• Classes

  • Week One 2020

Advancing Beginner Guitar is for players who know their basic guitar chords and not much else. We’ll get up the neck a bit, try out some tunings, fool around with rhythm and fingerpicking basics, and learn some shortcuts and cheap tricks. Bring a capo and a favorite song or tune.

First time players will learn basic tuning and playing skills, while players with some experience concentrate on developing technique and repertoire. The class will combine playing by ear and by the numbers.   

Playing familiar songs right from the start, we will learn the basic tools for song accompaniment and playing with others. We’ll cover the basic chords, learn which chords commonly go together, and practice changing chords in rhythm using a bass/alternate or “boom-chuck” strum with a flatpick.

This playful class is designed to introduce (or perhaps re-introduce) you to this versatile instrument. We’ll cover holding and tuning the mandolin, how to coordinate the pick, and how to play simple chords and lead lines. Then we’ll relax into a week of songs and tunes to strengthen and expand your mandolin playing and overall…

This class concentrates on providing a solid introduction and foundation to the aspiring blues fingerpicker.  We’ll concentrate on techniques for developing monotonic, alternating and walking bass lines.  We’ll explore how blues players move first position chord shapes up the neck in order add variety to your playing as well as to play in different keys. …

If you have ever wanted to tune your guitar to an open chord, pick up a slide and explore the sounds of bottleneck blues this class is for you. We will be learning the music of such slide guitar giants as Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Tampa Red, Blind Willie Johnson…

Since its introduction into the world of Celtic music in the 1960s, the guitar has become an integral part of the music, both in accompaniment and as a solo instrument. This class will focus on both of these aspects, primarily through fingerstyle arrangements of traditional Irish and Breton dance tunes and folk songs from the…

Drawing mostly from old-time southern styles that use open tunings, we will explore bowing technique, rhythm, and chords while learning fun tunes. The class will be geared so that beginning fiddlers as well as those new to old-time fiddling will enjoy playing and learning.

We’ll dissect 3-5 masterpiece arrangements for fingerstyle guitar, ranging from intermediate to advanced. Tunes will be announced at the Sunday Meet-n-Greet. Tablature will be provided. Feel free to bring a recording device!

Filling in the Cracks is for any guitar players who do OK but want to spiff it up, for old folkies needing to lose bad habits, for more experienced players looking for a technical boost, or for any who have nothing else to do that period. We’ll get you to play just like yourself, only…

This course offers an introduction to basic techniques, styles and approaches to the use of the harmonica in blues and folk music. Topic covered include holding the harmonica, playing in first, second and third positions, and harmonica maintenance. Harmonicas, key of A for this class, will be available for purchase at the SAMW store.

Come in and discover your most soulful voice! An exploration of various vocal techniques and exercises to unlock that vocal magic within. Get on with your best howlin’ of the blues and more.

This class will focus on solidifying the basics of good technique and expand into a survey of the varying roles of the mandolin. Melodic playing, fiddle tunes, improvising a break, and song backup (both playing behind a guitar player and accompanying yourself as a singer) are likely topics, using a repertoire based on a broad…

Bob will lead a dialogue (and give handouts) about poetic meter and what a powerful tool it is, hoping to develop an awareness in students both of the prevalence of ballad meter in folk song and all of its modern derivatives, and the fact that it’s there because it works. With practice and exercise, we’ll also…

Sing for energy and sing for joy. We’ll sing great songs that are easy to learn, and the class will include plenty of vocal warm-ups and wake-ups. Everyone welcome.

A class for all who are looking to perform at their very best, including techniques to overcome performance anxiety, how to leave a lasting and positive impression, and to sing and play like the pro you are!

An innovative all-inclusive music workshop featuring Stuart Kenney’s original music compositions.  We will integrate tunes, spoken word, rhythms and groove into a frenzy of heartfelt music.  Bring instruments (any level), voices, and percussion. Come experience how tone and movement weave a groove for the human soul.

Many professional and well-known songwriters have been part of a co-writing team. In this class we will partner up for the week and discuss ways to get the most out of a co-writing experience. Even if you primarily write alone there is much to be learned from working with someone else. Co-writing often has a…

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. I’m hoping everyone who participates in this…

It’s no small thing to write a song well, but there are many resources to help you accomplish this task. We’ll enumerate many of them in an opening lecture, then help you overcome obstacles with individual songwriting assignments, attention to meter, and cogent and compassionate critique designed to turn your “inner critic” from a destructive force to a servant of…

We will learn real world sound skills and wander through some “big picture” theory without getting too technical. Much of what makes good sound is really basic: beat back hums and buzzes, set up your stage well, monitor levels in the right places, have good communication with the stage. Class tips and hands-on experience will…

Come to sing, and to tell, and hear, stories that have to do with any kind of music, or perhaps no music at all. And come learn how to use stories well when you introduce your own songs to an audience.

Understanding a few basic chord shapes gives you a fertile field for exploring both swing rhythm guitar and soloing. We’ll send you home with some building blocks for a year of practice in this genre. Feel free to bring a recording device!

I will teach the bass from the ground up – from how to hold it (whatever form of the bass you bring), to playing a tune within the class period!  Feel how bass tones shake the earth.

The goal here is freedom and fun! Every day, we are presented with situations that call for us to improvise, at work, at home, in line at a store. But we don’t worry about, or fear improvisation in these situations. We just go for it. In this class, we will go for that same sense…