Lyre 2015: Youth Lyre Workshop


An important part of our international lyre gathering in Detroit, Michigan this August, is our Youth Lyre Workshop, which will run simultaneously with our general adult conference. As of this week, we have received ten registrations from young people ages 11 through 19 who will participate in this special program for youth as well as registrations from five older adolescents who, we are excited to report, will be full participants with us in the adult conference! 

The Youth Workshop will begin with an afternoon registration at 5:30 pm on Monday, August 3rd followed by supper together, where young people will meet the other participants and their teachers, Veronika Roemer and Christina Porkert, who will be leading the workshop.  After supper, the youth will join the adults for our opening evening, which will include a general welcome and orientation, remarks on the conference theme, and several artistic offerings to include lyre playing, singing, and poetry from members of the Lyre Association of North America.

The schedule for the Youth Lyre Workshop will begin with singing together at 8:30 am each morning from Tuesday through Friday. The next hour will be dedicated to playing lyre together. After a morning break, students will explore musical possibilities with new instruments, including metal and stringed instruments, and will then have an opportunity to combine their lyres with some of the new instruments to create a piece of music together! 

Following lunch together, some exciting activities have been planned for the youth to explore the beautiful city of Detroit on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. The students will visit the Pewabic Pottery and will be able to create a ceramic tile of their very own. They will also visit the Michigan Science Center, which features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, and finally, they will visit the renowned Greenfield Village for an authentic exploration of early American history and culture. More details and links for these unique local adventures are provided below! 

The youth will return from their outings before supper and will then be released to the care of their parents or guardians for supper and the remainder of the evening. Youth Workshop participants and their families are warmly invited to join the adult conference participants for our evenings of Artistic Offerings on both Tuesday and Wednesday. 

On Friday, following lunch, the youth will stay together to rehearse in preparation for their contribution to our final evening Public Concert, which will be the official close of the dedicated Youth Lyre Workshop. All youth are warmly invited to join the adults for our closing on Saturday morning, which will feature sharing from the various adult workshops as well as a closing plenum and farewell lunch. 

We still have space available for a few more young people who would like to spend an exciting week exploring music making together with others their age from both the US and several other countries. Remember that no previous musical experience is necessary. This will be a very special week of sharing music, culture, new friends, and lots of fun! Please pass the word to any young people in your communities who might still wish to join us for this unique opportunity in conjunction with Lyre 2015 in Detroit, Michigan this August!

-Sheila Johns

June 20, 2015

Youth Activities – August 4th through 6th, 2015

We have some wonderful adventures planned for the youth on the afternoons of the Conference! Look for a lot of interactive activities and plenty of diversity in different parts of Detroit. 

1) Pewabic Pottery


We thought our youth would like to create a ceramic tile as a keepsake of their trip. A drive about 5 miles east of Wayne State close to the river brings us to this 1903 National Historic Landmark. 

Founded by Mary Stratton and Horace Caulkins of the Arts and Crafts movement, Pewabic is renowned for its iridescent glazes used to tile Detroit’s prestigious buildings and residences, as well as Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and the Nebraska State Capitol. Children will tour the fabrication studio, the extensive ware shop, then attend a workshop allowing them to hone their pottery skills in an intimate setting with ceramic artists. The youth leaders will return to the studio later to pick up the artwork after they have fired them for us.  Go to and find out more.

2) Michigan Science Center

We’ll walk three blocks East of the WSU campus along Midtown’s Putnam Street to the 10th largest science museum in the country. Greatly expanded since its opening in 1970, this modern center features hundreds of hands-on exhibits with special attention to youth groups. Depending on the time, we’ll experience whales on the biggest IMAX screen in the state, a theater for examining electromagnetism, and/or the planetarium. Science is not too dry and abstract here! 

Visit to see more.

3) Greenfield Village

We’ll drive about ten miles west to one of the most exciting places in the country. On 80 acres surrounding the famous Henry Ford Museum, we’ll have a chance to visit almost 100 historic structures that have been moved to this location, including the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, Lincoln’s courthouse, Ford’s garage, Noah Webster’s home, and many others. There are Model T’s, 19th century baseball games, a 19th century steam engine, an antique carousel and paddle boat, artisans at work, a working farm, and hundreds of historical re-enactors showing us cooking, crafts, telling stories, and giving the youth a look at many American historical events. Who knows what will sidetrack us? And there’s no way to see everything in one afternoon! 

Visit for more details.

- Joel Bartlett

Conference Links

Main Conference Schedule

Youth Workshop Schedule 

Registration Form