Humans are born to make music. It is no coincidence that music (and dance) is a part of every human civilization.

It's also no coincidence that making music, especially making music with others, is one of the best things we can do for our health.

And there was a time when music making was considered an ordinary part of being human.

Yet, in recent history, many have lost touch with their music making selves. As the ranks of those making music as a profession have risen, the numbers making music for the sheer joy of it have diminished.


Jamming with my buddies

Along with this collective shift in our relationship to music came the unfortunate myth of musical talent, that only some had what it took to make great music.

This needs to change.

Fortunately, there's still opportunity to reclaim this essential part of your humanity. Even though, for most, music making is no longer a de facto part of the routine of daily life, these traditions of music-making-for-the-sheer-joy-of-it are still alive and well.

One of the most rich and vibrant examples of that tradition is Southern old time music. While it has its deepest roots in the Appalachian South, it's a tradition that now transcends geographical boundaries.

This was the music folks played in their homes before radio. Music for celebration and dancing. Music for connecting with each other in ways that only music allows us to do.

Southern old time music is still alive and well, and old time jams where this music is played can be found all over the world.

It is a living, breathing, thriving tradition of people making music for the joy of it, and it is one of the best ways to reconnect with this vital and ancient part of our humanity.

This site began many years ago as a way of helping the tradition grow. A way of giving others who were learning to play an opportunity to hone their skills, learn some of the core tunes of the tradition, practice playing with other instruments, and discover the joy of making music with others.


The Brainjo Method - Neuroscience Based Musical Instruction

As mentioned above, I think we're all born to make music. Anyone can learn to play a musical instrument, at any age.

Cultural mythologies around talent, and instructional methods that develop the wrong skill sets have reinforced the impression that this is not the case.

But, with the right learning path, anyone can learn to play.

The goal of the Brainjo Method is to provide that path, by using the first neuroscience based system of instruction targeted to the adult learner.

To learn more about the Brainjo Method courses for clawhammer banjo, old time fingerstyle banjo, and old time fiddle, click on the button below.

Click to learn more about the courses for BANJO and FIDDLE


If you have tunes you would like to see added to the site or any other feedback, please let me know on the Old Time Jam Facebook page.

In this short video, 12 Year Old Nora does a pretty great job of explaining what makes old-time music so special: