Adult music lessons at TFAC bridging age divide

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Mostly known for teaching old-time and bluegrass to children ages 6-14, Pacolet Junior Appalachian Musicians at Tryon Fine Arts Center is offerings evening classes for adults.

From ages 14 and up, beginning and intermediate amateur musicians will gather from 6:15-7:15 p.m. for a 10-week semester beginning Wednesday, Jan. 16, for small classes in mandolin, ukulele, guitar, banjo and fiddle.

From teenagers to middle-aged to retirees, people are having lots of fun on Wednesday nights at Tryon Fine Arts Center, learning with others in a social environment, class organizers said.

“The most fun for me is getting to play an instrument with other people,” said mandolin student David McLeod. “Prior to this, when trying to learn an instrument, it has always been by myself. Or trying to play with some type of recording. There is something really special and rewarding about playing with other folks. Even if you don’t play well or make numerous mistakes (like I do), those short periods where it kind of works when playing together is really special. It’s a great feeling.”

“Actually, it’s easier to be motivated to practice when I prepare for a class than when I just learned by myself [on YouTube],” said ukulele student Timea Görgey when asked if it is difficult to find time to practice. “Then I’d forget to pick up the instrument for months. With the class, I pick it up daily.”

While the PacJAM youth curriculum is based on learning Appalachian culture through old-time and bluegrass, the adult program is about helping people feel comfortable in joining together in music.

PacJAM’s spring semester runs Jan. 16 thru March 20, from 4-6 p.m. for youth and 6:15-7:15 p.m. for adults. Those interested in learning more may visit or may call TFAC at 828-859-8322.

– Submitted by Julie Moore