• Classes

  • Winter Weekend 2019

You’ve got your words and you’ve got your music – Now what?  Is the song ready for prime time?  In this class we’re going to talk about those finishing touches that truly complete the song and make it sparkle and shine!

Before that pesky Appalachian dulcimer came on the scene, the banjo was a ballad accompaniment instrument of choice in the Southern Mountains.  For many of us it still is.  Part presentation and part hands-on, so bring your banjo!

Slide guitar—guitar played with a bottleneck or metal tube on one finger of the fretting hand—is one of the most compelling sounds to emerge from the bluesfields of the American south.  This class is directed at advanced-intermediate and advanced students who would like to explore bottleneck playing.  We’ll take a deep, hands-on look at the…

Ella Fitzgerald said, “The only thing better than singing is more singing.”  So we will sing some more!  We’ll focus on songs with good, singable choruses, and learn harmony parts to a few of them.  Songs will be chosen with an eye towards the repertoire class I have taught in the past, so hopefully there…

Appalachian dulcimer from the roots up!  We’ll develop multiple techniques and tuning options for song support, learning a lovely melody or two in the process including Jean Ritchie’s Now is the Cool of the Day.  You are also welcome to bring a song for us all to work on.

We will explore the opportunities that DADGAD affords to play in several keys, a characteristic that is not often found with open tunings. We will look at chord patterns and voicings that take advantage of the drones inherent in DADGAD, and will learn a classic of the genre, She Moved Thru the Fair.

What do you do in a jam session when you are one of twenty guitar players?

Diagnostic and therapeutic guitar coaching sessions.

We will take a good look at the relationship between exercises, efficient and effective practice habits, and actual music for the mandolin, featuring a variety of choice tunes and songs. Suitable for tune players as well as song accompanists.

What a wonderful start to the day!  We will get our bodies and voices ready for a day of music, learning some vocal warm-ups and exercises, and then we welcome the day with songs that we will learn on the spot by ear.

A crooked fiddle tune deviates from the standard number of beats for that style of tune. That is, the tune may add or drop beats in a measure, disrupting the usual rhythm pattern.  Crooked tunes often sound chaotic or daunting to the uninitiated, but they’re really no harder than any other tune once you get…

In honor of the winter weekend, we will work on a beautiful tune from a place that knows and loves winter, la belle province de Quebec. La Marche Pomerleau is a lovely traditional tune with an interesting back story; it came into the New England session repertoire via Lisa Ornstein, and has become a popular session tune….

John Doerschuk, soundman extraordinaire, will coach three sessions for folks who want hands-on performance experience at the microphone.

The voice is the most personal instrument and learning a new way to use it can transform you.  African-rooted aesthetics – carrying traditional spiritual concerns – gradually brought the art of singing in America to dramatically new territory and changed what we expect of pop, blues, soul, jazz, gospel and even country singers today. From…

This workshop is all about getting started – throwing some words and music down-sketching out song notions so that we have something to edit and complete. We often stop ourselves before we’ve even started by wanting the song to be perfectly formed before we commit pen to paper.

When I was first writing Story Songs I didn’t understand the importance of the story behind the story.  There’s the Story you start with, the Story you write, and the Story the Song TELLS YOU (the individual writer and listener) in the Singing…sometimes many years later!

Come play deeply rooted music in an informal ensemble. I’ll choose some of the repertoire, and you choose some. All instruments and voices welcome. We’ll play some music by ear, some from notation, and create arrangements suited to our instruments, voices, and mood! Audio recorders encouraged.

Playing swing rhythm is big fun and easier than you think.  Using a few easy chords and right- and left-hand techniques, you can start comping your way to four-beat heaven.  We’ll learn the basic three-finger chord fingerings, the best way to move from one chord to the next and the simple left-hand muting technique that…

Traditional American fingerstyle guitar.  It’s not your father’s “Freight Train.”

Let’s talk about music for kids. I will share what I have found useful and successful in my years of doing concerts in schools and family concert settings, and hopefully you will do the same.  And of course, we will sing, so all are welcome, regardless of experience playing for kids.

The old men and women who created solo blues guitar were cannily taking first position chord shapes, running them up the neck and reusing them in new contexts. They were searching for voicings with open strings, and essentially, finding ways to play a guitar in standard tuning as if it were in open tuning. These strategies…

This seemingly simple art form has long been a vehicle for the human spirit and the expression of frustrations and the darker emotions that attend us when our hearts break, when we are mistreated, when the world throws us off balance. And none of that, of course, is simple. In this class we’ll explore the…