Everyone involved with education has seen a great deal of rapid innovation during the great hunkering down of 2020. Children as young as kindergarten age have moved to online instruction, and even the hallowed halls of post-secondary learning are struggling to rapidly adapt to teaching online. Many of the lessons learned by faculty and administrators are likely to remain once we all get back to normal.
It’s no different in music education, with both private and class instruction forced to adapt to the shuttering of classrooms, and school systems struggling to retain fairness and discipline with students of all ages.
In our bluegrass world, we have seen almost all the major festivals for the first half of the year cancelled, while some smaller venues are striving to keep music alive by sponsoring and supporting live stream events. But music camps, so important in all types of performance, are also starting to cancel or postpone for 2020.
But Camp Tunefox, scheduled for May 15-17 in North Carolina, has devised a way to teach on by hosting all sessions online. Using the fee Zoom app, available for phones and computers, registrants will be able to follow classes from top instructors in real time online, with all sessions recorded for viewability after they conclude. Since Zoom allows participants to interact with instructors, questions can be posed and answered during classes.
Set to serve on the faculty are BB Bowness and Ben Krakauer for banjo, Kenny Smith for guitar, Amanda Smith for vocals, and Tristan Scroggins and Casey Campbell for mandolin. Students can choose each day which of the various instruments to follow, and two one hour classes plus a concert/Q&A later in the day. Instrument classess are staggered through the day, so banjo isn’t up against mandolin, and so on.
Tuition for the 3 days of online classes runs $125, and everyone registered will have lifetime access to the recorded classes.
Tunefox is an app for bluegrass musicians looking to improve on their instruments. It is available for both iOS and Android devices, and is offered at no charge, with in-app purchases for packages of songs and licks.
During the shutdown, they have been offering free mini-lessons from their Instagram page, with links for people to tip the instructors while they are out of work. You can find details on these sessions online.
Full details on Camp Tunefox Online can likewise be found on their web site.