Friday, June 22, 2018

A Real Vacation

Our roots music educational program is growing steadily. Next to our riding program it is one of the most popular things that we do. Program participants learn to play a range of acoustic instruments and to perform a few modern songs, but our focus is on Carter Family, Old Time, blues, gospel, bluegrass and folk music. Students learn to play by ear--- no written music is used. This performance at a local nursing home does not include everyone in the program and the camera could not even take in all of the participants that were actually performing.

Dale Jett, A.P. and Sara Carter's grandson, said, "We went to bed of the night with the music and we woke up of the morning with the music." The great performer and ethnomusicologist, Mike Seeger believed that the first step to learning to play this music was to listen to it over and over, until your body absorbed the feel of the music.

Just as one can never be an effective practitioner of natural horsemanship without becoming immersed in the herd, one can never play this music the way it deserves to be played without being immersed in it.

In August I am taking an actual vacation and will be joined by everyone in our music program who can do so. My wife, Beth, has put together a great cultural and educational itinerary for the trip.  We will journey into southwest Virginia to see performances at Hungry Mother State Park, hope to take a tour of the Henderson School, attend the Carter Fold Festival which commemorates the anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions Recordings by the Carter Family, visit the Heartwood, Southwest Virginia's artisan gallery and we will go into Bristol to see the Museum of the Birthplace of Country music. We will spend several days on this trip.

We will bring our instruments along and anytime there is a break in our schedule we will tune up on work on some songs.

All of this is part of what makes Mill Swamp Indian Horses such a different riding experience. We are a 501 (c) 5 non profit breed conservation program. We teach riding and natural horsemanship. We teach history and permaculture. WE heal and we teach others to heal. We fill voids.

The reality is that we are a cultural and educational facility--all with no paid staff. All with 100% volunteers.

There is no charge to participate in our musical program. No one has ever been turned away for lack of ability to pay program fees for our riding instruction program.

We have a very important fundraiser coming up on July 21. You don't have to be there to contribute. Go to our website to learn more about our program and to make a donation on line. Donations to a 501 (c) 5 non profit are not tax deductible.

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