Teaching Artist

In teaching concerts, workshops, and keynote addresses, Ainslie shares compelling music, stories, and observations about the role of the artist in a society.

Teaching is an important part of Scott Ainslie’s work, as both a scholar and a musician.

A Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude graduate of Washington & Lee University, with a long history of deep interactions with senior tradition bearers in the Old-Time fiddle and banjo, as well as, Blues and Gospel traditions, Ainslie would “rather be a bridge, or a link in the chain, than a cul-de-sac. I have knowledge I don’t want to die with.”
“When a tradition changes hands, it’s always personal.

“In the spring of 1967, I walked into a Mike Seeger concert at Groveton High School and heard Virginia Bluesman John Jackson (1924-2002) – a remarkable human being and musician.

“At Seeger’s insistence, Jackson played three songs as an unadvertised guest, and my world changed forever. I walked into that auditorium curious about folk music, and I walked out a guitar player – who’d never touched the instrument before.

“I started playing guitar a month later.

“That was the first of many times that I found myself in the presence of a senior player, lunging toward their music – taken by their spirit, as much as by the sounds they made; my ears and curiosity alert with delight.

“Heedless of present distractions (or future obstacles), I have been lucky to have been so faithfully and fully broken-open by a voice, a sound, a song, a tune.”

– Scott Ainslie

Students of all ages are full of potential. They are dry tinder waiting for a spark. And there is no telling what will set them off.

It is incumbent on us to offer them a chance to catch fire: the chance that John Jackson offered Scott.

As a teaching artist, Scott presents teaching concerts, assembly programs, and keynote addresses on various aspects of the African and European roots of southern American music, and the role of the artist in society.

Scott frequently meets with a subset of an audience for a follow-up workshop to expand and personalize their knowledge, experience, and engagement with the music and traditions he brings to the table.

Scott has a number of established programs for school audiences. And he is always happy to coordinate the content and focus of his work to suit both the grade level and educational goals of students and staff.

Day-long and longer term residencies are sometimes added to the performance work. The focus of residency work is generally worked out with input from involved faculty well in advance.

Booking inquiries for educational work should be directed to Loyd Artists.

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Form submissions will go to both Susan at Loyd Artists and Barb at Cattail Music.

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