2. Advanced Beginner
Classes & Teachers
Week 1: July 11–17, 2021
Registration will open in May 2021. Subject to change.
Steve Baughman’s CDs have made the “editors pick“ list at Acoustic Guitar magazine. He is the author of half a dozen books and several DVDs on fingerstyle guitar repertoire and technique. Steve has taught at more than 80 camps across the US, Canada, and Europe. He is always available to sit under a tree and give students individual attention they need. Well, almost always.
Clawhammer Banjo and Guitar (see instrument levels in description) This will be a total immersion experience in all things clawhammer. We’ll begin by drilling ourselves on the basic pattern. We’ll then learn to apply it to playing melodies. Beginning banjo players are welcome; guitar players should be intermediate and up.
Fingerstyle Guitar Bells and Whistles (level 4–5) This is right-hand boot camp. We’ll learn several techniques that add groove and coolness to your playing. Travis pick, cowboy strum, calypso strum, percussive slap, and more fun stuff. We may also delve into learning a tune or two.
Guitarist and singer Brian Butler is a well-known player in the Pacific Northwest music scene. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, and performs solo as well as with the Brian Butler Blues Band and several other groups. His latest album, Butler’s Blues, was awarded Best Blues Recording of 2019 by the Washington Blues Society. He performs much of his own material and many classic blues as well.
Blues Guitar (level 2–3) Rise up, take your plectrum, and play! Picks in hand, we’ll learn a handful of songs in a variety of keys and styles. Our goal: Get a full sound, keeping the bass going while integrating chords, runs, turnarounds, and licks. Plenty of practice using techniques you can apply to other songs and styles.
Blues Repertoire (level 3) So many songs, so many sounds and styles! We’ll take a trip through the blues and learn a variety in various keys and styles. Starting with basic progressions, we’ll add licks, runs and turnarounds. As we travel from Mance Lipscomb to B.B. King, you’ll find a song or several you want to make your own. Fingerpickers and flatpickers welcome!
Award-winning artist and Maui native Neal Chin has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of twenty years. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. He's been nominated for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year two years consecutively, for ‘Ukulele Paintings and The Spotless Mind, in 2017 and 2018. Neal has toured across the U.S. and currently lives, teaches, and performs in Seattle, WA.
Right-Hand Techniques (level 2–3) One of the defining elements of an ‘ukulele player is the use of the right hand. Many different techniques have been developed over the years that can elevate an ‘ukulele artist to a unique sound of their own. Join us as we explore some of these techniques and some practical uses for them.
Single-Note Chords (level 3) Chords are not just great for rhythm, but for soloing as well. We’ll break chords down to single notes to give you another road map for soloing. Join us as we create small melodies and bolster up your arpeggios! Basic picking technique required.
International performing and recording artist Hilary Field has garnered praise for her dynamic virtuosity, her sensitive musicianship, and for the emotional depth she brings to the heart of classical guitar music. Hilary has held faculty positions as the head of the guitar department at Seattle Pacific University and Pacific Lutheran University in Washington state. She has released several award-winning CDs, including her debut recording, Music of Spain and Latin America, which won Classical Album of the Year from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors.
Folk Orchestra (all levels) Create an amazing full and rich group sound in music from around the world. Bring in your main instrument(s) and/or dust off the ones in your closet; we’ll find parts and levels for all! Learn by ear, tab, and/or sheet music.
Demystifying the Fingerboard (level 2–4) Learn how to break down the concepts of chords and melodies to create your own accompaniments, arrangements, and compositions throughout the entire range of the fingerboard. Explore and apply music theory to expand your creativity on all instruments
Katie Glassman is one of the country’s most renowned and decorated Texas-style and swing fiddlers, as well as an accomplished songwriter, singer, and educator. She’s a four-time National Swing fiddle champion and two-time National Divisional champion. Based in Denver, CO, Katie toured and recorded with the renowned trio The Western Flyers—winners of the 2018 Best Western Swing Group (Ameripolitan Awards) and Western Swing Album of the Year (Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists) for Wild Blue Yonder. Katie is the founder, owner, and primary instructor at FiddleSchool.com, an online academy offering fiddlers around the world the opportunity to learn, improve, and progress in Texas-style fiddling, Western swing, and early jazz.
Fiddle School (all levels) No matter what level you are, this class will help you reflect on how and where you can quickly progress in your playing. We’ll review the basics and continue on to bowing, left hand, intonation, and fourth-finger exercises to get a complete overview of fiddling technique. Even though this sounds technical, we really have fun and fiddle becomes much, much easier by the end of the week!
Swing Improvisation on Fiddle (level 3–5) Want to sound like you know what you’re doing when you take a solo in a swing jam? This class is for you! Drawing from the swing era repertoire, we’ll learn several swing melodies and their chord progressions, and how to build a solo over each one by developing your swing vocabulary with moveable licks and cool riffs.
Hailing from the Midwest, Michaelle Goerlitz migrated to San Francisco in 1980 to pursue the study of congas and Afro-Cuban music. Along the way, she’s immersed herself in Brazilian and Venezuelan styles as well. People and projects she’s been fortunate to work with include Wild Mango, Samba Rio, Tammy Hall, Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo, Mark Levine, Tom McDermott, Venezuelan Music Project, VNote Ensemble, Paul McCandless, Tuck & Patti, and Barbara Higbie. Recently she traveled to Kazakhstan to play gigs sponsored by the State Department.
Percussion! (all levels) We’ll focus on a few African-based rhythms that have been incorporated into folkloric Cuban and Brazilian (and American) music. Clave, congas, sticks, rumba, tumbao, bembe, and samba await you. Any level of experience with percussion is welcome.
Rhythm Training (all levels) Rushing or dragging? Not sure where the “1” is? Looking for better ways to communicate rhythmically with bandmates? Or maybe you occasionally want to play some auxiliary percussion? Add to your musical toolbox by learning body/vocal percussion and basic techniques on some common percussion instruments, and unraveling polyrhythms.
Chris Grampp has played jazz, blues, rock, and traditional music in bands and as a soloist for many years in the Bay Area. He has studied guitar with Tuck Andress, Warren Nunes, and Davis Ramey, and has written lessons for Acoustic Guitar magazine. He has taught for many years at CCMC, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and music festival workshops.
Duets, Trios, and More (level 3–5) Each day we’ll break into groups and create on-the-spot arrangements for pop, rock, folk, country, and swing tunes. Vocalists and all instruments are welcome.
Advanced Soloing (level 4–5) Approaches for soloing over a variety of styles, including swing, pop, blues, country, Latin, and R&B. We’ll discuss scales and modes, arpeggios, dynamics, and rephrasing song melodies. All instruments welcome.
Sylvia Herold brings to CCMC a deep enthusiasm and knowledge of jazz, swing, and folk songs. Researching songs and developing guitar arrangements fuels her artistic passion. Her performing credits include the popular swing trio Cats & Jammers, Euphonia, Hot Club of San Francisco, and Sylvia Herold & the Rhythm Bugs. Sylvia currently performs with the Celtic Grateful Dead band, Wake the Dead, and her jazz combo, the Sylvia Herold Ensemble. She is a popular guitar and repertoire teacher at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Coast Music Camp, British Columbia Swing Camp, Colorado Roots Music Camp, Lark in the Morning, and the Ashokan Center.
Performance (all levels) Understand and conquer stage fright, practice making your entrance and exit, craft compelling song intros, and get comfortable using eye contact. In this activity-based class, you’ll learn how to put yourself and your audience at ease for a confident and professional performance.
Introduction to Swing Guitar (level 3) Learn to play and sing easy jazz and swing songs in this supportive and fun class. Pick up new chord shapes and hone your right-hand swing feel. You’re ready for this class if you know first-position chords (A, C, G, D, etc.).
Originally from Montana, Coty Hogue is a singer and multi-instrumentalist whom Alice Gerrard (of Hazel and Alice) has called “an impressive young talent.” She has released three albums and been featured on BBC radio and Sirius XM satellite radio. Her rendition of the traditional song “Going to the West” charted #1 on the FOLK-DJ radio charts; “Oh Wind” is featured in the independent film Neon Sky. She performs throughout the northwest with her trio and teaches banjo, guitar, and songwriting both privately and at music camps.
Intro to the Flatpick (level 2) A class for those who are starting to feel comfortable with chords/basic finger strumming and feel ready to add some style to their right hand. We’ll learn how to hold a flatpick, and then add some simple boom-chuck rhythms progressing towards bass runs until, voila, we’re playing country, old-time, and bluegrass songs with style!
Folking Up Pop (level 2–3) A repertoire class of pop songs, but with a twist! We’ll explore how to adapt pop-oriented songs to fit the folk style so you won’t be a jambuster in a folk jam. I’ll have many songs prepared, but feel free to bring along some favorites of yours as well! All instruments and vocalists welcome.
Classical. Brazilian. R&B. Jazz. Afro-Cuban. Pop. Rock and Roll. Funk. Folk. Ed Johnson’s mastery of so many different styles, coupled with a passion for harmony vocal and horn arrangements, all factor into a magical blend of vibrant, original contemporary jazz that has won fans and airplay worldwide. As a vocalist, Ed is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Kenny Rankin, and Michael Franks. As a guitarist and bandleader, critics often cite the sounds of Airto and Flora Purim. Ed has seven recording projects to his credit, in addition to producer credits for numerous artists. He currently performs and records with his Brazilian jazz ensemble Novo Tempo, as well as with the Americana roots band Cabin Fever NW.
Velvet Rock Harmonies (all levels) Beach Boys! Beatles! Queen! CSNY! You know the songs; how fun would it be to sing those intricate, beautiful harmonies? Find out in a fun, focused learning environment! All are welcome but some prior singing experience is necessary.
Get Your Groove On! (level 3) Strengthen and refine your rhythm guitar chops through learning classic and modern rock and R&B songs. We’ll focus on left- and right-hand techniques that will help you maximize the sound of your instrument with efficiency, along with fun signature riffs.
Bay Area music veteran Steve Kritzer is an award-winning singer-songwriter, entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, instructor, and jam leader. A “man of many musics," Steve moves effortlessly between originals, Irish, bluegrass, country, classic rock, big band swing, and traditional folk. He's an accomplished guitar, ukulele, banjo, and mandolin player, and has taught at CCMC many times. Steve’s relaxed, personable style on stage and in the classroom makes him a popular callback at festivals, concerts, coffeehouses, and teaching camps from California to Ireland. When not teaching, recording, or performing, he’s his “own grandpa” to his 13-year-old daughter.
Beginning Guitar (level 1–2) For the absolute beginner and perennial beginner. Basic strumming, and simple open chords to get you singing and strumming as soon as possible.
Creative Mandolin (level 3) Cool licks, leads, fills, riffs, and backup to add frosting to any jam, using basic scales, alternate chords shapes, and complimentary picks and strums.
Margo Leduc is a much-sought-after vocal coach in 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.
Connecting to Spirit with Song: Basic Breathing Technique for Singers (all levels) Correct breathing and breath support are the path to solid singing. By singing simple songs and chants that put focus on the breath, we’ll access the deep well of sound that is within each of us. Learn how to get enough air and connect to all the tones available to us.
Out of the Box: Connect with Your Inner Artist (all levels) Learn to break free and connect to the artist within. Express your deepest emotions while finding the balance between technical discipline and letting go in a safe and supportive environment.
Tony Marcus has found joy playing many styles of music. He’s played bluegrass with mandolin legend Frank Wakefield, jug band music and blues with Geoff Muldaur, fiddle tunes with the Arkansas Sheiks, string swing with Cats & Jammers, big band jazz with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, weird old Hawaiian and hokum with R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, and honky tonk country with Rose Maddox, to name a few. Playing music has taken him from Japan to Ireland, and from Alaska to Florida in the USA. He currently performs with Patrice Haan in the vocal duo Leftover Dreams and with the country band Crying Time.
Instrumentalist Tony wants to make music with you! Fiddle, guitar, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, and low-note vocalizing are all available. Let’s play!
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Kristina Olsen has added "author" to her quiver with the release of her e-book with embedded songs. Kristina is an award-winning songwriter whose songs have been covered by artists including Eric Bibb, Mary Coughlin, Maddy Prior and Fairport Convention. With 14 recordings of original songs (four on Rounder/Philo Records), she is typically on the road ten months a year having way too much fun.
Instigator Let me be your way to connect your passion for music to others with the same passion at camp. Not sure where to find a bouzouki player for your acoustic punk garage band? I just might know someone to fit the bill. Are your fun levels not operating at peak? We’ll crank up the fun-o-meter.
Cosy Sheridan first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. She has been on the road ever since, playing clubs, concert halls and coffeehouses across the country. Her song “My Fence and My Neighbor” listed at #4 on the folk radio chart in 2018, her 2014 release “Pretty Bird” was listed in Sing Out! magazine’s Great CDs of 2014. Cosy was a guitar student of legendary fingerstyle players Eric Schoenberg and Guy Van Duser. She teaches classes in songwriting, performance, and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country, and is the founder of Moab Folk Camp in Utah.
Songwriting (level 1–4) As songwriters, we often have habitual ways of creating a melody, and lyrical paths that we usually follow. How can we find new melodies and song shapes? We’ll look at using the scaffolding and energy of other songs to help us create a new song. For experienced or beginner songwriters.
Right Hand Percussive Picking (level 2–4) We'll focus on learning a couple of right-hand percussive picking patterns; once we have them down, we’ll add some chordal patterns on the left hand. We’ll learn 3 or 4 songs that incorporate these skills. This will turn our guitar playing into an engine of forward energy!
Performer and teacher Laura Silverstein plays fingerstyle guitar and bluegrass banjo. Her guitar style is rooted in the folk traditions of John Fahey, Merle Travis, and Doc Watson, and has expanded over the years to include elements of blues, rock, and pop. Her four instrumental guitar recordings, including her most recent CD, Forbidden Tango, are available on Apple Music and Amazon, along with two albums with High Hills Bluegrass Band. Laura has taught guitar at CCMC, Northwest Women’s Music Celebration, Women Making Music (WOMAMU), and Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop, and loves nothing more than helping others to share the music that is within them!
Beginning Fingerstyle (level 2) Take your accompaniment to the next level! Focusing on your picking/strumming hand, we’ll learn some strum-and-tap techniques, and move on into using your thumb and fingers to play arpeggios as well as alternating thumb-and-finger patterns.
Fingerstyle—The Next Step (level 2–3) Get into the groove of playing an alternating bass line and several Travis-style picking patterns. By the end of the week, we’ll integrate melodies into our established picking patterns and pick some tunes!
Inspired by the “prebop” bass players and their music, Matt Weiner can slap out a syncopated jazz feel or bow a folksy melody. He frequently performs upward of 200 shows per year around Seattle and other places with Jacob Zimmerman, Ray Skjelbred, Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Bric-a-Brac Trio, Squirrel Butter, Wayne Horvitz, Eli Rosenblatt, Casey MacGill, and many others. He has also recorded and performed with the Todalo Shakers, the Hot Club of Cowtown, the Asylum Street Spankers, Butch Thompson, Becky Kilgore, Danny Barnes, Matt Munisteri, Jon-Erik Kellso, Rani Arbo, and James Hill. Matt has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Yukon Woodshed Acoustic Music Workshop, the Portland Ukulele Festival, the Menucha Ukulele Bandcamp, and 4 Centrum music camps: the Ukulele Festival, the Country Blues Festival, Voiceworks, and the Hot Strings Vintage Jazz Workshop. He teaches private lessons and workshops (bass guitar and double bass) at Dusty Strings in Seattle.
Roots Bass Boot Camp (all levels) Warm up and get ready to play anytime, anywhere with a fun routine that will sharpen your bass skills without tearing your hands apart (that much). Learn exercises for improving intonation, timing and rhythm, tone, and creating musical ideas. Bows are highly recommended, but not required. You’ll take these exercises home with you and do them forever—results and fun guaranteed!
Bass Panorama (levels 2–4) On day 1, we’ll come up with a list of bass techniques and concepts of interest, and then spend the rest of the week diving deep into the nitty-gritty particulars of the bass. Past topics include walking, bowing, slapping, Afro-Cuban tumbao, soloing concepts, and ensemble playing.
2. Advanced Beginner
Classes & Teachers
Week 2: July 18–24, 2021
Caitlin Belém grew up in a house full of music in northern Wyoming. She fell in love with the fiddle at a young age and and continued to learn, playing saxophone and guitar, and singing through private lessons, school groups, and with her parents. She’s explored many genres, from Brazilian bossa nova and samba to Cuban son, to American jazz, blues, and swing. She’s performed in diverse venues, from thousand-seat concert halls to living rooms to TV and radio. Caitlin plays regularly with the Brazilian/Latin band Maracujá, the swing/folk duo Modern Bygones, the Basque ensemble Ospa, and The Fireants. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Social Dance Comfort (all levels) This survey of popular social dance styles—two-step, waltz, swing, and blues—will focus on the lead/follow connection, musicality, and rhythm. You’ll get more comfortable partner dancing—and have fun!
Intro to Improvisation (level 3) We’ll use a few different methods to think about improvisation—building off of and varying melody lines, working from an understanding of a song’s harmonic structure, and developing our musical intuition and understanding of a style. Come have fun and gain comfort improvising! All instruments welcome.
NOVA KARINA DEVONIE
Nova Karina Devonieis a busy Seattle musician who delights audiences with her sensitive accordion playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense. Interested in the amazing connection and communication that music can provide, she loves adding accordion to many styles of music. Nova divides her time between performing in bands, teaching private music lessons, and composing music with David Miles Keenan for the duo Miles & Karina. Nova has been on staff at CCMC, PSGW, and the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival, and with Miles & Karina, has performed live original scores for silent films in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Instigator Nova 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 source of musical wisdom and encouragement.
Amy Friedricks is a veteran song leader and has been known to be the last one standing at many a jam. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, she teaches guitar, ukulele, acoustic and electric bass, and has been on the teaching staff at CCMC, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Moab Folk Camp, and many other music camps and ukulele workshops. Amy was the bassist/vocalist for The Quarry Persons, a Beatles tribute band, and the Dandelion Jazz Quartet. She regularly performs with an eclectic mix of musicians showcasing a range of styles including Americana, Celtic, klezmer, and swing.
Beginning Guitar (level 1) We’ll go slow and get you started on a musical journey that will change your life. Wonder why the guitar is the most popular instrument? Just a few chords and strums in your hands and you'll be playing and singing classic songs.
Your First (Unplugged) Rock Band (level 2–3) Experience the fun of playing music in a small group. Together we’ll create arrangements to acoustic rock classics and learn how to play well with others. Take your jamming to the next level. All instruments and voices welcome.
David Miles Keenan is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, band leader, producer, music director, and gardener based in Seattle, Washington.
Meet the Flatpick (level 2–3) It’s flat, and you pluck the guitar strings with it. In this class, we’ll take the basic chords and learn how to play the boom-chuck rhythm used in country and bluegrass. Once we’ve got it figured out we’ll play some songs (slowly!) to apply what we’ve learned. Lots of playing in this class!
The Blues in Bluegrass (level 3–4) We’ll focus on five bluegrass songs and how to play bluesy solos to them. You’ll come out the other end with the ability to apply these ideas in “real life.” Expect to play a lot in this class. I’ll provide guitar tab for everything too!
Guitarist/songwriter Adam Levy has created a remarkable body of work over the past 25 years. He’s been featured on recordings by Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Lisa Loeb, Tracy Chapman, Allen Toussaint, Vulfpeck, and many other artists. He has a dozen original recordings to his credit as a solo artist as well, and has authored several instructional books and video courses. His popular YouTube series "Guitar Tips" was launched in 2014 and has since spawned two Patreon channels. Adam has written dozens of feature articles for Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, and Fretboard Journal.
Jazz/Swing Band (all levels) Each day, students will organize into small groups, practice a song, and then perform it for the rest of the class. Coaching and feedback will help you hone your performance prowess and your plays-well-with-others skills.
Guitar Skills for Songwriters and Accompanists (level 3) A class for players who already know the open-position chords and are ready to expand their skill set with new tunings, strumming patterns, and fingerpicking patterns—and learn a little bit about soloing too.
Carol McComb is a vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with over 40 years of performing, recording, and teaching experience. She wrote a best-selling guitar instruction book and has taught thousands of people to play guitar and sing in her workshop series at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto. She is a frequent contributor to Acoustic Guitar magazine and has taught at several music camps around the country. Carol was a member of the popular California-based band the Gryphon Quintet, and has toured with both Linda Ronstadt and Joan Baez. She is currently one half of the duo Kathy and Carol. In 2023, Carol joined the fabulous staff at Peghead Nation as their song accompaniment teacher.
Heavenly Harmony (all levels) This fast-paced harmony singing class will dig deep into the skill and vocal technique that your favorite singers use to get the chills running down our spines when we hear them sing. We will draw our material from a wide variety of sources including bluegrass, country, and rock and roll.
It’s All About Rhythm (level 2–3) Tired of playing the same strum throughout a whole song? This class will teach you how to vary your rhythm and add simple runs and fills to create a much more interesting guitar arrangement for the songs you sing and for backing up a fiddle tune. Both flatpickers and fingerpickers welcome.
Ken Perlman is a skilled guitarist and a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as melodic clawhammer. He’s known for his skillful adaptations of Celtic, Appalachian, and Canadian fiddle tunes. Ken has toured throughout most of the English-speaking world and in Western Europe, both as a soloist and in a duo with renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour. An acclaimed teacher of folk-music instrumental skills, Ken has written widely used banjo and guitar instruction books, including Clawhammer Style Banjo, Fingerstyle Guitar, and Fingerpicking Fiddle Tunes. He’s been on staff at teaching festivals around the world, and has served as director for several music-instructional camps, including American Banjo Camp, Midwest Banjo Camp, and Suwannee Banjo Camp. As an independent folklorist, Ken spent close to two decades collecting tunes and oral histories from traditional fiddle players on Prince Edward Island in Eastern Canada. His most recent solo recordings are Frails & Frolics and Northern Banjo.
Celtic Tunes for Fingerstyle Guitar (levels 2–3) If you have a background in classical guitar or alternating-bass/folk fingerpicking, this class is for you. We’ll take a few relatively accessible Irish, Scottish, or Cape Breton airs and dance tunes, and work through the process of expressing them in fingerstyle with authentic phrasing, ornamentation, and liveliness.
Clawhammer Banjo (levels 3–5) Improve and expand your clawhammer technique, and learn some really cool Appalachian and northern/Celtic tunes. We’ll cover drop-thumbing on all strings, double-thumbing patterns, alternate string pull-offs, ergonomic fingering strategies, playing up the neck, mastering 3/4 and 6/8 times, and playing syncopated rhythms. Anyone with some clawhammer experience should be comfortable in this class.
Pierce Pettis began his long career as a writer/artist at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama and later as a staff songwriter for Polygram/Universal Musician in Nashville. Often called “a songwriter’s songwriter,” his works have been covered by artists ranging from Garth Brooks and Dion to Joan Baez and Art Garfunkel. Pierce's fifth album for Compass Records Group (Nashville), That Kind of Love (2009), received rave reviews from XM/Sirius Satellite Radio, Paste magazine, Performing Songwriter, and many others. Father’s Son, Pierce’s new solo project for Compass Records Group, was released in January 2019 and is receiving widespread critical praise in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.
Basic Songwriting for Beginners and Pros (all levels) We’ll cover the structure of the classic American song form in a variety of styles, paying close attention to strong melody composition, song arrangement, and basic ground rules for writing good lyrics. This class will also include guidance on co-writing and how to critique/encourage fellow songwriters.
Re-thinking the Guitar with Alternate Tunings (level 3–5) From Joni Mitchell to Keith Richards, from Keb Mo to Leo Kottke, Delta Blues men to Hawaiian slack key players… all have employed alternate tunings to create a rich musical landscape and expand the possibilities of the guitar far beyond the confines of standard E A D G B E tuning. We’ll start with some popular tunings, including open D, C, and G, and work our way toward less well-known tunings.
Valerie Rose is a versatile fiddler who plays a variety of styles, including Irish, Scottish, Balkan, English, Swedish, and old-time. She performs with Celtic band The Gallowglasses, and plays for Irish set dancing with Western Shore, for contra dances with Stringfire!, and for Balkan dancing with Zabava International. She also sings, arranges, and conducts, loves to jam, and is an enthusiastic and supportive teacher.
Celtic Fiddle (level 2–3) Dive into the fun world of Irish/Scottish fiddling. For near-beginners as well as fiddlers/violinists from other genres. We’ll explore the phrasing and ornamentation that give Celtic music its unique sound, plus learn some session tunes!
Play in an Irish Session (level 2–4) Join in the fun of an Irish session! Learn some popular session tunes in a friendly and supportive environment. We’ll play slowly and by ear, with sheet music for those who want it. All instruments welcome.
Cindy Browne Rosefield is the Director of Instrumental Studies and the Coordinator of the Music Business Certificate at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, where she also teaches Music Theory, American Cultures in Jazz, and History of Rock & Roll. Cindy performs and records with various groups, including Wake the Dead and the Tom Reynolds Conspiracy. She has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Canada, and the U.S., and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Concord Jazz Festival, SF Jazz Festival, the California Jazz Conservatory, and many other jazz and folk music festivals around the world. She also serves on the Board of the Livermore Jazz Society, a nonprofit organization that hosts musical performances of jazz and other underserved musical genres through house concerts and local venues.
All Things Bass (level 1–2) Starting with the basics, we’ll work on left/right hand techniques to give you the freedom in becoming a stronger player. We’ll explore all of the possibilities of the bassist role, from sideman to soloist. We’ll have some fun becoming a “melody” instrument through basic improvisation. Feel free to bring songs/tunes that you’d like to explore.
Swinging and Soloing Bass (level 3–4) We’ll work on different jazz styles, from 2-beat to walking bass lines, and cover styles beyond such as Latin grooves, funky feels, and rock grooves. We’ll also go deeper into the harmonic/melodic function of tunes as a bassist and work on soloing concepts. Bring in tunes you’d like to explore to deeper levels.
Verlene Schermer is a San Francisco Bay Area singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with an eclectic style that ranges from Celtic to blues and jazz. She accompanies her versatile singing on Celtic harp, piano, and guitar. Her original songs cover a wide range of topics from themes of dreaming, vision, and creative process, to poignant observations about modern living. These can be heard on her six solo recordings. Verlene maintains a full schedule of voice, harp, piano, and guitar students. She also plays violin, tenor banjo, mandolin, concertina, Swedish nyckelharpa, and Norwegian hardinfele, and is a sought-after performer and clinician for concerts and workshops throughout the country and in Europe.
Vocal Mechanics: A Look Under the Hood (all levels) This class is for those who are new to singing or who would like to sing—if only... Understanding how your instrument works will help you find your voice and keep it in great shape as you develop your singing skills. We’ll gain an understanding of the physiology of singing, using visual concepts and practical exercises along with some fun sing-alongs that we’ll all work on together to build strength, range, and confidence!
Vocal Styles (levels 3–5) We’ll cover a few different styles each day, looking at the elements of timbre, registration, pronunciation, phrasing, ornamentation, and vibrato. We’ll listen to examples and sing songs in each style, to develop your ability to vary the vocal elements so that you can apply them authentically to your own singing style.
Grammy-nominated mandolinist Tristan Scroggins is a voice of both music and community in the world of bluegrass. An old soul with the drive and curiosity of youth, Tristan is dedicated to learning the history of traditional music while creating an open and inclusive space for the music moving forward. In 2021 Tristan was honored with a nomination for the International Bluegrass Music Association's Mandolin Player of the Year Award and was the recipient of their Writer of the Year award. As a teacher, Tristan has gained a reputation for his logically laid out curriculum, generous resources, and relaxed, encouraging presence. Tristan’s teaching materials help students achieve personal inspiration and overcome their musical hurdles.
A Mandolin Tune a Day (level 2) Take a tour of different mandolin styles! Designed for beginners with some experience playing tunes on the mandolin. Each day we’ll learn a simple tune in a different style and discuss what makes that style unique. Some of the possible styles to be covered include bluegrass, old time, Celtic, swing, and waltz. Tab provided for almost everything but will be taught by ear first.
Advanced Techniques for Mandolin (level 3–4) Designed for intermediate to advanced students with two or more years of playing experience, this class will focus on kick-offs and endings, different kinds of triplets (bluegrass/Texas/Celtic), different ways to play backup, how to make the melody more musical, and expanding knowledge of theory and the mandolin fingerboard.
Chic Street Man is a uniquely talented artist with an international following. His music transcends cultural and attitudinal barriers, bringing home his message of harmony and ethnic diversity through acoustic bluesy ballads, funky rhythms, and jazzy upbeat originals. Chic is also a celebrated communications facilitator and has presented for many organizations, including The Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and the U.S. His “Freedom of Expression” workshop uses the stage to empower participants to strengthen their ability to connect with others. Learn more at www.chicstreetman.com.
The Freedom of Expression (all levels) Holding someone’s attention requires a willingness to connect. This class focuses on fun group exercises that explore “letting go and being yourself.” We’ll work on scat, rhythms, mic technique, and making eye contact. Participants are encouraged to be honest, relaxed, and enjoy risk-taking and the creative process. You’ll leave with a new confidence in your ability to communicate.
Country Blues (level 3) We’ll explore country blues fingerpicking, emphasizing double thumb patterns and syncopated rhythms and licks, with and without fingerpicks.
Jack Tuttle grew up in a musical family in rural Illinois and began playing guitar at age 5. While in his teens, he immersed himself in bluegrass and added banjo, mandolin, and fiddle to his instrumental repertoire. He began teaching full-time at Gryphon in 1979 and has taught thousands of students over the years, including his own talented children. Jack is also the music editor for Fiddler magazine and has written twelve instruction books. He has performed at many notable events including A Prairie Home Companion, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Strawberry Music Festival, and Merlefest.
Essential Music Theory (level 2 and up) Everything you need to know about music theory, how it relates to roots music, including folk, bluegrass, blues, and a bit of swing. We’ll cover how to use it to help your playing and singing. We’ll cover the physics of tuning, chord construction and chord progression theory, and improvising, including different types of scales and where to use them.
Instrumentalist Let’s play some music together! Jack plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and bass. He’s ready to play pretty much any kind of music you throw at him!
Daniel Ward grew up in New Mexico, exposed to a wide variety of musical styles, including Mexican mariachi, Spanish flamenco, world music, and jazz. By the time he completed a degree in classical guitar and composition, Daniel was also playing electric jazz, flamenco guitar with dancers, percussion, trumpet, lute, and world beat music. As a guitarist, he toured with Dance España, Maria Benitez, Yjastros, and Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra In 2009 he moved to Hollywood, and fell in love with the ukulele. He has become a premier ukulele performer known for his command of Latin and world styles, and performs and teaches at festivals across the U.S. and abroad. Daniel contributes lessons to both Ukulele and Acoustic Guitar.
The Art and Ritual of Practice—Ukulele Style! (all levels) Using several methods and materials, we’ll focus on how to create and manage a great inner and outer space as you work on your music. By running through a daily ritual, we’ll build a way to practice that keeps working long after you’ve left camp. Simple right- and left-hand work, ear work, ergonomics, and mind focus are the building blocks we’ll use. Material will be layered so that different levels can benefit from the same class.
Ukulele Solo and Ensemble (all levels) In this class, we’ll learn music… melodic repertoire, instrumental songs, songs with voice, solos, duet, trios, and more. We’ll play through tunes and then split into groups to rehearse and perform for each other in a no-judgement setting. It’s a bit like having group instruction, private lessons, and ensemble coaching all in one class!
Sean Williams teaches ethnomusicology, Irish Studies, and Asian Studies at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She was raised in Berkeley, and played bluegrass guitar and banjo in high school in the 1970s. With a BA in classical guitar performance and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, Sean is a multi-instrumentalist and singer of musics from Ireland, Brazil, and Indonesia. She has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Northwest Women’s Music and Art Celebration, and the Sean-nós Northwest Festival (Irish music and dance). In her spare time, she writes books about world music, food, and grammar
Intro to Fingerstyle (level 2) So much musical magic can happen with your right hand once you know a handful of chords! In this class we’ll start with a variety of picking patterns that we can apply immediately to songs, aiming for the Travis pick, bass runs, and transitions from one chord to another without losing one’s place.
Classical Techniques for Folkies (level 2–3) Classical guitarists make the creation of music seem so easy. How? The key (ha!) is through the use of techniques that minimize wasteful movement, avoid injury, and focus attention on tone and angle. By the end of the week, you’ll be playing all your own songs but sounding much more confident, cool, and clear.
Guitarist Mike Wollenberg has performed solo and in Bay Area bands for over 30 years. Recordings include three solo guitar CDs and a duo album with Seattle violin great Julian Smedley. He performs regularly with CCMC luminaries Chris Grampp, Sylvia Herold, and Chuck Ervin.
Intro to Swing (level 3) This class will focus on getting some of the standard swing chords under our fingers, learning rhythm techniques, and delving into some basic lead playing. We’ll apply all this to some great swing tunes that use common chord progressions. Most important, we’ll zero in on the groove, because as we all know, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
Advanced Leads (level 4–5) This is a class to help expand your soloing skills. We’ll focus on melodic content, phrasing, motifs, and other techniques that look beyond what notes to play over a given chord. Each day we’ll explore a different song, using the melody and feel of the song as a springboard into that great solo. All instruments welcome.