Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association


The Winter Bluegrass Weekend:
A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance
Friday-Sunday, March 4-5-6, 2016

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, Plymouth MN


GRASS SEEDS MUSIC ACADEMY & GS2: Now in our 13th year!

Now registering for 2016 Grass Seeds Academy!

Grass Seeds/GS2 is a MBOTMA sponsored, three day workshop for young pickers held each year in conjunction with the Winter Bluegrass Weekend. We meet for one session Friday night, two on Saturday and one Sunday morning. The kids then have the opportunity to show us all what they have learned with a concert on the Auditorium stage Sunday at 12:30.

Some of the things we work on are jamming etiquette, ensemble playing, how to play back-up and take a lead break on your instrument, plus singing lead and harmony vocals. The kids have a lot of fun, but they work hard too.

Grass Seeds/GS2 is not just for beginners or “little kids”, nor are we only looking for those really talented kids. If you can play a few common chords or fiddle a few tunes, or if you are a really “hot picker” there is a place for you.

Grass Seeds is open to everyone between the ages of 8 and 20. One of the requirements for GS2 is to be at least 14; however teenagers are not limited to that group. Less experienced older players often benefit more from Grass Seeds. More on that below.

We spend most of the time in small groups and each one becomes a “band” for the weekend. We typically offer four songs ranging from beginner to advanced and include at least one instrumental. All instruction is by ear.

Grass Seeds kids are allowed to choose the group they want to be in according to their own ability and comfort level. Siblings can choose to be together or not together, it is up to them. A band may have as few as 3 or as many as 7 or 8 kids in any combination of instruments. The instructors rotate through the groups so the kids have access to all of them. We work on a few common jam tunes in hopes that everyone will go out and jam in the evenings. So if you see a young person out there jamming, please invite them to join in or stop and play a song or two with them.

The main goal of Grass Seeds is to get young people playing their instruments and loving traditional music. Equally important, is our desire to provide a non-competitive, friendly atmosphere where they can get to know other people their age who enjoy playing the same music. Typically, by the end of the weekend, many phone numbers and email addresses have been exchanged and new Facebook friendships made.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of young musicians at our festivals the last few years and we've seen several new, kid driven, really good bands bursting onto the MBOTMA scene. Most of these kids have attended Grass Seeds, many more than once.

If you have any further questions, please call Sandi Pidel, the Grass Seeds Coordinator at 763-784-5286 or email info@minnesotabluegrass.org. To register, please call MBOTMA at 1-800-635-3037.



MBOTMA is committed to passing this music on to the next generation. Our goal is to keep Grass Seeds as affordable as possible especially for families who want to register more than one child. “I wish there would have been something like this when I was a kid” is without a doubt the most often heard comment about Grass Seeds. The registration fees alone do not cover the cost of putting on a workshop of this quality. If you would like to support our young musicians and help MBOTMA continue to grow this program, please consider making a donation. You may do so by sending a check to MBOTMA at PO Box 16408 Mpls, MN 55416. Please specify that your donation is for Grass Seeds. All donations are tax deductible, you will receive a tax receipt by mail.

# # #

To make the entire WBW weekend a reality we will need to fill 140 volunteer shifts with many volunteers like you - people willing to do their part to make it happen. Would you be able to help us out for just a couple hours? Volunteers get preferential seating at the Saturday Night Headline Concerts. Pick your time and task on our volunteer page and email us your name for the schedule.

# # #