The How-To’s of Family Busking …and Advice to Advanced Beginners

posted in: 2012, Banjo Newsletter 0

Amber Waves is a talented Colorado family band that I started coaching last summer. I met them when one of the teenage twin daughters, Katie Costello, attended my banjo camp on scholarship from the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society. The Costellos are living a version of “the American dream”— traveling as a family (4 kids, the youngest is 6) in an old converted school bus, hitting mostly RV parks in the Sun Belt this winter, busking for a living…and making it!… Read More

Wernick Method Progess…and How YOU Can Improve in 2012

posted in: 2012, Banjo Newsletter 0

This month I host my 28th annual Winter Banjo Camps, three weeks of full banjo-immersion in Boulder, Colorado. These are about the only Banjo Camps I teach any more, mainly teaching Jam Camps instead. I was recently asked why. Simple: At every Banjo Camp, I kept finding that most students’ main need was to play more music with other people…. Yet many of them rarely if ever did that, and some had no clue how.… Read More

It’s About Fun and Results… As Soon As Possible: Recommendations from a Lifetime of Banjo Teaching

posted in: 2011, Banjo Newsletter 2

The following ideas have served my students well since I developed them in the 1960s and 70s. They have been presented in my “Bluegrass Banjo” book (1974), my ten Homespun instructional videos, and over 150 music camps I’ve hosted since 1980. The student evaluation forms I’ve used since the late 1980s give clear evidence that they work.… Read More

Jonny Mizzone: Now No One Can Complain About Their “Small Hands”

posted in: 2011, Banjo Newsletter 0

It’s been an interesting few months lately for the banjo in the media…. A couple of new 5-string stars are burning up the TV waves: One’s a 66 year-old “overnight sensation” Hollywood celebrity who’s blended his considerable creativity, digital dexterity, and off- the-wall humor into (yet another) new career—as the banjo’s Victor Borge, filling concert halls and even holding Paul McCartney’s feet to the banjo fire.… Read More

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