Inaugurated in the fall of 2003, this museum’s Bluegrass in the Schools (BITS) program is fostering the growth of an entire new generation of bluegrass musicians. With every banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle put in a young person’s hands, a direct, tangible link is forged between the student and his/her cultural heritage.
Each year, we introduce over 9,500 elementary students to bluegrass music through various programs. In 24 area elementary schools, several middle schools, the H. L. Neblett Center and RiverValley, we provide up to eight days of hands-on instrument instruction per school. In each of these we provide All-School Bluegrass Music Assembly Programs showcasing superb bands in performance or original musicals written and produced by this museum.
At any given time, several hundred residents of all ages take part in our Saturday Lessons Program, which outfits every student with an instrument on free loan and provides modestly priced group lessons given by professional bluegrass instructors at the museum every other Saturday from early October through ROMP, the museum’s annual bluegrass festival at the end of June.
The band formed by participants in this program is called The Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars. This mega-group performs each year at ROMP and other community events.
If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by on a Saturday and see all this energy and excitement for yourself. And if you’d like to learn how to play bluegrass music, sign up in September or January for the next fall or spring semester.