These are trying times for musicians as large gatherings have been outlawed. Virginia Folklife has created TRAIN: Teachers of Remote Arts Instruction Network in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the livelihoods of artists. TRAIN connects interested students of all skill levels with a diverse range of master musicians, craftspeople, and tradition bearers offering online instructional opportunities. Start learning today!

And, if you’re a musician, here are some resources for seeking aid during the pandemic.

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The Music Never Stops

Jon Lohman (Virginia Folklife Program)

We all know that teenagers would rather die than hang out with their parents, right? Not so, says Jon Lohman. The Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia, brings young and old together to share traditions and songs. But how are musicians faring now, during the coronavirus crisis?

12 mins

Banjo Through the Years

Stephen Rockenbach (Virginia State University) and Gregg Kimball (Library of Virginia)

The studio comes alive with song when Stephen Rockenbach and Gregg Kimball bring their banjos in to share the instrument’s storied history in America. They reflect on how the banjo’s transformation has affected song styles to this day.

16 mins

The Lost Art of the Ballad

Cece Conway (Appalachian State University)

When the first settlers came to America from England and Scotland they brought with them a rich tradition of ballad-singing. Virginia Humanities Fellow Cece Conway traces the singing families and their songs from the UK to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where they influenced modern performers from Joan Baez to the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

24 mins

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