Newsletter

Existential Banjo

ENJOY EVERY EPISODE!

Episode 1
Little Pink America
with Corky Siegel &
Sons of the Never Wrong

Episode 2
People Get Ready
with Sue Demel, vocals

Episode 3
MTA (Poor Ol' Charlie)
with Tony Trischka


Episode 4
Suite for Americas:  Dorian
with Nora Barton, cello

Episode 5
Midnight Rider
with Darol Anger. violin

Episode 6
Vincent Black Lightning
@ Chicago City Winery

Episode 7
Hasna ya Layla
with Aziz Samaoui, ngoni

Episode 8
Opus 821
with Geraldo de Oliveira

Episode 9
Gaudete & Sleepers Awake
with David Jennings, vibes

Episode 10
Corrina, Corrina
with Aziz Samaoui, ngoni 

Episode 11
Dokunmak
with Erkan Ogur
(Concert in Istanbul)

Episode 12
Last Thing On My Mind
with Tom Paxton, songwriter

New Releases

A-sides CD

Fingerstyle guitar with Darol Anger on violin 

 

Two New Hal Leonard books

BOB DYLAN FOR BANJO

 

FIRST 50 SONGS
To Play on the Banjo 
(co-written with Greg Cahill)

 

About Michael J. Miles

 

 A TRUE STORY....

When Pete Seeger first heard Michael Miles, he sent a letter to Michael saying that "in all my 70 years this is among the most beautiful recordings I’ve ever heard...it is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.”
 

Michael Miles is one of America’s most inventive clawhammer banjo players. Add guitar, vocals, jazz instruments, orchestras and complex historically-themed theatrical presentations to the mix and, two decades later, Michael has a critically acclaimed catalog of original compositions, stage performances, music CD’s and music instruction books.

Michael's performance credits include the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Ravinia Festival, Harris Theatre in Chicago, American University in Beirut, Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Ireland, MIAM Graduate Conservatory of Music in Istanbul,  and the Royal Opera Theatre in Marrakesh.

 

 

 

 

Send A Song To  
...The President

"I commend you for your hard work as an educator and send my best wishes."    - President Bill Clinton

"It is comforting to know that the future of our nation is in the hands of such inspired young people.   Thank you Michael Miles."      - President Jimmy Carter

"We are encouraged knowing we have your support."  
     
 - President George Bush

Miles’ song,  “If I Were The President,” is designed as a collaborative work that makes room for student ideas.  Students answer the question, “If you were the president of the United States, what would you do to make the world a better place.”  Student ideas are then inserted to the song and sent to the president. 

PHILOSOPHY AND INTENT 

Miles’ goal is to further awaken the political voices of the students--to let them know that  no matter how old they are, their opinions really matter. The president (Republican or Democrat) needs and wants to hear from them.  America is a great country because we can freely share our opinions with one another, and sometimes disagree out loud.

 

PREPARATION 

This project be can be accomplished with entire schools or individual classrooms.  


1.  Students are oriented to the process that the president and all politicians rely on getting advice from people.   The president can’t really know what it’s like to be in your shoes.  To do a better job, he needs your perspective.  You can even write him a letter or send him an email right now at:
 
www.whitehouse.gov/contact


2.  Students listen to the song & how it works.


3.  Students are encouraged to think of serious answers to make the world better. 
 

4.  This can be done quickly (1 hour) or extended with class discussions of current events and and actual letter writing. 

 
RECORDING DAY
Miles meets with students and teaches them the song.   The final version can take several formats from the simple creation of a short video to full blown assembly where the students share their ideas with one another in a live performance. 

HISTORY OF PROJECT
Miles has been doing this project for over 10 years and in that time has surveyed thousands of students whose ideas have been sent to current and former presidents. 

HELPFUL PDF DOCUMENTS
Press Release  
Sheet Music
 

(Above:  Video from Chicago sent to President Bush in 2008) 

(Above:  Rehearsing song with Chicago students, 2011) 

(Above:  Performance video of students in UK, 2011)