Get a head start to the weekend with an intensive workshop. Improve your technique, learn more about how to get the certain “sound” you’ve been looking for. There are master classes for all abilities from beginner to advanced. Master classes are held just before the start of Folk College.


Intensive Class Cost & Registration Information

• Intensive Classes are from 10am – 1pm Friday, May 25

Separate registration and fee required

• Class size is limited – reserve your spot early!

• Registration fee: $65, includes lunch immediately following



Taught by Guy Davis


This is a rare opportunity to study with a Grammy-nominated bluesman. Guy Davis, son of actor/activist parents Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, has spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, earning him the title “Ambassador of the Blues”.

For intermediate/advanced guitarists.


Taught by Mia Friedman


A solid look at fiddle techniques with a virtuosic fiddler who is a graduate of New England Conservatory. We'll work on right arm and left hand techniques with a focus on bowing patterns and droning in southern old-time music and ornamentation in Scottish fiddle tunes. Participants are encouraged to come with their own specific technique questions.

For intermediate/advanced fiddlers.


Taught by Wade Yankey


The mandolin is a wonderful little instrument that can do so much with melody, rhythm, and backup. Study with Wade Yankey, a veteran mandolin player with the award-winning band Colebrook Road. We'll explore techniques and approaches to make your playing really shine.

For all levels beyond beginner.


Taught by Ari Friedman


Ariel Friedman, a multi-genre cellist, composer, and educator with a degree from New England Conservatory, is recognized as one of the pioneers of folk cello, creating new paths and roles for the instrument. With a focus on technique and posture to connect your body with your cello, we will learn at least 2 tunes and accompaniment.

For intermediate/advanced cellists.


Taught by Tyler Hughes


Three hours of old time banjo with a teacher that grew up immersed in the genre and then went on to earn a degree in old time music from East Tennessee University. Learn the frailing stroke, explore drop-thumb styles, and experiment with different banjo tunings. Participants will learn how to accompany traditional dance tunes and songs and pick out melodies and solos. Stories of the Appalachian musicians who passed on these songs and tunes will be woven in between the songs.

For all levels beyond beginner.


Taught by Stuart Fuchs


Ukulele guru Stuart Fuchs is a performing and teaching artist who has presented his innovative and holistic music workshops at the top ukulele festivals across the US and Canada. For those interested in exploring the next step of ukulele playing, Stuart will lead you through a look at chords, theory, strumming and improvising to get the most out of your uke.

For all levels beyond beginner.


Taught by Shannon Heaton


For those who are beyond the beginner stage on whistle, we'll work on ornamentation, sensible breathing spots, and tune selection for sessions and performances. You'll study with Shannon Heaton, who has been named 2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council Traditional Artist Fellow, Irish American News' Female Musician of the Year (2009), and twice a nominee for Live Ireland's Female Musician of the Year. For all levels beyond beginner.


Taught by Hasee Ciaccio


The bass is the heartbeat of a band and plays a much more important role than most people realize. Learn techniques to make your bass playing strong, accurate, and appropriate. We’ll talk about the fundamentals of “Oldtime Groove,” where to put your beat, and how to lay down the low end for the “High Lonesome Sound.”


Taught by Sam Gleaves


Learn old time vocal techniques and approaches from a teacher born and raised in the Southern Appalachians amid a strong old time tradition. Sam has a degree in Folklore from Berea College; he has performed on Mountain Stage; he's toured internationally; and he has shared the stage with John McCutcheon and Peggy Seeger. Lift your voice and learn to sing old-time songs from the mountains, including ballads, hymns and light-hearted songs. Experience a variety of traditional Appalachian singing styles, practice singing without accompaniment, and learn how accompaniment shapes a song. Singing will be taught by ear, in a method suitable for beginners and experienced singers. By singing and learning the stories behind the sources of the songs, you'll be exposed to the diverse cultures of Appalachia.


Taught by Simple Gifts


In this special workshop designed for advanced beginners of all instruments, we'll address basic folk music skills that will help you get the most out of the weekend. We'll particularly look at how to learn tunes by ear, how to jam, how to play backup, how to play melody, and how to play well with other musicians. Simple Gifts, the creators and hosts of Folk College, are well-known for their fun and inclusive, yet powerful, workshops and teaching style.