• by


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

Marie Eaton

Songwriting: Jump-Start Songs:
Do you write tunes, but can’t find the words? Do you write words but need help to find your melodies? Are you a songwriter, but just haven’t written anything recently? Are you longing to write a song, but just never put pen to paper long enough? In this session we’re going to do a couple of writing exercises to jump-start lyric writing. Guaranteed, you’ll end the session with a song-seed planted!

Songwriting Workshop/Woodshed:
Songwriting is not just the magic and rush of the new idea, but also the time spent in crafting a pretty good song into a great song. In this class, we’ll work together on songs that have gotten stuck between inspiration and completion. We’ll examine how well your initial choices are working in a number off areas common to most songs — melody, lyric, structure, and groove. Participants in this workshop class should come prepared with some songs or song fragments that they want to craft.

Neil Fraser

Advanced Improvisation (I/A):
Explore single note soloing over jazz tunes using scales, triads and arpeggios to create substitutions that will add colour to your playing. Knowledge of a scale system (for example, the C-A-G-E-D system) would definitely be an asset.

Advanced Jazz Chords (I/A):
This seminar will explore how to create interesting chords while supporting a soloist by:
manipulating the basic inversions of the chords; using chord scales; 1/2 step approaches, and other devices. Pre-requisite:
knowledge of inversions of min7, maj7, dom7 chords on the top four strings.

Rueben Gurr

Blues/Rock Guitar (B/I):
This seminar will explore approaches to later blues and rock influences — B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry and even some Clapton and Hendrix concentrating on one or two seminal lix from each of these masters and demonstrating how to use these phrases as a basis for fun improvisation. For exploring Hammers, Pulls and Bends, an unwound third string would be an asset. Backing tracks and mp3s as well as handouts will be available.

Licks & Tricks (I):
This seminar will concentrate on how to develop your phrase ideas over standard chord progressions. We will explore what simple scales work best in certain progressions and styles. Emphasis will be on how to develop an idea into full licks as well as how to use the same material in different settings and genres. For exploring Hammers, Pulls and Bends, an unwound third string would be an asset. Backing tracks and mp3s as well as handouts will be available.

Lauri Lyster

Beginner percussion, or “There’s more to life than the egg shaker!”:
This beginners seminar will start with some basic rhythmic practice, which we’ll then apply to tastefully fit in to various styles, including latin, swing, pop etc. We’ll use some of the more common percussion instruments that you’ll encounter, including bells and clave, shakers, tambourine, hand drums (ie. conga, dumbek and djembe) and snare drum. Bring percussion instruments if you have them.

It’s all in the Groove:
In this intermediate seminar, we’ll analyze various recorded grooves, and decide what/when/how to add percussion. This seminar is all about creating a groove and listening carefully to the ‘track’, and/or other musicians, to see what ‘fits’. Bring favourite recordings and percussion instruments if you have them.

Stephen Nikleva

Western Swing (I):
Western Swing is an exciting mix of country and swing jazz. Learn how to navigate through basic chord progressions such as “C Jam Blues” and “Boil ’em Cabbage Ddown” using moving bass lines with your chords. Learn how a couple of simple melodic patterns patterns can be “recycled” to create a solo.

Unlocking the Guitar (I):
You will learn some tips and tricks that Stephen has accumulated over his years of playing and teaching. Ways you can begin to “recyle” what you already know, simple tricks to help you with your improvisation. Ways to help “unlock” the fretboard.

Dawn Pemberton

Rooted in Rhythm:
Clap your hands, stomp your feet and raise your voice! Discover the joy of embodying rhythms through song. Together we will groove and “la la la” our way through co-operative, fun and funky a-cappella chants, songs, steps and rhythms from around the world. This will be an exciting opportunity to increase your rhythmic health and expand your singing skills and overall musicianship.

Soul Sessions:
Why is soul music so fantastic?! Why is soul music so fun to sing?! Together we will dive in and explore some of the techniques and styles of some of the greatest soul singers like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Using fun and inspiring songs, we’ll create a mini-choir in which budding soloists can seek, stretch out and soar!

Karin Plato

Song Catchers:
Jazzy harmony arrangements of songs to sing — duets, trios, quartets. You’ll be singing some of the harmonic colours that exist in jazz and blues and enjoy ensemble singing. A book of songs and exercises composed and arranged by Karin will be available for purchase.

Vocal Jazz Master Class:
Karin will coach and guide each singer who performs a song for the class. A master class is a wonderful way to showcase a song that you know well, and get some feedback and new ideas too. You’ll be able to listen to each other and this is a great learning tool since aspects of style, phrasing, artistry are discussed throughout the class.

Bob Romanow

Mandolin Accompaniment (B/I):
We will start with a few simple moveable chords, delve into some tone/timing/technique options, and explore how they can be applied and expanded upon to accompany a variety of musical styles (old timey, bluegrass, swing). Ability to play a few double stops and/or a simple melody would be an asset.

Choro Repertoire (I):
Emerging from Brazil in the middle of the nineteenth century, this combination of Portuguese and Italian influences resulted in melodies with a strong romantic feeling. When joined with African influences, it creates an irresistible groove and rhythmic momentum uniquely Brazilian. We will learn to play a few classics of the Choro repertoire. All instruments welcome.

Garry Stevenson

Introduction to Flatpicking (B/I):
How do you pick a tune? We’ll start with Carter-style playing, working out of chord positions while playing the melody. Then we’ll turn to straight-ahead picking of melodies, adding simple embellishments to make interesting breaks.

Bluegrass Repertoire (All levels):
Themes include home, the mountains, love lost and gained. We’ll learn several of the timeless tunes that continue to be sung decades after they were first recorded, with emphasis on writers such as Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and other classics.

Laura Silverstein

Introduction to Fingerstyle Guitar (B/I):
In this course we’ll focus on getting your right hand going, with your thumb playing an alternating bass line and your fingers picking patterns — from simple to syncopated. We’ll emphasize establishing a steady rhythm and groove with your right hand.

Fingerstyle Agility (I/A):
What do you do when you’re arranging a tune on the guitar but the melody leaves the first position and seems out of reach? In this class, we’ll learn a few tunes where this occurs. With simple movable chord shapes/positions up the neck, you’ll be free to follow the melody wherever it needs to go!

Laura Smith

Old Timey Banjo (B/I):
You’ll learn the simple right hand pattern that is central to this banjo style and some easy songs to get started. If you’re already acquainted with this pattern we will add some variations and fit these into more songs and tunes as we learn them.

Old Timey Song Repertoire (All levels):
We’ll learn songs from some of the musicians who were at the forefront of this musical genre:
Charlie Poole, The Carter Family, The Delmore Brothers, Doc Boggs, Uncle Dave Macon, and others. All instruments and voices are welcome!