Walker Family Band welcomes FAMILIES and musicians of all ages interested in Traditional Celtic, Old Time, Jazz Improvisation, and MORE! Classes for Fiddle, Cello, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Penny Whistle, Ukulele, Dance, Environmental Education, and various Children’s Classes and Activities.
The Walkers invite you to share the spirit of our music and our lives through The Walker Family Band Music Workshops.
The Walker Family Band Summer Music Camp fosters holistic personal growth, group dynamics, music-making, and loving relationships. We demonstrate how practicing these approaches influences every aspect of our daily lives. On the sacred grounds of the Blowing Rock Conference Center, we have found a welcoming mountain retreat where families come together in unity while recognizing that each participant finds their path toward spiritual development. We practice living in an atmosphere of acceptance and harmony. We play and enjoy music to radiate peace and joy to everyone around us.
We share many experiences and skills at our camps and workshops to help parents develop a home of peaceful and enjoyable music-making. We encourage parents and participants to develop skills that satisfy the WHOLE SELF. Our goal is to provide a family camp experience that honors more traditional methods of teaching – mentoring by example, learning tunes by watching and listening, forming groups of all ages and abilities – developing everyone’s skill level, thus, increasing enjoyment of music-making for each individual and the joy of sharing our talents with others.
Most Americans have not learned music in a truly traditional way. We did not grow up hearing our grandfather playing his fiddle by the hearth or our mother singing us to sleep with old lullabies. We listen and learn from recordings, radio or TV, electronic devices. We too rarely have that face-to-face transmission from one heart, one soul, to another; that intimate, powerful contact at the very heart of the human experience. We in the WFB like to think that we are cultivating something of that experience and feel the reward of sharing music directly with youngsters and their families.
Traditionalists will say you should not teach Irish music in group classroom settings from musical arrangements in books. And surely to write these tunes down, these mysterious, elusive tunes, is to fossilize them in a way, to pretend there is only one way to play them. But most of us do not live in a society with an unbroken living tradition to inspire. Folklorists would call us Revivalists: we receive the material second hand, removed from its original context, and create a shadow of what was there before.
While some think the way most play Irish or Old-time “Traditional” music is anything but traditional or authentic, we are most certainly engaged in the process of building new traditions upon the old ones, honoring them when we can, replacing them if they can’t work for us. A common misconception about folklorists is that they strive to preserve the old, which is undoubtedly an aspect of their work. But much more important is to celebrate and foster the process, which is the goal of The Walker Family Band.
Scott says that by teaching these tunes, he is cultivating a garden. As much fun as choosing, learning, and playing these tunes, the true joy comes from spending time in the garden - creating a community of gardeners, to engage the power of the experience of human creation in a society that has developed a sad habit of just watching, or just purchasing. Music is the tool we use but not the actual product of our work. We strive to put music in the hands of students to share their spirit with their listeners. As new musicians grow and share knowledge with a new generation of students, we create the joyful process of making and sharing the essence of the human experience.
The Walker Family Band faculty and staff have learned over the past 19 years to allow plenty of room for fluidity in our week, and this is not a reference to the “Monsoon of 2013,″ although fluidity was indeed more necessary than ever that year! We have simply come to understand that our camp is not OUR camp, but as a different group gathers together each year, it becomes YOUR camp. We like this effect, so over the years, we have often changed the schedule, perhaps added some stuff to enhance and tailor the experience, to make each camp unique rather than replicate camps from year to year.
Limiting enrollment to a relatively small number of families and individual participants makes our camp feel almost more like a big family reunion where everybody can enjoy a week of friendship and relaxation. This intimacy creates an environment that allows us to “get into a rhythm” once we’re on-site and provides the opportunity for us to customize each camp week in a way that values the musical interests and social experience of our group as a whole. Hopefully, you will like this easy-going approach as much as we do! Although our music classes feel relaxed, friendly, and fun, to quote one of our parents, “There is an insane amount of high-level instruction that happens at this camp!”
DATES: July 2-9th, 2023
Our Family Camp includes a wide variety of Advanced and Intermediate classes; classes for players new to traditional music, just getting started, or interested in trying a new instrument; and classes designed to include non-musician family members and friends! Jazz and Improv, Irish, and Old-Time Sessions are a daily highlight.
Try your skills at Song Writing, Jam Band, Banjo and Guitar, Singing, Chamber Ensemble, Dance, Yoga, or an Environmental Education class. Join in camp-wide jam sessions, performances, or games like Capture the Flag! We scheduled plenty of activities for very young children. Collaborate with friends and faculty members for the Showcase Festival! Enjoy a traditional Contra dance night; sing-along on bonfire night; dance into the night at Techno Contra! And join hands in service to our host, BRCC, on our annual outdoor improvement project!
Read more at The Walker Family Band
The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle Camp faculty are outstanding performers with many years of experience as skilled teachers. Careful preparation and planning, along with our experiences with successes and challenges of previous camps, have enabled us to grow each year and provide what we hope will be a meaningful and memorable music camp experience for everyone who shares this week with us.
We are excited to offer a schedule that features new classes we think you will find challenging and fun this summer. We also pay a lot of attention to grouping musicians to keep class sizes small. Our faculty can plan stimulating music exploration for each class while enjoying the luxury of interacting personally with each person in their class.
Please utilize the suggested guidelines on our website to complete your registration. Appropriate class placement supports our teachers, other camp participants, and families. It provides the best opportunity for each musician to enjoy their best possible camp experience throughout the week.
SEE YOU AT SUMMER CAMP! Check us out on Facebook!
1818 Goforth Road
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
P.O. Box 2350
Blowing Rock, NC 28605