Cowley County native Cody Griesel is making the move from student to teacher in the Arkansas City Area Arts Council’s Seeds program. He began as a student in the Seeds program, working with local artist Tim Durham.
Next week, Griesel will teach an acoustic guitar camp that is geared toward those aged 13 or older who want to play an acoustic guitar, but have limited knowledge or experience.
The camp will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. June 6-8.
“I’ll cover tuning, open chords, song structure and, for the more advanced students, chromatic scales, accompanying vocals and other instruments,” Griesel said.
It is recommended that students bring an acoustic guitar, but a few instruments will be available for those who don’t have one of their own.
“This will be a fairly loose format, to allow everyone to work at their own pace or focus on their individual interests,” Griesel said. “It doesn’t matter what your skill level is, either — all that’s required is a desire to play.”
“I also welcome other stringed instruments, and would really love it if someone shows up with a banjo, mandolin, dobro or anything else they want to study,” he added. “Tim Durham is a very skilled musician and accomplished mandolin picker, and I’m sure he could assist any students who show up with one.”
Durham has played the banjo since the ’70s, while Griesel only picked up a banjo five years ago.
“The program has made me devote more time and energy than I would normally allow myself to devote to the banjo and bluegrass music,” Griesel said. “That’s part of the beauty of the program — it allows people who wouldn’t have the time to pursue their artistic endeavors to be able to do so.
“When I go home at night, I have a good excuse to sit on the porch and play banjo for an hour or two.”
His education didn’t start with the banjo, though.
Griesel started playing stringed instruments when he was 7 or 8 years old.
“My grandfather, Floyd Anderson, got me started,” he said. “I grew up playing my grandparents’ gospel band. My grandma played bass, and my grandpa played pedal steel and six-string.”
For more information about the acoustic guitar camp, visit www.arkcityarts.org/tickets/acoustic-guitar-camp.