Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Above, right, is the video from the Zoom meeting. We may now be able to do Blues Camp at GIS from June 26 to July 1, 2022. What are your thoughts?
Can you survey your students and parents to see if they are interested in attending this camp if it is in August 2022?
Updated daily schedule to serve 25-40 student musicians (Blues Kids)
8:30A - Instructors arrive on campus
9:00A - Students arrive on campus
9:30A - Morning Assembly (Everyone in one space)
9:45A to 11:45A - Blues Kids go to their ensemble groups
11:45A to 11:55A - Break
12:00P - Daily Wrap-Up (Everyone in one space)
12:25P - Dismissal
Thursday, May 27, 2021 | 2:30P Ghana Time | 9:30A Central Standard Time
2:30P - Zoom Room Link Opens
3:00P - Session Starts
3:45P - Session Break
3:48P to 3:58P - Questions and Answers
The meeting agenda suggestion:
1. Welcome Opening
2. Stanly Ayerson / Dr. Ashun’s Team Introduction
3. Blues Kids Foundation Team Intro
4. Dr. Ashun/Mr. Ayerson on GIS Overview and Mission
5. Blues Kids Foundation / Blues Camp at GIS Overview, 2022 Time Frame, etc.
- Blues Camp (Music schedule)
- Scratch Coding and Tech component
- June or August 2022 Dates
- Pre-Blues Camp classroom video conference meeting
6. Logistics, Visa and Travel Recommendations (Ashun/Ayerson)
7. Open discussion
8. Commitment to the project.
Ghana International School Team
1. Ms. Ida Abbeyquaye: Lower Secondary Vice Principal and a member of the Senior Management Team. Her kids are among the ones you're seeking to recruit...she is eager to connect and learn how beneficial this program will be for her students.
2. Dr. Kristine Marbel-Pierre: Head of Guidance & Counseling. Dr. Pierre is a member of the Management Team and as the lead for all things guidance, is being invited so that whomever participates in this program is able to position the experience well in college applications in the near future.
3. Mr. Pius Asabil: Head of Music Department. He and his team were briefed by Stanley and I and they are excited to hear some more
4. Mrs. Olivia Lecosson: Our Media Coordinator who is there to learn more about how to give this the best coverage possible with the resources we already have as a school.
Mr. Stanley Ayerson as the Student Activities Coordinator will be on the call and lead the discussion from our end.
Today our team may consist of:
1. Charmon Baker (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
2. Dr. Myron Brown (Music Department Chair) at Winston-Salem State University.
(Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
3. Earl Caldwell, or rep in Accra.
4. Dr. Floyd Carroll: Blues Camp parent and educator.
5. C. Ron Allen (West Palm Beach, Florida)
6. Dr. Ja'ami Dawan (Instructional Design, Chicago, Illinois)
7. Maurice West (Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas)
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Questions answered by Stanley
Can we take a virtual campus tour? Definitely - we already have virtual campus tour productions (GIS Virtual Tour video) available on our website, Facebook page and Youtube pages.
Please confirm the location of the U.S. Embassy in Accra and a person of contact. Location, yes (a few blocks away from the School) but not sure of a contact person. We can provide a contact for general enquiries (e.g. +233 50 588 5956 or +233 24 328 3510).
What, if any, travel or safety concerns may be in Accra, Ghana for American nationals? COVID is still lurking around, hence a significant consideration. Additionally, the basic travel and safety precautions you would take into account and prepare adequately for when visiting any city/country other than your host country is worth considering. It definitely pays to be well prepared for unforeseen circumstances. They need to work through their agency.
In addition to our own research, can you suggest 5 places and things that are “must dos” in or near your location? Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Accra City/Market (Makola) Tour, Transatlantic Slave Castles and dungeons, a hike at Mount Afadja (West Africa’s highest peak), cruise on the Volta Lake (World’s largest artificial reservoir based on surface area), Kakum National Park.
What are the COVID vaccine requirements and mask requirements on your campus? In line with government directives, masks must be worn by all persons and at all times in public places, schools and institutions. As you may be aware, inoculations are not mandatory but highly recommended for our school community members. A recent survey shows a significant number of staff have been vaccinated against the virus. The country is still in the process of procuring additional vaccines after the first phase which saw some 800k people have taken the first jab and are awaiting the second. The plan is to vaccinate close to 20m of the 30m people living in the country.
What can we do to build an academic/music exchange program between youths and collegiate students between GIS and BKF?
We currently have annual Musical Productions and Arts Festivals (dubbed, ArTRYx) running in our school. The idea of an academic/musical exchange will be a natural progression following a successful conclusion, agreement and organization of the Blues Ghana Camp. We can discuss this further when you come to Ghana.
What can we do onsite to be good guests?
Simply, uphold rules and regulations for our facility use. This will be shared with you in advance before your trip to Ghana. Also, we cannot over emphasize the significance of abiding by the Country’s law and requirements of the visas issued to your team by the Ghana High Commission in your host country.
Can we/you survey the parents/guardians and potential Blues Kids of interest to see what week or weeks would work best?
We will give them the week that works best. When the planning is done early, parents will work around the time.
Is there a music store or site close by where instruments are sold and/or rented?
Monday, April 26, 2021
1. Here's the permission form sample for the parents.
2. Here's the Memorandum of Understanding outline.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Dr. Mary Ashun,
I am also in this documentary that was released yesterday on Vieux de Niafunke. Click here, or put this in your URL
• • •
"[Fernando] you are one in a million trying to get to the bottom of the barrel of the Blues.”
(Click to see photo of the two)
(Click for article)
(Click for article)
It has been a dream of mine since childhood, over five decades ago, to have a centrally located place where student musicians could come and play the Blues, America's roots music, in a nurturing, organized, professional environment. Fast-forwarding to adulthood, the dream has come to fruition. We have successfully established our Blues Camps and partnerships in Tokyo, London, Cuba, and on college campuses from California to Florida. Here are some parent testimonies.
I’d like to invite you to join our team and establish a formal strategic partnership between your organization and mine (Blues Camp International, the Fernando Jones brand(s), and Blues Kids Foundation — a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit registered charity. For more information go to FernandoJones.com and BluesKids.com.
With The Ghana International School as an international/community 2022 partner, we would like to:
• Promote and champion Diversity and Equitable Inclusion by giving underserved youths access to America’s roots music, the Blues.
• Establish a direct relationship between you and our foundation.
• Create a Master Class series with Fernando Jones on the art of playing the Blues by ear.
• Create a Blues Camp Workshop series for adults and youths in the North Shore and urban communities.
• Create a family friendly Blues Kids Music Fest.
• Provide additional music education programming for your school partners in other underserved areas.
Oral and Written Quizzes
Rehearsal Performance Prep
Concert Performances Evaluation
Final Presentation Project
Exit Course Evaluation
• Keep Blues youthful and exciting, while preserving and building on the past.
• Provide Blues Kids with the basic skills (musically, socially, emotionally and linguistically) necessary to play proficiently and effectively in a music community.
• Learn the importance of the Blues from a sociological and historical perspective with a focus on the future, representing student musicians as scholars.
• Introduce this indigenous American art form to new audiences.
• Use critical thinking skills, while collaborating with others.
• Apply practical skills learned in class in culminating activities on stage.
• Promote digital learning and embrace technology.
• Contributions to the future of the Blues musically, socially and culturally
• Represent the next generation of musicians as scholars and proficient players.
• Introduce students to the art of live professional performance.
• Introduce the history of American music through the lens of the Blues.
• Keep the Blues youthful and exciting, while preserving the past.
• Represent the next generation of Blues artist as scholars and proficient players + vocalists.
• Learn the importance of the Blues from a sociological and historical perspective with a focus on the future and its connection to West Africa.
• Use critical thinking skills and collaborate with others.
• Apply practical skills learned in class in a culminating activity on stage.
For Student Musicians To:
• Improve music literacy by playing by ear and reading tabs + chord charts.
• Communicate using cross-generational/regional “Blues” language.
• Use proper dynamics to ensure appropriate volume levels for songs.
• Accompany vocalist with proper volume control, fills and chords.
• Critique and self-evaluate performances and provide feedback to others.
• Perform as “one” in an ensemble setting.
• Demonstrate basic Blues patterns such as 8-bar and 12-bar Blues.
• Demonstrate the call-and-response.
• Play songs effectively without guitar or piano solos.
• Perform a 10-15 minute set of music at a professional level with confidence.
• Demonstrate the art of the groove.
About the Founder
Internationally known Bluesman Fernando Jones founded Blues Camp, an international program, and established it Monday, July 5, 2010 on the campus of Columbia College Chicago where he is on faculty as founding Blues Ensemble director in the Music Department. On July 4th, the day before, there was a kick-off celebration on the site of the old Chess Records at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue. Jones said, "It has been a dream since childhood to have a centrally located place where children could come and play the Blues in a user friendly, nurturing environment on a college or performing arts campus."
Mr. Jones is also a songwriter and scholar. Born to loving Mississippi parents on the South Side of Chicago, Jones was inspired by his older brothers, Foree, Marvin and Gregory to play music; that inspiration led him to teaching himself how to play guitar when he was just four years old.
He is a highly sought-after lecturer focusing on music pedagogy and literacy improvement whose clientele has included the Smithsonian Institute and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Buddy Guy said that Fernando Jones is “one in a million trying to get to the bottom of the barrel of the Blues.” The incomparable Fernando Jones is a 21st Century Renaissance man and the 2008 Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient and a Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee to name but two of his professional acknowledgements.