Turnberry introduces Free Strings curriculum program with Annie Savage

Turnberry Records is getting into the music education market through a new partnership with noted fiddle and strings instructor Annie Savage. Together they are launching a program called Free Strings, designed to offer full curricula to high school band and orchestra teachers for introducing bluegrass music to their students.

With help from a grant from the IBMA Foundation, Savage created a Bluegrass and Blues Module for public school teachers which she says is the first of its sort on the market. The module includes teacher/student videos, notation packs, and their Join-The-Jam play along videos, giving ensemble directors all the tools they need to expose their students to bluegrass music.

Free Strings is also meant to be helpful for bands wanting to develop a school assembly program for their tour dates, or for individuals looking to expand their own skill set.

There are modules as well for jazz and world music.

To utilize Free Strings requires a $29/year subscription, and then $49 for each of the modules.

Savage, who trained at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, and has two decades of service teaching strings in the classroom, says that she is quite pleased with what they have created.

“The Free Strings Method is a comprehensive online curriculum for string players of all stripes, based on the nexus between inclusivity, creative musicianship, and the skill set required for a lifetime in music. The IBMA Foundation grant that we received was used to create a special Bluegrass and Blues Module that is the first teacher training course of its kind. It is designed to train a classroom orchestra instructor to deliver the nuanced skill set and technique we enjoy in bluegrass bands, jams, and the music industry to public school students. Our grant helped us hire bluegrass giant Greg Blake and renowned bass player Blake Shaw in addition to using the technology prowess of Turnberry Records to create a beautiful and easy to use interface.”

Free Strings has made this example video available for us to share with our readers, which shows Annie introducing the concepts that are covered in the curriculum.

Here is another, an example of a Join-The-Jam video for Glass Island Reel.

Full details about the Free Strings Method can be found at their official web site, and at Annie Savage’s site.

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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.