2010-02-05 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

Guitar Classes For Children At RAA
By Susan Hartenstein

Acclaimed musician/singer/songwriter Greg Trooper, who will be offering guitar lessons to children age 8 and up at RAA. Watch this column for details. Acclaimed musician/singer/songwriter Greg Trooper, who will be offering guitar lessons to children age 8 and up at RAA. Watch this column for details. “… an artist of considerable insight and passion.” So writes Billboard magazine of the musician/singer/songwriter who will be offering guitar lessons to children age 8 and up at RAA. Greg Trooper’s talents are familiar to many

Rockawayites and to avid listeners of WFUV.

It has also been said of the much-acclaimed Trooper, “[he] has always served the song and the music above all other things.”

With a maximum of six students, the class will run one hour per week for six weeks in Building T-149.

Watch this column for dates, time and reasonable price, or contact the RAA office.

The students will bring their own instruments and they will learn basic chords, play guitar games and learn a few tunes.

In a recent interview with Trooper, I was curious to know about his professional and emotional connection to Rockaway. He married into a Rockaway family, he answers, and became a resident. After living in Brooklyn for a time and then Nashville, Trooper and his family moved back in 2008. But above all, Trooper sees Rockaway as “an oasis … reminiscent of my childhood on the Jersey shore.”

He speaks very fondly of those days. He also speaks of the role music played in his youth. “As a young boy, the accomplishment of making music was so exciting.” For Trooper “getting youngsters started playing an instrument is an inspiring idea, to bring this to someone else.”

Having conducted songwriting workshops, “if [I] see a student get a gleam in the eye, it’s a thrilling experience.” If he can help a child feel the same joy he felt learning an instrument, impart the same enthusiasm he feels creating his music, he says, it will bring him joy, in kind.

Trooper says he plays “American roots music,” which he defines as “music derived from American traditions – blues, soul, country.”

Though his influences are many, the core of those influences is composed of Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and Otis Redding.

I asked what non-musical artists have influenced his music most. A big reader, the musician answers, writers like John Steinbeck, and many more, “because of a connection they make to me.” He tries to do that – write music that has a connection to the listener. He also finds in what he reads, Trooper says, things he then wishes to write about.

Greg Trooper has performed with the likes of Emmy Lou Harris and John Prine and has had his songs performed by artists who include Vince Gill and Steve Earle.

In his future and ours is a “gig” with RAA. Next week: an interview with Bob Bainbridge, who will be offering watercolor instruction one night per week – “Experiencing Watercolor with Robert Bainbridge.” Each session will last two hours. Maximum 20 participants per class. Students of all levels are welcome. Bainbridge will offer group and individual instruction.

Students can come on a pay-per-class schedule or they can sign up for a series of eight classes for a discounted price.

Start date, time, location (sTudio 6 or sTudio 7 in Fort Tilden), etc. TBA.


Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance. org

Fort Tilden Highlights

Fort Tilden Highlights:

RAA EXHIBIT: “Spanning Connections” – Reaching, spanning, connecting. On view through Feb. 14, in sTudio 6. Gallery hrs.: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m.

NEXT RAA GENERAL MEETING: Mon., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. in sTudio 7, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. All are welcome. Bring your artwork to show and discuss, if you wish; or just come to enjoy the art, learn about RAA and to network.

NEXT WRITERS GROUP MEETING: Sun., Feb. 21, at 4 p.m. in sTudio 6, RoCA.

SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: This Saturday and every Saturday during the winter. 8 p.m. start time.

THURS. NIGHT OPEN MIC: Performing artists of all disciplines invited. 8 p.m. start time. Join us. Free admission.

ART CLASSES FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS: Classes include painting, digital photography, singing, acting, cartooning. Call RAA office for details.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Tues. 7-9 pm., Thurs. 10 a.m.-12 noon. sTudio 7. $15 per class, supplies included.

kidsmART corner

kidsmART is free to children ages 6 – 12. It runs through May 6. Sessions: Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Location: Building T-149, Fort Tilden. If you are interested, bring the completed application with you on the day you wish to start your child in the after-school program. Applications can be downloaded from RAA’s website at www.rockawayartistsalliance. org/education.html

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