Ever wanted to pick up a guitar and join in on a jam-band session but felt intimidated? Got an old ukelele that you like to pick up and pluck notes on but don’t really know what you’re doing?
Ryan Butler knows the feeling. Going out to gigs, Butler noticed there were lots of people who wanted to play but felt intimidated. It inspired him to start a music program for folks with lots of enthusiasm but not a lot of experience.
“I don’t know much about music,” he said, but everyone starts somewhere. Butler has created that somewhere by offering a time and a place with instructors for anyone who wants to play music.
There are a growing number of people who now show up faithfully for the Sunday night session at the Silverton Gallery. Butler said the numbers are growing, and he would like to see more young people showing up for the informal music lessons. At a suggested donation of $5-10, the two-hour long sessions are a bargain as well as a joy.
“The students choose the music,” said Butler, “It has to be something not overly complicated, easy songs.” Right now the group is working on songs like “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and The Be Good Tanyas’ “Little Birds.”
Instructor J. Kleis is really enjoying the program as well: “I never really taught like this before. It’s a great way to keep active with music.”
At the moment, guitar, cello, bass, ukelele, mandolin and the human voice comprise the community band, said Butler, who would love to get more people and more instruments involved.
Kleis is also looking to the future, hoping the group will continue to get more instruments and more people bring their own to the practises. He notes Butler has done a great job getting funds from the CBT and Rec. 6 to pay for space and instructors.
The ensemble will be holding its first performance, “Coming Out of the Closet” April 21 at 7 p.m. A fun fundraiser, the group hopes to raise money for instructors and for more instruments.