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

Marc Atkinson

Tools for Jamming and Improvising (I/A):
This class is designed to help give a solid concept for building jamming and improvising techniques. Some approaches are discussed that can help steer the path for tackling the world of improvisation. Both soloing and chordal ideas will be discussed. The direction of this class is often guided by questions.

Awesome Jam Tunes You Ought to Know (I/A):

This class will teach a few classic jam tunes, with a gypsy twist, that are both user friendly and really fun.

Michael Averill

How to Make a Cover Song Your Own (I):
Have you ever listened to a song you love, and heard it a different way? Maybe that pop, folk or classical song could sound even more unique coming from you as a blues or reggae tune. Understanding how to reinterpret a song can be an exciting journey into your own style and development. This practical class will cover how to spice your favourite song(s) with your own special flavour. Singers, strummers, and instrumentalists welcome.

Jam Language (B/I):

Playing with others is a conversation. Learning how to listen and effectively communicate ideas improves the quality of a conversation. This class will explore how to lead a jam, how to follow and support a jam, and will improve your ability to improvise on any instrument while having a ton of fun!  All experience and skill levels welcome.

Kathy Barwick

Secrets of Crosspicking Flatpick Guitar (I):
First, we’ll look at two right-hand crosspicking techniques. Then, we’ll look at several strategies for integrating crosspicking into your guitar arrangements and improvising, including an analysis of fingerboard patterns that you can use for crosspicking melodies.

Flatpicking Rhythm Guitar for Singers (B/I):

This class will present ways to back yourself (or someone else) on a song. We’ll start with the basic alternating bass structure commonly played in bluegrass and folk music, and build from there, focusing on dynamics and ways to most effectively frame the song and feature the singer.

Anne Louise Genest

Clawhammer Banjo:
This class will introduce (or review) the fundamentals of clawhammer style banjo, including the basic strum, double-thumb, and drop thumb techniques. We’ll look at tunings in open G, G modal, and double C, and introduce you to some splendid old-time tunes and songs. This will be a very hands-on class so you can expect to play a lot. Tab will be provided for all the tunes we work on, but the in-class focus will be on learning by ear.


Where do songs come from? How can we take the germ of an idea and grow it into a song? We’ll do some fun exercises to explore songwriting ideas and help get the muse flowing, and we’ll look at how to develop a consistent songwriting practice to keep that flow going. We’ll also look at some classic gems from the archives and discuss what makes a song “work”.

Rueben Gurr

Songwriting from the Beginning:
We will explore some of the techniques that top songwriters have relied on since Vivaldi. We will explore the technology behind song composition’s chord progressions, key changes, and how to build a full melody, verse and chorus from one small idea. What to do for writers block, how to make the B section pop, as well as several compositional approaches, and characteristics of different styles. Starting a song is easy; we will work with how to finish it.

Don’t Wait ’til that Midnight Hour! (B/I):

This workshop will explore that beautiful ground between classic rhythm and blues, and the blues. It will feature what was used in classics songs by icons such as Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding etc. and demonstrate their roots in the blues.  Standard chord progressions, chord shapes for guitar, what the bass players, piano players and drummers were doing, grooves, how to be a horn section on an harmony instrument as well as how to convince people you are a funky soul person. Open to all instruments and voices.

Karla Mundy

Singing World Music (All Levels): 
In this class we will dive right into a cappella singing from various world vocal traditions – from South Africa to Eastern Europe to North America. We will play with different tone productions, rhythms, singing techniques, grooves and ways to feel the music in our bodies. This class will be a lot of fun and will push your ears and your singing to new places!

Gospel/Roots Singing (All Levels):

We will explore the incredibly rich world of early Gospel music and its roots. Singing some blues, spirituals and gospel quartets, there will be chances to solo and sing in harmony. We will put lots of attention on how to sing as a group with the right style – scoops, slides, blending and finding the essential rhythmic groove.

Ron Peters

Basic Brazilian Rhythm on Guitar (I):
Understanding a few basic Brazilian right hand rhythms will make you sound more authentic. Using classic tunes we’ll look at bossa nova, samba and related styles and learn how to subtly embellish them rhythmically. Some discussion of harmony will also be included. Mostly for fingerstylists, pick players are also welcome.

The Bluesy Side of Jazz (I/A):

How is the 12 bar blues re-imagined in a jazz setting? Learn how to embellish 3 chord blues harmony with extensions, alternations and substitutions. Also, what scales are implied by this new harmony? The pentatonic and blues scales are just the beginning.

Jocelyn Petit

Fiddle Tunes Workshop:
In this class, we will learn to play Canadian fiddle tunes by ear, then discuss and apply some stylistic ornamentation techniques. This workshop is best suited for fiddle players. Other instrument players interested in learning melodies are also welcome. Accompanists are also welcome, keeping in mind the focus is melody playing.

Stepdance Workshop (All Levels):

Come tap your toes and move your feet to the fun music of Canada’s East Coast, and Québec! This will be an introduction to: (1) Cape Breton stepdance, from Nova Scotia, and (2) the seated “podorythmie” foot rhythms of Québec. Everyone is welcome – whether you are a seasoned dancer or have never danced before. Hard-soled shoes are recommended.

Karin Plato

Freedom and Fun in Your Singing (All Levels):
Singing is fun and easy! Using songs and exercises, we’ll explore vocal technique, and concepts such as breath control, vocal range, colour and style.

Vocal Master Class (All Levels): 

Perform a song and receive feedback with new ideas related to performance practices and style in music. Have a song prepared to sing to the rest of the class. Any genre is welcome! This is a wonderful opportunity to hone and develop the potential available within a song.

Tom Rawson

Folksong Repertoire (All Levels): 
Bring back the hootenanny! We’ll sing lots of great songs with catchy refrains and/or easy-to-learn patterns. The emphasis will be on songs that work well in song circles and large groups. All instruments and voices welcome.

Ukulele Tool Kit (I): 

You know some chords and can accompany yourself singing. Spice up your playing with some fills and breaks. We’ll explore several right-hand techniques for letting melody notes ring out from the chord.

Laura Silverstein

Introduction to Fingerstyle Guitar (B/I):
In this seminar 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, and we’ll learn to play some tunes using these techniques.

Fingerstyle Arranging (I/A):

Want to play instrumental versions of songs on your guitar?  In this seminar we’ll look at how to select guitar-friendly keys for your instrumental arrangements, and learn some chord voicings that allow you to follow melodies up the neck. We will apply these concepts to a few familiar tunes for you to take home.