Hammond
Blacksmithing 18th Century Tobacco and Smoking Implements with Jerry Darnell
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