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Announcing Summer Strummers – A Weekly Ukulele Jam Session for Adults

Headwaters Music & Arts hosts Summer Strummers, a weekly drop-in ukulele jam session for adult ukulele players of all skill levels. Each session takes place at Headwaters Music & Arts Performance Hall, 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, at 12:30 each Tuesday beginning June 1 and continuing through August 31. Come at noon to get help with tuning, strumming and getting started on a few chords. Don't have your own ukulele yet? Headwaters has instruments for sale, and Bemidji Public Library has ukuleles available for check-out!

Admission is free, $2 free-will donation welcome. Songs will be posted online the week prior to each session. COVID 19 guidelines will be followed. Space is limited to 25.

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Announcing Block 2 of Headwaters Jam Band

Headwaters Music and Arts is in the midst of it’s first block of Jam Band. The 8 week program, which is dedicated to exploring instrumental improvisation and composition in a group setting, started at the beginning of April with a group of talented and aspiring teen musicians. The group meets weekly on Thursday evenings, 5-7 pm, at Headwaters Music and Arts (519 MN Ave NW, Bemidji) and is for all instruments and genres – a fact the teens, who come from varying musical backgrounds, have been learning as they work together to create their own music in a format that they all enjoy. As the teens have been digging in and exploring beyond the basics of music theory they have found new skills and techniques while learning to play in a group and as a band. Each participant has been challenged to add their own parts to the mix, coming up with their own rhythm and melody lines on their preferred instrument. Block 1 of Jam Band ends at the end of May, but Headwaters is already taking registrations for Block 2 which runs June 3 through July 22. There will be a total of 4 Blocks of Jam Band this year so if you know a teen who is interested but can’t make it to Block 2 they have opportunities at Block 3 (August 5 – September 23) or Block 4 (October 7 – December 2).

Headwaters Jam Band is for teen musicians ages 13-18 with prior experience with their instrument. The group is led by Cassidy Jay, a professional musician, composer and audio engineer with 20 years of experience playing in bands and writing songs. Cassidy teaches the group how to use their senses and intuition to identify and apply patterns, rhythm, scales and phrasing to compose and improvise. Participants learn how to play in a group setting with a band and how to fit into the mix as an individual with their instrument.

Participants gather weekly to jam out and explore important aspects of song structure, song dynamics, song phrasing, band organization and the social dynamics of playing in a group. This, all while practicing how to be in the moment

when playing, and using the powers of intuition and personal expression. Headwaters Jam Band offers an open atmosphere and creative environment where musicians can collaborate, make new friends, grow together and forge a greater personal understanding of the musical world.

Cassidy has been a member of various bands as a multi instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter. Through that and his solo work he has delved deep into the study and practice of creating and playing music with an emphasis on song composition, as well as the art of improvisation and using intuition as a guiding force for articulating musical expression. Of his work Cassidy says, “My goal as a musician is to distill everything I have learned from my experiences into writing and playing, in a pursuit to be a conduit for creativity and explore uncharted territory in the music realm.”

Participants are required to provide their own instruments and amps (if applicable) with the exception of the drum kit. The cost to attend is $75/ 8 week block. Advance registration is required – limited spots available. Register here.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Guitar Lesson #7: Soloing Techniques

This lesson offers a wide variety of soloing techniques. Double stops, bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs are all tools the guitarist presses into service while improving, a skill every musician should master.

The second video is here to put your soloing skills to the test. The best way to learn is to jump right in and figure it out as you go!

Caleb Erickson, Headwaters Music Instructor

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Virtual Art with Diamond: Stick Weaving

Oh man, the leaves are popping outside! Since I made this video the leaves seemed to have more than doubled in size. My favorite reasons for heading into the woods is to either explore or to find a shady spot to do some art. This fun weaving activity involves both of those (though you should definitely feel free to bring the stick back inside to create your piece) 🙂

You will need:
• String, yarn, ribbon, paper or even grass.
• Scissors
• A “Y” shaped stick
• A pop sickle stick, butter knife, or something similar for tightening your weave

Fiber arts are one of my side passions though I am just a beginner. I find it is so comforting to make something out of yarn or string even if it isn’t perfect. So many of the objects in our our daily lives are woven – jeans, pillowcases, towels, etc. Getting creative with it is just the next logical step in my opinion 🙂 Though I only weave on sticks and cardboard many weavers use the skill to create lovely tapestries, rugs, shawls, etc. After you learn the basics of weaving you can pick up a loom and practice tapestry yourself! I hope you have fun and play around. If you feel comfortable sharing please drop a photo of your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art with Diamond: One Point Perspective

Perspective is a super important concept in art. When I teach perspective I often find that people are more nervous about the concept than they need to be. With the help of straight edge and a little patience + practice anyone can master perspective. This week’s video only touches on one point perspective – I think that we will dig into two point perspective in a later video 🙂

You will need:
• Paper
• Pencil or other drawing implement
• Possibly something to color with
• Possibly a straight edge

This project is meant to be fun and easy for all ages and abilities. It can be a good little brain teaser so practice it when you are a wide awake 🙂 Have fun and play around! And, of course, if you feel comfortable please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art with Diamond: Paper Patterns

This weeks video teaches a simple but fun technique for making lovely decorations. This video gives a few examples and ideas how to draw a shape and create a pattern to make a garland. The project can be adapted for creating stencils, paper puppets card decals, etc. I was inspired to make the paper garland in the video from seeing all the hearts hanging in everyone’s windows. I love making making paper snowflakes and other paper cutouts and I figured what a lovely addition to the colorful window displays folks are making for themselves/ neighbors/ strangers.

You will need:

• Paper
• Scissors
• Pencil or other drawing implement
• Possibly something to color with
• Possibly shapes to trace

Mothers day is this Sunday. I always made my own gifts during holidays, often using art class or other school projects to create the gifts. I know that it is probably harder for some kids to create those handmade gifts for the matrons in their life since they are not at school. Since this project only requires paper and scissors it is accessible and gives kids an opportunity to use their imagination to decorate their home environments for themselves and their family. Any paper can be used for this project and after the decorations come down they can be cut up for scrapbooks/ card/ mobiles/ fridge magnets/ etc.

Even though this week’s video is simple and aimed at a bit younger audience it is still for all ages. Cutting paper is pretty relaxing and turns out some awesome results. You can make the garlands as complex as you would like. In reality, paper cutting is actually a fine art form. Try Googling “paper cutouts as fine art” and look at all the phenomenal pieces 🙂 For now though I just encourage you to share your paper garlands with the world via your windows and then please send photos! If you you feel comfortable please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org. Happy Mothers Day!

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts

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Virtual Art with Diamond: Basic Pet Portraits

This video features my sweet kitty, Lady Gray, for two reasons: 1) this week I decided we should talk about pet portraits and 2) I wanted to raise awareness for Great River Rescue’s upcoming art contest.

Great River Rescue holds an art contest every year around this time to remind us humans about the importance of keeping our animal companions healthy. This years theme is SAVE THE DAY – NEUTER AND SPAY! The contest is for two dimensional art in any media done by children in K-12th grade. You can read more about this contest and find out how to take part here.

I figured now was as good a time as any to show you the basics of what a dog and a cat look like. In this video I show how to create a line drawing of a cat and a dog face and then also show how to draw eyeballs and noses. This lesson is for all ages and artistic abilities. It can be adapted and modified for young children as well as expanded upon for adults.

You will need:

• Paper
• Pencil
• Possibly a pencil sharpener
• And possibly your own sweet furry friend to help you out

Portraits are a wonderful way to preserve a likeness of a loved one for the rest of time. They have a personal touch that goes beyond a photograph. Practicing portraits is also a great way to get better at looking and really capturing what the world looks like. Seeing and recreating what you see is the first big step in becoming a skilled artist so encourage your young child to give it a try. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even “good.” It is all about practicing. I hope that after you watch this video you use the techniques to draw your own pet. Lady Gray and I would love to see what your furry friend looks like! Get creative with us! And then if you you feel comfortable please share your creation in the comments or email to diamond.knispel@headwatersmusicandarts.org.

P.s. Please create a piece for the art contest! I am one of the judges and looking at all of the submitted art is one of the highlights of my spring 🙂

Diamond Knispel
Art Teacher | Marketing & Arts Program Coordinator
Headwaters Music & Arts