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

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.

Doug Cox

Slide Guitar:
Using Open D tuning we’ll explore the basic elements of (bottleneck) slide guitar. Right and left hand techniques will be looked at plus the basic chord shapes in Open D tuning. Licks and rhythm playing will both be explored. Students should have basic skills on the guitar in order to join the class. A bottleneck slide is needed!

Blues Guitar:
We will look at the different kinds of blues rhythms and some blues turnarounds. We’ll explore chord shapes and look at major and minor blues. We will also introduce lead guitar techniques working on some scales but mostly on fun riffs and licks and how to approach a solo. Students should have an understanding of the guitar such that they can play through a basic 3 chord song without slowing down.

Pepe Danza

Stick Technique and Rhythm Skills:
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 study of polyrhythms, paradiddles, clave concepts and other fundamental building blocks of drumming, 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.

Don Fraser

Guitar Soloing (B/I):
Using the CAGED method, we will learn the major pentatonic scale which works really well for soloing. Five movable patterns allow you access to the whole neck and because they are movable you can play in any key. As well we will learn how these same patterns relate to the minor pentatonic scale to get a bluesier sound.

Don Kellett

Mandolin (B/I):
This course is designed for players who have a few chords and want to learn to play melodies. We’ll focus on learning appealing melodies to help you become familiar with both right and left hand technique. Tunes will be selected from folk, bluegrass, fiddle tunes and standards. Most importantly, we’ll aim to have fun with this versatile instrument.

Hawaiian Music “Kanikapila” Class:
Bring your ukulele, guitar, slack key guitar, steel guitar (or Dobro), bass and your voice and join in the spirit of Kanikapila. We will learn to play some standard (and maybe not so standard) Hawaiian tunes. Background on the tunes, the Hawaiian music tradition, and Hawaiian instruments will be discussed. You will be transported to a backyard music party in Hawaii – wonderful cure for the drab Vancouver rainy season blues!

Kitty King

Finding your way in. How do you begin to write a song: with melody, lyrics, rhythm, chord structure, or…? In this supportive class, we’ll experiment with different approaches to creating and sharing your own songs. Bring your instrument and an open mind!

Wendy Knudson

Introduction to Fingerstyle Guitar (B/I):
Have you always wanted to play fingerstyle guitar? We’ll work on getting that thumb to be truly independent, learn a few basic finger patterns and apply them to a variety of songs.

Guitar Backup for Fiddle Tunes (B/I):
AKA beyond boom chuck. Using standard tuning, we’ll explore tips and tricks to figure out chords to fiddle tunes, simple bass runs, rhythmic ideas and alternate chord ideas to jazz up your accompaniments.

Craig MacGregor

Playing By Ear (Level One):
This is an introduction to playing by ear or intuition. We will learn two forms of the major scale and how to practice them so we can learn to hear the intervals of the scale. Focus will be placed on fingering so that possibilities are reduced and scale degrees become attached to a certain finger. By the end of the class everyone will be playing familiar melodies by ear.

Playing By Ear (Level Two):
This is a step beyond level one for people who already have some knowledge of the CAGED system or the five shapes of moveable scales. We will learn to play familiar melodies by ear in all five shapes. This will lead to the discovery that there are only two ways (fingerings) to play a melody, and these two ways cover the entire fretboard.

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!

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.

Putting Voice to Song:
In this interactive class you’ll learn effective ways to place a song in your voice. Bring a song that you know or are learning, which represents a challenge for you (could be the vocal requirements, interpretation, style, performance or all of the above). We’ll break it down and find ways to move through the challenge to vocal freedom, confidence and creative expression.


Performance Technique:
When I log, I don ear protectors, hard-hat and steel-toed boots. When I attend the opera, I don specific garments. When I present my songs, I dress them with body language, microphone technique, and respect for the listener’s time, interests and sensibilities. Attend this workshop to hone your presentation skills.

Every song has a purpose, a destination, an intent. How can I use my instrumental skills to best achieve a connection to the listeners? Should I strum, comp, or finger-pick? How can I vary the dynamics to maintain listener interest? Attend this workshop to hone skills in arrangement and accompaniment.


Fiddle Ensemble:
Experience playing with others while having fun creating great music with layers of melody, harmony and groove. All instruments from the fiddle family are welcome, intermediate through advanced players. Inspiration and laughter are guaranteed.

Tune Garden:
Discover your own unique creative voice and get in touch with your musical intuition as we explore composing in this guided journey of melody crafting. All instruments and all levels of experience (including first timers) are invited to come and play in this garden. Return to top of page