Andrew Collins’ Isolationist Guide to Mandolin

We continue to be impressed by the ingenuity and creativity of bluegrass artists who, faced with this sudden enforced inactivity, find ways to use their skills and talents to keep some food on the table. And with the ability to offer music and instruction online, those who possess some entrepreneurial instincts are coming up with some good ones.

For instance, Toronto’s Andrew Collins, among the region’s most celebrated mandolinists, who has curated a number of online workshops which he calls the Isolationist’s Guide to Mandolin. A noted instructor of the mandolin, fiddle, and guitar, he has been assembling a group of fellow teachers for bi-weekly sessions offering interactive group lessons using Facebook Live.

Rather than trying to sell tickets, Andrew asks viewers and participants to make a PayPal donation of $10-$20, with revenues shared among the instructors. But those who are unable to make a donation are still welcome to join in.

Here’s how he describes the sessions…

Are you missing music festivals? More importantly, are you missing the mandolin workshops that are a part of so many bluegrass and folk festivals? Well, we have your fix, The Isolationist’s Guide To Mandolin. This biweekly series brings four acclaimed mandolinists together from across the planet to create a virtual workshop experience for you! They’ll come into your homes to perform some of their favourite pieces, some of which they will have transcribed for you to learn on your own time. Then they’ll open up the discussion for questions from participants—everything mandolin and beyond goes (although, contrary to popular belief, mandolinists are not experts on good hygiene practices). 

The third edition of the Isolationist’s Guide To Mandolin is set for Wednesday, May 13 at 3:00 p.m. eastern (8:00 pm GMT, 12:00pm Pacific). Collins is billing it as the Next Generation workshop with guests Tristan Scroggins, Dominick Leslie and Charlotte Carrivick. All three have established themselves as players to be reckoned with at a young age, and each have followers and students around the world.

You can register in advance for next week’s session on the Facebook event page.

Great idea, Andrew!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.