Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Bluegrass being taught in schools

Museum distributes banjos, guitars

The Associated Press

OWENSBORO, Ky. - Elementary students who live near the home of the late Bill Monroe - also known as the Father of Bluegrass - might soon know how to strum a guitar or pick a banjo the way he did.

Owensboro's International Bluegrass Music Museum will launch a program next month that will incorporate the study of bluegrass in all 27 of the county's elementary schools, both public and parochial.

To do that, the museum is donating four musical instruments - a guitar, a fiddle, a mandolin and a banjo - to each of the schools and hopes to eventually augment those with others.

"What we really want is one (instrument) in the hands of every child," said Sandra Glazebrook, who with her husband, Sam, is purchasing the first batch of instruments.

The California couple, long-time bluegrass aficionados, sold their home near San Diego this year and moved to Owensboro to work with the museum's Bluegrass in the Schools program.

Sandra Glazebrook, a former special education teacher, is the museum's director of education, and her husband, a retired electrical engineer, is its curator.

The couple had been looking for a way to introduce bluegrass instruments into California classrooms but had made little progress. But during a visit to a banjo company in California, the owner put them in contact with the Owensboro museum to which his company had just donated 23 banjos for a school program.

Within weeks, the couple moved to this western Kentucky town and began working with the museum.

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