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2019 Pre-Festival Workshops

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

These 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...OR...Print and complete a registration slip from our website and mail it to the office with either a check, money order or credit card number to register by mail. These are hands-on workshops, so bring your instrument & music stand!

Muriel Anderson - Fun & Flashy Finger Style Guitar

We will emphasize tunes and riffs that are fairly easy to play, yet sound great and help you grow as a musician. You’ll learn some cool and authentic sounding tunes including Travis-style guitar the way Merle Travis actually played. We’ll do some of my signature harmonic techniques, and every participant will have the opportunity to ask questions and to explore techniques for better playing and musicianship.  It’s OK to record any part of the workshop if you like.  Includes a free set of signature GHS strings for each participant.

This Intermediate Level class will run from 10am to 4:30pm with a 1 1/2 hour lunch break. Cost is $90 per student with a maximum of 30 Students.

Tim May - Flat Pick Guitar

We’ll look at how to develop creativity using the same tools and techniques our guitar heroes have used. Vocabulary for flatpickers should include the Big Four: Scales, Folded Scales, Crosspicking & Harmonized Scales. We’ll give you examples and some hands-on exercises to get a feel for them. We’ll put the blues in bluegrass, major blues, minor pentatonic, minor blues and mixolydian. We’ll look at targeting chord tones both for rhythm and lead improvisation. We’ll review neighbor notes, tremolo, some technique offered as needed, action-packed and big fun!

This Intermediate level class will run from 10am to 4:30pm with a 1 ½ hour break for lunch. The cost is $75 with a maximum of 25 participants.

Christie Lenée - Acoustic Expression: Creative Finger Style Guitar

Christie will share creative insights about the guitar beginning at the art of listening and ear training, fundamentals of holding the instrument, how to play completely relaxed with minimal effort, and how to translate musical expressions through our hands. Other concepts include songwriting and composition approaches, right hand fingerpicking patterns with creative examples, chord progressions and harmonization, a modern approach to understanding music theory, improvisation, opening up the guitar neck and finding new chord voicings, open tunings, using harmonics and low drones, rhythmic guitar slapping, finger tapping and creating memorable guitar riffs. 

This is a special workshop designed for guitarists, songwriters and composers of all levels. While it will get into some fairly advanced
techniques and allow advanced players to thrive, all musicians including beginners are welcome!

This All levels class runs from 10am to 4pm with 1 1/2 hour lunch break. Cost is $75 per participant with a maximum of 20 participants.

Betse Ellis - Fiddle Phraseology

This workshop will help you get to a new level of playing and put more of your own expression in your fiddling. Learn articulation techniques and best bow tone. We will study how to “explore” in any key, find double stops and chord changes with least effort and most fun, best bow placement and the “rule of bow conservation”, ergonomic playing posture, iconic bowing elements, and the Tenets of Practice. Learn and play a couple of old time fiddle tunes to utilize techniques. Such techniques will help you learn new tunes and make the most of your practice time – even reconsider what it means to practice. Everyone is welcome to attend – workshop will move at an intermediate pace, with hints for advanced players and newer players given as needed. Expect to be challenged, get motivated and be empowered! Fiddle power! More about Betse at www.betseandclarke.com/betsebio.

This All levels class runs from 10am to 4pm with 1 1/2 lunch break. Cost is $75 with a maximum of 15 participants.

Steve Smith - Clawhammer Banjo from the Ground Up

Basic right-hand clawhammer stroke, simple left-hand chords, pulloffs, and hammer-ons, along with simple melody lines to begin to play the old-timey way. Developing a solid clawhammer rhythm will be stressed. The three
basic clawhammer tunings will be taught and used. Drop-thumb, right- hand rolls will be introduced.

This Beginner & Advanced Beginner Skill Levels class runs from 10am to 4:30pm with a 1 1/2 hour lunch break. Cost is $80 with a maximum class size of 15 participants.

Ruth Smith - Hammer Dulcimer

Make your music sing! Join us as we learn to play with greater musicality and express more emotion in our music. Taking simple, beautiful melodies, we’ll make our playing more expressive by focusing on techniques including analyzing phrasing, applying dynamics and tempo changes, accents, and more. We’ll develop our own more elaborate arrangements using embellishments, chord notes, arpeggios, fill notes and runs, with the goal of accentuating the beauty of the melody and supporting the meaning behind the music. We’ll also try our hands at a little “Hand Independence” which can bring movement and depth to arrangements. Add warmth and dimension to your playing as we work on beautiful melodies that are easy to put your heart and soul into! Repertoire will be drawn from expressive, lyrical music such as a slow air, waltz, Celtic melody, a hymn, and perhaps a Ruth Smith original.

This Intermediate/Advanced level class runs from 10am to 4:30pm with a 1 1/2 hour lunch break. Cost is $80 with a maximum of 15 participants.

Chris Jones - Bluegrass Vocals

This vocal class will cover all aspects of bluegrass and related singing. Topics will include: lead singing style and techniques, song phrasing, ornamentation, lyric delivery, history of bluegrass singing, building your repertoire, and listening suggestions. There will be discussion of
singing technique and vocal care. Major focus will be a hands-on, in-depth discussion and practice of all parts of harmony singing, (even that hard-to-learn baritone part!). We’ll sing as a group and break it down into smaller duets, trios and quartets. We’ll listen to recorded examples of bluegrass lead and harmony through the years. You’re welcome to have an instrument with you, but it’s not necessary. I’ll do all accompaniment with one guitar to ensure to not overpower the vocals. Handouts include lyric sheets, vocal tips & recommended listening. All levels of singers are welcome. If you’re completely tone deaf, just sing very quietly. On the other hand, if you’re too good, prepare to be drafted to sing parts with me! Most importantly prepare to sing a lot and have a good time.

This All Levels class runs from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm with 1-1/2 hour lunch break. The cost is $75 per student with a maximum of 20 students.

Steve Smith - A Mandolin Class Exploring Vocal Tunes

We will work on the building blocks needed to learn and perform melodies in jams and performance. Recognizing the patterns and scales that may make up a melody and where to begin on the fretboard when building kickoffs and solos can be a challenge. We will learn some
standard tunes and use scale patterns, double stops and harmonized scales to reveal common methods to all keys so one can apply the ideas to any kind of tune in any style from Bluegrass to Roots/Americana, Country to Rock. We’ll also expand the melodic ideas we just gained to include Blues and Pentatonic patterns for improvisation ideas and bluesy phrasing used so effectively by today’s modern players. Learning how to comfortably weave in and out of improvisation without losing the melody and chord progression will also be a focus. This will allow a player to move in and out of a melody making solos more fun and interesting whether working up solo or developing improvisation skills. Audio / Video Recorders Welcome.

This All Levels Class runs from 9:30am to 4:30pm with 1 1/2 hour lunch break. Cost is $75 with a maximum of 30
participants per class.

Bing Futch - Mountain Dulcimer

This is an all-new workshop for 2019!

We’ll begin with rhythm exercises designed to train muscle memory and provide a strong
foundation for strumming. We’ll run scales, play chord shapes and learn ways to memorize the fretboard patterns to play in a number of keys. Our main focus beyond that will be repertoire-building, including a handful of tunes ranging from old-time to blues. With each tune, we’ll learn embellishments and harmonizations, special performance techniques and discover how to switch keys using a capo (make sure to bring one!) All of the above will be strung together with fundamental music theory and advice on how to improvise (make it up on the fly) as well as come up with your own arrangements!

Beginner to Intermediate Levels Class runs from 9:30am to 4:30pm with 1-1/2 hour Lunch. Cost is $75 per participant with a maximum of 30 participants.

Office Hours

Post-Festival through May

Monday-Friday
9am-Noon; 1pm to 5pm

June through August 2nd

Monday-Friday
9am-5pm

August 3rd through September 7th

Monday-Friday
9am-5pm

Saturday
9am-1pm