2019 Schedule Coming Soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the 2018 Schedule

 

Friday, May 25, 2018

 

10 am - 1 pm Intensive

(SEPARATE REGISTRATION REQUIRED)

See Intensive page for Intensive descriptions

 

Blues  Guitar

Taught by Guy Davis

For intermediate/advanced guitarists.

 

Fiddle Master Class

Taught by Mia Friedman

For intermediate/advanced fiddlers.

 

Mandolin Techniques

Taught by Wade Yankey

For all levels beyond beginner.

 

Cello Intensive

Taught by Ari Friedman

For intermediate/advanced cellists.

 

Old Time Banjo

Taught by Tyler Hughes

For all levels beyond beginner.

 

Ukulele Zen

Taught by Stuart Fuchs

For all levels beyond beginner.

 

Tin Whistle

Taught by Shannon Heaton

For all levels beyond beginner.

 

Old Time & Bluegrass Bass

Taught by Hasee Ciaccio

 

Old Time Vocals

Taught by Sam Gleaves

 

Basic Folk  Skills

Taught by Simple Gifts

For advanced beginners of all instruments.

 

 

1:00 pm General Folk College Registration Opens

 

1:30, 2:30 & 5:30 pm Newcomers’ Orientation & Walking Tour

 

3:00-4:00 pm Workshops

Try a Thumb Piano (Kalimba)

Kelly Armor

(no experience needed, instruments provided)

 

This instrument, typically with a box or gourd resonator, has a row of metal tines you pluck with your thumbs. It has many different names (kalimba, mbira, sansa to name a few) and is played by many different peoples in sub-Saharan Africa. It is surprisingly easy to play once you approach it as an instrument built to produce rhythmic grooves.

 

Beginning Jaw Harp

The Fiddling Thomsons

(no experience needed, instruments for sale)

 

Jawharp (also known as Jew's harp) is one of the world's oldest musical instruments, having been traced back to the 4th century BC. You can buy an inexpensive jaw harp at this workshop and learn the beginning techniques, as well as a little about overtone music.

 

Singing the Blues

Guy Davis

(all levels of singers)

 

An hour of singing the blues with blues master Guy Davis. Learn some songs and learn about their cultural and historical context.

 

Country Songs

Tyler Hughes

(all levels of singers, instruments are welcome)

 

Join us as we explore the various branches of the country music family tree. We'll sing old sentimental songs from the 1920s, honky-tonk hits, cowboy songs like Gene and Roy, and maybe even a classic George Jones or Loretta Lynn song. We'll also talk about the importance of storytelling and historical documentation that country songs have provided. Bring an instrument or come with just your voice.

 

How to Learn Melodies by Ear

Henry Koretzky

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

Trying to learn melodies by ear can be hard, especially if you’ve always relied on sheet music. Henry will share tips and shortcuts to make it easier and to help you learn this important skill.

 

Slow & Beautiful Tunes

Debbie Rifkin

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

Some classical pieces lend themselves really well to a folk music approach. Adding a few of these to your repertoire will give you a classier sound that can be especially appropriate for weddings and other "classy" gigs. Sheet music and chords will be provided.

 

Irish Tunes

Matt Heaton

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

You’ll learn jigs & reels which are popular at Irish sessions. We’ll work on playing them with the right feel (“lift”) so you’ll be able to fit right in! We'll work by ear, with music available at the end of the workshop.

 

Bluegrass Instrumentals

Colebrook Road

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

Colebrook Road will teach some of their favorite bluegrass tunes and address the nuances of  how to make them sound like bluegrass.

 

Klezmer Tunes

Steve Greeman

(all instruments, advanced)

 

Learn traditional Klezmer tunes, music of the Eastern European Jewish culture, as well as characteristic accompaniment styles and ornamentation. We'll try to work by ear, but music will be available if needed.

 

 

4:15-5:15 pm Workshops

Try a West African Drum

Kelly Parker

(all levels, drums provided)

 

Explore the rhythms of traditional West African drumming, especially the basic rhythms of the djembe. Drums will be provided or bring your own.

 

Beginning Penny Whistle

The Fiddling Thomsons

(instruments for sale)

 

What else costs so little, does so much and is so easy to carry? Learn the basics of playing this fun and easy instrument, including fingering, breathing and techniques for good tone quality. You will come away with a few simple tunes and a basic understanding of how to work the instrument. Bring a penny whistle in the key of D, or you may purchase one at the workshop.

 

Appalachian Clogging

Hasee Ciaccio

(no experience needed)

 

Three good reasons to clog: you become the rhythm section on the dance floor, it’s great exercise, and you can’t help but smile while dancing! Please wear leather, smooth-soled shoes if possible.

 

Singing Rock n Roll

Stuart Fuchs

(all levels of singers)

 

We'll sing and play a variety of rock songs, with a special focus on Chuck Berry.

 

 

How to Jam

Judy Minot

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

Get ready to jam via ear training (listening and imitating), singing tunes and then playing, discussing how various tunes work, how jam sessions work, and the most efficient way to practice and build your repertoire. And you'll get some experience in beginning to learn a tune that's flying by at session-speed.

 

Easy Contradance Tunes

Henry Koretzky

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

You'll learn several easy tunes that are frequently played at contradances. Sheet music and chords will be provided.

 

Singing While Playing

Ari & Mia Friedman

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

Learn some tips and tricks for using your instrument to accompany your singing.

 

Old Time Tunes

Sam Gleaves

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

We'll look at a few wonderful tunes from the southern old time tradition. Repertoire will include hoedowns, waltzes, and lyric songs from the playing of musicians like Uncle Charlie Osborne, Ramona Jones, Paul David Smith, Lily May Ledford and others. We’ll teach tunes by ear at a pace where everyone can catch on, and we’ll share stories of the musicians who passed down the tunes.

 

Blues for All Instruments

Guy Davis

(all instruments, advanced)

 

All instruments are welcome at this special session with a blues master.

 

 

5:30-6:30 pm Dinner

 

 

7:00pm Concert:

Simple Gifts

Stuart Fuchs

Ari & Mia

Colebrook Road

 

After the Concert

Beginners' Jam - Simple Gifts

Bluegrass Jam - Colebrook Road

Old Time Jam & Clog - Hasee Ciaccio & Tyler Hughes

Mixed Styles Jam - Ari & Mia Friedman

Songwriters' Gathering - Sam Gleaves

 

11:00pm Late jam at the dorm

Dorm Jam – Henry Koretzky (all instruments & voices, all levels)

This jam is held at the dorm so you can jam until you're ready to roll into bed! We'll include a mix of styles and a mix of vocals and instrumentals.

 

 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

 

7:00

Yoga for Musicians - Judy Minot

In yoga we work to balance effort with relaxation. We pay detailed attention to what the body is doing, and we practice breathing deeply to help us relax and become flexible and strong. These are all great things for musicians to work on! Even if you’re “not a yoga person” there’s plenty of benefit here. If you have your own mat, please bring it. (a few will be available).

 

7:30-8:30 am Breakfast

 

 

8:45-9:15 am Orientation

Meet the staff, sign up for a folk band, and get oriented as to what’s happening for the rest of the weekend.

 

9:30-10:45 am Workshops

Try a Ukulele

Stuart Fuchs

(beginner, instruments provided)

 

Discover why these little instruments have captured the hearts of people everywhere. It's so much fun and easy to do. The session is targeted to total beginners.

 

Mathematics of Music

Rachel Hall

(no experience needed)

 

A look at interesting connections between music and math. This will be a lecture-discussion format rather than a play-along.

 

Carter Family Songs

Sam Gleaves

(all levels of singers)

 

The original Carter Family recorded between 1927 and 1956 and had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, Southern Gospel, pop and rock musicians as well as on the U.S. folk revival of the 1960s. Some say they were the first vocal group to become country music stars. This class will focus on learning songs from the Carter Family repertoire. Singing will be taught by ear, with lyric sheets provided. Musicians are welcome to bring their instruments to this class. We’ll also share some stories about the Carter Family and demonstrate Maybelle Carter's "Carter scratch" guitar style.

 

Irish Style Singing

Shannon Heaton

(all levels of singers)

 

We will explore the exciting world of possibilities for American singers who want to sing traditional songs in an Irish style, while still approaching the music with American diction. Learn a few simple tricks and techniques, so you'll be able to Irish-ize anything.

 

How to Jam

Henry Koretzky

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

If you've sat quietly at jams wishing you knew how to jump into the music, this session is for you!

 

Easy Waltzes

Simple Gifts

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

The waltz is one of the oldest and definitely the most romantic dance forms. In this class, we’ll learn a few easy but beautiful waltz tunes from various folk traditions. Sheet music and chords will be provided.

 

English Country Dance Tunes

Debbie Rifkin

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

We’ll learn lovely and elegant English country dance tunes by ear, with music provided at the end of the session.

 

Tunes from Southwest Virginia

Tyler Hughes

(all instruments, advanced)

 

We’ll look at several tunes from Southwestern Virginia.

 

Blues Guitar

Guy Davis

(intermediate/advanced)

 

Using the music of blues greats such as Robert Johnson, Mance Lipscombe, Big Joe Williams, Willie Dixon, Blind Willie McTell, and others, Guy Davis will demystify the notes, rhythms and chord sequences that make the acoustic blues unforgettable.

 

Klezmer Fiddle & Cello

Steve Greenman

(intermediate)

 

Learn to play traditional East European Jewish klezmer music on violin, viola, or cello. We'll work by ear, with music available if needed.

 

 

Mini-Lessons: Fiddle, Banjo, Whistle, Guitar - The Fiddling Thomsons

(all levels)

 

Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Ryan and Brennish.

 

 

 

 

11:00-12:15 Workshops

Try a Banjo

The Fiddling Thomsons

(beginner, instruments provided)

 

Starting at the very beginning, learn the basics of clawhammer style banjo. Instruments will be available for you to borrow during the workshop.

 

Sound Healing

Stuart Fuchs

(for all)

 

This workshop will give you a positive and supportive mindset to take your playing (and your life) to the next level. Stuart will lead a healing session using singing bowls and didgeridoo, and he will teach you some basic Qigong forms and the practice of Yogic breathing.

 

Harmony Singing

Hasee Ciaccio and Tyler Hughes

(all levels of singers )

 

Hone your harmony singing skills and study the varied duet singing styles from the American South.

 

Arranging Bluegrass Songs

Colebrook Road

(all levels singers and instruments)

 

Learn to take a simple bluegrass song and arrange it into an interesting performance piece.

 

Tunes That Are Cooler Than Hard

Debbie Rifkin

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

Come learn a few tunes that are super cool and not so hard to play. We’ll work by ear but music will be available if needed.

 

Intro to Improvisation

Ari & Mia Friedman

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

Both graduates of New England Conservatory's cutting edge Contemporary Improvisation department, Ari and Mia will introduce you to this intriguing topic.

 

Contradance Band Practice

Judy Minot

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

We’ll play through the music planned for this evening’s contradance and learn arrangements and approaches that make them come alive! Music and chords will be provided. [Note: It’s ok to skip this workshop and play for the dance anyhow.]

 

Trendy Irish Arranging

Matt Heaton

(all instruments, advanced)

 

Learn how to arrange and present new and old material in a way that feels fresh and authentic for you and for modern audiences. Learn tricks of the trade which can make your band sets stand out. We’ll focus on Irish music, but techniques and concepts could be applied to any tradition.

 

Guitar Basics

Henry Koretzky

(advanced beginner)

 

For those who can play a few chords and strum a guitar, this session will take you to the next level.

 

Mariachi Fiddle

Flor de Toloache

(intermediate)

 

Learn fiddle melodies and techniques used in Mariachi music. For fiddle, viola, and cello.

 

Mini-Lessons: Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals - Karen Hirshon

(all levels)

 

Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Karen.

 

 

12:30-1:30 pm Lunch

 

 

1:45-3:00 pm Workshops

Try a Fiddle

The Fiddling Thomsons

(beginners, instruments provided)

 

Designed for people who've never tried a fiddle, this workshop will give you the very basics. Instruments will be available for you to borrow during the workshop.

 

West African Drumming

Kelly Parker

(all levels, drums provided)

 

Explore the rhythms of traditional West African drumming, especially the basic rhythms of the djembe. Drums will be provided or bring your own.

 

Mariachi Songs

Flor de Toloache

(all levels of singers)

 

Explore the rich tradition of Mariachi singing!

 

Children’s Songs from Refugees

Kelly Armor

(all levels of singers)

 

Kelly has been collecting traditional songs from Erie's large resettled refugee population since 2004. Come learn songs that charm and disarm from Sudan, Congo, Bosnia, Ukraine, Iraq, and Bhutan. Consider how music can be a bridge for healing, understanding, and welcoming across cultures.

 

Singing the Blues

Guy Davis

(all levels of singers)

 

You don't have to be blue to sing the blues!

 

Hearing Chord Changes

Henry Koretzky

(all instruments, advanced beginner)

 

Learn to hear and identify common chords and chord changes and to understand where and when they occur. This skill that will help you during jams, even those playing unfamiliar tunes.

 

Hungarian Tunes

Steve Greenman

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

Learn how to play a few urban Hungarian melodies (Magyar Nóta) and discover why these folk tunes remain a staple in Eastern European folk music. We'll try to learn by ear but music will be available if needed.

 

Balkan Tunes

Rachel Hall

(all instruments, advanced)

 

We’ll work from sheet music to learn some enchanting tunes from the Balkan lands of Eastern Europe, including some in asymmetrical rhythms such as 7/8 and 11/8. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!

 

Guitar Backup

Matt Heaton

(advanced beginner to intermediate)

 

The guitar is the ultimate accompaniment instrument. Portable and versatile, what it can do is limited only to your imagination. Using traditional Irish music as a backdrop, we’ll discuss techniques you can bring to your guitar playing: rhythmic feel, chord voicing and motion, tunings and more.

 

Mandolin

Wade Yankey

(all levels beyond beginner)

 

The mandolin is a wonderful little instrument that can do so much with melody, rhythm, and backup. We'll look at some common problems and pitfalls and learn approaches to make your playing shine.

 

Fiddle Tunes for Cello

Ari Friedman

(all levels beyond beginner)

 

We'll look at several fiddle tunes and address issues of playing them on cello.

 

 

 

3:15-4:45 pm Folk Band Rehearsal

Based on the form you filled out during orientation (Saturday 8:45 am), you’ll be assigned to a band that will rehearse with the help of a staff coach and then perform at Sunday’s Student Concert. There will also be an option to join a non-performing band. Band lists and locations will be posted in Von Leibig Lobby. If you haven’t filled out a folk band form, go to the lobby and we’ll figure out where to fit you in.

 

5:00-6:00 pm Dinner

 

 

7:00 pm Faculty Concert

Matt & Shannon Heaton

Sam Gleaves, Tyler Hughes, and Hasee Ciaccio

Guy Davis

Flor de Toloache

 

 

After the Concert

Contradance with Open Band – Judy Minot & Rachel Hall will lead an open band.
Bob Nicholson will teach and call the dances.

Irish Session - Matt & Shannon Heaton

Blues Jam - Guy Davis

Drumming - Kelly Parker

 

11:00 pm Late jam at the dorm

Dorm Jam - Fiddling Thomsons

This jam is held at the dorm so you can jam until you're ready to roll into bed! This jam will include a mix of styles and a mix of vocals and instrumentals.

 

 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

 

7:30-8:30 am Breakfast

 

8:45-10:00 am Workshops

West African Drumming

Kelly Parker

(all levels, drums provided)

 

Explore the rhythms of traditional West African drumming, especially the basic rhythms of the djembe. Drums will be provided or bring your own.

 

Storytelling Tips & Techniques

Kelly Armor

(for all)

 

A good storyteller, like a good fiddler, needs to have a great ear, an original voice, and be able to respond directly to his or her audience. We’ll consider how to make a folk tale your own, how to turn a personal anecdote into a real performance, and the role that stories play in our lives.

 

Hymn Singing

Sam Gleaves, Tyler Hughes & Hasee Ciaccio

(all levels of singers; instruments welcome)

 

A good old-fashioned hymn sing with focus on old-time hymns. Bring your instrument if you play. Song sheets with chords will be provided. This workshop is free and open to the public. (Ends 9:45 a.m.)

 

Harmony Singing

Ari & Mia Friedman

(all levels of singers)

 

We’ll work on singing harmony by using rounds and other beautiful songs rich in harmony. We'll work by ear, with lyric sheets provided.

 

Easy New England Tunes

The Fiddling Thomsons

(all instruments, advanced beginners)

 

We'll learn a few easy New England tunes, with tips for both melody and rhythm players.

 

Mariachi Instrumentals

Flor de Toloache

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

Explore Mariachi music with these innovative yet traditional masters of the genre.

 

Bluegrass Rhythms

Colebrook Road

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

Learn how to be a tight, effective rhythm section in a bluegrass band. We’ll look at your sense of timing, interpretation, articulation, expression, “groove,” and the melody of rhythm. We will explore how these elements contribute to creating a strong and confident rhythmic concept, and how we can develop these skills for group playing.

 

Creating Instrumental Harmonies on the Fly

Debbie Rifkin

(all instruments, advanced)

 

Using well-known traditional tunes as examples, we'll explore several approaches to creating instrumental harmonies, including "second melody" lines and chordal/rhythmic parts. We'll invent harmonies together on-the-fly by ear  and look at how to compose harmonies using written melody as a guide.

 

Reggae & Calypso Ukulele

Stuart Fuchs

(all levels beyond beginner)

 

The music of the Caribbean just feels good, right? Like a day in the tropics! The deep and heart centered vibrations of Reggae, Calypso, and New Orleans music are so uplifting and easier to play than you might think. And yes, New Orleans is considered the most northern Caribbean city. In this workshop you’ll learn and experience the joyful grooves of Caribbean musical traditions of the African Diaspora.

 

Concertina & Accordion

Rachel Hall & Judy Minot

(all levels)

Learn tips and techniques for getting the most from your accordion or concertina.

 

Mini-Lessons: Flute, Whistle, Vocals - Shannon Heaton

(all levels)

 

Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Shannon.

 

 

 

10:15-11:30 am Workshops

Bodhran

Matt Heaton

(beginner, instruments provided)

 

Matt will show you how to play this popular Irish drum. Makeshift bodhrans (made from pizza boxes!) will be available, and we'll also have a few "real" bodhrans available for you to try.

 

A Conversation with Guy Davis

Guy Davis

 

In this special session, Art Wachter from WPSU will interview Guy Davis for possible later broadcast on WPSU. Learn about Guy's background, what makes him tick, and how he approaches his music. And of course, you'll get to hear Guy play and sing.

 

East African Choral Music

Kelly Armor

(all levels of singers)

 

Kelly lived in East Africa for several years, with most of that time in the southern highlands of Tanzania. In this rather remote region, she discovered a rich and original gospel tradition that combines the harmonies of old Lutheran hymns (brought by German missionaries) with indigenous, polyrhythmic traditions. Sing some of these joyous songs and learn about this fascinating tradition.

 

Hank Williams Songs

Henry Koretzky

(all levels of singers)

 

Learn about this iconic American country singer-songwriter, and learn to sing a few of his songs. Lyrics and chords will be provided.

 

Easy Klezmer Tunes

Steve Greenman

(all instruments, advanced beginners)

 

Learn traditional Klezmer tunes, music of the Eastern European Jewish culture, and the characteristic accompaniment styles and ornamentation. We'll try to work by ear, but music will be available if needed.

 

Pennsylvania Tunes

Karen & Linda

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

We’ll look at several wonderful but virtually unknown tunes collected in Pennsylvania. Sheet music and chords will be provided.

 

Easing into Jazz

Judy Minot

(all instruments, intermediate)

 

A gentle introduction to jazz, geared toward people who are adept on their instruments but new to playing jazz.

 

Swedish Tunes

Rachel Hall

(all instruments, advanced)

 

Learn some interesting and beautiful tunes from Sweden.

 

Bluegrass Fiddle

Colebrook Road

(advanced beginner to intermediate)

 

Learn fiddle techniques used in playing bluegrass.

 

Mariachi Guitar & Bass

Flor de Toloache

(intermediate)

 

Explore the sound and form of mariachi music, including the traditional high and low pitched guitars and bass that provide rhythms for this unique traditional music.

 

Mini-Lessons: Banjo, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals - Sam Gleaves

(all levels)

 

Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Sam.

 

 

11:45 am Group Photo

Bring your instrument and smile!

 

12:00-1:00 pm Lunch

 

1:15-2:15 pm Band Rehearsal

Another rehearsal with the same band as yesterday

 

2:30-4:30 pm Student Concert

 

4:30 pm Jamming