Tina May is so enthused about HCTC s Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music (KSBTM), she is enrolled in classes along with her three sons. She and husband Marty moved the family from Central Kentucky to live in Hyden so the family could learn from Director Dean Osborne, and instructors Bobby Osborne, J.P. Mathes, and Curtis Burch.
Tina was diagnosed with Crohn s disease and that health concern prompted her to think about the things most important in life being together as a family. So sons Tyler May, age 19 and Cory May, age 17, after obtaining their GED (after being home schooled), were ready for college. She decided to take classes too. Their son Isaac, while too young to enroll, does attend the classes. He is really learning a lot. In fact, on one test, he made a higher grade than his mom and two older brothers!
Tina was at their home in Mt. Eden, in Spencer County Kentucky, when they learned about the school in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
(Husband) Marty talked to Dean about the school; three weeks later we went to the annual Osborne Brothers Festival; then we enrolled in classes, Tina said. After that, we went home to Spencer County, packed up and moved here. It just all kind of worked out for us, Tina said.
It has been so much fun for us to all learn together, Tina said. She has taught her kids notes on the piano; they have taught her to play the bass. Sons Tyler and Cory play fiddle, banjo, bass, and guitar. Isaac plays all but the fiddle. The singers of the family are Cory and Isaac. All three boys write music.
When you are older, you are more focused on learning, 41-year-old Tina said, but having the chance to learn at KSBTM with her family makes it all the more meaningful to her. The teachers are all great, she said, and she has high praise for the quality of education she is receiving. Where else can you get one-on-one lessons with Curtis Burch and Bobby Osborne than at this music school, she noted. She is glad the school covers so much about the music business learning to make a CD, running your own business. If you want that whole aspect of the music business, this is a great place to be. I like the small classes. I like the atmosphere. It has been great for us.
Highlights since becoming an HCTC student include performing with the KSBTM ensemble at the Halfway to Hazard event and seeing Tim McGraw arrive via helicopter. Another highlight was traveling with the school to play at the Newgrass Festival with instructor Curtis Burch. The most recent joy was playing on the House Floor at the Capitol in Frankfort which was a big hit with legislators.
HCTC s Dean Osborne enjoys having the family at his school. They have really talented kids. It is a very unique and great opportunity to have a whole family of musicians studying. There s a family dynamic that comes across in their performing; you can only get that with a family. And then to see them interact with the other students is a great thing to watch. I feel the future is very bright for the May family in the music world. Their talent as individuals also covers a vast spectrum, Osborne said.
Tina May noted, All of our experiences have been good since moving to Hyden. Stress can make my Crohn s disease worse. A woman told me that I would be healthier by playing music. She was right. Folks don t realize the power that music has. God created music for our well being. I know it is good for me.
The family plans to graduate in May 2011. Anyone interested in also becoming a graduate of the music school can call Dean Osborne at 487-3630 or 800-246-7521, 73630.