2. Advanced Beginner
Classes & Teachers
Week 1: July 9-15, 2022
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 (level 2 and up) This repertoire and technique class is for people who already have the basic "bum-ditty" in their blood. We'll learn some cool tunes and techniques, while always remembering that that groove is far more important than flash.
Party Tunes (level 2–3) One of the best ways to bring joy to other people is to lead them in songs that you know how to play really well. Like, where you know the actual chords. We'll learn a whole bunch of tunes from multiple genres. Be a party hit. Or at least a retirement home hit.
Ray Bierl has played and sung songs from across the American landscape for well on to six decades. He’s a musical storyteller who draws on a wide range of genres and styles, including cowboy ballads, vintage rock and roll hits, traditional folk songs, Tin Pan Alley songs, and country classics.
A Dozen Ways to Work a Flatpick (level 2) This class is designed to turn your flatpick from an awkward stranger into a trusted friend. We’ll explore ways to apply it to a wide range of American music, from the Carter Family to Ray Charles.
Flatpick Repertoire (level 2–3) Lots of good songs and ways of applying your flatpick to them. And maybe dressing them up with tasty licks and fancy picking (or not!). Bring a capo.
Award-winning artist and Maui native Neal Chin has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of 20 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.
‘Ukulele-isms (level 1–2) Explore the wonderfully wide world of being an ‘ukulele player. We’ll cover right-hand techniques, work on some ‘ukulele standards, dig into the history, and ultimately create a lens to approach the instrument. Class designed for advanced beginners.
‘Ukulele Jazz (level 3) Dig into the genre of jazz through the ‘ukulele. We’ll talk about the essential elements and where to set our sights to continue to grow. Tunes, theory, improvisation, and jamming.
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.
Chord Melody Basics (level 2) Learn to find a song's melody inside its chords, and explore basic strumming and fingerstyle techniques to create your own arrangements. We’ll explore songs from various genres and cultures. Learn by ear, tab, or sheet music.
Latin Fingerstyle (level 3) Sambas, tangos and more—a musical journey through the rich, colorful sounds of Latin America. Each day we’ll explore the rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic characteristics of a different style. Learn by ear, tab, or sheet music.
Robin Flower is a lifetime guitar, fiddle and mandolin player, singer, writer, arranger, and music educator. With her band, she recorded four albums and toured extensively for many years through out the U.S. and Canada, performing at major folk festivals and venues. She has been a band member for the play “Woody Guthrie’s American Song.” For the past 34 years, she has performed and recorded with duo partner Libby McLaren. They have six recordings and were invited to play at the New Zealand Folk Festival. Robin teaches privately and leads her student band, the SwingSingStringBand. Along with Libby, they have three cats, an organic garden, and travel around the West fly fishing.
Your First Band (level 2 and up) There is nothing more fun than playing in a band! Come into this joyous world to explore the skills needed to become successful, confident, and creative in a band situation. Learn how to fit in, what to play and what not to play, how to prepare for rehearsals, band etiquette, and more.
Arranging (level 2 and up) Is there a song you love to play but feel that it needs “more”? It might just need a great arrangement! We’ll look at form, dynamics, rhythms, and possibly using other instruments to help your songs reach their full potential.
Mary Flower is an internationally known, award-winning picker, singer/songwriter, and teacher. A Midwest native, she relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene in 2004. She continues to please crowds and critics at folk festivals, teaching seminars, and on concert stages domestically and abroad, including Merlefest, Kerrville, King Biscuit, Prairie Home Companion, and the Vancouver Folk Festival, among many. A finalist in 2000 and 2002 at the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship, a nominee in 2008, 2012, and 2016 for a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award, and many times a Cascade Blues Association Muddy Award winner, Flower embodies a luscious and lusty mix of rootsy, acoustic-blues guitar and vocal styles that span a number of idioms from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with stops in ragtime, swing, folk, and hot jazz. Her 13 recordings, including four for Memphis’ famed Yellow Dog Records and, most recently, Living With The Blues Again from California's Little Village Foundation, show a deep command of and love for folk and blues string music. For Mary, it’s never about re-creation. Her dedication to the art form is a vital contribution to America’s music.
Blues and Ragtime Guitar Styles (level 4–5) Take a trip from the Mississippi Delta to the Piedmont area as we explore characteristic turnarounds, patterns, alternating bass, dead thumb, syncopation, and moveable chords.
Tools for Becoming a Better Player (level 2–3) Are you uninspired by your repertoire of tunes? Learn how to shine up your playing with new fingerpicking patterns, bass runs, hammer-ons and pull-offs, as well as alternatives to barre chords. These simple tools will give you ideas for your own arrangements.
Katie Glassman is one of the country’s most renowned and decorated Texas-style and swing fiddlers. She is a three-time National Swing Fiddle Champion based in Boulder, Colorado. Katie currently tours and records with The Western Flyers, and leads her own band, Katie Glassman and Snapshot. She also maintains a thriving private teaching practice and recently opened her online fiddle academy at www.fiddleschool.com. As a teacher, her goal is to simplify the fiddle and help you practice more effectively and enjoyably; as a fiddler, her hope is to perpetuate quality traditional fiddle music and inspire her students to progress.
Fiddle School (all levels) Be a better player by the end of the week—no matter what level you are. We'll review the basics and continue on to bowing, left hand, intonation, and fourth-finger exercises.
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 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!
Rhythm Training (all levels) Rushing or dragging? Not sure where "the 1” is? Want to play auxiliary percussion? Add to your musical toolbox by unraveling polyrhythms and learning basic techniques on some common percussion instruments.
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.
Arrangements on the Fly (level 3–5) Each day we’ll listen to a couple of pop, rock, swing, or country songs; brainstorm ways to arrange them in different tempos, time signatures, and styles; break up into groups to practice; and then perform for the class. All instruments and vocalists 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.
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) Beatles! Queen! CSNY! You know the songs; how fun would it be to sing those intricate, beautiful harmonies? This class is designed for those with experience singing harmony parts, but all are welcome.
Get Your Groove On! (level 3–4) Strengthen and refine your rhythm guitar chops through learning classic and modern rock and R and 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.
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/Instigator Tony wants to make music with you! I can help you with musical questions, with choosing classes, with ideas about playing with others, and with finding others to play with or playing with you (fiddle, guitar, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, and low-note vocalizing are all available.) Hey, let's play that tune now!
Libby McLaren sings and plays piano, accordion, and banjo. She composes original songs as well as instrumental tunes in a Celtic/Americana style. She has sung with and been the accompanist for Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, The Roches, and many others. With her partner of 34 years, Robin Flower, she has recorded six CDs. The latest, “One Plus One," features Robin and Libby at their very best! Libby lives and teaches privately in Oakland, and she loves to fly fish.
Singing Together: Finding Your Vocal Place Among Melodies and Harmonies (all levels) Ready to try singing harmony? We’ll learn a variety of songs—some easier and some trickier—to help you improve your ability to hold your part against others.
Vocal Troubleshooting: How Do Singers DO That?! (all levels) Bring in a song that is troublesome to sing, with lyrics and a chord chart in your key. We’ll take the song apart and build it back with new information and techniques that you'll be able to use on every song you sing.
Geof Morgan was raised in New England and, after college, spent nine years in Nashville, Tennessee as a commercial songwriter. In 1982, he moved to Bellingham and recorded several albums of original songs on Flying Fish Records. He continues to play, write, and teach music and creative nonfiction writing. He is part of a group of songwriters in Bellingham that inspire, encourage, and remind him that the inherent creativity in us all is beautiful to see emerge.
Songwriting: Spark to Flame (all levels) Whether you’ve written songs for years or have yet to write one, this class is for you. We’ll write, share feedback, and rewrite. We’ll discuss the many ways songs work and how to find and build on the sparks.
It’s All About the Pick (level 2–3) If you can comfortably hold on to your flatpick and know the basic handful of chords, you're ready to explore boom-chuck rhythms, bass runs, and simple melodies. We’ll touch on different ways to hold and use the pick, using a capo for voicing, and how to decide what will add the most to a band or jam session.
In 2021, Missy Raines was named International Bluegrass Music Association Bass Player of the Year for the 10th time (more than any other player in the history of the organization!). Having proven herself as an iconic bluegrass instrumentalist, Missy has also stepped into the spotlight as a songwriter and singer, with the success of her latest release, Royal Traveller, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2020. Missy has taught bass at workshops and music camps all over the world, and heads the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass School of Bluegrass Bass. Missy tours with her band, Missy Raines & Allegheny.
Bass Basics (level 1–2) Get your left and right hands up to speed with some foundational skills to help you learn the fingerboard and make the most of your contact with the strings. This class is aimed at beginners but is also great for intermediates looking to brush up their technical side.
Walk the Floor: Bass Lines (level 2–4) Learn some fun bass lines, talk about how they contribute to a song, and practice developing your own walking bass lines.
Julie Sakahara is a highly experienced guitar teacher, and a specialist in beginning and intermediate class instruction. She is renowned for her effectiveness, patience, and good humor in motivating her students. Director of and instructor for Guitar for Grownups in Seattle, Julie has taught at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Everett Community College, YWCA, and a number of West Coast music retailers. A versatile instrumentalist and vocalist, she performs in the Seattle area, and is a member of Local 76-493 of The American Federation of Musicians.
Guitar: Starting Fast, Starting Right (level 1) This is a fun, effective class for beginners who want quick results and a solid foundation of good technique. Strumming, chording, singing along—the basics of all guitar styles. Learn folk, blues, country, and rock 'n roll oldies with techniques to optimize your practice time. Lots of individual attention and in-class playing.
Just Enough Theory (all levels) Notes, scales, keys, chords. Knowing a bit about these things increases your chances of finding the right chord in a jam or just figuring out your current favorite song.
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. Possible styles 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, this class will focus on kick-offs and endings, different kinds of triplets (bluegrass/Texas/Celtic), ways to play backup, how to make the melody more musical, and expanding your knowledge of the fingerboard.
Olivier Zyngier is a native French speaker, born and raised in Paris, and a local performer of French music with the Bistro Moustache band. He is one of the original founders of the Baguette Quartette and has played all over the Bay Area for many years. He also leads the Swing Jam and teaches Swing Guitar at the Freight.
French Café Songs (all levels) Learn classic songs from the repertoire as well as more modern French songs. Some are famous, some obscure, and may include waltzes, foxtrots, tangos, political songs, romantic songs, happy songs, or broken heart songs. No experience speaking (or singing) French necessary.
Beginning Swing (level 3) Ready to move from bluegrass or country or folk to swing? Learn how to get that swing feel and play those spicy chords. Learn the chords and rhythms used in western swing, gypsy jazz, and the Great American Songbook.
2. Advanced Beginner
Classes & Teachers
Week 2: July 16-22, 2022
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. Get comfortable improvising! All instruments welcome.
Danny Carnahan has been performing Celtic and eclectic original acoustic music for 40 years. He’s written articles for a slew of magazines, published instructional books and videos, and written and recorded songs now sung from here to Scotland. Based in the Bay Area, he now mostly performs with his psychedelic Celtic sextet Wake the Dead, which most recently released Deal, a CD featuring Celtic takes on the Summer of Love. Danny enjoys teaching all skill levels on mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and songwriting, and is delighted to play with pretty much everybody.
Beginning Flatpick (level 2) Get comfortable wielding a flatpick, navigating common scales and chords, and mastering a fun core repertoire from old-time tunes to Irish jigs. We’ll work on chordal accompaniment, rhythm, and panache. Mandolin-family instruments are also welcome.
Irish Lead-Playing (level 4–5) There’s plenty of nuance in flatpicking Celtic jigs and reels. Learn ways to add punch, drive, and drama while learning some awesome, challenging tunes. This class will primarily focus on mandolin and octave mandolin, but plenty of techniques and tips transfer to guitar.
NOVA KARINA DEVONIE
Nova Karina Devonie is 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.
Instrumentalist Nova will be helping out in classes, jams and concerts, lending her piano accordion stylings and musical knowledge wherever needed. Let’s play a tune together!
The late, great Vassar Clements called Mike Dowling “one of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere.” Grammy-winning Mike draws inspiration from deep in the musical bag of American roots guitar. Fluent in several styles and difficult to pigeonhole, Mike’s understated mastery of his instrument has captured the hearts of acoustic music fans from throughout the world, and he teaches as well as he plays.
Riffs, Rags, & Boogies (level 3) From the Delmore Brothers through Louis Jordan, learn tunes from the blues, swing, and ragtime songbag to sharpen your ears, tighten your timing, and broaden your playing horizons. You might pick up some practical music theory along the way.
Advanced Fingerstyle Guitar (level 4–5) For the student who can maintain an alternating bass while fingerpicking a melody. Learn new tips, refinements, and arranging techniques in both standard and open tunings while adding to your blues and jazz repertoire.
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.
Flatpick Fun (level 2–3) Get more familiar with the flatpick and rock your sound! Starting with a tool chest of strum patterns that fit a variety of songs, we’ll add bass notes to connect the chords and add easy, cool fills. Play classic rock songs with some right-hand pizazz!
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. Sylvia loves to share that enthusiasm and, with more than 30 years teaching experience, has developed a unique method to help students advance. Her teaching credentials include Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, BC Swing, Colorado Roots Music Camp, and Ashokan Acoustic Guitar Camp. Her performance credits include Cats & Jammers and the Hot Club of San Francisco. She currently performs with Wake the Dead and the Sylvia Herold Ensemble.
Performance (all levels) Understand and conquer stage fright, practice making your entrance and exit, craft compelling song intros, and get comfortable using eye contact. Learn how to put yourself and your audience at ease for a confident and professional performance.
Advanced Swing Guitar (level 4) For players experienced with 4-note swing chords. Build chord vocabulary as you learn elegant gems from the Great American Songbook. We’ll pay special attention to changing chords efficiently, getting good tone, and driving the rhythm.
David Miles Keenan is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, band leader, producer, music director, and gardener based in Seattle, Washington.
Melodic Soloing (level 2+) Soloing is easier if you have a melody to base it on. We’ll use a 5-note pattern to play 20 songs that most of us know and then learn how to alter them using those same five notes. Sound like magic? It’s Science!
Telecaster on the Acoustic (level 4–5) Country music legend Buck Owens had his guitarist Don Rich, but Buck was a great picker too. In this lead guitar class, we’ll learn the intro riffs to several Buck classics and apply those melodic ideas to the song’s chord progression. Tabs and lots of playing.
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.
Instigator Steve will lead a daily “slow” jam and some songwriter's circles. He can also help you connect with jams that fit your interests and ability, finish a song, play rhythm behind your leads and leads behind your rhythm, finish a song, find your way around camp or your musical muse, or just give a bit of encouragement.
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 Accompaniment (level 3) A class for players and songwriters 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.
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. We’ll draw material from a wide variety of sources including bluegrass, country, and rock and roll.
Fingerstyle Americana (level 3 and up) This multi-level class will explore the roots of Americana music and the myriad of musicians who have followed in its footsteps. If you can read tablature, you're ready for this class! All songs are arranged at two different levels to accommodate a wider range of guitar ability.
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) Joni Mitchell, Keith Richards, Keb’ Mo’, Leo Kottke—just a few of the artists who’ve used alternate tunings to create a rich musical landscape. We'll start with popular tunings like open D, C, and G, and work our way toward less well-known tunings.
Bob Reid was born in Berkeley in 1950, just in time to be aware when the folk music boom struck. He attended the Berkeley Folk Festival on a school field trip at 12 and saw Pete Seeger. Bob has been a member of the San Francisco Folk Music Club for over 50 years. He was one of the performers chosen by the Seeger family to perform at the memorial celebrations for both Pete and Toshi Seeger. He has been performing across the United States for the past 5 years with Judi Jaeger as Jaeger & Reid, performing a harmonic collection of original and beloved songs.
Entering the Land of Fingerpicking (level 2) Put your right-hand fingers to work! We’ll explore simple picking patterns and strategies to give your accompaniments more color.
Songs of Change (level 2–3) Drawing from the past and present, we’ll learn songs that have moved people to action and think more deeply about the world.
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 a variety of fun 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, played 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 directs the Jazz Ensemble, teaches Music Theory, American Cultures in Jazz, and History of Rock & Roll. Cindy performs and records with various groups, including Wake the Dead. 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.
All Things Bass (level 1–2) Starting with the basics, we’ll work on left/right hand techniques. We'll explore all the possibilities of the bassist role, from sideman to soloist, and even have some fun becoming a "melody" instrument through basic improvisation. Feel free to bring a song or two you’d like to explore.
Swinging and Soloing Bass (level 3–5) We’ll work on different styles, from 2-beat to walking bass lines, and cover styles 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.
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 (level 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.
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 Jam Class (level 2 and up) For guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, fiddle, and dobro players (and singers) who want more experience playing with others. Coaching on jam etiquette, proper balance, soloing, and backup.
Bluegrass Banjo (level 2–4) Learn the fundamentals of bluegrass banjo including lead and backup. We'll cover basic Scruggs-style playing as well as the necessary rolls and techniques used by all bluegrass banjo players.
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.
Ukulele Solo and Ensemble (all levels) Melodic repertoire, instrumental songs, solos, duets, 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!