Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gospel Music Sunday!

Just a reminder that we will be having gospel music at The Bluegrass Shack on Sunday, June 1, starting at 2:00 p.m. At 3:00 p.m., we'll be having a play-along, so if you play an acoustic instrument, bring it! Hope you see you there.

Peekaboo Waltz

Hi Kabbie - I hope this will work for you. This is a soundclip of Peekaboo Waltz.

Click here for Peekaboo Waltz

Custom, Hand-Tooled Leather Straps

We now have custom, hand-tooled leather straps that are being made right here at The Bluegrass Shack. If you have been wanting something like this, now is your chance to get one! Or give one -- they make great gifts! If you'd like to see some pictures, click here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bluegrass Music at Eckert's in Belleville

Just a note to let you all know that The Chris Talley Trio will be playing at Eckert's Orchard in Belleville, IL on Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day), from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. We hope you can come out! It's a great time for families and friends. Good ice cream, too!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kids at The Bluegrass Shack

Here are some of the latest pictures I've taken here at The Bluegrass Shack. This first one is Zoey and her dog, Grace. Grace just got back from the dog groomer and was showing off her new haircut!

The last picture is my favorite! This is Joy playing the fiddle. She came in with her family (Mom, Dad, five other siblings plus one on the way!). I gave her the fiddle to try out, and she actually set up everything you see in the picture herself. She is 4 years old.

American Made Fiddle

One of my students brought in this nice fiddle that her father made. It has some beautiful wood, and was very nicely crafted. Even the tailpiece was handcarved from bone! Here are some pictures and also a video clip so you can hear how good it sounds. Thanks for bringing this in, Shirley!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brendan in the Newspaper

The Messenger Journal came out today and there is a terrific picture of Bluegrass Shack student, Brendan, in it. Brendan is a student of Chelsea's. He plays regularly in his church and for other local functions. We are very proud of him! Click the picture to enlarge it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Encouragement - A Most Important Factor

Hi Everyone! I want to write about encouragement today. It is such an important factor in learning and in motivation. I think it is often overlooked. Encouragement is even more important than natural talent. It goes along with what I've been saying for years: "It's how much you want to do something, not how much natural talent you have, that makes you successful."

What makes one person stick with something and another give up? I think it is the ability to see past where you are currently, to what you might become. I also think it is having confidence in yourself. Some people are naturally confident, and others need a lot of encouragement to remain confident or to even become confident.

As a teacher, I see this on a daily basis. My role as a teacher is as much about instilling confidence as it is teaching music skills. I can teach until I'm blue in the face, but if you don't think you can do it, or if I can't explain it to you in a way that you can do it, you won't get it. Every student is motivated in a different way, too. That's one of the things that makes teaching such a challenge and so much fun for me. There's not one size that fits all!

How can you help someone who is learning to play music? Be encouraging! And be specific! When a student is working on a particular point, it doesn't really matter if everything else is "up to par." Music is worked out on a point by point basis. For instance: If someone is working on making their banjo rolls even, but the left hand chords are not quite clear, focus your compliments on the evenness of the rolls. When the rolls get even, then the student can work on note clearness.

One more thing -- If you are complimenting kids, remember that behavior is more important than talent. I try to compliment both by saying something like, "You have really improved on this song! You are so talented, but do you know what I really like about you? You are a good person. You are [nice to others, share, etc. whatever you see in this child...]"

Also, compliments that are overheard are especially sweet. Who doesn't love to overhear someone say to someone else "Wow! You should hear the improvement in (insert name)'s playing!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Chris Talley Trio at Eckert's

Just wanted to let everyone know that The Chris Talley Trio will be playing at the Eckert's Orchard in Belleville, IL on Sunday, May 18, 2008, from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. It's supposed to be a beautiful day, so come on out and bring the family, too! We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beginner's Instructional Jam is Packed!

We had our second meeting of the new Beginning Jam Class this week. It is definitely a full class! Everyone is picking their songs to sing for the next session. We are going to start with those who sing in the key of G because it is the easiest for everyone to play in. Then we'll try some other keys like A and D.

Some of the things that we covered included a review of last session's topics (like the Nashville Number system, endings, breaks, order of songs, tags, kick-offs, etc.). The fiddle players learned "safe" notes for the G, C & D backup chords, and how to incorporate notes that aren't "safe" in a way that will work for any song. All the participants will now receive CDs of the songs we are working on, lyrics, and other things pertinant to what we are studying. It was a great session!

REMINDER: There will be no class on Memorial Day!!!! Come to Eckert's Orchard in Belleville from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. and see The Chris Talley Trio. It's FREE!

Jamming Until Midnight!

Tuesday night was another late night out at The Bluegrass Shack. We had our bi-monthly jam session and just couldn't get enough music! Those in attendance included Danny, Den, Elsie, Nicole, Mallory, Diane, Brad, Earl, John, Verlan, Larry R., Jess, Lori, Terry L., Shirley, Steve, and I think that's everyone! Diane took some video for me, so I'll see if I can get some of that up in the next or so.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gospel Bluegrass Hour at The Bluegrass Shack!

We hope to see you for the very first Gospel Bluegrass Hour here at The Bluegrass Shack on Sunday, June 1, 2008. We will be having a one-hour gospel sing for everyone who would like to participate from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., followed by a one-hour gospel jam for all musicians who would like to participate. I have posted the flyer below, but you will need to click on it to enlarge it. Thanks!

Monday, May 5, 2008

July Youth Fiddle Contest

It's just about time for our 3rd Annual July Fiddle Contest! This is a youth only (up to age 18) contest with three separate divisions. I've posted the flyer below, but you'll need to click on it to make it larger (and readable). Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Chris Talley Trio at World Shooting Complex

The Chris Talley Trio played last night for the U.S. Open Shooting Tournament at the World Shooting & Recreation Complex in Sparta, IL. Special thanks to Paige and Nicole for their guest performance. The SkyReport was there and took this video of The Chris Talley Trio playing Orange Blossom Special.