49th Walnut Valley Festival

September 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2021

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

September 15-19, 2021

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

2021 Wednesday Workshops

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Group of students playing guitar during a workshopThese wonderful artists have lots of music and insights to share. Please read the complete descriptions of the workshops being offered. Register on-line, or call the Office at 620-221-3250 to register by phone with a credit card.


These Workshops are held off grounds and inside.  All participants will be expected to wear masks.  This applies to new workshops for kids as well.  We reserve the right to update this policy as conditions change.

Most Workshops will take place at the First Baptist Church, 211 East 11th Ave, Winfield.

Young musicians workshops with Erin Mae Lewis will take place in Bob’s Place, 920 S. Main St, Winfield (next door to the Walnut Valley Festival Office).

Shuttles from Festival Grounds to the Workshop Locations will be available from 8:30am to 5:30pm.  Look in your emailed confirmation for additional information.

You will receive an emailed confirmation for your class  after WVA receives your registration.  


Registration will ReOpen at 8:30am, Wednesday September 15th at the First Baptist Church, 200 E 11th Ave, Winfield.

Helen Avakian & Davie Irwin – Love & Finger Style Guitar

10:00am to 4pm   w/ 1.5 hour lunch break               Intermediate Skill Level

In this Intermediate Level class, we thought it would be fun to share our love of fingerstyle guitar by arranging a few love songs together. We will bring in some popular love song melodies for you to choose from, and take you through a step by step process on how to build your own arrangement(s) from simple to as complicated as you wish.

Along the way we will explore various fingerstyle practices such as Travis Picking and other patterns, adding bass runs and ornaments, harmonizing melodies and perhaps adding some percussion, harmonics and other cool techniques. We will also cover a bit of music theory, various stylistic genres and improvising.

By the end of the class you will have a love song arrangement or arrangement ideas for your own enjoyment, and to share as you wish for special occasions or even professional situations like weddings or parties.

runs from 10 am to 4 pm with a 1 and 1/2 hour lunch break.

Cost is $75 per participant with a maximum of 20 participants.

To learn more about Helen & Dave please visit  helenavakian.com

Juni Fisher – Take Control of Your Performance

10:00am to 4:00pm w/ time for lunch                All Skill Levels

Ever feel nervous before a performance? Worry you’ll forget what song to do, or the lyrics? Happens to the best of us. But when you take control of your performance, you’ll watch those concerns melt away.

Multi award-winning singer/songwriter, 4 times Female Performer of the Year, and IWMA Entertainer of the year Juni Fisher will guide you through the whole process of arriving at your performance, through warmup (she’ll share her unique vocal warmup) song selection so you grab your audience from the first notes, and the all- elusive “Yeah, but what do I SAY between songs?”  (Fisher is the QUEEN of stage patter and funny or touching backstories, and she’ll tell you, it’s also part of your preparation)

Every detail, from your preparation to walking onstage, to plugging your instrument in or adjusting your instrument mic, and making sure your vocal mic is just right for you will be covered. (We’ll disinfect the mic, stand, and cord between students) When is an encore appropriate? How do you handle one if it’s called for? You’ll be ready for that moment.

Bring your primary instrument and power cord, (we’ll talk about why you always have your cord on hand, even if you might not need it) and if you are a vocalist who depends on an instrumentalist, sign that person up too (one instrument, please, we don’t need to do a band setup for this) Duets, Trios, and Quartets will benefit too from some hands on workshop practice to help you unleash your most dynamic and wonderful performances. Bring a water bottle (there will even be a section on handling that onstage) You’ll feel like the star you are, and you’ll feel prepared to take on the world!

COST is $80 per participant    Maximum of 20 participants

Learn more about Juni Fisher  at www.junifisher.com

Bing Futch – Welcome to Mountain Dulcimer!

                          Now What?

10:00 am to 11:00am     Beginner Skill Level

Hello, there!  First time playing a mountain dulcimer?  Mine, too.  Okay, not really, but I still remember what it was like when I began playing back in 1986.  So, bring your dulcimers and come sit-in on a low-key introduction to the Appalachian mountain dulcimer.   I cover the basics of strumming, playing melody and harmony, tablature-reading and we play a few tunes as well.   For additional information visit bingfutch.com

Cost is $50 per participant      Maximum 30 participants

Bing Futch – Mountain Dulcimer Crooked Fiddle                              Tunes:  Crookednado!

1:30pm to 2:30pm     Intermediate Skill Level

And if you get that reference, then you’re probably twisted enough to enjoy this workshop featuring a whole bunch of crooked fiddle tunes. A tune is “crooked” if it has uneven beats and/or measures, so it’s not “squared.” Crooked tunes have an appealingly janky sound and have been described as “instinctively right, not technically right”, so come join us for a bunch of fun, addictive, off-kilter jams! Some songs require a dulcimer capo.   For additional information about Bing visit bingfutch.com

Cost is $50 per participant     Maximum 30 participants

George Jackson – Old Time Fiddle

10:00am to 4:00pm w/ time for lunch                All Skill Levels

Learn a few great oldtime tunes and have an in-depth look at old-time bowing techniques with fiddler George Jackson. We’ll be gathering a tool box of ideas and techniques you can take home with you to work towards getting that authentic oldtime sound, bring groove into your playing and drive a band or dance with your bow.   For additional information about George visit georgejacksonmusic.com.

Cost is $75 per participant     Maximum 20 Participants

Chris Jones – Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar

10:00am – 4:30pm  w/ Time for Lunch               Intermediate Skill Level   

Playing rhythm is in many ways the bluegrass guitarist’s most important job, and in this class we’ll cover a range of rhythm techniques from basic rhythm strum patterns, to bass notes, bass runs, chord variations, and that pesky G-run. Along the way we’ll work on right hand technique, timing, improving speed, and playing with dynamics. We’ll explore ways to vary the basic “boom-chick” pattern, and discuss the difference between backing up fiddle tunes and playing vocal songs. We’ll also listen to some of the masters of bluegrass rhythm and discuss and try different rhythm styles. We’ll work on a variety of bluegrass songs and instrumentals in various tempos and time signatures.

I’ve played rhythm guitar in my own band for 25 years, and as a sideman with a variety of artists from Lynn Morris, to Vassar Clements, to Weary Hearts, and through the years bluegrass rhythm has become a teaching specialty of mine. I’ve taught the subject at music camps around the world and have released a rhythm guitar instructional DVD.

Class skill level: This will be an intermediate skill level class. You will be expected to be able to play in common major and minor keys (G,C,D,E, A minor, E minor, etc.), be able to play bass notes in addition to strumming with a flat pick, and have at least a few songs or tunes already in your repertoire.    For additional information about Chris visit chrisjonesgrass.com

Cost is $75 per participant          Maximum 25 Participants

Erin Mae Lewis – Family Folk Songs

10:00am – 11:30am     Elementary-age students who don’t yet play an instrument.  Parent or guardian participation required.

Folk music is an aural tradition, passed from generation to generation when families sing together. In this class, Erin Mae will help families cultivate creativity by singing together, making up their own songs, dancing, and lots of laughter. If you’d like to bring an instrument (stringed or rhythm) to play during the class, you are welcome to do so. There will be various noise-makers available for kids who don’t bring one. The class will be geared toward elementary-age students who don’t yet play an instrument. Parent or guardian participation required.   To learn more about Erin Mae visit erinmaemusic.com

$25 per family            Maximum of 20 families

PLEASE NOTE:  This workshop is located at Bob’s Place, 920 Main Street, Winfield (next door to the festival office)

Erin Mae Lewis – Kids Bluegrass Jam

1:30pm – 3:00pm     Kids ages 7+ who can play at least three songs and three chords on their instrument.  All acoustic instruments are welcome.  All acoustic instruments are welcome.  Parents are welcome to drop their kids off or remain in the class

Bring an instrument and learn to play together! Erin Mae will provide a supportive and instructional environment to help kids jam together. Students will each have the opportunity to lead their favorite song. They will also learn to play chord accompaniment, take a solo, and sing along. Everyone will make new friends and learn new songs.

Cost is $25 per participant     Maximum 15 participants

PLEASE NOTE:  This workshop is located at Bob’s Place, 920 Main Street, Winfield (next door to the festival office)

Allen Shadd – Advanced Flat Pick Guitar

9:30am – 4:00pm w/ Time for Lunch               Advanced Skill Level

Howdy friends and neighbors! Let’s talk about an intense one day workshop that is  going to help you get your creative juices going, that will help you play better arrangements and solos.

So first off, who is that masked man? Well, my name is Allen Shadd and chances are that if you are attending the National Flatpicking Championship you already know who I am. But for those that don’t, I’m one of only a few that have won this prestigious contest not once…. not twice…. but three times. I will tell you that there are a number of guitarists that I consider better than myself, but I have been fortunate to do well. And so the next question is how did he do that? And that is what I want to share with you in our workshop.

As a competitor, I believe that one of my biggest strengths are my arrangements. I have tried to build my arrangements in a manner so they are still musical and interesting, not just a barrage of notes or flash. And I have a process for building those arrangements.

In this workshop, we will take a pretty common song and tear it apart by ear, and then build it into an interesting but possibly challenging arrangement. Piece by piece. You will learn how I hear things, looking for certain things in a song to play to your own individual strengths as a guitarist. While we build this arrangement, we will bounce ideas off of each other for critique, so bring your “thick” skin to class. We will be going through our toolbox of techniques, and I suspect that I will be throwing a few extra licks out during the class to dress up the song. Once we are finished, hopefully you will have learned some things to apply to other songs and solos. Some of those “tools” that I will go through will include common things like slides, pull-offs and hammer-ons, etc, but might include more tools that are a bit more of a challenge such as double stops, harmony lines, harmonics, floats and timing.

This workshop is probably not for beginners. While a beginner could likely pick up some ideas, I just don’t think that a beginner will be able to play some of the techniques we will be using. So this workshop will be most helpful for intermediate to advanced guitarists. If you feel like your arrangements could use a shot of vitamins, then come hang out for the day!     To learn more about Allen visit allenshadd.wordpress.com

Cost is $85 per participant          Maximum 20 Participants

Jo Ann Smith – Dare to Compare – Autoharp

10:00am – 4:00pm w/ Time for Lunch               Players who are playing melody with good success are good                                                                                                          candidates for this workshop

Have you ever heard someone play an autoharp that had some unusual chords on it? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have some of those same chords on your own autoharp?

During this workshop, students will be given the opportunity to replace 1, 2, 3, or even 4 chords on their current autoharp (chromatic or diatonic) with a selection of the most useful and versatile non-standard chords. Precise and detailed instruction will be provided.  Although replacing chords is not mandatory to participate in this workshop, students who choose to do so will gain the most from the experience.  If you plan to give the chord replacements a try, bring enough correctly-sized felt for the number of bars you wish to change and a hobby knife (snap-off blade type), along with any  tools (i.e. screwdrivers, etc.) to remove the chord bar covers.

There is a certain subset of players to whom this workshop is best suited. Players who are playing melody with good success and already own single or two-key diatonic instruments will find this workshop ideally suited to them. Those who are “riding the fence” about experimenting with non-standard chords, or those who are contemplating the purchase of (or conversion to) a single-key autoharp are ideal candidates.

The best way to experience non-standard chords is to have them in place on your own instrument, where you can hear them and experiment with them within the context of your own playing. And what better place to try something different than at one of the most autoharp-friendly festivals on the planet? So take the challenge and DARE TO COMPARE!     Learn more about Jo Ann Smith at  www.autoharpist.com. 

Cost is $65 per student          Maximum of 20 Participants

Linda Tilton – Super-Duper Beginner Ukulele

9:00am to Noon          Beginner Skill Level

This course will cover tuning, basic chords and beginning strums. Commonly known songs often played at “Winfield” jams will be taught. While this class focuses on ukuleles that are in standard GCEA tuning, baritone ukuleles are also welcome. Music stands are not provided. Please bring one, if desired.

Cost is $55.00 per student.          Maximum of 15 participants aged 10 or older.

Linda Tilton – Intermediate Ukulele

1:30pm – 4:30pm          Intermediate Skill Level

This course is for ukulele players who already know basic chords and chord progressions. It does not piggy-back from the beginning class. Focus is on fingerpicking, reading tableture and advanced chord shapes. While this class focuses on ukuleles that are in standard tuning, baritone ukuleles are also welcome. Music stands are not provided. Please bring one, if desired.

Cost is $55.00 per student.          Maximum of 15 participants aged 10 or older. 

Mark Alan Wade – Intermediate to Advanced Hammer Dulcimer

9:15am t0 3:30pm w/ Time for Lunch               Intermediate to Advanced Skill Levels

This multi-level workshop is designed to offer new and fun Techniques of playing to Intermediate and Advanced levels. As a veteran public school music teacher, Mark is experienced in differentiating his instruction to various levels within a class. In fact, he has taught all grades from kindergarten to graduate students. A former college professor of music, Mark is uniquely qualified to help unlock Music Theory as it relates to the dulcimer and Chord Progressions. We will use the morning sessions to focus on a Technique Routine to make improving all aspects of your playing fun and engaging. With just a little structure and clever exercises, your playing will skyrocket! To maximize our focus on technique, we will also incorporate a fun new piece to APPLY what you are learning. Mark will select a piece that is easily adapted to YOUR current level of playing. In our afternoon session, Mark will show you how to Add Accompaniments to your melodies in a Piano-Style. This crucial skill allows your playing to sound full and complete when playing solo. There are varying levels of complexity with this too, so Mark will simultaneously be able to show the simpler way AND the harder way. Finally, we will spend our last hour on Hammering Patterns for Jigs. These can be tricky, and Mark will save you a LOT of time with some easy-to-learn guides! Bonus: These new jigs are fun and unique! To help you keep learning after the workshop is over, Mark will provide videos of the tunes and techniques taught for your review. Class size is limited to the first 25 who register.          Learn more about Mark Alan Wade at   www.markalanwade.com.

Cost is $85 per student          Minimum of 3,      Maximum of 25 Participants

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

Office Hours


9am-Noon; 1pm to 5pm

Walnut Valley Festival