Welcome to 'Village Productions'
Click Logo to Learn More
About Village Productions
Village Productions is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Since 1993, our mission at Village Productions has been to advance the positive power of music by providing affordable and high-quality music education through instructional clinics, special events, and concerts.
P.O. Box 1810,
Mt. Carmel, TN 37645
For a more rewarding instrument clinic and music-learning experience:
- Be prepared: Come with a list of items that you need help with. Ask concise questions. Let clinic teachers help solve your playing and instrument issues.
- At the clinic, don't bury yourself in tablature or sheet music. Sure, written music is helpful but use the clinic for things you can't get from paper; like hands-on instruction. Focus on feeling, phrasing, technique, timing & tone.
- Don't leave clinics without jamming. Mingle & play with other musicians, even if its for a short period of time. Other students can be inspirational.
- While in class, don't "noodle around." Noodling can distract other students while it works to divert your attention from what's being taught.
- Try to sit close to the instructor. Being close allows you to better see the teacher's right and left hand motions.
- Record the event by either video or tape recorder. A good recording allows you to later transcribe what was being taught. Consider it 3-D tablature.
- Venture into a class out of your level. You may find that you can handle more advanced topics. Also, consider moving down once in a while. Refresh the basics.
- Have somebody inspect your instrument. Can it be made to sound or play better? Is the intonation off? Should the head be adjusted?
- Check out the professional player's picks, straps, cases, tuners, and capos. What do they use and why?
- If you have written a tune, share it. Seek new ideas for composing songs and see how others interpret your tune. It can be a great way to discover another break.
- Ask questions and stay engaged. Take full advantage of teachers out of class. Teachers want to help you as much as you want to be helped.
- When jamming, control your speed, play to the group, and stay in tune. When tuning, do it in a manner that doesn't disrupt others.
- Remember that the clinic is the easy part. If you want to improve your playing, read the section below on "Improving." If you want to be the best player you can be, memorize it.
- Oh...and have a Great Time!
Return to Top
Here's how to be the best player you can be:
- Come to terms with what you expect from your playing. How far do you want to go with your instrument? How good do you want to sound?
- Hunger to improve. Don't define your playing according to your current abilities. Invest the time, energy, and passion required to excel at playing your instrument.
- Reject comfort. Growth comes through sacrifice and sometimes, pain. Some examples include spending extra time practicing, purchasing a better instrument, and seeking quality instruction.
- Be honest with your yourself. Recognize where you need improvement and focus there. That may require seeking better musicians to play with.
- Master the fundamentals. Play the "little things" right including slides, hammer ons, pull offs, and how and where you finger notes.
- Stay true to the melody. Learn how to find a song's melody and then express it accurately with solid picking, strumming, and bowing.
- Be willing to fail. Tackle self-doubt. Take on harder tab, learn more advanced licks, explore other styles, and play out of position. Mistakes can be your best teachers.
- Slow down. Don't increase your playing speed until you can play what you're playing clearly, with tone, and in time.
- Accept incremental progress. Leaps of improvement don't happen overnight. Quality playing develops slowly over time which is determined by how much time you invest in improving.
- Abandon instant gratification. Playing something wrong continually will degrade your playing.
- Don't settle for mediocrity. If it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't right. Work with a tape recorder and metronome. Compare your sound with the pros.
- Be positive. Positive thinking leads to a stronger mind. Mental strength leads to production which is the basis for accomplishing something. Accomplishments lead to achievement.
- Play music. Learn how to support and make other musicians sound better. Know when to throttle back and when to go for it. Play for yourself within the context of playing for others. Jam correctly.
- Edify others. Share what you know with those that want to learn. Be generous, gracious, and understanding. Be remembered as a person first and a musician second.
Return to Top
Frequently Asked Questions:
ARE PRIVATE LESSONS AVAILABLE?
Yes. Outside of class time, you can schedule a private lesson with the instructor of your choice. You negotiate the timing and cost with the instructor. The clinic closes at 6pm sharp each day.
IS THERE A LIMIT TO CLASS SIZE?
Not yet, though that could change. Our classes range from a few to upwards of fourteen students. We offer a variety of options.
AM I LOCKED IN TO THE LEVEL OF TEACHING I REGISTER UNDER?
No. Students are free to change classes at any time.
CAN I CHANGE INSTRUMENTS?
Absolutely. Students are free to change levels of instruction and/ or instruments at any time.
WHAT IS THE POLICY ON REFUNDS?
Due to the commitment required of us in providing full accommodations, we have had to include a refund policy. Up to a certain date, if you pay and cannot attend, we will refund your money in full (short of any credit card/ payment processing fees.) Otherwise, check the clinic you are interested in to learn more about specific refund and date parameters.
I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN A PARTICULAR TUNE. HOW CAN THAT BE ARRANGED?
Email your request to us as early as you can. We'll work with staff to see if the tune can be integrated into a Song Study. Tunes should be pertinent and popular, interesting enough to learn, and useful enough to play with others in a jam session.
CAN I SELL AN INSTRUMENT AT THE CLINIC?
Why not? Somebody may want it! By all means - Yes.
I WOULD LIKE TO SIT IN AS AN OBSERVER. IS THERE A CHARGE FOR THIS?
Yes, there is. Charges vary per clinic and observers cannot attend classes with an instrument. Swapping of instruments between paid registrants and observers is also not permitted.
DO YOU OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS?
We offer a limited number of tuition-only scholarships. Granting scholarships is dependent on receiving tax-free contributions for that purpose. We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and such contributions are tax deductible. Please consider giving. Use the clinic-specific registration page for donating.
DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS?
Yes we do!
All major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
DO YOU ACCEPT MONEY ORDERS?
Yes, along with Zelle, checks and cash.
IF I UPGRADE LATER TO ATTEND MORE CLINIC DAYS, DO I HAVE TO PAY SINGLE-DAY RATES?
No. We will get you in the cheapest way possible, within the advertised rates, according to date purchased.
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY FOR MINORS?
Minors (students under 18) staying the night must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians must pay the observer rate as advertised. Commuter students fourteen through seventeen years of age may attend without day-time supervision, however we require written parental consent, a signed waiver, and students must be picked up promptly prior to dinner, each class day.
I AM TAKING A TUG BOAT TO METRO BANJO BUT I AM PULLING A BARGE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
This problem is more common than people realize. I'd get out of the shipping lanes and cut it loose. Then nudge it into some secluded bay and drop anchor, or rent it out as a swimming platform. People living on Long Island Sound may pay handsomely to have it hauled to their beach for a wedding or summer gathering.
I'LL BE JAMMING GEARS ACROSS THE HIGH PLAINS TO REACH YA'ALL IN THIS 18-WHEELER. GOT ME A BUNK AND BANJO. YOU GOT A PLACE TO PARK THIS BEAUTY?
Got lots of options for your traveling motel. Just lay off the jake while snaking jimmy through downtown. Might be able to arrange a pinstripe job while you're at the show. Call beforehand.
THIS BANJO CLINIC THING'S GOT ME CONFUSED. SURE, I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE 5, BUT FRANKLY I'M LEERY ABOUT WHAT I MAY BE GETTING INTO. LIKE, IS THIS A CAMP OR A CLINIC? WILL THERE BE ANY DIAGNOSING AND TREATING OF OUTPATIENTS GOING ON? DON'T WANT NONE OF THAT. THANKS BO.
Hey BO. Thanks for your email. I've been asked this question more times than I can remember. Here at the clinic, we aren't throwing curveballs or trying to draw people into health care. Rest assured, there isn't a needle or Neti Pot in the place. Not even a dressing unless it comes with salad. Just good folk drinking coffee, learning banjo and making friends. Between us though, personally, I know that a nurse usually handles the registration desk, but don't tell anybody. Could blow our cover. See you in November!
Return to Top