Traditional Music group hosts jam camp for local children

Published 6:53 pm Monday, July 8, 2019


Washington Daily News

One musical nonprofit is seeking to share their love of music and jams with local youth.

The Beaufort County Traditional Music Association is hosting its annual Youth Jam Camp next week, July 15-19, from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Taking place at the Turnage Theatre, BCTMA is partnering with Arts of the Pamlico to expose local children ages six to 15 to the accessibility of traditional music.

“We just want them to be comfortable with music and to know that music is accessible to them,” BCTMA Chairwoman Linda Boyer said. “It’s not something that’s way off somewhere, it can be just in your living room or down at the arts council.”

According to Boyer, the youth camp was born three years ago from a desire to teach kids how to enjoy traditional music and jams. In a typical BCTMA jam session, the group sits in a circle and each person plays a song — the environment is relaxed and free of pressure to perform.

“I think the first year, we did it with the Arts of the Pamlico and it was a learning time for the kids and for us,” Boyer said. “But we had a really good time and the kids responded to music so well. It’s a very relaxed, fun atmosphere. It’s not a competition.”

During the weeklong camp, attendees will be learning how to partake in a jam session, including keeping rhythm and learning the words to 10 songs. With seven volunteers, including Boyer, the kids will often receive one-on-one tutoring with experienced BCTMA members.

For those without instruments or experience, BCTMA will be providing a limited number of string instruments, and kids will also craft instruments, such as drums, to learn rhythm.

“If they have an instrument and know how to play it, we’ll be working with those kids on learning the chords to the specific songs,” Boyer said. “If they don’t…we’re going to bring in some instruments so that they can try out different instruments and see how to form the different cords to get different sounds. So it’s really for beginners and children who are more advanced and have had some music before.”

For those interested, the weeklong camp is $75 for AOP members and $85 for nonmembers. There are three available spots left, and registration will close on Friday. To register or learn more information, call AOP at 252-946-2504 or email Rachel Isaac at