Jack Tuttle
Performer - Instructor
Upcoming 10 week classes and Saturday workshops Everything about taking lessons My philosophy for your kids
Tablature books for instruments and lyrics books for singing Go here for a calendar that list current openings for single lesson times. The Old Apple Tree- Molly and Jack Tuttle's New Album
MP3s for classes Sheet music for instruments and classes A list of required listening for your instrument or general bluegrass appreciation
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I teach at Gryphon. They are good guys and will treat you right.
Why learn bluegrass?

I think bluegrass is one of the best forms of music for kids, whether banjo, guitar, fiddle or mandolin is the instrument of choice. It stands along with blues and jazz as one of America's truly indigenous music forms. Bluegrass is, at its root level, a very simple music. Most songs are three chords and the basic melodies are quite simple. There are instrumental pieces and singing pieces and it's easy to learn to play along with others. But what makes bluegrass so good for kids is that the complexity level can grow right along with the learning. Perfectly fine bluegrass can be played in a very simple style at the beginning, but as a player advances many more layers of complexity will come into play. Speeds get faster and faster, improvising begins to take shape and elements of blues and jazz take on more importance. The most advanced bluegrass musicians are some of the most technically proficient musicians in the world.

Bluegrass is a very social form of music. I like to get my kid students together, when they're ready and have them jam with each other, or even occasionally perform. Fortuantely I have a pretty successful program so we're able to get a good number of young students playing together on fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and even bass. All the social interactions of sports minus the competitive edge.

I have never undertood the focus of the public school system on having kids learn marching band or classical string music. Very few students continue on with this music and many of them end up wanting to learn more practical music later in life. There is a movement by the International Bluegrass Music Association to get public schools to offer bluegrass programs, but it's is very early in their efforts and there is certainly a long way to go.

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Updated September 23, 2013