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!”
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