FAQ – How to Select a ClassSharday Torgerson

While Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society has a strong focus on introducing people to and educating people about the instruments that inform bluegrass and old time music, we caution against coming into the camp as a new beginner for most classes.  A new beginner is defined as someone with an interest in an instrument, but with no experience on it.

We recommend renting or buying an instrument several months prior to the camp and spending considerable time familiarizing yourself with how it is strung, how to tune it, and how to form simple chords.  Knowing as much as possible about your instrument, and in particular, listening to songs that feature it, will go a long way toward making your camp experience a much more positive one.

Northern Lights seeks to provide learning opportunities to all ages and we understand that people learn differently.  Please note that there is a considerable amount of focused class time that some young children find difficult to remain engaged in.  We offer our Fungrass program for children ages 5- 9, as we believe that music education is best interspersed with play at that age.  Regarding children ages 9 and up, we appreciate that some younger musicians have lots of experience with longer learning sessions and will be just fine, however there are some that may not be ready or prefer not to spend these longer periods of focused learning time. With this in mind, we do ask that parents give considerable thought as to whether their child is ready for a full class.  We are happy to assist with questions about how classes are scheduled at the camp. To get a better sense of how involved a class might be for a younger child, please contact us.

 

THE MOST COMMON OBSERVATION EACH YEAR IS THE SKILL LEVEL DIFFERENCE OF STUDENTS IN THE SAME CLASS. THE INSTRUCTORS WILL VALIANTLY TRY TO HANDLE THE WIDE RANGE OF LEARNERS. HOWEVER, WE ASK THAT YOU DO YOUR DILIGENCE WHEN CHOOSING A CORRECT CLASS FIT FOR YOUR SKILL LEVEL.

Choosing the correct level of instruction is so important to maximize your music camp experience! We will be glad to assist you if you need more information on the class outline or  which class is the best fit for you.

Please feel free to call Tracy Lalonde, camp coordinator at 306.370.7360 with any questions regarding which classes at camp would best benefit you. 

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Beginner

You are relatively new to your instrument. You have been taking a few lessons or learning through how-to videos and are looking for a solid base to be established. You want to know about correct posture, how to best hold the pick or bow, how to improve chord formation, tips on tuning and intonation, and you want to begin playing songs. You need to be introduced to good study/practice habits, how to read music or tablature, and developing excellent technique.

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Intermediate

You are progressing on your instrument. You are ready to start to play with other musicians and you can already play a few tunes from memory. You can play along with a CD if it is at medium speed. You are feeling that you need a booster to get you moving toward the next level. You have a solid grasp of all the basic techniques for your instrument and may be able to read tablature or music.

Advanced

You are looking for fine tuning tips on how to improve your playing. You can jam with others, improvise fairly well on new tunes and are (or want to) play in an organized band. Your tab/music reading skills are great. You know some scales and how to use them in improvisation situations. Your speed is improving as you use your metronome. You have an arsenal of tunes you can play from memory. You play your instrument or practice almost every day.

All Levels

You are looking to add to your current skill set. Perhaps you are looking for a class where you and a friend can join, who maybe have different range of skills. All levels include beginner, intermediate, and advanced knowledge of rhythm and tab/music reading skills.

If you are unsure which classes best fit your skill set, email camp@northernlightsbluegrass.ca for more information.