Last year, the nonprofit Four Lakes Traditional Music Collective (FLTMC) gave a scholarship to Madison’s MadFiddle, a youth fiddle ensemble led by musician and teacher Shauncey Ali. We recently followed up with Shauncey to learn what he did with the scholarship and this is what he told us.
“I wanted to use the scholarship to impact as many young people as possible, while also touching on a youth population for which private violin lessons might be less common.
In December, I constructed a 40-minute “History of American Folk Music” presentation that was equal parts lecture and performance. It outlined a historic overview of the development of folk music in the U.S., emphasizing the impact that immigration and slavery have had on existing genres.
I presented a series of assemblies at Glendale Elementary School, to a student body that is 75 percent Hispanic, African-American and Asian.
Then in April I did a brief residency with Glendale’s fifth grade strings class, which occurs concurrently with recess. I was amazed to learn that these students had elected to learn a stringed instrument over running around on the playground. It was very special to share traditional fiddle tunes and songs with students for whom this experience was new.”
We at the Sugar Maple couldn’t be more impressed – or humbled. Glad we could play a small part in this important work that connects youth with music and history.