HVBA Secures “Bluegrass in the Schools” Grant

Despite serious cutbacks in funding for the arts, the Dutchess County Arts Council approved our grant proposal to establish a “Bluegrass in the Schools” program in collaboration with Poughkeepsie Day School this fall. The matching grant of $1,060, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and Dutchess County government, will make possible a program to introduce Bluegrass to students and enable teachers to integrate this musical form into the social studies, English, and science curricula as well as music classes.

In mid-June, Lynn Lipton and Mike Foley met with the principal and several teachers at PDS Middle School to discuss implementation of the program, which will have three key components. Classroom lessons will take up the roots of Bluegrass in early immigration patterns, the physics involved in acoustic instruments, the evolution of traditional ballad forms, and other related topics across the curriculum. Secondly, local musicians (in other words, you people) will periodically visit classrooms over a two-month period to demonstrate specific instruments and hold discussions with small student groups. Finally, the program will culminate in a late-fall event involving a performance by a Special Consensus and presentations of student projects (e.g., student-made acoustic instruments, composed ballads, etc.)  If feasible, students may perform together with the professionals. Special Consensus will meet with students during the school day in addition to performing in the evening event.

The grant proposal built upon and expanded the project conducted last year in the Highland School District. HVBA will work together with the PDS teachers when the school year begins to help iron out the nuts and bolts of the program. This is an exciting opportunity to bring Bluegrass to a rising generation of future fans and players!

George Karras: hi, how do i contact fred robbins kingston trio slides.

Janet Deering: Congratulations on getting a program started! We are very interested in supporting Bluegrass in the Schools. And in case you were not aware of it, we give special rates on Goodtime banjos for programs like yours.

We will give you 50% off on the price of every banjo plus when you start a program and order 4 Goodtime banjos at half off (249.50 ea) we include a fifth banjo for free.

Let us know if we can help in any way.

Janet Deering

Lynn Lipton: I am so proud of the HVBA, Ted Ansbacher and Mike Foley for their excellent work on this project. Bluegrass in the Schools is what the HVBA originally set out to do…..spread the word.

Mike Foley

Mike Foley is currently on the Board of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association. A retired educator, he has filled up some of his new-found time trying to learn the banjo and mandolin. His mandolin work, in particular, has been compared to lightning, in that he never strikes twice in the same place. He occasionally writes reviews of CD’s by groups of which he is particularly fond as a means of building up his music library. Mike enjoys evening walks by the seashore, candle-light dinners, and quilting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *