New year, new goals: Learn to play traditional music of the region

Handmade Music School in Floyd shows how simple it is to knock out your trying something new resolution

FLOYD, Va. – Checking off that “trying something new” resolution may look a little different this year, but some are choosing to start the new year on a positive note, a musical note.

Handmade Music School, located inside Floyd Country Store, believes with more time at home what better time to pick up a new instrument. The school usually sees an uptick in interest in lessons and workshops at the start of the year.

From the fiddle to the banjo and even the mandolin, Handmade Music School teaches the region’s traditional music, oftentimes on locally handmade instruments. The only difference right now is it’s virtual.

“We all feel very fortunate that we can still connect with folks all over the world, actually through platforms like Zoom and Skype to teach these lessons and offer workshops people regularly attend from Australia and Europe and it’s pretty amazing,” said Andrew Small, program director and teacher.

Continuing lessons and workshops amidst a pandemic is special to Handmade Musical School because it’s supporting musicians.

“It’s really important to us to support the musicians right now who are completely out of work. There’s nothing they can do to make a living other than to be online, teach, do live streams and things like that,” said Dylan Locke director of the school and co-owner of Floyd Country Store.

Locke said even when in-person lessons and workshops are safe again, the director says they still plan to still have virtual components.

Learning to play a new instrument can be a little intimidating but Small doesn’t want that to stop anyone interested.

“Just try it. You’d be amazed at how quickly you picked up some simple building blocks and the rhythm is really the most important part of this music and if you can just start to get some of those basic rhythm patterns...and if you can do that you can start playing with other people,” said Small.

Check out what type of music and dance lessons offered, click here.

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