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B: Beginner //  I: Intermediate //  A: Advanced

Keith Bennett

Let’s Play the Blues:
We’ll learn many variations of the blues and look at soloing ideas. By exploring the many types of blues songs we’ll increase repertoire and have fun too. No tough chords or changes. Open to all instruments and singers.

Blues Harmonica:
From the store to the first song can take so little time with the right guidance – you’ll be playing in no time. Great for guitarists who want another instrument to solo while they play. Bring a 10 hole diatonic harmonica (key of C). Guitarists also bring a harp rack.

Danny Casavant

Soul and R&B for the Acoustic Guitar (B-I):
A real boundary jumper, this course will introduce ideas and techniques usually associated with the electric guitar. Tunes and concepts from artists such as Curtis Mayfield, T-Bone Walker and BB King will open up new creative ideas and breathe new life into your soloing and rhythm guitar playing.

Practical Music Theory (I-A):
This will be a hands-on class using theory to bring concepts alive as music. Recommended for any guitarist interested in composition or songwriting.

Erin Corday

Percussive Techniques for Guitar (B-I):
We’ll focus on right-hand technique to learn how polyrhythms, harmonics, hammer-ons, pull-offs, string stops and strums can help you evoke samba, bass montuno, mbira and kalimba. Includes rhythmic principles, vocal percussion and muting effects.

Open-minded Tunings (B-I):
How do you turn standard chord progressions into stunning guitar arrangements? We’ll learn specific tunings and focus on arrangement concepts (chord voicing, bass movement, dynamics, etc.), intuitive approaches and practical applications.

Patricia Dalquist

Vocal Technique:
Drawing from an array of exercises, you’ll learn an holistic approach to voice production. We’ll investigate the whole body as your instrument, including how attitude can affect your voice. We’ll relax the body, work the voice, then we’ll sing!

Gospel Singing:
We will warm up our voices, getting to the most open sound. After listening to different examples of improvisation, you’ll learn to access your own creative gospel statement. There’ll be answer and harmony work and we’ll finish the class with a joyful noise!

Susan Ellenton

Something Out of Nothing:
“There ain’t no wrong way to write a song, but that don’t make it easy.” This class is about making it easier. We’ll experiment with a number of different ways to get started – messin’ with melody, foolin’ with form, wrasslin’ with rhythm … pretty soon you’ll be writing songs you never heard before!

Songs Under Construction:
Release your unfinished songs from chaos. We’ll listen deeply to each other’s works-in-progress, and foster the ability to re-enter the creative process in order to recognise “what the song wants”. Bring an unfinished song.

Andy Hillhouse

Celtic Guitar Back-up (B-I):
Get inspired to back up Celtic instrumental tunes in an authentic style. Learn effective chord shapes and strumming patterns that will make the most nervous fiddler smile.

Celtic Guitar Backup (I-A):
Tools to help develop your own back-up style. DADGAD tuning, Shetland style “swingy” back-up, substitutions and flatpicking tunes.

Sue Malcolm

Slow Pitch Jam:
Develop the skills necessary to create music successfully in a group: communication, timing, dynamics, beginnings and endings, and confidence. Students should have a basic knowledge of chords and be able to change chords smoothly – speed is not necessary.

Dick Owings

(A) Celtic Fiddle Styles (B) Old-time Southern Fiddle Styles:
For those who are already playing some fiddle and wish to more closely evoke these classic traditional styles in your sound and repetoire. In the Celtic course we’ll explore examples of Cape Breton and Irish fiddling. The Old-time course will focus on several tunes from the Southern U.S. tradition. Provided transcriptions will help you learn techniques of bowing and ornamentation which characterize the style. By the end of each course your bow and fingers will have new ways to slur, accent, double-stop, cut, slide, warble, roll and treble!

Dale Rasmussen

Introduction to Vocal Harmony:
For those with little or no experience in harmony singing, we’ll learn and apply the basic principles of simple harmony using easy-to-learn songs.

Intermediate Vocal Harmony:
For those with some experience singing harmony, this class will focus on complex arrangements from traditional gospel, bluegrass and jazz in 3 and 4 parts. Emphasis is on singing and arranging songs for performance. We’ll also work on jazz harmony and some fun ear training.

Andreas Schuld

Licks and Tricks (B-I):
You’ll learn easy but highly effective licks and techniques which can be applied in a variety of playing situations. Handouts and CDs will be available, featuring all licks played at slow and normal speed, as well as backing tracks.

Country Blues (I):
We’ll cover the fundamentals of country blues fingerpicking and basic techniques as well as licks and turnarounds in the styles of masters like Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee, and Mississippi John Hurt.

Gary Stevenson

Flatpicking (B and I):
Develop the basics of lead flatpicking, including licks, passages and melodies, using traditional fiddle tunes or other standards. Beginner level will focus on pick direction, finger position and timing. Intermediate level will work on left and right hand techniques such as hammer and cross-picking to move beyond basic melodies, and will also introduce improvisation.

Barry Truter

Folk Style Fingerpicking (B-I):
Slim pickin’s? No way! This course is rich in tips and techniques for fingerstyle accompaniment. We’ll use well-known songs to explore a variety of picking patterns to add texture and color to your arrangements. (Assumes ability to move easily between common major and minor chords.)

Joe Vinikow

Swing Starts Here:
If you can play a barre F chord, you’ll soon be navigating the upper fingerboard confidently and learning the most useful moveable chord positions, so you can play in any key without a capo. Incorporate more sophisticated harmonic voicings for creative accompaniment in swing, jazz, and western swing. Build your repertoire with an eclectic starter kit of jam session favorites.

Lady Be Gone:
Here’s a song sampler hand-picked to add some zing to your thing: dance tunes, torch songs, jump blues, novelty numbers and western swing. We’ll stray down some musical byways in search of overlooked gems, to add color and variety to your repertoire. All vocalists and instruments welcome; chord and lyric sheets provided.