Bluegrass music continues to garner attention in the halls of academia. When I was a student in 1990’s, there were only two options for pursuing bluegrass music at the college level, SPC and ETSU. I chose SPC and had a wonderful experience. Not only did I learn how to play the music, but I also learned how to play in a band, the music theory and history behind bluegrass, the stories of influential first and second generation bluegrass pioneers, and some of the ins and outs of the music business. Invaluable…
A student these days has many more options than I did. Now you have several respected programs around the country, including SPC and ETSU, but also MTSU, HCTC, Berklee, and now Vol State. There may even be others which are slipping my mind at the moment.
Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN is gearing up to offer their own set of courses in bluegrass music. The classes will be offered through the school’s continuing education program.
Jam sessions offer a venue for players and singers to share their music with one another in a very informal setting. The upcoming classes and Continuing Ed programs will go a step further and provide insight into the history of this music as well as courses in career opportunities, music theory geared for acoustic musicians, and both private and ensemble lessons, just to name a few.
No word yet on when the classes will be offered, but as a preview and ramp up, the college is hosting a series of jam sessions to introduce the music to the campus. The first jam took place this last Monday (10/25) and will be followed by two more scheduled for Friday, November 12 and Monday, November 22. (details here)
With its close proximity to Nashville, and the depth of talent available there, it is expected that the upcoming classes and instruction should be of very high quality.