Classes & Teachers - 2011
Week 1: July 10 – 16, 2011
Susan Anders (née Streitwieser) has coached thousands of singers including Joey Heatherton, Lady Antebellum, and L7. Singers worldwide use her vocal methods, Singing with Style and Harmony Singing by Ear. Her most recent recording is a solo CD release. Susan was born and raised in Berkeley, California and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Tom Manche, and two neurotic rescue dogs.
Harmony Heaven: Harmony Singing (all levels) Come find your inner Token, Beach Boy, Mama, Papa, and Hummingbird as we learn 3-, 4-, and 5-part versions of several classic and not-so-classic harmony songs from the ’60s and ’70s. Music reading ability, go-go boots, and suede vests not required.
What Every Singer Needs to Know (level 1–2) Whether you are a complete beginner or are gigging five nights a week, knowing the basics of good voice technique will improve your vocal quality, strength, and endurance. Using exercises and songs we’ll go through contemporary vocal technique: breathing, posture, resonance, how to increase your range and volume, how to get and stay in tune, and how to warm up, avoid straining, improve your tone, and build and maintain your vocal strength.
Danny Carnahan has been recording Celtic and his own original songs for over 30 years, playing octave mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and singing. He performs most often with the popular septet Wake the Dead. He has taught performance and songwriting in community colleges and at music camps for 25 years, writes for music magazines, and has published a book of Irish Songs for Guitar and two musical murder mysteries.
Songwriting (all levels) Whether you’ve never written a thing or have a hundred songs under your belt, this class will help kick-start creativity and open up new ways to find your songs and wrestle them into singable shape. We will write and collaborate every day, exploring the joys of lyrics, melody, form, and how to put them all together. Try your hand at the world’s most gratifying and noncompetitive art form.
Guitar Fingerpicking (level 2) Fingerpick without fear! If you have fingers you can fingerpick. We’ll learn some of the most popular and sneakily powerful picking patterns that will set you up for a lifetime of fun. Learn how fingerpicking can help you change chords more cleanly. Build confidence in all the most useful keys. Learn new tunes and possibly new ways to play your favorites. This is all about pickin’ and grinnin’. . . bring your own grin.
Rch Delgrosso’s performances at clubs and festivals and the airplay of his recordings have garnered him five Blues Music Award nominations. Rich is widely regarded as the leading exponent of mandolin blues. According to author/historian Mark Hoffman, DelGrosso is “the greatest living blues mandoman, the best since Yank (Rachell).” For over twenty years DelGrosso has written articles for Blues Revue, Living Blues, Mandolin magazine, Frets, and Sing Out!, and has published instruction books on mandolin for Hal Leonard. He has presented workshops on mandolin and guitar across the U.S. and Europe, earning him a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation in Memphis.
Get Your Blues On (level 3) Prepare to play and sing the songs most popular in a blues jam repertoire. Examples will include music from Big Bill Broonzy, Leroy Carr, the Mississippi Sheiks, the Memphis Jug Band, Jimmy Reed, Bessie Smith, and more. In the process we will develop basic blues concepts related to melody, harmony, and arranging. Emphasis will be on guitar but all instruments are welcome! Time to get down with your bad, blues side!
Rags, Drags, and Stomp (level 3–4) It was Bill Monroe who blended old-time music with the blues. In this workshop we will explore the elements of the blues and how they shaped bluegrass through the music of the early black string and jug band mandolinists and post-war performers, like Charlie McCoy, Vol Stevens, Coley Jones, Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, James “Yank” Rachell, and Johnny Young. Written music will be provided, and recording is strongly encouraged.
When the late, great Vassar Clements heard MIKE DOWLING play guitar back in 1975, he did the sensible thing: He hired him. Mike was the guitarist in Vassar’s first touring band and Clements called him simply, “One of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere.” From bottleneck blues to vintage jazz with detours through old-time and bluegrass, Mike draws inspiration from deep in the musical bag of American roots guitar. His understated mastery of all things six-stringed, coupled with an engaging voice, a self-deprecating wit, and an arsenal of elegant guitar interpretations continues to capture the hearts of acoustic music fans throughout the world.
Swing Guitar Soloing (level 4–5) No need to panic when the singer says, “Take it!” She just means take this class and learn how to construct your own swinging guitar breaks. Mike takes the mystery out of improvisation, focusing on melody, arpeggios, scales, riffs, phrasing, and syncopation—all the components that make up swing guitar soloing. Students are expected to have a good grasp of rhythm guitar accompaniment for common swing jam tunes. Very hands-on with lots of playing together in class, big-guitar band-style. Handouts will be provided, audio recorders strongly encouraged, no videocameras please.
Advanced Fingerstyle Guitar (level 4–5) For the student who can already maintain an alternating bass while fingerpicking a melody. Keep that thumb going but take your playing to the next level as Mike shows you how to use your ear and your imagination to begin developing your own unique sound. Learn new tips, refinements, and arranging techniques in both standard and open tunings while adding to your blues and jazz repertoire. Lots of playing in class. Handouts provided, audio recorders strongly encouraged, no videocameras please.
TOPHER GAYLE is a San Jose music teacher, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and luthier. He writes and sings funny songs, accompanies singers, and plays contra dances. He loves to jam in most genres of music, so let’s open those cases and have a few tunes!
Beginnnnnning Guitar (level 1) If you’ve ever wanted to play guitar, or if you want to review your fundamental guitar skills, this class is for you. We’ll learn how to hold the instrument correctly, discuss its care and feeding, and discuss useful accessories. We’ll learn some useful chords and how to change between them, and we’ll learn a fun, easy song or two to play and (eventually) sing. You can do it!
Beginnnnnning Mandolin (level 1) Ever go to a jam where there are 18 guitars? It’s hard to hear yourself play your guitar. So, try the mandolin! Mandolins are more portable, louder, and more logical than guitars—and they’re great for melody playing. We’ll find out how easy it is to get started on this versatile little instrument. We’ll learn some surprisingly easy tunes that sound much harder than they are. Oh, yeah, we’ll discuss all the technical issues here, too.
CHRIS GRAMPP has played jazz, blues, rock, and traditional music in bands and as a soloist for over 25 years in the Bay Area. He has studied guitar with Tuck Andress, Warren Nunes, and Davis Ramey, and has contributed lessons and articles for Acoustic Guitar magazine. He has taught for many years at CCMC, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and music festival workshops.
The Daily Groove (level 3) We’ll practice rhythm back-up parts to a wide variety of styles including blues, country, pop, Latin, swing, rock, and R&B. We’ll cover right-hand strumming techniques, learn to count rhythms, and work syncopation, accents, and dynamics into our playing. All chordal instruments and bass players welcome.
Vocal/Guitar Duet (level 3-5) Each day vocalists will pair up with guitarists to arrange, practice, and perform jazz, Latin, blues, and popular songs. We’ll cover intros and endings, modulations, rhythm, tempo, accompaniment techniques, and improvisational interplay.
WAYNE HENDERSON is a musical legend known worldwide for both his lightning fast “pinch picking” guitar style and the beautiful guitars, mandolins, and banjos he crafts in his shop in Rugby, Virginia. Wayne was honored at the White House in l995 for both his craftsmanship and playing as a recipient of the prestigious National Heritage Award. He has toured widely in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute and the Office of Arts America.
Mountain Flatpick (level 3) We will work on some standard fiddle tunes played in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. “Pinch picking” (fingerpicks on the thumb and forefinger) is an unusual technique but fingerpicks or flatpicks are fine for this class. We will be playing by ear, so bring an audio recorder, and we will go over the tunes until you get them.
Advanced Mountain Flatpick (level 4–5) We will play some fiddle tunes from Doc Watson and other pickers from Western Virginia. We will work on endings and three-finger chord shapes that can be played up the neck. Bring an audio recorder.
KATHY KALLICK has been leading bluegrass bands since 1975. She continues to evolve as one of the music’s highly regarded composers, vocalists, and guitar players, releasing 14 albums (which include over 100 of her original songs), and receiving an Honorary Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association, as well as a Grammy for her part on True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe. From the Good Ol’ Persons to the Kathy Kallick Band, she delivers hot bluegrass and cool originals.
Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar (level 2) This is flatpick, boom-chuck, bluegrass guitar: the pulse, heartbeat, and groove of the music. We’ll listen to some bluegrass greats, and focus on the different ways to accompany lead instruments, including the human voice.
Bluegrass Band (level 2 and up) What do you do if you get to a jam session that already has a guitar? How do they know how to sing harmony on that song? How did everybody stop playing at the same time? A bluegrass band is a close-knit group based on communication. We’ll learn the vocabulary, unspoken signs, nuance, and conventions for playing bluegrass together—with band members and even with strangers who are versed in the same language. We’ll also build a repertoire of good jam songs—standards that are accessible and fun.
DAVID KEENAN has certainly earned his moniker: “Twangmaster.” Although he’s proficient on several stringed instruments, it’s his innovative guitar style that is widely respected and garners accolades surpassing even the height of his hair. A member of the former Ranch Romance, David can be heard with several roots-music bands in his Seattle home and is a regular teacher at camps along the west coast.
The Buck You Don’t Know (level 2) Learn all about Buck Owens’s music pre–Hee Haw ’59 to ’69. Learn shuffles, ballads, and pure-country gems. I’ll bring lyrics, chords, CD, and guidance; you bring your instrument and/or voice, and we’ll sing and play these timeless tales of woe.
EVIE LADIN is a banjo player, step-dancer, singer, songwriter and square-dance caller with a lifetime of experience in traditional American cultural arts. She grew up in the trad folk scene up and down the Eastern US; and the polyrhythmic heat of her clawhammer banjo, resonant voice, real stories and rhythmic dance have been heard on A Prairie Home Companion, Celtic Connections, Lincoln Center, and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Based in Oakland, CA, Evie tours with her expansive stringband Evil Diane, the Stairwell Sisters, and her partner Keith Terry. She is a patient and prolific teacher.
Clawhammer Banjo (level 2 and up) What’s that rhythmic whomp that makes clawhammer banjo so funky? We’ll marry melody, harmony and rhythm to drive tunes along and give depth to songs. We’ll learn tunes and licks, emphasizing ear training and making the leap from learning tunes by rote to picking them up at jam sessions. Students should have the basic bum-diddy in their right hand.
Get Rhythm in Your Body (all levels) Percussive dance styles around the world provide the rhythm section to accompanying music. We’ll sample Appalachian clogging, tap, English clog dance, and body percussion; develop a solid rhythmic sense; and create percussion with our feet and bodies. No experience necessary; we’ll have a bucket of tap shoes in miscellaneous sizes, or you can wear hard-soled shoes with a good, low heel.
PETER LANGSTON appears to play every instrument in every style and is equally adept at hot improvisation and supportive backup. He has performed with such diverse artists as Doc Watson, Johnny Gimble, and Reverend Gary Davis. He’s active in recording (as artist, composer, producer), and is a popular teacher at music camps like the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, American Banjo Camp, and Northeast Heritage Music Camp.
The ’60s—Unplugged! (level 0–6) That’s right, the levels go to 6 and our amps go to 11—but they’re not plugged in! It’s acoustic but rockin’! We’ll sing and play great tunes from ’60s bands like the Beatles, Chuck Berry, the Stones, Aretha, Creedence, the Everly Brothers, the Doors, Ray Charles, and even Elvis! All instruments and levels are welcome from singers at level 0 to guitar shredders at level 6.
MICK NICHOLSON started out as a tuba player, and was a member of the Bremerton Symphony for 6 years. He served 22 years as a Navy musician, including 11 years in the elite White House support unit in Washington, D.C. He moved back to the west coast in 1995 and soon moved into the local acoustic scene. Mick has gigged with artists ranging from Vince Gill to Dizzy Gillespie, and is proficient in a wide variety of musical styles.
Bass, the Lowest Form of Music (level 1–2) It only has 4 strings, and you play the strong notes of the chord on the strong beats of the bar. Of all instruments greater than 6.8 board feet of lumber, it has the highest fun-per-note ratio and it’s the easiest to learn!
Deep in the Pocket (level 3–4) It’s all about the Groove! Using picking and damping techniques for both hands, we’ll develop patterns that really drive the band. Discover new rhythmic ideas in two-beat feel, walking in four, waltzes, and my personal favorite, “many others.” Maintaining a rock-solid tempo is essential, of course, and we’ll work on methods to keep that tempo steady. Throughout, we’ll focus on getting a beautifully defined pizzicato tone. And did I mention it’s all about the Groove?
PEGGY REZA (a.k.a. Aunty Uke) has a rich, sexy, playful voice and a spicy ukulele! Taking songs from the ’30s and ’40s, as well as her own original bound-to-be classics, Peg’s got the blue shoes and the dapper dudes, dressed right out of a turn-of-the-century barrelhouse. She delivers stories and songs that beguile and delight, providing sartorial significance to a real good time.
Auntie Uke Gets You Going! (level 1–2) Here’s the straight stuff to start your uke career out right! We’ll learn chords and strums, and we’ll get help with making those changes snappier. Songs will be used to teach technique and repertoire and fun, all at the same time. A recording device would be useful, plus your uke.
Auntie Uke Gets Ya the Good Stuff! (level 2 and up) One mighty journey through the uke’s heart and soul. You should know some chords and strums prior to this class. More chords, songs and speed, strum, and tone work, plus some background secrets to have even more fun than usual with your uke. Bring your uke and a recording device.
JENNIFER SCOTT is a vocalist/pianist who is in demand as a performer, session musician, and clinician. She is considered one of the most important jazz artists in Canada. Recent projects include an eclectic duo recording with composer/pianist Miles Black, and a collaboration with saxophonist Kristen Strom called Crossing Borders. Andrew Gilbert of JazzTimes says: “Scott is the kind of singer who you want to tackle your favorite songs, just to hear what she might do with them.”
Swing Band (level 3+) It doesn’t matter what instrument you play or what part you like to sing, we’ll take a song each day and turn it into an exciting ensemble performance —either with a few different groups or one big one (depending on who shows up)! On-the-fly arranging, interacting with other musicians, and discovering some new “ins and outs” will be the focus of this fun, friendly class!
Sing Like a Pro (level 3–4) Let’s take a look at performance, style, repertoire, and the nuances of being a great singer and entertainer. With repertoire that I will bring (and working with your own music, too) we’ll apply new and exciting techniques and skills, making your vocal performances more confident and professional.
CYD SMITH is a versatile guitarist/vocalist/bassist/songwriter who has performed a wide variety of roots and popular American music. Starting as a classical guitarist, her musical path has wound through the landscapes of old-time, bluegrass, country blues, rock’n’roll, swing, and singer-songwriter. Since the 1980s Cyd has taught at many music camps, including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and California Coast Music Camp. She is currently working on her second album of original songs and performing with a variety of bands in southern Oregon.
1, 4, 5 and Beyond (level 2–3) Okay, so you know the basic guitar chord positions and you’re ready to spice up your chord vocabulary. Using the elegant tool of music theory, we’ll explore the harmonic possibilities that lie waiting on your guitar neck.
Your First Lead—Swing Style (level 3 and up) You’ve paid some swing dues by playing rhythm, but now you’re ready to have even more fun playing leads. We’ll learn how to use scales, riffs, and—most important—rhythm to make your first adventures in soloing swing.
Acoustic guitarist DOUG SMITH is a Grammy award winner and 2006 winner of the prestigious Winfield International Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. His playing can be heard everywhere from the movies August Rush and Twister, to Good Morning America and National Public Radio. Doug teaches at music camps and workshops all over the country.
Intermediate Fingerstyle Guitar (level 3) Take control of your picking hand! We’ll move beyond basic picking patterns and look at fingerstyle for both vocal accompaniment and solo instrumental playing, including adding a melody to a picking pattern. Basic knowledge of Travis-picking will be helpful.
Advanced Fingerstyle (level 5) Here we’ll try our hand at advanced picking patterns, bass runs, counterpoint, syncopation, and getting a smooth, flowing sound. We’ll also look at creating our own arrangements knowing just the melody and chords. Ability to read tablature will be helpful.
HELEN WHITE is respected as an old-time fiddler and folk singer in her current home in Southwest Virginia and her native North Carolina. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program (JAM) which introduces mountain children to their musical heritage. She has won regional fiddle championships and holds numerous top-five finishes. Helen has been a fiddle or guitar instructor at numerous workshops including the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA , the Blue Ridge Traditional Music Program at Mars Hill College, NC, and Fiddlekids in El Cerrito, California.
Intro to Flatpicking Guitar (level 2) Students with basic mastery of simple first position chords will learn to put them together smoothly and rhythmically using a flatpick on alternating bass strings. As students progress, we will connect the chords with simple bass runs. We’ll learn simple leads to several tunes/songs. There may be a few drills and exercises thrown into the mix to help develop finger dexterity, strength, and pattern recognition. Class will be taught primarily by ear. Beyond a good playable guitar, flatpick, and capo, students are encouraged to bring tuning and recording devices and. . . a metronome!
Old-Time and Mountain Fiddle (level 2–3) This class offers a quick refresher to fiddlers on the basic foundations: playing in tune, rhythmically, and with good tone production. You’ll develop an aural learning style based on identifying the “bones” (simplest melody) of a tune and fleshing it out by recognizing and applying various bowing patterns common to Southern Appalachian fiddling. We’ll look at chords for fiddle and how to “get into a jam” without initially knowing a tune. We’ll work primarily in standard tuning, but with sufficient interest we can migrate to a simple crossed tuning for at least one class period. Although not primarily a repertoire class, we will learn several tunes in different keys during the week. Tunes will be taught by ear. Students need a good functional fiddle that is easily tunable. Tuning and recording devices are strongly recommended.
Week 2: July 17 – 23, 2011
Steve Baughman is a teaching, touring Rounder Records recording artist who appears on the Digital Dream Door list of the World’s 100 Best Guitarists. He is the author of five Mel Bay guitar books and has released numerous CDs and DVDs. When Steve is not teaching banjo and guitar he is at home playing banjo and guitar.
Frustrated Picking Hand Boot Camp (level 3) Groove is everything, and if your picking hand engine isn’t flowing your music probably won’t sound as pleasing as you’d like. In this class we’ll work on internalizing picking and strumming patterns so they flow with ease. We’ll start with simple waltz and country patterns, then move on to the Travis pick and some polyrhythmic strumming. By Friday you’ll be rocking!
Celtic Fingerstyle Repertoire Enhancement (level 4–5) In this class we will learn at least three new tunes, maybe more. The tunes will introduce open tunings and provide a training ground for producing a clear melody above a rhythmic pulse and moving bass lines. We will look particularly at the music of Brittany, the Celtic region of France, with its haunting modal dance tunes. Learning these tunes will enable the student to play the standard Irish and Scottish repertoire with greater ease.
Cary Black is an acoustic and electric bassist, teacher, producer, and vocalist living in Olympia, Washington. Described by Alan Senauke in Sing Out! magazine as “a musician’s musician,” Cary is at home in a wide variety of musical settings; he has been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work and play with a number of noteworthy musicians in the music camp community and beyond.
Roots, Fifths, and Beyond: Beginning Upright Bass (level 1–2) We’ll develop the basis for comfortable technique while learning to accurately hear and play dynamic bass lines in a variety of styles. We start with chord roots, add alternating fifths and the occasional third, throw in a few bass runs, and even get started on walking bass. Fun!
Swing Bass (level 3–4) We’ll work on defining “swing” (the verb) as it applies to upright bass. Focusing on techniques used by the great bassists of the swing era, we’ll study how to establish a steady, buoyant, and propulsive groove while defining the harmony and composing effective jazz counterpoint to the melody and solos. Topics to be covered include chord/scale choices, ensemble skills, rhythms, syncopation, articulations, and interpreting lead sheet chart notation. Beginning with basic component patterns, we’ll begin combining these elements to develop the ability to create flexible, interactive improvisation.
Jere Canote and his twin brother, Greg, have toured the United States playing dances and concerts. They live in Seattle and enjoyed a 13-year stint on NPR’s live radio show Sandy Bradley’s Potluck. Jere has taught a thriving Seattle stringband workshop for 25 years, and has been a regular teacher at the Fiddle Tunes Festival in Port Townsend, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Pinewoods Camps, and every Portland Uke Fest.
Uke Party! Getting Started! (level 1–2) The whole world is happily strumming away, so join the uke party and learn to play! We’ll start with the basics: playing position, chord forms, and simple strums. Them we’ll follow up with more advanced chords and right hand techniques including strummer’s building blocks, the triplet, the roll, and some melody picking—all while learning and singing a bunch of great songs.
Tin Pan Alley Uke Great songs of the ’20s and ’30s (level 3+) The first uke boom of the 1920s coincided with a creative explosion in popular song. Ukulele Ike (Cliff Edwards) began his career at this time with a long string of ukulele hits. We’ll explore his repertoire including “That’s My Weakness Now,” “Singin’ in the Rain” (with the lost verse), “Paddlin’ Madeline Home,” and many more. Wordsheets provided.
Born in Jimmie Rodger’s hometown (Meridian, MS), MIKE COMPTON has lived in Nashville since 1977. An acclaimed mandolinist, Mike played with the Nashville Bluegrass Band from 1985–1988 and again from 2000 to the present. His work includes the Grammy-winning recordings O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Cold Mountain, and numerous recordings with David Grier, John Hartford, and Dr. Ralph Stanley. Over the last two years, he’s toured the U.S. and Europe as a member of Elvis Costello’s band, The Sugarcanes. He also continues to work duets with David Grier and oldtime icon Joe Newberry, as well as with the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
Black Mandolin Styles (level 3) I would like to introduce to the class the work of several of the prominent black mandolinists from the string bands of the early 1900s. We won’t focus on the blues necessarily, but there will be some. I have audio samples, brief biographies, and notation/tablature to give you. Come prepared to play and sing.
Monroe-Style Mandolin (level 4) This workshop will cover primarily the Monroe toolbox of techniques and pertinent material to match from the early years through his last days on earth. We’ll also cover backing up singers, tunings, probably some Monroe blues trademarks, playing out-of-chord voicings, converting fiddle tunes to mandolin, and maybe some old-time rhythm. This class is NOT a lecture. Come prepared to actively participate.
CHARLIE EDSALL was born and raised near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Having played guitar since the age of nine, he is known for his solid rhythm and tasteful flatpicking. A Reno, Nevada resident since 1976, he has taught numerous students, from Bridgeport, California to Edmonton, Canada, in addition to instructing at numerous guitar workshops for festivals across the States and Canada. He presently plays guitar with Sawmill Road. As a singer/songwriter, Charlie’s previously released single “Cold Virginia Rain” was recorded by Josh Williams and was performed by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage at the Grand Ole Opry.
Introduction to Flatpick Leads (level 3) Emphasis will be on basic melody leads, bass run notes within chord changes, and music theory. Learn how to play song melodies within chord structures in addition to learning to play a variation of chord positions. Students will also be shown examples of rhythm variations on a number of songs, some basic kick-off licks, endings, and fills. Jam etiquette will also be covered, as well as the Nashville number system, timing, beginning flatpicking, and basic guitar maintenance.
Advanced Bluegrass Flatpick Guitar (level 4–5) We will venture beyond basic leads and explore timing and taste, filling in units of measure outside of the standard melody notes and licks. Prerequisites: Students should be fluent in, and have a structured knowledge of, basic chords, the ability to flatpick at least at a beginning level, and be willing to learn.
MARLA FIBISH is a long-time feature of the Bay Area Irish music scene, and an unapologetic proponent of the mandolin in Irish music. Marla currently plays mandolin, mandola, and button accordion in the trio Three Mile Stone, which released its eponymous CD in 2010 to an enthusiastic response, and as a duo with the legendary Irish singer and bouzouki player Jimmy Crowley. Jimmy and Marla will be releasing a new CD in early 2011.
Beginning Irish Mandolin (level 1–2) Learn to play some sweet Irish tunes and how to make them sound Irish. We’ll work on basic technique in the context of the music, and make sure you’re all set to build your speed and your styling as you advance.
Irish Session Repertoire (level 2–3) We’ll learn some classic tunes and sets of tunes that will be welcome contributions to any Irish session. All instruments are welcome. We’ll learn the melodies and cover chords and backup styling for the guitar players. We’ll talk about how to play in a session so that it is fun for all. We’ll learn a song or two if there are singers in the group. Bring a recording device—we will cover more material than you will be able to remember!
SYLVIA HEROLD has been singing and playing guitar nonstop for more than 30 years. She was a member of the swing trio Cats and Jammers, and played in the Django-inspired Hot Club of San Francisco. Sylvia currently performs with Wake the Dead (Celtic Grateful Dead music), the folk quartet Euphonia, and the jazz/pop vocal group The Pop Top Trio, with Ed Johnson and Chuck Ervin.
Building Your Jam Repertoire (level 2) Get ready for jams and music parties with an offbeat selection of fun-lovin’ songs that are easy to play and solo over. Blues, country, pop, western, folk, and simple jazz tunes are popular with all levels of musicians. Be the life of the party and share your joy in music by building a repertoire of proven winners that inspire group participation. Soloists: Come and strut your stuff! If you’re fairly new to guitar, this class will challenge you with lots of playing time. Prerequisite: You should be comfortable with first-position chords.
Introduction to Swing Guitar (level 3 and up) Give your guitar playing a new dimension using lush four-note jazz chords that you can move around the neck. With just a few chord shapes you’ll be able to play scads of easy standards and western swing songs. This is a gentle introduction to jazz chords and the mysterious regions above the third fret. Within 15 minutes, you’ll be playing your first song. You’ll gradually learn more chord shapes, more songs, and how to make them swing.
As a vocalist, ED JOHNSON is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Kenny Rankin, and Michael Franks. As a guitarist and bandleader, critics often cite the lushly exotic, accessible sounds of Airto and Flora Purim. Ed has seven recording projects to his credit, in addition to producer’s credits for other artists. He is a founding member of CCMC and has also been a perennial fixture on the teaching staff at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.
Nonstop to Brazil (level 3) Learn the fundamental comping patterns, chords, and progressions used in playing the Brazilian styles of bossa nova, samba, choro, and baião. We’ll cover a repertoire of beautiful classics by Jobim, João Gilberto, Pixinguinha, Dorival Caymmi, and others.
Brazilian Solo Flight (level 4–5) What does one play over the beautiful, lush chord changes that are common to Brazilian music? We’ll cover chord theory, rhythmic and melodic motifs, and other techniques and tips to help you get that quintessential Brazilian sound and feel. We’ll use some of the same songs from the level 3 Brazilian guitar class, along with some dazzling choro melodies that will strengthen your technique.
Award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist STEVE KRITZER is a studio musician, band member, teacher, church band leader, human jukebox, crooner to seniors, member of Blah Blah Woof Woof, and first-time dad. A man of many musics, Kritzer is as comfortable with Celtic, bluegrass, and country, as well as rock, big band swing, and traditional folk. Steve is a mainstage regular at the Fiddlers Green Festival in Ireland, the Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Kerrville Folk Festival, and most points in between. His four popular CDs continue to get regular airplay on the folk waves, and he is currently working on his fifth release.
Intro to Flatpicking (level 2) Want to be the most popular picker in jams and bands? Be a great rhythm player! We’ll cover everything from basic strums of popular songs in 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 rhythms, to bass note/strum patterns for backup, to more complex bass runs and ornamentation, pick control, and tricks.
Your First Band (level 2 and up) What’s the most fun you can have playing music? Being able to play and sing with other players and singers. Whatever you play and/or sing, we will learn some basic group rhythm playing in a variety of styles, syncopation, and explore how to arrange and build a song with different instruments playing different parts. Those who are comfortable will take fills and leads.
MARGO LEDUC is a much-sought-after vocal coach in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. She coaches artists under contract with Sony Music, Capitol Records, and many other labels. Margo views the singer as a whole person—not just a set of vocal chords. Lessons with Margo are about hard work and heart—correcting technical problems and nurturing the creative artist within. Margo performs extensive session work, supports corporate clients, and is a voting member of the Recording Academy. Her powerful, expressive and sumptuous voice lends itself to any style or setting.
Beginning Voice (all levels) Discover your inner artist and learn how to take creative risks in the world of vocal music. You’ll improve your singing in a supportive and empowering environment that will strengthen you and your voice. Breathing, stance, range, power, and control will be the central issues addressed.
Advanced Voice (level 3–5) Connect with the artist within and express your deepest emotions through your singing. We’ll balance technical discipline and letting go, to experience singing freely with skill, in a safe and supportive environment. Students should bring songs to interpret and perfect.
TONY MARCUS has been playing music on many things with strings for what is laughingly called a living for 35 years, and has performed with Geoff Muldaur, R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, Cats & Jammers, and many others. Currently, he sings with Patrice Haan in the duo Leftover Dreams and does frequent theatre work.
Western Swing Band Lab (level 3–5) Western Swing is a style that incorporates the big band sounds in a string-oriented framework, with its own repertoire added to the swing standards. We’ll investigate how best to work as a band, rather than just a group of musicians. We’ll incorporate riffs, harmony leads, and solos to come up with a cohesive sound. Emphasis will be on rhythm, including building a solid rhythm section so that soloists can play against the rhythm. All instruments are welcome.
CAROL MCCOMB is a vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with 40 years of performing, recording, and teaching experience. She has authored a best-selling guitar instruction book, taught thousands of people to play guitar, and is a frequent contributor to Acoustic Guitar magazine. Carol also tours as one half of the duo Kathy and Carol, with her band, and occasionally with Linda Ronstadt. Carol’s newest CD is a long-awaited second Kathy and Carol CD, Keepsake. Carol is a founding member of CCMC and has taught at several other music camps around the country.
Folk Meets Alternative Rock (level 2–3+) Alternative rock with roots. Learn songs from a range of artists like Shawn Colvin, Green Day, REM, Black Crowes, the Decemberists, U2, Lucinda Williams, and others. Most songs will be taught at two levels—a simpler treatment plus an arrangement more like the original to accommodate a range of ability.
Beyond Boom Chuck (level 2–3) Bored with the same old strums? Put some pizzazz into your playing! Learn how to vary your rhythm within a song with lots of new strums, right-hand patterns, runs, and fills. We’ll have fun with rhythm exercises in class and arrange songs in a variety of styles. Good for both flatpickers and fingerstyle players.
KRISTINA OLSEN makes fun a four-letter word! Kristina plays guitar, slide guitar, concertina, piano, and sax, and writes award-winning songs covered by the likes of Fairport Convention, Eric Bibb, Maddy Prior, and Mollie O’Brien. She teaches guitar, songwriting, performing, and dancing at camps in Australia, Canada, the U.K, and the U.S. She’s been a session player for Michelle Shocked, Rickie Lee Jones, and Mary Coughlan, and is on the road some ten months a year.
Easy to Pick, But Hard to Get Off Your Finger (level 2) Forget about flatpicking–what we have here is buxom picking! Get all those fingers on your right hand involved in the action. Learn how to sound like a whole band with just one hand, broken down into easy steps to create independence in those digits. Bass lines, horn parts, and so much more. And this class will introduce the secret application of right-hand muting to control your sound. All in a level two class—hurray!
Groove, Grunt, and Gimme (level 3) Hidden treasures stolen from jazz, funk, and soul to make your blues irresistibly sexy. Dig a groove so deep you don’t know how to climb out of it yourself. Put some grunt behind your right hand to make your blues shout gimme gimme more! You should be competent at fingerpicking, know basic chords and some barre chords, and be able to make chord changes in time.
COSY SHERIDAN has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer/songwriters.” A winner of the Kerrville Folk Festival NewFolk Showcase and the Telluride Troubadour Contest, she has played everywhere from Carnegie Hall and The Jerry Lewis Telethon to the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Sheridan’s masterful guitar style is a testament to years of honing her craft (she was a student of Guy Van Duser and Eric Schoenberg), as is her voice (she studied voice at Berklee).
Songwriting: Into the Creative Interior (all levels) We will chart a course into our own creative interior, making sure we understand how to use the tools in our pack: meter, melody, lyric, rhyme schemes, and chord choices. No experience necessary! We’ll use distilled versions of exercises that I use in my own songwriting. Some exercises we’ll do alone, some we’ll do in groups. Bring your memories, your experiences, a notebook, and your instrument of choice.
Performance (all levels) Would you like to enjoy getting onstage at the Student Concert? This class is for you! Performance and stagecraft are skills like any others. Someone might look like a born performer but they are using techniques that anyone can learn. We’ll cover stagecraft: Where do I put the microphone? Why do I need a monitor? What is feedback and how do I avoid it? Then we’ll look at performance: What do I say in between songs? How do I introduce my song? What do I do when my mind goes blank? This is a workshop—we’ll find out what “works” for each performer. Everyone gets on stage!
MIKE SIMPSON has been playing the guitar, and often grinning while doing so, for 45+ years. He likes to encourage others along that same path. He has been singing even longer. Mike is a multi-year attendee of CCMC. Wanna jam?
Beginning Guitar (level 1) Why is the guitar one of the world’s most popular instruments? Come find out and enter a new world of musical enjoyment. You’ll need a guitar and interest in the instrument. Together we’ll learn to play. From holding the guitar to possibly playing as a class in the Student Concert—we’re off!
MARIA SONEVYTSKY is an ethnomusicology Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, studying the music of the Ukrainian Hutsuls and Crimean Tatars. She is also an active performer in diverse New York City scenes. As аccordionist and pianist, she has recently toured Ukraine with the punk-chamber collective Anti-Social Music. She has toured Europe, Asia, and the U.S. with trio The Debutante Hour. She is an alumna of the all-female Main Squeeze Orchestra, and has sung with the Ukrainian Women’s Choir in New York City. Trained in classical oboe and piano, she finished her piano studies at the Manhattan School of Music in 2003.
Midsummer Night’s Eve Ritual Songs from Ukraine (all levels) This class will introduce both solo and polyphonic songs drawn from the pagan festival of Ivan Kupalo (Midsummer Night’s Eve) celebrated in Ukraine. Traditionally sung by groups of women, in our class men are also welcome. No Eastern European singing experience required—just an open mind and the willingness to sing full-throated!
Accordion 101 (level 1–2) Here’s your chance to dust off that old squeezebox and give it a good squeeze. In this class, we’ll start from piano accordion basics and work according to the needs of each player. We’ll strategize about left-hand buttons, demystify the genius of the accordion’s design, and you’ll be playing tunes in no time!