A free music camp at the Rhythm & Roots Festival in Charlestown is open to all children 8-18, even if their families are not attending the annual music and dance festival at Ninigret Park over Labor Day Weekend.
Kids can learn to play, sing and perform traditional Cajun music. Classes are offered in fiddle, guitar, accordion, mandolin and bass in the Ninigret Park picnic pavilion outside the ticket gate.
Very little experience is needed. If your child can play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” on the violin or three chords on the guitar, that’s enough. The R&R Youth Music Camp will culminate in a performance before a crowd of enthusiastic parents and festival fans at 2:00 p.m. Sunday in the popular dance tent. “Les Jeunes Cajuns” and their instructors will play and sing tunes they have learned during the weekend.
As part of the festival commitment to keeping traditional Cajun music alive and thriving in New England, the camp is offered at no cost, and admission to the festival is free for kids 12 and younger. Students 13 years and older who are also attending the festival will need to purchase a ticket, which is half price for teenagers.
Renowned fiddle teacher Pam Weeks directs the camp, assisted by Karen McGrath. The gifted and patient teachers include Pam Weeks and Andy Stewart (fiddle); Jim Joseph and Tim Kness (accordion); Mary Jo Slattery and Mark Wholley (guitar); Michael Pattavina (mandolin) and Bill Olson (bass).
Online registration is open through Aug. 28. Find more information and sign up at http://rhythmandroots.com/fun-for-all-ages/#cajun-music-camp. Early registration is appreciated.
Follow WhatsUpNewp throughout the summer for interviews and stories about the Rhythm & Roots Festival happening Labor Day weekend.