LETCHER Co., Ky. (WYMT) - Close to 100 banjo, fiddle and guitar players are filling the Cowan Elementary School for a lesson in mountain music.
The 12th annual Cowan Creek Mountain Music School is a week long program with 20 instructors.
The sounds of mountain music can be heard throughout the halls.
Something Leslie County native Randy Wilson says is not unusual.
"There were times here in the mountains you know you could hear people playing on their porches. It was just comfort and a joy to people," said Wilson.
Wilson says he is teaching these beginner banjo players much more than music.
"We want to keep the tradition alive. It's like a soul of a place you know. It's culture and it's songs. It's the songs of people and we want to try and keep them alive," said Wilson.
The preservation of music found only in Eastern Kentucky.
Coordinators for the Cowan Creek Music School say passing this knowledge on is key.
Parents like Alan and Tedra Strickland agree.
"We have three fiddle players. We have three banjo pickers and two guitar pickers," says Alan Strickland.
Two of their sons began playing the banjo in September.
The Stricklands say programs like this one help connect their children to this region.
"I think that's important for them to have the roots here and to learn the traditional type way to play the music," says Tedra Strickland.
Instructors say mountain music deserves to be kept alive and these students are listening.
Those organizing this event say while there is a fee, this is a great opportunity.
They hope to get more kids involved next year.