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Week 1 (July 11 – 15)


Neal Chin

Award-winning artist and Maui native Neal Chin has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his 20-year musical career. 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 their practical uses.


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 your arpeggios! Basic picking technique required.


Marla Fibish

Marla Fibish is one of the prominent voices of the mandolin in Irish music, bringing a musicality to the tradition that is not often heard on the instrument. A dynamic performer and a sought-after teacher, Marla teaches private students and classes, online at Peghead Nation, and has been a staff instructor at many music camps, including the Mandolin Symposium, the Swannanoa Gathering, and many others.


Chordal Innuendo on the Mandolin (level 2-3) This class will help you develop skills and patternings for adding lovely partial chords to your mandolin playing. Letting open strings ring in combination with placing one or two fingers can yield a surprising richness of options, especially when combined with compatible picking hand techniques.  We’ll use a few songs as springboards to explore and unlock fretboard patterns for different keys.

Soulful Irish Tunes on the Mandolin (level 3-4) The soul of Irish music is in its melodies,  whether they be expressed as lively dance tunes like jigs and reels, or beautiful slower airs, marches, waltzes, and the like.  We’ll learn some juicy tunes, and follow them as they make their way into different meters and modes. 

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Chris Grampp

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.

Daily Groove (level 2-3) We’ll practice rhythmic accompaniment patterns for blues, country, pop, swing, and rock and roll, and pay special attention to right hand strumming techniques. All chordal instruments (and bass players!) welcome.

Intro to Swing (level 3 and up) We’ll play classic standards from the swing era, with focus on 4-to-the-bar swing rhythm, movable chords, intros, endings, and turnarounds. Bring a pick and a chordal instrument (or a bass). Lots of playing in class.


Carol McComb

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.


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.


Fingerstyle Americana (level 3 and up) This multi-level fingerstyle class will explore the roots of Americana music and the myriad of musicians who have followed in their footsteps. If you can read tablature, you are ready for this class! All songs are arranged at two different levels to accommodate a wide range of guitar ability.


Valerie Rose

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 contradances 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.


Play in an Irish Session (level 2+) Join in the fun of an Irish session! Learn popular session tunes in a friendly and supportive environment. We’ll learn by ear, with sheet music for those who want it. All instruments welcome.

International Dance Tunes (level 2+) Playing music for dancers is a wonderful experience. We'll learn tunes for contradance, square dancing, Swedish polska, Balkan lesnoto, Irish set dancing, English country dance, and Scottish ceilidh dancing.  All instruments welcome.


Verlene Schermer

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, and performs on her double-strung harp at Stanford Hospital for patients, family, and staff. She also plays violin, tenor banjo, Swedish nyckelharpa, and Norwegian hardinfele, and is a sought-after performer and clinician for concerts and workshops throughout the country and in Europe.


Building Vocal Skills (all levels) This is a class for any singer who would like to improve their singing voice – from complete novice to seasoned vocalists. Understanding how the instrument works will help you not only find and develop your voice, but also keep your voice in great shape as you build your vocal skills. We’ll take a look “under the hood” at the mechanics of singing to gain an understanding of the physiology of singing, using visual concepts and practical exercises that will all work together to build strength, range, and confidence!


Fingerstyle Guitar (level 2) In this class we’ll focus on right hand finger picking technique, starting with simple arpeggios and rolls, and progressing to Travis Picking and a few more rhythmic styles. You’ll also learn how to add passing notes with the left hand, and use hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides that add interest to simple open chords. Song sheets will be provided that apply the finger picking patterns and left hand tricks.


Jack Tuttle

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.


Bluegrass Guitar (level 2) Jack will cover the basics of bluegrass guitar, with some simple leads but emphasis on developing that distinctive bluegrass rhythm guitar sound, including common bass runs. Fundamentals of pick mechanics and proper left hand technique will also be included.


Bluegrass Lead Guitar (level 3-4) Jack will show how to develop melody based guitar solos with interesting embellishments and some improvising. He'll also teach skill building exercises for both the left and right hands to improve speed and accuracy.


Mike Wollenberg

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.


Swing Leads (level 3-4) We’ll explore soloing on some classic swing/jazz tunes with an emphasis on using the melody as the basis for improvising, rather than just looking at what scales and arpeggios to use.


Swing/Jazz Guitar (level 4-5) There are some jazz standards that have particularly beautiful melodies and chord progressions. We’ll unpack a couple of these gems, finding elegant ways to negotiate the chord changes exploring voicings, substitutions, and harmonic movement in the bass.

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