Fest offers music for beginners

Ottawa residents are lucky to be able to choose among lots of music festival offerings.

Ottawa residents are lucky to be able to choose among lots of music festival offerings.

Earlier this year, there was the jazz festival, Ottawa Bluesfest, Music and Beyond, and Chamberfest.

If all that listening has inspired you to get in on some of the music-making action, you’re in luck.

The Ottawa Folklore Centre is running a series of free music lessons at Ottawa Folkfest, which runs Friday through Sunday.

The Pass It Down workshops not only offer free instruction on instruments like the jaw harp, tin whistle, nose flute, ukelele, harmonica, clawhammer banjo and the hand drums, but are giving away a limited number of instruments to the first registrants.

“Basically, you can go in not knowing anything, and when you leave, you can play a basic tune,” said Alan Marsden, the Ottawa Folklore Centre’s director of the school of music.

“You won’t end up being the greatest player on the planet in the beginning, but it’s a really fun introduction.

“(Music) is one of the great things to do in life. It inspires people and helps them grow.”

The 17th annual Ottawa Folk Festival runs at Britannia Park from Friday through Sunday.