Classes & Teachers - 2014
WEEK 1: July 6–12
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.
Clawhammer Banjo (all levels) If your life lacks meaning, this class is for you. Clawhammer banjo expands musical possibilities, whether contemplative to foot-stomping, making a sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. We will begin with the basic “bum-ditty.” Players may deepen their bum-dittification, remaining with the basics, while others move on to tunes, improvisation, vocal accompaniment, and gongs-and-whistles that add spice to old-time banjo playing. Lots of playing! Steve may have spare banjos to lend.
Clawhammer Guitar (level 2–3) Be the first kid on your block to apply this old-time banjo technique to the guitar. Clawhammer gets you playing melody, bass, and chords, all at the same time. It works with instrumentals and vocal accompaniment. It’s hands-on, total immersion time! We will spend lots of time internalizing the pattern and then applying it to a tune or two. You can preview before camp with Steve’s Clawhammer Guitar lesson on YouTube, “Wasilla Weed.”
Julay Brooks is a soulful singer and hot picker who has been teaching and performing in the Bay Area for a decade. Her current musical projects include honky-tonk piano and vocals with the Lucky Horseshoe House Band and rhythm guitar and vocals with the Disciples of Markos, a rebetika band. Julay teaches piano, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, vocals, and applied music theory to 50 students a week, who appreciate her patience, creativity, enthusiasm, and insight.
Mandolin Basics (level 1–2) We’ll start by learning to tune the mandolin and hold a pick. We’ll use simple songs and tunes as vehicles for learning basic mandolin chords and strum patterns, find basic melodies, and do chord-based backup in some of the easy keys. We’ll also discuss how to ”mandolin-ize“ a melody.
Intro to Guitar Leads in the Bluegrass Style (level 3) We’ll get started playing basic bluegrass leads, following the trail blazed by George Shuffler, Bill Napier, Don Reno, and Clarence White. We’ll get comfortable with the first principle of lead playing (play the melody), and its corollary (find the melody) and explore rhythmic and melodic techniques to make it sound more like bluegrass. Students should be comfortable with first-position chords, bass runs, and solid rhythm playing.
Jere Canote and his twin brother, Greg, have toured the U.S. 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 string band workshop for over 25 years and has been a regular teacher at the Fiddle Tunes Festival in Port Townsend, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, CCMC, Pinewoods Camps, and every Portland Uke Fest.
Uke Fun! Getting Started (level 1–2) Come see what all the fuss is about! Learn a handful of chords, some easy strums, even a little melody. Lots of great songs, from “Jambalaya” to “I Wanna be a Dog.” Bring a uke tuned GCEA.
Novelty Song Repertoire (level 3–4) We’ll explore obscure gems from Tin Pan Alley to western swing, from the ’20s to the ’50s. Fun arrangements and up-the-neck chords from “Wahoo Wahoo!” to “My Dog Loves Your Dog.” Bring a uke tuned GCEA.
Mike Compton is “A certified mandolin icon” (Mandolin Magazine). “A new bluegrass instrumental hero” (New York Times). Grammy Award winning instrumentalist Mike Compton, perhaps best known as the featured mandolin player on Oh, Brother Where Art Thou, is one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin (Sam Bush says “nobody plays Monroe better than Compton”) and one of the most recognizable and respected mandolin voices in the world today. Compton is as passionate a teacher and advocate for the mandolin as you’re ever likely to find.
Black String Band Mandolin Repertoire (level 3) This class will expose you to the music of notable Negro mandolin players from the early 1900s. We will explore music from Charley McCoy, Charles Johnson, The Two Poor Boys, Ben Covington, Dallas String Band, Al Miller, and others. Cool grooves and goodtime tunes. Some handouts and LOTS of playing time.
The High Lonesome Mandolin of Bill Monroe (level 4–5) Yes, this is your grandfather’s bluegrass. The mandolin art of Bill Monroe covered 70+ years and many variations in style. We will explore the classic bluegrass band of the 1940s through Bill’s “Last Days on Earth.” We’ll cover tremolo styles, downstrokes, double-stops, building solos from chord voicings, slides, tunings, and more. Bring a music stand. Handouts provided.
Nina Gerber has been playing guitar for over 30 years. She toured and recorded with singer- songwriter Kate Wolf from 1978 until Kate’s death in 1986. Since then, Nina has performed and/or recorded with Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Ferron, Tom Paxton, Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O’Brien, and many others. Nina attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, where she learned how to torture her students with scales and arpeggios.
Theory Applied to Guitar (level 2–4) Designed to help you play lead and backup guitar, this class uses the C-A-G-E-D method to provide an overview of the fretboard. Learn to build major scales and then to alter them to give you the sounds you are looking for. We’ll go slowly and thoroughly. Speed freaks need not apply.
Side-person Strategies: Care and Feeding of a Front Person (level 5) Stressing the concept that “less is more than enough,” this class explores how to approach being the second guitar player for a rhythm guitarist/vocalist. Bring your own guitar licks, as the focus here is how to be a sensitive, tasteful, and thoughtful side-person. The lovely and talented Kristina Olsen co-teaches this class as our “chick singer.”
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.
Come and Listen To a Story (all levels) A bluegrass and country repertoire class that focuses on the story song. Whether it’s spreading the news, cautionary tales, oral history, or just plain fiction, the story song is one of the juiciest genres in folk music. Bring instruments or just come and sing! Recording devices are welcome.
Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar (level 2–3) This is flatpick, boom-chuck, and beyond, bluegrass guitar: the pulse, heartbeat, and groove of the music. By learning bass runs, strum patterns, chord shapes, etc. we’ll study the ways rhythm guitar signals chord changes, underlines the emotions of a song, and drives the dynamics. We’ll focus on the different ways to accompany lead instruments, including the human voice! Bring guitar, flat picks, tuner, and capo.
Carol McComb is a Bay area singer, songwriter, recording artist and guitarist with over 36 years’ experience teaching guitar and vocal classes. She has authored a best selling guitar instruction book, written many articles for Acoustic Guitar magazine and taught at many music camps in the U.S. and Canada. She has toured extensively in duos and bands and also with Linda Ronstadt and Joan Baez.
Harmony Singing Like the Pros (all levels) After covering the building blocks of harmony theory, we’ll discover what makes those stellar harmonies you love so memorable by learning exact transcriptions of duets and trios from a wide variety of sources including folk, blues, bluegrass, and rock and roll. Sightsinging is not a prerequisite for this class (we’ll work on this together). Appropriate for both beginning and experienced singers.
Your First Band (level 2 and up) There is nothing quite as fun as playing in a band. Whether this is your first experience or you’ve played in ensembles before, you will have a great time learning the ropes. All instruments and singers welcome.
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.
Considered the finest jazz vocal improviser in Canada by her peers, her fans, and the musicians who work with her, Jennifer Scott is an important jazz voice. She has sung with such jazz greats as Gene Bertoncini, Clark Terry, Tommy Banks, Paul Horn, and Kenny Wheeler, to name a few. She has been nominated for Juno and Jessie Awards with Mythos and the theatre production War of the Worlds, and frequently teaches at music camps on the west coast.
Song Styles (level 2–3) Taking a different style of music each day (gospel, swing, blues, Latin, and roots) we will get a nice overview of the repertoire and genres available to you as a singer. Take a vocal tour while learning the techniques that make each of these styles of music work!
Jazz Vocals Demystified (level 3–4) In this class, we’ll focus on what makes a jazz performance authentic and natural. We’ll work with vocal effects, nuances, and techniques that can take you from a non-jazz approach to a jazzier one. Also, we’ll look at the swing groove, phrasing, scat-singing and melodic improvisation.
Cosy Sheridan is “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer-songwriters.” In 1992 she won both the Kerrville Folk Festival’s NewFolk Award and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest. She has released nine CDs. For the past 18 years, she has taught classes in songwriting, performance, and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country, including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, CCMC and The Swannanoa Gathering. In 2008 she co-founded the Moab Folk Camp.
Songwriting (all levels) Let’s set an intention this week to write a song. We’ll start with a guided meditation and discussion about the song we will write. We’ll create a safe space for our song and our inner songwriter. Which tools might help? How can we bring more forward motion? What would feel right here? We’ll have in-class exercises to deepen the color and texture. We’ll have the opportunity to find the right road for our song.
Stagecraft (all levels) Performance is an art and a craft. The craft involves microphones, monitors, entrances, and introductions. How can we be present on stage-and what do we do to prepare? We’ll look at the artistry of who we are onstage — are we a different person than who we are at the dinner table? Each student will have the opportunity to find out what works for them: we will find The Performer Within.
Mike Simpson has been playing and singing in many styles for many years. He has taught and instigated at CCMC as well as staffing and sitting on the CCMC Board of Directors. He enjoys seeing campers find new joys and rediscover familiar ones.
Physical Singing (all levels) We’ll start with establishing a strong, capable body foundation for singing. We’ll effect happy changes to our singing, bolstering tone, range, volume, and emotion with the power of good physical praxis. This class will welcome all levels of singers but is particularly suited those with little prior study of singing. Wear clothing suitable to movement!
First Fingerstyling (level 2) We’ll build from simple pinches and alternations to patterns of right- hand arpeggios, paying a lot of attention to thumbs, tone, and timing. We’ll use first-position chords and may progress to simple bass line movement in the thumb if success and time permit. Bring a strap, tuners, and fingerpicks.
Julian Smedley spends most of his time involved in musical pursuits, performing with groups, singing, teaching violin and guitar, producing, arranging, and engineering recording projects. 2013 saw the release on Origin records of Approaching Yvones with the jazz-infused string orchestra, Scrape. As well as ongoing work in recording studios, Julian coordinates the music program and teaches instrumental ensembles at the Seattle Waldorf High School.
Camp instrumentalist — Folks, don’t miss this instrumental back-up special this week only on violin (and guitar) from yours truly! Picture instant solos and vocal harmonies custom-made for your musical arrangements! Camp Instrumentalist is on-call for your every musical whim! All you have to do is ask!
Say More Play Less — 5-Note Lead Lines (level 3, all instruments) Shed your inhibitions and learn to play lead lines over a selection of classic popular songs! 5-note rhythms, blues riffs, modes, scales and arpeggios form the basis of a hands-on, week-long exploration for first-time soloists.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Cyd Smith calls her brand of music “progressive folk.” With breathtaking lyrics, gorgeous melodies, and inventive harmonies, her songs shine with musical intelligence and a spry sense of humor. She has mined her background in classical guitar, swing jazz, and American folk and pop music to produce songs sparkling with wit, beauty, and surprises.
Boom Chuck: Intro to the Flatpick (level 2) This class is for you if you know your basic first position chords and you’re yearning to get your fingers on a flat pick. You’ll learn how to hold the pick, find roots and fifths of a chord, and accompany simple songs, maybe even with a bass run or two. There’ll be lots of relaxed, hands-on playing.
Intro to Swing Rhythm Guitar (level 3) If you’re ready to investigate swing, this class is a good place to start. We’ll learn a few moveable swing chords, some easy swing tunes, and most importantly, what makes swing rhythm really swing.
Acoustic guitarist Doug Smith is a Grammy® award winner and 2006 winner of the prestigious Winfield International Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. His playing has been heard in the movies August Rush, Twister, and Moll Flanders, and his original compositions can be heard everywhere from Good Morning America to National Public Radio. Doug’s enthusiastic teaching style has made him a workshop favorite all over the country.
The Taming of the Picking Hand: Intermediate Fingerstyle Guitar (level 3) Take control of that 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 and ability to read tablature will be helpful.
Fingerstyle Frenzy: Advanced Fingerstyle Guitar (level 4–5) Learn to play just like Tommy Emmanuel in only one hour! OK, maybe not, but here we’ll try our hand at advanced picking patterns, bass runs, counterpoint, syncopation, and getting, a smooth, flowing sound, while playing the music of, among others, Atkins, Reed, Buckingham, Kottke, and yes, Emmanuel. Ability to read tablature will be helpful.
Sue Thompson is a noted vocalist, guitarist, and dedicated teacher with a lifelong passion for bluegrass and traditional music. A powerful and soulful lead singer and an ace harmony singer, Sue is also one of a small number of accomplished women flatpickers. She performs and teaches at workshops and festivals in North America, Europe and Japan. Her instructional CDs on how to sing harmony by ear have won praise on three continents.
Bluegrass Flatpicking with Soul (level 4–5) Explore flatpicking by ear and from the heart, using core melodies as a foundation for expressive guitar leads. We’ll learn the easy way to kick off a solo and how to fatten up our sound with things like double-stops and crosspicking. We’ll also learn tricks for getting great tone out of our instruments and staying relaxed while we play.
Meet the Guitar! (level 1) Don’t know which end of the guitar to blow into? Then you’re ready for this class. We’ll build essential skills like good tone, solid rhythm, and an ear for music as we jam on easy and fun songs. You’ll be happier if you start developing finger calluses before you get here, so try to play some before coming to camp.
Guitarist Mike Wollenberg has performed solo and in Bay Area bands for the past 30 years. He has released two solo guitar CDs: The Hand That Feeds Me, and Just Another Fool on the Hill. His most recent recording, A Common Language, is with Bay Area violin great Julian Smedley.
Swing Band (level 3 and up) When you’re playing in a swinging band you really get the sense that you’re making the world a better place. We’ll form a band(s) and learn to arrange and perform songs from the Great American Songbook. The emphasis will be on getting a good groove and coming up with cool parts, while leaving lots of room for soloing. Open to all instruments and vocalists.
Advanced Jazz Soloing (level 4–5) Working with some classic jazz standards, we’ll look at some useful strategies and techniques to navigate common chord progressions: explore how to craft, shape, and pace a good solo; and discuss important things to put in, and leave out. We’ll discuss scales, arpeggios and classic licks, but the emphasis will be on developing good melodic phrases that relate to the song, not just a set of chord changes. Open to all instruments.
Rene Worst has been a professional bassist since 1971. His virtuostic and supportive bass playing has been a Canadian treasure for many years on both acoustic and electric basses. He is as gifted on fretless as he is on acoustic — a rarity in the industry. Rene was educated both in Canada and the U.S. He is one of the founding members of the noted fusion band Skywalk and has anchored and produced six recordings with them. He is also a highly regarded producer.
Beginning Bass (level 1–2) Perfect for the beginner or musician who wants to learn about bass. Left-hand, right-hand and other bass-ic techniques will be explored. Learn a new tune each day — and all the info you need to jam immediately.
Advanced Bass (level 3–4) We’ll look at new techniques and fun tricks to spice up your playing. New tunes each day will cover different feels. Transcriptions provided; reading skills an asset, but not necessary. We’ll also explore the concepts of soloing.
WEEK 2: July 13–19
Kenny Feinstein has a degree in jazz performance on the guitar. Along with a deep understanding of music theory, he has a natural love of playing and teaching music. Student and teacher of guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bass, and fiddle, he plays old-time, bluegrass, country, folk, Cajun, and blues. He’s a founding member of world touring band Water Tower and teaches at Willowbrook Center for Development of Human Potential and two other Oregon music academies.
Your First Lead (level 3) Have you been afraid to take the next step and accept your invitation to take a lead? Learn how to get rid of anxiety and relax during a well-constructed and thoughtful solo. Let’s figure out the devices that will make your first lead sound convincing, even to yourself!
Fiddle Tunes Up the Neck (level 4–5) Open strings are fun and easy. Let’s go beyond the fun and easy stuff. What kind of music can we make from only using a fretted note? What about going up the neck to the 12th fret? Learn to be comfortable using new shapes up the neck.
Topher Gayle writes funny songs and pretty instrumentals, and he likes to lay down grooves to get dancers moving. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s a popular teacher and accompanist, and also makes resonator instruments. He plays lots of stringed instruments and some percussion. He wants to jam with you! Pretty nearly any style, any time. Let’s do it!
Beginning Guitar (level 1) Somebody gave you a guitar and you want to know what to do with it. Or maybe you looked in your kid’s room after she went to college, and there was a guitar — maybe it was the one you had when you were in college! Or maybe you’re in college now, and you just want to sing and play some songs. Come have lots of fun with us!
Tune “Fixing” (level 3 and up) All instruments and voices welcome. What happens when you play a familiar tune (or song) in a whole new way? Why, it becomes a whole new song — or at least a new interpretation! We’ll explore different ways to torture and abuse melodies, arrangements, styles, and anything else we can think of. Out-of-box creative thinking encouraged. Drop-ins welcome.
Paul Hemmings performs regularly with his ukulele-fronted jazz trio, The Paul Hemmings Uketet, at jazz clubs and festivals across the country and around the world. He has released five albums on Leading Tone Records, including critically acclaimed recordings with saxophonists John Tchicai and Eric Alexander. Paul lives in New York City where he has been a faculty member at the Third Street Music School Settlement for the past twelve years.
Ukulele for Guitarists (level 1–2) This class focuses on the basics of playing the ukulele and is geared toward the recovering guitar player. The ukulele is, after all, the ideal instrument for anybody looking to develop the skills and techniques needed to play any fretted instrument. We’ll cover basic open chords, simple strumming patterns, and easy melodies. Anybody new to the ukulele will feel at home, regardless of past musical experience.
The Improvising Ukulelist (level 3–4) Improvisation, the art of spontaneous composition, is the heart and soul of jazz, blues, and several other branches of American music. Understanding its core principles will allow players to step up and play a solo at their next jam session. We’ll use scales, arpeggios, dynamics, and other essential aspects of creative improvisation to explore a repertoire of jazz standards, contemporary pop songs, and 12-bar blues.
Sylvia Herold has sung and played guitar incessantly for over 30 years. Her performance credits include Cats & Jammers, Wake the Dead, Euphonia, The Hot Club of San Francisco, and Sylvia Herold and the Rhythm Bugs. She has recorded five albums.
Adventurous Folk Guitar (level 2–3) From Irish ballads to songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, James Taylor, Kate Wolf, and more. Learn to use lush color-tones and power chords. Drill propulsive strumming patterns and experiment with drop D tuning. Flex your guitar muscles as you play and sing a selection of achingly beautiful folk songs. Prerequisites: Students should be well versed in first-position chords and have some experience using a flatpick.
Intro to Swing Guitar (level 3) Get started playing and singing western swing and easy jazz standards. Build chord vocabulary and learn how to make it swing in this supportive and fun introductory class. You are ready for the class if you know first-position chords (A, C, G, D, etc.) well.
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, producer’s credits, and is a founding member of CCMC as well as a perennial fixture on the teaching staff at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.
Pop and Rock and Roll Harmony Singing (level 2 and up) Learn fun duets, trios, and some multi-part arrangements of a repertoire ranging from early and classic rock and R & B to contemporary pop: Everly Brothers, Beatles, Temptations, Supremes, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift — a mash-up of styles and generations!
Rockin’ Acoustic! (level 3) Learn to be part of a band in this interactive class that will expand your base knowledge of chords, rhythms, riffs, plus lead and background vocals. Guitar and other stringed instruments, including bass, are welcome! Guitarists should have a working knowledge of first position chords and some basic knowledge of bar chords.
Cindy Kallet is a songwriter, singer and guitarist who has taught and performed extensively throughout North America, and recorded ten albums. She tours as a solo performer, as half of the duo Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, and as a third of the trio Kallet, Epstein and Cicone. She adores teaching at music camps, and loves to help nurture the guitar-playing and songwriting potential in all of us.
Not Your Standard Tuning (level 3) Explore the magic that happens when you wind or unwind your strings away from their customary pitches: piles of luscious chords with complex sounds but often simple shapes. We’ll change just a string or two to start, then end up in D, G, and C tunings and who knows where else… but we’ll make sure we understand enough scale and chord theory to help us boldly navigate these new waters.
Songwriting (all levels) Can the songs you love help you write your own? Try making one that shifts time signatures or doesn’t rhyme; maybe the syllables just “taste good.” Perhaps you’ve had a tantalizing idea lurking for years and just can’t seem to make it work; maybe a bolt of an idea just struck this morning. Come prepared to share and experiment, to be fenced in and with luck, patience, and hard work, set free.
Dave Keenan is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and teacher. He is a busy performing musician, playing in five bands in his hometown of Seattle. In 2013, Dave, with Nova Devonie, composed scores to Lotte Reiniger’s films Sleeping Beauty and Dr. Dolittle, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Pleasure Garden and Easy Virtue. That’s a lot of music!
Western Swing Lead (level 3–4) Take it! We’ll explore chord shapes, triads, and melodic ideas and apply them to Western Swing songs. I’ll provide materials.
That Bakersfield Sound (level 3–4) “Where Surf meets Country.” We’ll learn the intros and solos to classic Buck Owens songs and the principles that make them work. I’ll provide written materials and MP3s.
Award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Kritzer is a studio musician, teacher, church bandleader, human jukebox, crooner to seniors, member of Blah Blah Woof Woof, and first-time dad. Steve is as comfortable with Celtic, bluegrass, and country as he is with rock, big band swing, and traditional folk, and is a main stage regular at the Fiddlers Green Festival in Ireland, Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Kerrville Folk Festival, and points in between. His four popular CDs continue to get regular airplay, and he is currently working on his fifth release.
Your First Band (level 2) All instruments and voices welcome. If you’ve never (or rarely) played with other human beings, it’s the most fun you can have with the lights on (or not)! Whatever you play and/or sing, we will learn some basic group rhythm playing with familiar songs 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. “Let’s put the band back together!”
Beginning Fingerpicking (level 2) Got fingers? You can fingerpick! Take your right-hand playing from simple strumming to a whole new level. We’ll start with easy thumb/brush strokes and basic Travis-style alternating bass picking (thumb and two fingers), then move on to simple techniques to incorporate melodies and rhythm as you play. Bring a capo and recording device (and your fingers!).
Peter Langston has been playing acoustic music for 50 years and seems to play every instrument in every style. He has performed with such diverse artists as Doc Watson, Pat Donohue, Johnny Gimble, Mike Seeger, Chill Wills, and Reverend Gary Davis. He’s active in recording (as artist, composer, producer), and is a popular teacher at music and dance camps (Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Sierra Swing, American Banjo Camp, Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop, CBA Music Camp — and, of course, CCMC).
Instigator – As Camp Instigator, Peter helps connect people with similar interests, helps students find the right classes, helps start jams, helps newcomers find their way around, and generally serves as a musical problem-solver and source of encouragement. If you’ve got a question, worry, or idea, talk to Peter!
Suze Spencer Marshall was born into one of America’s most renowned western music families. Her childhood was filled with songs and stories of places and events from their early years on the high prairies of northeastern New Mexico. She has received critical acclaim as a rhythm guitarist, has been teaching and mentoring music for over 30 years, and is actively involved in the preservation of music as cultural heritage.
The Flatpick (level 2) First, we’ll cover the basics: how to hang on to it, what to do with it, and how to unlodge it (with style) from inside your guitar. As the flatpick gets the idea, we’ll teach it to alternate bass notes, go down-up, make bass runs, and use patterns of hit-and-miss to create exciting accompaniment. We’ll learn songs/tunes in easy keys with emphasis on tone, technique, and steady timing.
The Great Western Migration! (level 2–3) Boom-chuck is movin’ to higher pastures at Cowpoke Pickin’s and there is gonna be a hoedown at the CCMC Corral. There’s learnin’ to do, stragglers to round up, “holtz” and supplies to acquire for a pickin’ round-up through the West. Experience the simplicity of subtle, uncluttered rhythms accompanying songs filled with visions of grandeur, beautiful landscapes and stories of the Wild West and its wild, wild inhabitants.
Libby McLaren sings, plays piano, accordion, tin whistle, and banjo. She has sung with, recorded with, and accompanied with Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, the Roches, and many others. With her partner, Robin Flower, she released a fifth CD in 2009: Twenty Years/Twenty Rivers, commemorating 20 years of creating beautiful and cutting-edge music together. They have four other CDs: Angel of Change, 30 Second Kiss, A Kiss From The Angel of Change, and Steelhead In the Riffles. Libby also directs the Linwood Project Community Chorus, a women’s community chorus currently in its 17th year. Libby teaches piano, singing, and accordion privately in Oakland, where she lives with Robin and their three cats. With Robin, she also plays for contra dances and performs in two children’s shows all over California.
Beginning Voice (level 1–2) Each day you will learn a variety of cool vocal techniques including phrasing, breathing, and believability as we sing various songs. This class will help you become a more confident singer. Bring a recording device.
Intermediate/Advanced Voice (level 3–4) Think of this class as a vocal tune-up. We will cover intonation, rhythm, head tone/chest tone, and other vocal techniques that we will put into practice with the 1–2 songs you bring in to sing. Very fun!
Dorian Michael is a jack of all trades, a master of none. He is a heavily blues-based, working guitarist. And he teaches. He plays a wide variety of music — not gypsy swing or classical much, but a hunk of everything else. And he is pretty enthusiastic about it.
Saying Something! (level 3) We will use standard blues tunes by King, Broonzy, Mahal, and Walker so you create your style. We will study non-generic soloing, adding chord-specific notes to the pentatonic realm to play musically. Learn to play your music from your head. We’ll discuss fills that support the singer and the song, use thematic development, create variety, and expand your rhythm guitar vocabulary.
Beyond Pentatonic (level 4) We’ll develop a complete blues vocabulary that allows you to play the blues anywhere-over the barest Delta drone or an Adderly jazz tune. Leave the pentatonic rut using a wider palate of chromatic scales, develop melodic style, and improvise skin-tight to the chord progression at any moment. We’ll explore the Memphis/Mussel Shoals style.
John Miller has over forty years’ experience as a performing/recording musician, music teacher, composer and record producer. He started out playing country blues and has played jazz, Brazilian and old-time music. John has been in demand as a teacher at music camps, including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Port Townsend Country Blues Workshop, BC Swing Camp, Guitar Intensives, and CCMC. In recent years, John has been engaged in making instructional DVDs for Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop, and he currently has 18 instructional DVDs to his credit as well as the book, John Miller’s Country Blues Guitar Collection.
Classic Songs/New Harmonies (level 4–5) We’ll work with songs from the Folk/Old-Time/Classic Country/Blues repertoire, seeing how you can expand their chordal vocabulary so that their melodic beauty is preserved while making possible different moods and emotional responses that make the songs feel fresh and new. We’ll do this without resorting to knuckle-buster chord positions, working with positions that should be playable and attainable in class.
Chord/Scale Theory You Can Use (all levels) We’ll work through major and minor scales, intervals, structures of major, minor, diminished, and augmented chords, as well as sixth and seventh chords, referencing the concepts to familiar songs, so that the mention of a theoretical term will conjure up its sound. We’ll study modes and learn how you can figure out what scales will work over a chord progression, and learn to transpose quickly and easily.
Crystal Reeves is a recording artist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. She has toured nationally and internationally with a variety of musical groups and singer songwriters, including The Robin Flower Band, Judy Fjell, Alice DiMecelli, and Siskiyou Summit Bluegrass Band, contributing violin, mandolin, viola, and vocals. In addition to her work with CCMC, she has been an instrumentalist and teacher at numerous music camps, including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. She has been a featured soloist for productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and at The Cabaret and Camelot theatres in Ashland, Oregon.
Beginning Mandolin (level 1–2) Learn the best right and left hand technique, and an easy approach to understanding the instrument. We will also learn some easy tablature and notation while we play some fun tunes.
SwingSingStringBand (level 2–3) Learn how to play in a band. Play back ups, fills and leads. Learn about band structure while playing and singing great songs. Materials include chords, tab, notation and lyrics. All instruments welcome—and singers, of course!
Sonia Shell began playing banjo at age 15 in Southern California. In 1977, she moved to the Bay Area where she performed at Paul’s Saloon with her band Pick of the Litter. Sonia has played with Sidesaddle, The All Girl Boys, Harmony Grits and other local Bay Area bands for many years, recording three albums with Sidesaddle. In 1993, she won 2nd place at the Winfield Kansas bluegrass banjo competition. She has performed in “A Bluegrass Mass” with the Stanford Summer Choir, and is currently working on a collection of original music with her partner, Sadot Canseco.
5-String Banjo: The Instrument of Love (all levels) Do you suffer from unrequited love? Woo with the surest way to win her/his heart: become a kick-ass banjo player! Don’t just play random forward rolls! The melody will soothe your love object. Transfix her with your sensitive fills. A carefully placed Scruggs lick is worth a thousand words. Chords! Back-up! Show him you’ve got rhythm, and you like practicing! Versatility: Play soft and loud. Then go “Roll in your sweet baby’s arms.”
Bluegrass Band (level 2–3) We’ll learn to play together, playing in the bluegrass repertoire and discussing the various jobs the instruments have in a bluegrass band. We will practice kicking off songs, taking breaks, singing, key selection, back-up, and harmony singing. When do I come in? What are potatoes? What traditional licks are used? A typical bluegrass band comprises guitar, banjo, fiddle, and/or dobro, mandolin, and bass. If you play tuba, harmonica, zither, spoons or any other instrument not mentioned here — welcome!
San Francisco Bay Area multi-style vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, teacher (individual, schools, and workshops), and songwriter Michael Stadler has performed since age six, both solo and in bands ranging in style from old-time to country to afrobilly. He plays guitar (fingerstyle, flatpicked, clawhammer, electric), mandolin, fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and bass. He also offers Gym Class for the Hands and Clawhammer Guitar workshops.
Intermediate Mandolin (level 3–4) Learn technique through essential tunes. Advance your mandolin playing with tunes from bluegrass/old-time, Celtic, swing/jazz/blues, perhaps even Finnish and Mexican. We’ll focus on dexterity (relaxed strength), efficient use of body and hands, pick choice, rhythmic patterns, attacks, damping, and tremolo. We’ll use chord recipes (trying new spots on the neck), walking chords, modes, scales, and you’ll get tips on improvisation/lead. Students should know how to play basic major and minor chords and a few scales.
Perry Thoorsell has performed with jazz musicians (Smith Dobson, Jessica Williams, Larry Vuckovich, Eddie Henderson, Sonny Simmons, Mark Levine, Joe Henderson, and Tootie Heath), and accompanied pop acts (Bobby Rydell, Julius LaRosa, Rita Moreno, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Pete Barbutti, Jim Baily, Jerry Vale, Diahann Carroll, and Frankie Laine). He plays in many styles, including Greek, Persian, Israeli, klezmer, Hungarian, Japanese, Vietnamese, cabaret, be-bop, swing, avant-garde, blues, ragtime, classical, rock, soul, society, bluegrass, and musical theatre.
I Didn’t Know a Bass Could Do That! (level 1–2) We’ll start with root, fifth, root, fifth. After that, we’ll expand your understanding of bass capability, working from both theoretical and practical approaches. Bring more to the table with a broadened view of what the bass can be!
The Bass as an Equal Partner (level 3–5) The bass has functions in the music but it is also a melodic instrument! If you’re not content with accompaniment — being someone’s human karaoke machine — then this class is for you. We’ll explore how the bass can fulfill a musical partnership among like minds.