We banjo players have endured unkind banjo jokes for as long as we’ve been playing. Always derogatory, often at the expense of our intelligence, appearance or job prospects, these jabs sting the refined five stringer to the core.
With Murphy and Casey Henry’s Women’s Banjo Camp now in its second year, will there be a new subset of tasteless banjo jokes, a la women drivers?
Q: How many blond lady banjo players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: That’s not funny!
All joking aside, the Henrys had great success with their first camp, suspecting rightly that many women would be more comfortable among other women at a camp just for them.
Murphy is an icon in banjo instruction, offering her Murphy Method videos to beginning through advanced pickers for more than 20 years. She is also a strong advocate for women in bluegrass, and is the author of Pretty Good For A Girl, her history of the women, often unsung, who have contributed to the music we know and love.
But at root, Murphy and her daughter, Casey, are primarily about helping more and more folks get involved in the fun of playing bluegrass and old time music. That’s why they are offering a pair of scholarships for young lady banjo pickers (12-22) to attend the Women’s Banjo Camp, held July 18-22 in Winchester, VA. The scholarships cover the full tuition of $650, but accommodations will be the responsibility of the recipients.
Anyone interested in being considered for the scholarships is invited to email Casey with your name, age, and playing experience. The selected recipients will be announced in mid-June.
Murphy offers this advice for those uncertain whether they are ready for a banjo camp:
You should be able to play a tune or two, and know how to make the vamp chords (G,C,D) in the “F” shape.
Full details can be found online.