Bluegrass Camp Teaching Campers More Than Just Music

Campers get a chance to try the mandolin, fiddle, and banjo among others.

BAYFIELD, Wis. – Kids and teens are taking part in a bluegrass camp this week at Big Top Chautauqua.

The venue which is normally filled with people and acts was reserved for an intensive 3-day camp where campers got to try their hands at mandolins, fiddles, banjos, and singing among other things that are all elements of bluegrass music.

The skills they learn in this special camp, however, are so much more than just bluegrass.

“We are teaching kids how to play musical instruments and we are teaching them information that can be used for basically any genre of music they want to play but we are looking specifically at bluegrass,” said Tom Draughon, the camp’s organizer.

The campers form four different bands by the end of camp.

They will be able to play songs with their group on the last day and show off their skills.

A big part of teaching the aspiring musicians is showing them they are more talented then they might even realize.

“I really like the band part where you get into the group because it’s interesting because you get to kind of coordinate with each other and put together something you never thought you’d be able to do in 3 days,” said Alexandra, a 13-year-old camper.

This is Alexandra’s second time at the camp and being here has introduced her to songwriting which she has never tried before.

“It’s interesting because I’ve never really done it before but I have a lot of ideas that I can now put on paper,” said Alexandra.

Organizers said that learning the chords and songs is important but the real goal of the camp is much larger.

“Just enjoyment of music In general. If they have a good time playing a musical instrument then that’s just something that’s good for your whole life that’s what we are all here for we want it to be fun we want it to be enjoyable,” said Draughon.

A full list of the events coming this summer at Big Top Chautauqua can be found here.

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