Music Programs

More Programs to Get Kids Into Music

Here is some information that is great to read about.

I came across this program during a web surf and thought that it was great. It is called Violins Not Violence, and it helps to promote music to children and young adults to keep them out of gangs and crime in California. The organization recently donated a violin and guitar to two deserving youngsters who have an interest in pursuing music as a hobby or perhaps a vocation. While there is not much information on the website (, the recent donation did receive some media coverage. I recommend making a donation to the group, as one can see that actions are more powerful than words with this non-profit group started by two police officers.

A cute T-shirt is being offered by the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, and will also be available at the ROMP Fest September 15-18 (the same week as MerleFest, another screw-up in the roots-music traffic jam of September). The shirts says, “Pick Banjos Not Fights,” and is available at the HOF website ( While no word is available on if any of the sales goes to supporting music programs directly, the HOF and the IBMA have a number of youth-oriented programs dedicated to promoting music and keeping children out of trouble.

I have talked about the Junior Appalachian Musicians program ( before, but I want to mention it again. This program has helped hundreds of kids in the southeastern region of the US with pursuing an interest in music, particularly the music form that region that was developed by their ancestors. I highly recommend going to the website and learning about it. I know that the Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association (, of which I am a member and part of the Education Committee) have been working to begin such a program in our area, and we have small programs such as JAM. SEMBMA currently offers an annual scholarship program for you ages 13-18, and holds a musical instrument “Petting Zoo” at many regional bluegrass festivals.

Also of note here in the Michigan area, a SEMBMA member Dixie Roy Andres has been hosting a program called Fiddlin’ Dixie with Lil’ Friends for about 10 years now at regional bluegrass festivals. Her program gets young people into music by having them build their own canjos, shoebox guitars and toilet paper roll kazoos. It is a wonderful program to get small kids involved with. For more information, go to Dixie’s website (

Chew on it and comment.