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

Cori Brewster

There are no rules in songwriting — but there are “tools” that can help you achieve your goals and there are “common denominators” that occur over and over again in successful songs – songs that touch the hearts of audiences. We will look at the nuts and bolts of songs: creativity, lyrics, melody, and chord structure. Bring your song, instrument and an open mind. Bill Coon

Guitar Comping (I/A):
We‘ll learn several ways in which we can find new chord voicings and extend our chord repertoire. We’ll explore chords on the highest 4 strings, II V I patterns, and how to deal with extensions. Also we’ll take a look at what kind of rhythms we can play behind soloists and vocalists in order to provide the nicest groove possible in swing and Latin styles.

Guitar Soloing (I/A):
We’ll look at both ends of the soloing spectrum: learn how to use what we already know more effectively AND learn how to play over every conceivable dominant chord you’ll ever face. Learn how to make the chords and melody work to our advantage, how to master them and not let them master us! Take your playing to a new level always keeping in mind that a good solo is simply a new melody.

Pepe Danza

Stick Technique and Rhythm Skills for Guitar:
In this workshop we will learn basic drum stick technique (that can be applied to any percussion instrument). We will then apply these skills to the guitar, both fingerstyle and with a flat pick. We will study polyrhythms, paradiddles, clave concepts and other fundamental building blocks of rhythm including dynamics, timing, feel, listening and soloing.

African Rhythms:
In this workshop we will learn the basic technique for instruments such as the djembe, conga, djun djun, bells, shakers and clave. We will also learn a few traditional rhythms, songs, and concepts basic to African style and Afro-Latin drumming.

Steve Dawson

Slide Guitar:
This course will be an overview of some right and left hand techniques involved in playing bottleneck slide. We’ll learn two standard slide tunings and several blues standards that use them. We’ll also look at basic improvisation and some solo slide in the Delta blues vein. Bring a slide!

Blues Guitar:
This class focuses on some basic techniques involved in playing Country Blues and Delta Blues. Includes right hand techniques and licks and progressions from the 30’s-50’s. We’ll also look at a bit of ragtime guitar from the same period.

Dave Dunnigan

Song of a Beach:
Are you a guitarist looking for some great song for your next beach party or summer get-together? We’ll learn some terrific and popular party songs, with cool riffs and progressions that will get everyone singing along and make you the life of the party! Suitable for intermediate players.

Jumping with the Flea:
The ukulele (literally “jumping flea”) is one of the most enjoyable instruments you can play, and always brings a smile to the faces of listeners and players alike. If you’ve never played the instrument and would like to learn, or have begun playing and want to expand your repertoire, this is the course for you. Ukes may be any size, and should be in GCEA tuning. Some ukuleles can be provided for those who haven’t yet acquired their own.

Kori Miyanishi

Appalachian Old Time Fiddle:
For those of you who have some experience with the fiddle, we will be exploring the use of bowing patterns and drone strings – fundamental (with an emphasis on ‘fun’) characteristics of the style – to drive your playing. We’ll learn a few standard issue dance tunes in the repertoire. All tunes will be taught by ear.

Old Time Repertoire (fiddle:
Kori Miyanishi; banjo: Jason Romero; guitar: Pharis Romero): Here’s something different and fun, with separate courses presented for three instruments which will come together to work in one ensemble. This is an opportunity to learn some Old Time tunes on your instrument of choice, then put what you’ve learned to work playing with others in the old time band.

Karla Mundy

Basic Harmony for Beginners:
This course will explore two and three part harmony singing in several vocal traditions. We will look at basic harmonic structure, intervals, as well as vocal sound quality and ways to blend with your fellow singers. We will be learning by ear so there is no need to read music.

World Music Choir:
This course will explore various singing styles from different world vocal traditions. Drawing on Appalachian, Cuban, African and Gospel music, we will be learning two, three and four part harmony singing and working to understand the basic rhythms and vocal quality within these different styles. We will learn by ear and everyone is welcome!

Stephen Nikleva

Rockabilly Guitar (I):
Let ‘s go for a romp through some of the most influential guitar playing of the 20th century, Rockabilly! We’ll focus on the great Scotty Moore from Elvis’ Sun studio band and will look at the many aspects that make up this unique style of playing. Blues based single lines to Chet Atkins inspired rhythm patterns will be included and who knows, maybe we’ll get into some pretty cool “hotrod” techniques as well!

Travis Picking (I):
“Hillbilly Fingerstyle” as I like to call it. We’ll take an intermediate approach to this complex style, focusing on independent thumb technique and a variety of new chords that will get you to that classic “Merle” and “Chet” sound. We’ll also look at some great techniques such as forward and backward rolls, open string riffs, and 3 over 4 patterns that will really spice up your playing!

Ray Piper

Basic Bossa Nova:
In this class we will look at how to play a basic bossa nova and samba groove. We will work on how we can apply it to most standard Brazilian tunes, using both forward and reverse clave.

Basic Choro:
We will learn the basic accompaniments to choro tunes and some of the other dance forms within the choro genre, maxixe, polka, samba choro and waltz. We will also look at how the bass lines function in the context of the accompaniments.

Jason Romero

Old Time Banjo:
For both clawhammer or three-finger banjo players who know some tunes in either style. This class will focus on the sound and rhythm of stringband playing and the banjo’s job. We’ll explore tunes and licks in several banjo tunings and will practice these tunes when we get together in the old-time stringband class.

Old Time Repertoire (fiddle: Kori Miyanishi; banjo: Jason Romero; guitar: Pharis Romero):
See description above.

Pharis Romero

Old Time Guitar Technique:
If you know some basic chords and have an interest in learning back-up guitar for string band tunes and songs, you’re ready for this class. We’ll work on the boom-chuck rhythm, chord choices, bass notes and runs, keeping time, tuning, and learning to listen. We’ll practice all these skills when we get together in the old-time stringband class.

Old Time Repertoire (fiddle: Kori Miyanishi; banjo: Jason Romero; guitar: Pharis Romero):
See description above.

Jean Strachan

Vocal Technique:
In this class you will experience simple and effective ways to release the energy and power of your voice. We’ll start with the basics of correct position, dynamic relaxation, using the breath, and engaging your will and vocal imagery. Then we’ll move on to good tone production, resonance articulation and more, all the while singing exercises and songs that consolidate our learning.

Barry Truter

Introduction to Fingerstyle Patterns:
This course is rich in tips and techniques for fingerstyle accompaniment. We’ll use well-known songs to introduce a variety of picking patterns from arpeggios to calypso, alternating bass, clawhammer and ragtime syncopation that will add colour to your arrangements. Return to top of page