Casey HenryI write this having just finished a long day of working first at the dentist office, where you'll find me three days a week doing paperwork, accounting, and making appointments, and then teaching for three and a half hours. At the end of Wednesday, which is my longest day, I'm always starving, so I was more than glad to be able to pull the Gypsy Soup and cornbread, which I made yesterday, out of the fridge for a quick and satisfying supper.

I've started two new students in the last month, both absolute beginners. One gal, whose husband is in the army and deployed overseas, is trying to find things to fill her time. What better than the banjo?! She got interested in bluegrass not too long ago, after getting Sirius Satellite radio and listening to the bluegrass channel. She found an instrument on Craigslist, that oh-so-useful source for so many things. The person she bought it from got it new ten years ago and never played it.

At her first lesson I did a little rudimentary instrument set-up---tightening the head and the tuners---and I reassured her that she had gotten a good deal. The I showed her the forward, backward, and square rolls. At her second lesson, tonight, I changed her strings for her---ten-year-old strings just don't sound very good---and gave her a set to keep in reserve in case she should need them. Then we went over the C and D7 chords and reviewed her rolls, which she had learned really well. These instrument maintenance basics took up a good bit of lesson time, but her banjo sounds much better now, and is easier to play, so I think it was well worth it.