Creekside Strings works in Ashland – and other towns in Oregon – to foster musical communities with youth programs, teacher training, performances, and more!
Activities are the most important thing you can do to make music education enjoyable, relevant and successful for students. Here are some of the things that we are doing to support our students and families.
Summer Fiddle Camps
Since 2007, Creekside Strings has run fiddle camps every summer in Lithia park. Kids ages 5-15 enjoy a week of fiddle-filled fun. Campers work with teachers and high-school counselors to learn new tunes, jam, play games and perform their songs for parents and passersby.
After School Sessions
Once a week, high school students gain teaching and leadership experience by leading local 1st-5th grade fiddlers in an after-school program. Students gather with their friends to play tunes at the end of the day with the guidance of their more advanced high-school session leader.
Twice per month at the Black Sheep pub in downtown Ashland, fiddlers and musicians of all ages gather to jam on their favorite tunes. While younger students get a chance to participate in easier, slower tunes, the later evening caters to more advanced level players.
Every other month, fiddlers, rhythm musicians, and their friends and family gather to host community dances at Ashland's Bellview Grange. It is an event that is fun for everyone -- the young fiddlers joining together with community musicians, the adults and kids dancing together. Even the reluctant middle school kids hanging out by the dessert table have a smile on their face.
Monday Night Fiddle Sessions
Every other month, middle and high school age players gather at the Black Sheep pub to perform. Local bluegrass band 33 String Drive volunteer their time to rehearse with students and back them up in performances as soloists and small ensembles.
Summer Park Sessions
Throughout the summer of 2022, high school fiddlers met at the creek in Lithia park to play music with younger students. This daily activity was a natural extension of the fiddle camps run at the beginning of summer. The Park Sessions gave young student the chance to start a summer day with music in the park. High schoolers had the opportunity to lead small groups and develop their teaching skills in a paid position. We'll be starting this again on July 17, 2023.
One of our oldest and strongest programs to date, FiddleBucks are earned every time a student learns a new song. They are worth $1 each at our local sponsor stores. FiddleBucks is a fun incentive for students to learn new tunes, sponsored by local Oregon business.
As students get older, they have the opportunity to perform with others. Students arrange, write, rehearse, and perform their tunes at local venues. Performing is an exciting activity that complements the jams and camps that students grow up taking part in.
Workshops & Concerts
Occasionally, a notable musician is traveling through our small town. Surprisingly, these road-weary musicians love to take a little time out of their schedule and work with our young fiddlers. Students learn new tunes and skills and sometimes will even join the artists on stage. Most importantly, our fiddlers get to get to meet people who make a living playing the music the students are currently learning.
School Visitation & Collaboration
Our teachers and students visit schools around the Rogue Valley. It is an opportunity to share the music we love, to introduce students to different types of music and to meet folks we'd possibly never meet!
Parent Training Workshops
Creekside Strings hosts workshops for parents whose children are learning the fiddle. It's a great primer on what to expect and how best to support your child as they take their first steps into a lifetime of playing music.