Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Patty Kaufman from Fincastle, Virginia

What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
I started playing the banjo and guitar in the 1970s while in college. The beautiful sound of the guitar and the unique sound of a banjo is what attracted me to those instruments. This pursuit lasted only a few months as my life got very busy with getting married and starting a family. Just two years ago I got “the bug” again, as the pressures of life were starting to get the best of me. My mother was showing signs of dementia and that progressed resulting in my having to care for her. Working my regular job and caring for her after work was causing emotional problems for me. The banjo became my therapy! What fun to start learning to play at 60 years old! Yes, I’m slower than I was in the 70s but it’s been a blessing and it’s something I can do inside while watching my mother!

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve been playing banjo for about two years now. I’ve also started learning how to read music and am learning how to play guitar! Fun!

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lesson on Ben’s site? That’s a hard question. I enjoy them all! I love Jesus Loves Me, the Christmas songs, and even the music theory lessons! My favorite part though is working through the lessons systematically, learning just a little at a time.

What’s your goal when playing?
My goal when playing is to improve the clarity and accuracy of my playing. I have a loooong way to go but as my husband says “the most important thing is to have fun!” And I AM having fun and because this is so therapeutic, there’s no therapy bill to pay! :wink:

Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
The banjo is my number one instrument with the guitar a close second. I am interested in the mandolin too but I’m not ready for that YET! My favorite music is the old hymns but I love many types of music: ballads, some country, classical too.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I would definitely play more banjo and guitar, but also I would love to do more hiking, cycling and, kayaking.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I have been a Gold Pick member for only a few months.

What do you do for a living?
For a living I was a Hearing Instrument Specialist; giving hearing tests, fitting hearing instruments and working on hearing instruments. I was forced to retire early due to having to care for my mother.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
For me, the most amazing adventure would be snorkelling or scuba diving in the Caribbean or in Hawaii! Exploring Alaska would be great too! Yellowstone would be fantastic also!


Hi Patty, Let me be the first to congratulate you on being selected as this weeks Gold Pick Member. @BanjoBen 's Forum is a great resource if you have any questions you need answers to. When the time feels right it would be great to have you share a video of your banjo/guitar journey. It’s always great to see new folks join and become active here on the forum. So keep in touch. I firmly believe you get more from this website and forum than you do elsewhere on the World Wide Web.


Congratulations on being GPotW!

Congrats, Patty! Sorry to learn about your mom, but glad you’re able to make the best of it. Hope to see you around the board.

Welcome Patty…Fincastle is a beautiful town. Done many deliveries there. I’m guessing you’re in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley in that picture. Love the scenery when I’m traveling through on 81.

Hi Patty…nice to meet you. What a blessing you are to your mom to take care of her. Best wishes for your picking prowess!
God Bless

Congrats on being selected and glad to see a confessing fellow banjo-therapy recipient!

Hey Patti,
It’s nice to meet you! You are right the banjo and guitar are therapeutic! There are many times when I can play either my guitar or banjo for hours and forget about everything else going on.