Performing on the Main Stage

...Sunday at noon

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Kid’s and Teachers

... lots of one-on-one instruction

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Ready to go on stage

... after two days of practice

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Could This Be Your Child?

... is jamming in his or her future?

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Sign them Up Today!

...and see you at Joe Val!

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The 2019 Kids’ Academy was a big success.   For some pictures of the event, please go HERE.    

The annual Kids’ Academy at the Joe Val Festival has become a treasured festival institution. Kids’ receive two days’ instruction in their instruments, plus ensemble and singing classes. Academy participants gave a performance on the main stage of the Joe Val Festival.

The Kids’ Academy is a once-a-year event each February, but there’s also an ongoing Kids’ jam! Both are open to all school-age children and teenagers through high school, and offer an opportunity for kids to learn and play in a relaxed, challenging and fun environment.

This year the structure of the Kids’ Academy will remain the same, with instruction beginning on Friday evening and continuing until the performance on Sunday. Students must be present for all sessions.

Kids must have basic skills in their bluegrass instrument and be between the ages of 6-18.

The Joe Val Kids’ Academy is funded by donations. Please email [email protected] if you would like to help fund next year’s Academy.

Note To Those Interested in the Advanced Band: In order to ensure that the Advanced Band has the right mix of instruments and is a reasonable size, we are limiting participation based on instrument and possibly by seniority (i.e. previous participation). Students who wish to participate in the Advanced Band must complete a short questionnaire with the help of their parents.

To get a copy of the questionnaire, e-mail the Advanced Band Director, Ellen Carlson at [email protected]. The questionnaire is due by February 1, and students will be informed of their placement before Joe Val. Students who are not selected for the Advanced Band are strongly encouraged to participate in the greater Kids’ Academy. Preference in future years will be given to students who have shown leadership in the greater Kids’ Academy.

Note About the Schedule of the Advanced Band: Students who wish to participate in the Advanced Band are expected to attend sessions of both the full Kids Academy and the Advanced Band. Students in the Advanced Band should be comfortable playing the posted Kids’ Academy songs prior to Joe Val because they will be performing these songs with the full group without attending all the rehearsals.

Below is a schedule of both the full Kids’ Academy and the Advanced Band’s additional sessions. For the full Kids’ Academy time slots, some of this time is spent working with the Advanced Band, and some is spent working separately.

Friday at Joe Val
full Kids’ Academy: 6 pm – 7:30 pm
Advanced Band only: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday at Joe Val
— morning —
full Kids’ Academy: 10 am – noon
Advanced Band only: noon – 12:30 pm

— afternoon —
full Kids’ Academy: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Advanced Band only: 4 pm – 5:30 pm

Sunday at Joe Val
Advanced Band only: 9:30 am – 10 am
full Kids’ Academy: 10 am – noon
Main Stage performance at noon on Sunday

This year [2020] we’ll be working on two tunes, “Golden Slippersl” (key of G) and “Blues, Stay Away From Me” (key of A).”  Here are the files you will need. Click on each name below, and then when the next page comes up, click on that same name again.


Boston-Area Kids Instructors

Click here for a recommended list of kids instructors in the Boston Area