August 22, 2014

From Beth

I have arrived! I am In Indiana Pennsylvania where I will be the Wingate resident at IUP until December. The drive here was the same path I took in September of 2010 when I set off on the first Turning Around America project. There were several things I noticed. I was not anxious as on the first trip-The van is all worn in with spots on the carpet and scrapes on the woodwork (80,000 miles later)- I am excited about heading off the more traveled path. My first trip I was so concerned that I would not arrive on time, I took only major highways, this trip I drove through the countryside.

I am excited to have this time to work on my new project, which is making stringed instruments. I first became interested in stringed instruments when I taught at Merrimack High for a month in April. I helped some students figure out how to make a Canjo with recycled materials and the process really captured my imagination. Since then I have made many stringed instruments, banjos, canjos, ukuleles and a guitar made from an ammo box. Each one has taught me about music and process, I think of the ones I have already completed as sketches. My goal is to make an instrument that is beautiful and functional with cast offs from my shop. I also want to learn to play an instrument. I am going to take guitar lessons while I am here. When I was in third grade I tried out for chorus, after singing my guts with my rendition of, This Land Is Your Land, I received an ungracious, ”Don’t call us, we will call you.” I realize this stopped my music development. This project is about reclaiming music. I am also hoping to create a simple stringed instrument that can be easily made by children and adults.

About turningaroundamerica

Collaborative Team of Jenn Moller and Beth Ireland
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