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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
mzkitty Attracting young folks to folk music (43) RE: Attracting young folks to folk music 20 Mar 02

In order to attract kids to music in general, I set up a kid's section at our local annual music festival. It took a few years to convince the Festival Committee that it would "go over" but it happened, and has been happening for years since. I never had any trouble finding kids who wanted to sing, but they seemed to be less shy when I arranged them in groups. First a school group, then a crowd from the local Boys and Girls Club, then a bunch of pre-school kids, etc. I worked daily with one group or the other, doing the background music and teaching them something fun and simple like "Puff", "Three Little Birds" (Bob Marley)and "This Land Is Your Land". It has always been a huge time consuming effort, but never have I felt as much joy as I do seeing the children become active in the world of music and the happiness on their faces realizing the applause from the audience was for THEM! Last year, Arlo Guthrie's son Abe and his band (Xavier) led the kids in singing "This Land" (Woody Guthrie)and "The Garden Song" (Arlo Guthrie). Singing these songs with the grandchild and child of the men who wrote the songs gave the kids a chance to experience a real personal history with the music, something that they will never forget. Just spending time singing and playing music with kids is magic! They will take it from there.

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