Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 18
Strings for the next generationThe Central Coast Music Academy brings quality instruments and instruction to the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum
BY JOE PAYNE
The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum is holding an upcoming summer camp by Central Coast Music Academy, Inc., which allows kids between ages 8 and 14 to see, hear, and play with orchestral stringed instruments.
“It is a cool thing for kids to be involved with during the summer, whether they are going to start a new instrument or whether they are continuing on an instrument,” said Central Coast Music Academy director Kathy Hill.
The academy’s String Camp is for experienced students and beginners alike. The first day, Hill explained, is for the beginners to interact with and learn about the various instruments available to them. Parents are encouraged to attend, and instruments are available to rent through the academy and local music stores.
“When the kids are brand new, they come in and get to try each instrument out,” Hill said. “On Monday, we spend a good amount of time letting them choose, and then the rest of the week we show them how to play.”
Stringed instruments can be difficult for beginners because they lack obvious places for the fingers to go to find a note—like frets on a guitar for instance—but Hill has a solution for that problem so kids don’t get frustrated.
“I put a lot of finger tape on the instruments,” she said. “It helps so they have a visual guide of where their fingers are going to land, and they develop the ear for that. Then the tape comes off.”
In this electronically enhanced, instant gratification age, learning an instrument can set up a child for a much healthier future. Learning a discipline—especially one that’s also a creative outlet—helps relieve stress and empowers students in other areas.
“There have been tons and tons of studies done on how learning an instrument uses a part of the brain that helps children develop skill sets that are great for their academic development,” Hill said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that learning an instrument makes you smarter, but it opens pathways to help you learn academically.”
Music naturally improves your brain, and Hill has designed her program to do one better and empower kids’ self-esteem.
“It’s also very fun when kids are in an ensemble,” she said. “They have this support group of kids their age.”
When the week comes to an end, the kids get to test their skills and show their friends and family what they’ve been working on. The program concludes with a concert featuring different fun, recognizable songs.
“I want to do something that can give kids an opportunity to play,” Hill said. “I’m not trying to make them into symphony orchestra superstars, but it’s a chance to play and a chance to hear some music they wouldn’t have heard at home listening to their iPod.”
Just one week of musical instruction can ignite a passion to learn in the heart of a young artist. And for any studying musician, a camp like this is a welcome opportunity to interact with other musicians.
“I am really passionate about music education at all levels for all kids,” Hill said. “There’s music in every kid, and they should have the opportunity to express it in some way.”
Rocking the main stage
The 122nd annual Santa Barbara County Fair features main stage live music including Clay Walker on July 11, 38 Special on July 12, Creedence Clearwater Revisited on July 13, and live mariachi music on July 14. The fair takes place at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg, Santa Maria. More info: 925-8824 or santamariafairpark.com.
Concerts in the Park is a free concert series featuring Calo performing live on July 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Rotary Centennial Park in Santa Maria. More info: 925-0951, Ext. 260.
The Radisson Hotel presents live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 10 p.m., including the Silverback Blues Band on July 12 and 13 at 3455 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria. More info: 928-8000.
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 East Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro presents “Wine Down Wednesdays” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 400 E. Clark in Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including live country by Sean Wiggins and 10ne Goat on July 12 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Sean and Friends is July 13 at 3 p.m. Sean Wiggins and 10ne Goat perform on July 13 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.