Everyday Inspirations - target ages teen-adult

Discover the inspiration in everyday sights, sounds, objects, people, and places in your world.  Learn how important your unique perspective is, and ways to use it to make your work in any genre of fiction or non-fiction shine.
Duration 1 hour - 2 1/2 hours.

Ukulele for Teens - target age: teens

​Librarians, nationwide, are commenting on the growing interest that teens are showing in playing the ukulele!  This easy beginner workshop introduces new players to the fun of playing the ukulele.  30 specially-marked ukuleles are provided for student use.  Teens play and sing several songs in the session. A short recital is built in at the end.

Express Yourself Through Song - target age: pre-teens, teens

Award-winning singer/songwriter Aspen Black guides teen through two basic styles of songwriting: lyrically-driven and melodically-driven.  Then, students are given time to begin writing a song using one of the two methods.  Teens with previous experience on a musical instrument are encouraged to bring their instrument of choice to assist in the writing process, as well as sharing their finished song start.  Non-musical teens may choose from several of Aspen's pre-recorded chord progressions on guitar to provide the musical accompaniment for their original song.  A sharing session concludes this workshop.

"Western Spirit" -

It takes big dreams, courage, innovation, imagination, and perseverance, and love to build a better world.  Who in our history has illustrated these traits and more, rising up in the face of adversity, than the pioneers?  This exciting program "Western Spirit", crafted to compliment the 2017 national Summer Reading theme "Build a Better World", takes young patrons on a musical journey into the west through the eyes of men, women, and children who courageously stepped out into the frontier and built our nation beyond the thirteen colonies. Between the story-snippets and songs, children try their hand at pioneer-era children's games, role play to divide up pioneer children's chores, and work together to build a one-room "soddie" (sod house) out of cardboard, that they can take turns crawling inside.

Program time: 45 min. - 1 hour. Target age: elementary students PK-5/6, but all ages, even families, can participate. This program has successfully been presented to library groups of 5 to 150+.

Library Programs for Kids and Teens

Summer Reading 2018: All programs below fit the National Theme of Music!

"The Singing Cowgirl(s)" - Recommended for PreK and Elementary ages, groups large or small​​
See your kids clap, laugh, sing, dance, and role-play along, all while learning about authentic, historical  and modern, cowboy/girl life!  Younger kids dive right in, clip-clopping along to "Come Ride With Me", learning to yodel with "The Yodeling Mule", traveling to "Cowbuqerque", NM, with Cody, the songwriting steer, 'tooting' along to "That Smell" (let's face it, bathroom humor reigns supreme with kids, and it's especially fun barnyard style!), and everyone likes dancing to the "Cowgirl Shuffle" and the Virginia Reel!  All the while, kids learn about the responsibilities and freedoms of children in the pioneer west, geography & topography of the western states, 'cowboy vocabulary', the Spanish influence, what children did for fun in the old west, the role of horses and mules in place of tractors and cars, and career & lifestyle prospects for the modern cowboy/cowgirl.  Duration – 30 min - 1 hour, interactive concert format

Songwriting is Fun - target ages 10 -17, or adult

Aspen introduces her "blueprint" for writing any style of song then works with young writers to brainstorm, interject experiences, emotions, and tie it all together into a song that is suitable for self-expression and/or commercial or performance potential. Participants who play an instrument are encouraged to bring it. Otherwise, a notebook and recorder (tape, digital, app) is recommended. 
 Duration 1 hour - 2 hours.

"Guitar Like A Star" (approx. elementary - teen) or "Pre-Guitar for Kids" (PreK - approx. 3rd grade)
Kids can play songs in the first five minutes!  Children learn to make chords, strum, count in rhythm, change chords, and play/sing along to familiar children's songs.  Instruments provided. Limit 30 participants per session, or 60 in a combined session.  Older kids use classroom sized guitars and play easy - intermediately challenging songs up to 3-4 chords and learn a basic riff.  Younger kids use ukuleles and play easy children's songs, up to three chords.  All instruments are specially tuned and marked to fit the program. A combined session for of Pre-Guitar and Guitar Like a Star can be arranged for groups with wider age ranges.

Duration approx. 45 mins. - 1 hour.


Aspen Black

Peek-A-Boo, Buckaroo!  - Recommended for Story Hour children (toddler through six).  Limit - approx. 30.

 It's cowboy day!  Young children can expect to be entertained, and educated, by nationally award-winning cowgirl poet, singer/songwriter, and horsewoman, Aspen Black.  Aspen brings her newest book, "Peek-A-Boo, Buckaroo!" to life through interactive games, call and response, a craft & game of fantasy, hands-on exploration of real saddles, bridles, bits and other horse items, and musical interpretation.  As an added caveat, children learn about authentic cowboy culture and the craft of cowboy poetry!  "Peek-A-Boo, Buckaroo" finished in the top-five for 2016 Western Music Association Poetry Book of the Year. 
Duration 45 mins. - 1 hour