The Blues in the Schools program has been bringing a little history, a little music, and a lot of inspiration to Tri-state area students for more than twenty years.
The Society’s educational program, known as BITS for short, has two areas of focus:
- School presentations by professional musicians
- Performances by young people who are learning to play Blues
Why We Do BITS Presentations
Blues music is a uniquely American art form and an important part of our country’s heritage. The music originated during a troubled time in our nation’s growth, yet it also shows the ability of the human spirit to find ways to overcome and express itself. By teaching about the origins of the Blues and focusing on the common ground we can find in the music, BITS presentations offer a unique way to introduce the history woven into the music as well.
In-School Blues Presentations
This program brings accomplished area Blues musicians to local schools to educate students about the history and significance of Blues music. There is no charge to the schools. BITS is funded by money raised at Cincy Blues Society events throughout the year, with additional funding from grants and donations.
A BITS presentation lasts about an hour and can be performed in an auditorium, a classroom, or any space large enough to accommodate the audience and musician(s). The presentation usually starts with a song, but the musician will also talk about what makes the music—the chords and progressions of 12-bar Blues music—and the musicians who created the art form. There is usually also time allotted for questions from students.
Because the BITS program is free for the school, we can take presentations to inner city charter schools, suburban private schools, rural public schools, vocational institutions, or any other educational establishment that requests the program, reaching a wide spectrum of students.
Blues In The Schools Band
The BITS program also includes education through performance by young musicians. When students at school presentations began asking how they could learn to play that kind of music, we created the BITS Band. The band performs annually as the opening act for the Cincy Blues Fest. The BITS Band may also perform at jams or other events throughout the year.
For More Information
To book a BITS presentation, to find out about joining the BITS Band, or for any other BITS related information, contact Jeff Sewell at bits @ cincyblues.org or the BITS Facebook page.