Whether it was lessons in song writing, snapping or keeping rhythm with the beat, musicians David Hinson and Luke Ash welcomed the break from their regular gigs to lead a music camp for children and teens last week.
Hinson is a music teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish, and when he’s not working with youth, he’s leading about 30 men and women ages 25 to 60s in the Adult Music Club, a project he founded.
Ash focuses on music as therapy and plays in hospitals and nursing homes throughout the region, he said.
Hinson and Ash co-instructed the Songbird Music Camp at Birdman Coffee & Books, owned by Lynn Wood, president of Arts For All, a nonprofit group of artists, musicians, writers, actors, poets and people who enjoy the arts.
Both instructors praised Wood for hosting the camp, calling her a “great advocate for the arts.”
“She gets an idea and actually puts it into motion,” Ash said.
Youth ages 6 to 16, mostly from the St. Francisville area, as well as one from Lufkin, Texas, visiting her grandparents for the summer, participated in the camp.
Twenty-year-old Logan Ashley, a former student of Hinson’s and a guitar player and songwriter, worked with the three teens during the camp.
The young women wrote and performed original songs as well as played music with the younger participants for a group number, “Stand By Me.”
Camp participants and instructors worked on the song throughout the week, performing it for the community Friday at Grace Episcopal Church.
The Songbird Music Camp offered lessons in song writing, hooks, chorus and basic music making on a variety of instruments.
Many of the young musicians were experienced on one or more instruments, while some learned to play new ones during the camp.
Asher Nichols, 8, played the didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument crafted personally for him, and he last year performed the ukulele at camp.
Cosby Harris, 8, the only young girl in the group, performed the melodic, while Jesse Fudge, 12, learned to play the cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument played by slapping your hands or a brush, mallet or stick on the front or rear sides of the box.
Other instruments included the guitar, bass guitar and fiddle.
Nick Kent, 14, of St. Francisville, an experienced guitar player who played music with the adults in a second performance over the weekend, co-wrote an original song with Ash titled “Striking Out Together.”
“It’s not about baseball, though,” Kent said.
Though many of the youth were at different skill levels, both instructors said they complimented one another in style.
“I think it’s important for these kids to play music with others like them in their community, so they don’t feel alone,” Hinson said.