LAURINBURG — A “garage band” camp this week had a half dozen elementary-aged boys rocking their hearts out during daily jam sessions.
“Hey mama, rock me,” was their anthem — lines originally penned by Bob Dylan and more recently popularized by the Old Crow Medicine Show.
Local musician Chris Fore of Fore Music taught the campers how to jam like rock stars during rambunctious daily sessions at Fore’s studio in The Help Line building downtown. The camp, which ends today, is part of a summer enrichment program at the HELP Line that provides stimulation through diverse activities.
“I think that it’s better than kids sitting around all summer not doing anything,” Fore said. “It’s a good way to keep their brains active and themselves active.
“I’m lucky because I’m able to do the artistic end of that enrichment.”
The four-day camp tried to teach students — aged 7 to 11 — how to incorporate learning with making music.
After campers made their band logos, they went straight to jamming. From the keyboard to the electric guitar, they moved from instrument to instrument to find their musical niche.
The laid back and goofy atmosphere made each tw0-hour session fly by. Fore said the students learned song transitions through their choice of music, they had free time to play with the instruments, then performed songs like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Wagon Wheel” as a group.
Fore instructs private, one-on-one guitar, drum and vocal lessons year-round as a part of Fore Music, and this summer’s camp was his first experience teaching in a group atmosphere.
“Four days, that’s enough,” said Fore about his energetic students.
“It’s great, it’s fun, you have groups of kids at that age that are really eager and then you have things that make loud noises and those two together can be combustible,” he said.
To keep campers entertained for two hours at a stretch, Fore alternates between formal instruction and free play.
“You’ve gotta give them time to goof off and just have fun on the instruments,” he said.
Fore lead two other camps this summer. One focused on drums and the other was a camp on beginning guitar. A total of 15 students took part in the program. Fore will offer a rhythm and percussion class for children, aged 4 to 8. It will be held on Saturdays during September.
Fore has been involved in music and teaching for four years. He feels that teaching in Laurinburg is part of something bigger than just musical advancement.
“We’re bringing life to these old buildings that just sit here and we attract people to do things in the downtown area,” he said regarding the old McNair building where the camp is held.
He feels that moving his business, Fore Music, downtown will help him as well as contribute to the community.
“In the south a lot of these communities are struggling, especially downtown areas so anything we can do to boost that is a good thing,” he said.
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.