Check Out our Music Education Program
The GCBS has been a pioneer in the realm of blues music education. School-age kids across Grand County are lucky to have been immersed in the blues. Not only have they been entertained by the all the programs that have come their way, they have been on the stage, creating their own “bluesical” and giving performances on the festival stages over the years.
Not only does the GCBS provide these fun activities and education but they also supplement the district by providing musical instruments for classroom use.
The GCBS has funded all this by your donations and grant partnerships. No school has ever had to pay for any of the visiting artists or activities.
Check Out our Cigar Box Guitars
Our good friend JP Soars, master of the Cigar Box Guitar instrument and great inspiration to the kids has come all the way from Florida to help assemble and teach the kids how they are played. This has been one of the more exciting programs we have done. Check out the video!
Check Out our Library Program
In 2006, the Grand County Blues Society (GCBS) partnered with the Grand County Library District (GCLD) in order to get instruments into the hands of young people displaying an interest or affinity for music. This began the endearing “Check Out the Music Program.” Through this program, folks throughout Grand County could borrow instruments from their local library, using their library card. Acoustic guitars, electric and bass guitars with amplifiers, keyboards, youth-size guitars, drumsticks and drum pads were donated by GCBS to Grand County libraries and were available to the public—for FREE!
The popularity of the Check Out the Music (COTM) program grew daily as word was spread about it. With that popularity came some great triumphs:
Local musicians donated their time to give free guitar and keyboard lessons at local libraries throughout Grand County.
Supporters like the Grand County Commissioners, the Grand Foundation, and the Fraser Valley/Winter Park Lion’s Club sponsored the program and provided instructional materials (DVDs, instruction manuals etc.) for check out. They donated funds to purchase additional instruments to loan. They even gave compensation to local musicians and purchased youth guitars for lessons in the library.
In 2007, the Grand County Blues Society was presented as “Library Partner of the Year” award by the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL), an honor given annually for unique and successful community/ library alliances. Specifically, the awards committee of CAL thought the partnership creating “Check Out the Music” between the GCBS and The Grand County Library District “showed ingenuity and the willingness to think outside of the box to offer a unique and well-used library service.” Only two other awards of its kind have ever been presented. Upon receiving the award, GCBS challenged other library districts to loan instruments to their public.
In 2008, the Delta County Library District took on the challenge and adopted the program for their community. GCBS donated an electric guitar and amplifier, and an acoustic guitar to get them started. By March 2009, Delta had several guitars, both electric and acoustic, for check out, with a strong demand for all instruments.
In 2009, the Lopez Island Library in Washington followed suit to set up a successful COTM program at their public library.
Today, the “Check Out the Music” program is running strong and continues to contribute boundless heart and soul to our Grand County libraries. It has taken a village to support it, and the Grand County Blues Society is grateful to all for its successes.
We simply couldn’t do what we do without the help of our sponsors. Please support these businesses, as they support us. For information on becoming a sponsor, contact us today!
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