The Age of Being Real

Nancy Barker: Kentucky dulcimer artist adds online school to traditional music festivals

February 23, 2024 Rhonda J. Miller Season 1 Episode 3
Nancy Barker: Kentucky dulcimer artist adds online school to traditional music festivals
The Age of Being Real
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The Age of Being Real
Nancy Barker: Kentucky dulcimer artist adds online school to traditional music festivals
Feb 23, 2024 Season 1 Episode 3
Rhonda J. Miller

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Nancy Barker took piano lessons as young girl and says, "I absolutely hated it. But I could sing." She discovered her path in music when a high school boyfriend gave her a guitar for her birthday. She loved guitar and taught herself to play. For her next birthday that boyfriend gave her a dulcimer. That was her next heartfelt connection to music, one that continues to carry her through decades of bringing traditional music to people of all ages.
For a few years,  Barker took a conventional path for girls of the time. She went to business school and worked as a secretary. The money she earned in the office gave her freedom to buy a VW camper and hit the road with a friend, playing guitar and dulcimer across the country. 
Barker created her own unique musical path over decades. In addition to performing and writing music, she was Kentucky's first artist-in-residence hired by a public school system, a job she held for 15 years. She's also been an adjunct professor, without a college degree, because she says, "They don't make degrees in what I do." She describes what she taught as "music traditions of Kentucky."
Barker has been launching and guiding festivals of traditional music in Kentucky for several decades. She's been the guiding force for Louisville Dulcimer Society, Kentucky Music Weekend, which continued for 40 years, and Kentucky Music Week, which marks its 39th year in June 2024.
Her musical talent and organizational skills are complemented by her generous welcome to share in Kentucky's musical traditions. Kentucky Music Week is a camp and community gathering that offers small group classes in a wide range of offerings, including guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, penny whistle and vocal performance.
Seventy-eight-year-old Barker has launched a new project with her daughter, Jaeni Barker, who applies her graphic design talent and production skills to their online music school, Kentucky Music Institute.
Nancy Barker describes the generational development of her projects. Kentucky Music Weekend is the grandparent. Kentucky Music Week is the child and Kentucky Music Institute is the grandchild. Nancy and Jaeni Barker are dedicated to keeping Kentucky's traditional music alive.
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You can read more about Nancy Barker in "Making the Planet Better With Traditional Kentucky Music" on Next Avenue, an online magazine produced by Twin Cities PBS.
https://www.nextavenue.org/traditional-kentucky-music/

Support the Show.

Music for The Age of Being Real is "Kites Over the Ocean" by the Kentucky Standard Band from their album "Angels of Mercy."
The Age of Being Real is created by writer and audio producer Rhonda J. Miller.


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Show Notes

Send us a Text Message.

Nancy Barker took piano lessons as young girl and says, "I absolutely hated it. But I could sing." She discovered her path in music when a high school boyfriend gave her a guitar for her birthday. She loved guitar and taught herself to play. For her next birthday that boyfriend gave her a dulcimer. That was her next heartfelt connection to music, one that continues to carry her through decades of bringing traditional music to people of all ages.
For a few years,  Barker took a conventional path for girls of the time. She went to business school and worked as a secretary. The money she earned in the office gave her freedom to buy a VW camper and hit the road with a friend, playing guitar and dulcimer across the country. 
Barker created her own unique musical path over decades. In addition to performing and writing music, she was Kentucky's first artist-in-residence hired by a public school system, a job she held for 15 years. She's also been an adjunct professor, without a college degree, because she says, "They don't make degrees in what I do." She describes what she taught as "music traditions of Kentucky."
Barker has been launching and guiding festivals of traditional music in Kentucky for several decades. She's been the guiding force for Louisville Dulcimer Society, Kentucky Music Weekend, which continued for 40 years, and Kentucky Music Week, which marks its 39th year in June 2024.
Her musical talent and organizational skills are complemented by her generous welcome to share in Kentucky's musical traditions. Kentucky Music Week is a camp and community gathering that offers small group classes in a wide range of offerings, including guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, penny whistle and vocal performance.
Seventy-eight-year-old Barker has launched a new project with her daughter, Jaeni Barker, who applies her graphic design talent and production skills to their online music school, Kentucky Music Institute.
Nancy Barker describes the generational development of her projects. Kentucky Music Weekend is the grandparent. Kentucky Music Week is the child and Kentucky Music Institute is the grandchild. Nancy and Jaeni Barker are dedicated to keeping Kentucky's traditional music alive.
-----
You can read more about Nancy Barker in "Making the Planet Better With Traditional Kentucky Music" on Next Avenue, an online magazine produced by Twin Cities PBS.
https://www.nextavenue.org/traditional-kentucky-music/

Support the Show.

Music for The Age of Being Real is "Kites Over the Ocean" by the Kentucky Standard Band from their album "Angels of Mercy."
The Age of Being Real is created by writer and audio producer Rhonda J. Miller.