Why the Blues?
This program is a rare opportunity for musicians who play in a band, write songs, or work with studio or music production to explore the musical and cultural universe of blues music with other musicians. The program starts at the Notodden Blues Festival, where you will meet your fellow students and be introduced to the blues!
Throughout the program you will receive guidance from a team of teachers from Little Steven’s Blues School, and Norwegian blues artists Knut Reiersrud and Amund Maarud will hold master classes in the fall and spring semesters.
As part of the program, you will perform concerts at many local clubs and venues.
What will you learn in the Blues Program?
Starting in August, and over the course of two semesters, you will immerse yourself in the styles and traditions of blues music. You will build up a valuable understanding of the significance blues music has had for the development of contemporary popular music and the position it has in contemporary society.
- What the students will be left with after the program is competence in one of the most fundamental music genres that permeates all music.
Collective music-making is central to the blues program. Together with your fellow students, you will develop skills on your main instrument, and you will also develop as a band member, through ensemble work in groups.
While you are learning about various traditions and styles as a performer, you also will have the opportunity to find and strengthen your personal voice, and to cultivate your own musical interests. Another important component of the program is to write and record your own, and others’, music by working with studio recording. We are proud to have access to Juke Joint Studio, located in Notodden’s Bok & Blueshuset, which has many components from the legendary STAX studio in Memphis (1960-1980)!
In addition, you will write an individual or group assignment, in which you will strengthen your own knowledge and understanding of the historical and societal function of blues music in popular and contemporary culture, using relevant research questions.
In the topic of bluegrass, we acquire an understanding of the bluegrass tradition through listening, imitation, interpretation and historical in-depth study. We use the main instrument and voice to get in-depth on how grooves and harmonics progress through a set of reference songs. There will be room for creativity and personality in how to solve the various musical tasks throughout the year, while it is important that one can put the music into a historical perspective and recognize key elements and artists. Acquiring a basic bluegrass expertise will give you the keys to solving musical challenges far beyond this genre.
Preliminary schedule 2018 - 2019
There is a volunteerly start-up during the Notodden Blues Festival 01.08.2019 - as part of the volunteer apparatus.
The first compulsory start-up week is Wednesday 14.08.2019 at 10.00 in Musikkbygget.
Instructions are scheduled every Wednesday, from 9.15 to 17.00.
In weeks 41 and 46 there is a gathering at the Raulandsakademiet on Wednesday and Thursday.
Further Career and Study Opportunities
Following the completion of the program you may study or work in the fields of music and education. You will be able to use skills acquired in the blues program in performance and pedagogical work. At USN you can continue your education in different programs, ask your coordinator for details.