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Kids Mountain Music Camp

McCall Folklore Society

Kids Mountain Music Camp (KMMC) is a three day workshop at the McCall Outdoor Science School campus. During the 3 days (10am-3:30pm) 43 children ages 8-17 learned basic music skills and history of American folk music with an emphasis on Folk, Bluegrass, and Old Time music. Classes cover many instruments including mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, singing, and more.

The camp culminates with a camp concert at the Summer Music Festival at Roseberry on the Main Stage. This performance is the opening act for the entire festival and gives the students real life experience of performing for a live audience as well as giving them an attainable goal throughout camp.

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

When is a performance judged ready to present?

KMMC addressed this question by having students perform music with expression, technical accuracy and appropriate interpretation throughout the camp in a progression of workshop activities.  Feedback about performance was integrated throughout each day’s workshops. By working toward their culminating performance at the 2019 Summer Music Festival, students were able to focus on this question.

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

“I love this camp!  The instructors are awesome.  This year I tried fiddle for the first time. “

Impact

At this point we have a large percentage of returning campers who look forward to coming to this camp every year.  They love performing and jamming with fellow campers.  The opportunity for them to learn from professional musicians is tremendous.  We’ve seen repeat campers’ musicianship steadily improve as they gain skill and confidence.  They are clearly pursuing music outside of camp, which is the best impact we could hope for.

Reflection

Having over 40 young musicians happily fiddling, strumming guitars, picking banjos and singing at camp is a joyful scene.  They learn the history behind the bluegrass music they play, meet other kids that love to make music and receive instruction from talented musician instructors.  The camp is only three days but it is a powerful three days of skill enhancement, challenge and camaraderie.

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