This class, designed specifically for young campers, provides a rich, varied, and age-appropriate experience with plenty of hands-on music making. At Walker Creek we believe the best way to learn music is to get inspired, make connections, and become engaged through fun activities that teach basic musical skills. When students are connecting with friends, teachers, and a musical environment, they are likely to be inspired and want to improve their musicianship. The connection between music and play is natural; kids love to play, playing music is fun, and we encourage a combination of both. All kids will participate in fun musical activities: jamming, singing, percussion, dance, band skills, crafts, art, dress up, nature walks, etc. Some activities will be for the whole group, and others will be tailored to specific skill levels.
Beginning students will get instruction on their own instrument, or on a borrowed fiddle. The focus for this group is on basic skills such as technique, tone, scales, and simple melodies.
Intermediate/Advanced kids will get more challenging melodies, functional theory, ornamentation, advanced techniques, simultaneous playing/singing/dancing, band arrangements, and improvisation.
Preschoolers are welcome if their parents attend class with them.
Older kids (pre-teens) are welcome to come as teacher’s assistants.
If a child requires a lot of extra attention, regardless of age, we may ask that a parent or guardian accompany him/her.
All instruction will be tied to a central theme, relating to the general camp, that helps connect the kids to the rest of the camp. Since the theme for each camp is different, each session is unique, though all camps strengthen overall musicianship. In addition to the morning program, several exciting, fun electives will be offered in the afternoon, such as hambone, musical games, clogging, musical art, family sing-a-longs, etc. M&Ms kids and their attending parents may also attend the evening activities (dances, concerts, and jams). The class will perform in the student concert.
Morgan Cochneuer is a music teacher and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Petaluma. He specializes in old time, bluegrass and jug band instruments and teaches a wide array of international string band styles. Morgan has worked with such greats as Kenny Hall, Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur, and Jim Kweskin, and some of the many bands he’s played in are Devine's Jug Band, The Pine Needles, and The Rusty String Express. Morgan has headed his own bands as well, most notably the Skiffle Symphony and Mr. Caterpillar's Bug Jug Band.
Morgan has 20 years of experience teaching music lessons, with students starting as young as four years old. He loves to help students learn the fundamentals of musicianship in a way that is playful and fun, while engaging their focus on their chosen instrument. He regularly teaches fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, drums, bass, and vocals...and he is always willing to help a student "figure out" an instrument they are curious about. He is also a trained "Music Together" teacher, with a lot of knowledge about early childhood musical development, and tons of loveable songs!
Morgan has been a devoted and solid teacher at our camp for years, and we’re very pleased to have him on staff.
Krishna Feeney is a professional musician, educator, and school administrator in the Bay Area. She has been devoted to public education and teaching for nearly 15 years, with experience teaching and supporting students TK-8th grade. Krishna has been singing her heart out and playing her guitar for over 25 years, during which time she has dabbled in many other instruments, most consistently ukulele. She plays and sings a wide variety of musical styles from bluegrass to blues, jazz, and swing, but her true passion is for songwriting. Krishna is looking forward to bringing her joy and passion for singing and all things musical to our youngest musicians at Walker Creek with a focus on meeting students wherever they are right now in their musical development.
Krishna has been a favorite elective instructor and jam leader at Walker Creek, and we're delighted she'll be co-teaching our Music and More class this spring! https://www.krishnafeeney.com