News from Pete Wernick’s desk comes to us of a new Bluegrass Learning Network. Dr. Banjo is setting up an international group of teachers trained and certified to teach Pete’s methods of learning bluegrass. The goal is to bring effective and consistent teaching to as many places as possible, helping students and teachers alike. Rote learning and reading-based approaches, with students mostly working on playing instrumental breaks at home alone, shouldn’t be the only game in town according to Dr. Banjo.
…my life was changed dramatically by Pete’s methods, when after only a month’s experience with a bass I came to one of his jam camps. I went as a chaperon for my 14-year-old son Chris, but left a full-fledged bluegrass jammer. Since then Chris and I have attended nine more of Pete’s camps, learning important new skills at each one, and now applying them directly to our performing duet and side musician work. So you can imagine how quickly I jumped at the chance to help Pete organize and promote a network that will make his methods available to teachers far and wide – Rick Saenz.
Every student who picks up an instrument aspires not just to be a ‘really good closet player’, but to play music with other people in real bluegrass jams. Even those brave enough to play at a jam often find themselves embarrassed and frustrated because they aren’t properly prepared to join in – Pete Wernick.
Teachers, here’s an opportunity to engage your students in a new, fun and effective way. Pickers, this would be great news to share with your instrument teacher as it will help him/her help you learn to jam right in your own community.
Late breaking news – so far, classes have been scheduled in Maryland, California, and now in Australia.
As many of you know, Pete discovered that he could teach any student (even an inexperienced dad!) to jam quickly by doing it in the context of a jam group. That ‘joy of jamming’ in turn motivates students to make steady progress in their jam skills. All in attendance are jamming on the first day, and by the end they are fully able to jam on their own and excited to do it.
How did this all come about? After years as a lone voice advocating the learn to jam first, principle, Pete decided to make his techniques more widely available for other teachers to join in converting closet players into real pickers.
The Wernick Bluegrass Learning Network will train teachers in Pete’s approach and methods, certify them to teach Wernick Method jam classes, provide them with course materials, and create customized advertising for their courses including listing on Pete’s extensive DrBanjo.com website.
Scroll down to learn more about the Wernick Bluegrass Learning Network and how the certification process works. There’s a handy link to help you share this with fellow pickers and instructors too.