From Dave Howard, Executive Director, Louisville Folk School

Thank you so much for helping us with the process of applying for an IBMA project grant this year. Thanks to the IBMA Foundationā€˜s support, our first-ever kids bluegrass camp was a huge success! We had eight campers this year, and they were a special and wonderful group of kids.

We had a fantastic first year at the Louisville Folk School’s Bluegrass Camp for Kids. Lead instructors Matt Brown and Chris Shouse taught the campers, who are just starting on their instruments, how to sing and play “I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky” and “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains.” Students received instrument-specific instruction on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, and bass thanks to guest instructors Derek Harris and Paul Martin joining Matt and Chris for several days. Louisville Folk School’s new kids’ guitar instructor Haley Shields stopped by to talk about how she started playing and singing and shared a version of “You Are My Sunshine.” One of the highlights of the camp was the songwriting portion, which occurred after lunch each day. The campers gathered with Matt and Chris and collaborated on a co-write of “Bluegrass City,” the first line which begins, “Here’s a little ditty called Bluegrass City . . .” 

The Louisville Folk School is so grateful to have received an IBMA Foundation grant to help get this camp off the ground, and the camp families are clamoring for us to offer the same camp again next summer. In the interim, several campers have already signed up to keep the band going in our new weekly Kids Ensemble, which begins the third week of August. 

(Photo by Nathan Cornetet, Fusion Photography)

RETURN to the September 2023 issue of The Cornerstone.