Getting its name and philosophy from the refrain of an old traditional Irish song that sings, “there’s none of them can sing so sweet, my singing bird as you,” the Berea-based Singing Bird Music School strives to build a gathering space where community members can learn, play and enjoy old time Appalachian music. Students of Singing Bird Music School have the privilege of learning from some of the most talented musicians of the region, who live and breathe old time Appalachian music. On August 2nd, the extended Berea community will have the chance to experience this talent, as the teachers of Singing Bird Music School demonstrate their collective decades of passion and wisdom on stage.
Coming from diverse musical backgrounds and providing specialized knowledge, each teacher offers a unique element to the Singing Bird Music School experience. Carla Glover teaches clawhammer banjo and flatfoot dancing, providing the necessary ingredients for creating true Appalachian Music. During her own performances, she gives audiences the sense that they have traveled to the Appalachian Mountains. Sam Gleaves puts to use the knowledge he has gained since he began playing Appalachian music as a teenager, teaching beginner guitar to his students and traveling to perform as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. Deborah Payne teaches beginning fiddle and performs her own music internationally, awakening the world to her own region’s beloved musical traditions. Lucian Parker also teaches beginning fiddle, incorporating his love of blue grass, folk and Americana. Contributing his over-than-forty years of experience performing at clubs, festivals and events around the Midwest, Michael Parks teaches intermediate/advanced guitar while building and repairing string instruments in his free time. Pam Gadd teaches beginning clawhammer banjo, drawing on experience from her collaborations with a number of legendary bands and musicians including Wild Rose, The New Coon Creek Girls, Dolly Parton and more. John Harrod, who has been involved with traditional Kentucky music for over 45 years, teaches intermediate/advanced fiddle while also performing with the band Kentucky Wild Horse. Master artists Lovester Wilkinson, a storyteller and author, and Lewis Lamb, a farmer-raised string-band performer, are both sources of wisdom in their own right, incorporating their unique passions and life experiences into their teaching.
Singing Bird Music School students