Music is one of those things that just makes people happy. For students, it’s a break from the academics of the classroom and a chance to express themselves. It’s also an arts program, so for many schools it’s not a priority in the budget. The Crested Butte Community School is no different. Keeping music and art programs available is a continuous challenge.
The school has a band program, but it does not include any string instruments. Thankfully, the Crested Butte Music Festival has teamed up with the Crested Butte Community School Enrichment Program to offer an extracurricular program that teaches music students how to play string instruments. Local musician Drew Murdza teaches the Suzuki style lessons throughout the district. This year Murdza has 50 students signed up for the class – the highest enrollment yet.
Murdza said, “I saw a lot of faces from the bluegrass camp in the strings class and I’m hoping a lot of the kids in the string program go to the bluegrass camp and make that an even more substantial musical experience.” This year the camp has added Mike Finders to the faculty. Finders is a Colorado based bluegrass musician who plays for Finders and Youngberg.
The lessons that Murdza is teaching his students can be applied well beyond playing music. It takes discipline and dedication to master your craft – no matter what it is. Murdza reminds students that if they do not put the work into it, they won’t see results out of it. In spring the students had to put this idea to work quickly when Murdza surprised them with a school wide performance. It went great.
This summer the Crested Butte Music Festival will again hold its Bluegrass Camp from July 9 to 13 with a grand finale concert planned to close the camp.
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