Gain a hands-on appreciation of the clawhammer style of banjo while playing with a North Carolina native and master of the craft. Learn up close and by ear, approaching rhythm, clear tone, and a set of great traditional melodies, note by note. Benefit from the explanation of tunes, listening sessions, and traditional techniques with cultural context. Bring a 5-string banjo; some previous familiarity with the instrument will further your experience in class.
Spend the week creating original shadow puppet shows in collaborative teams! Explore ways to tell a good story using sound, light, and shadow to bring it to life. Discover construction techniques for detailed, articulated shadow puppets and unique ways of using lighting and naturally created sound effects. For those who wish, explore creating original songs to accompany our performance. All levels welcome.
Get ready for a week of Appalachian wonders! Learn freestyle flatfoot clogging and play-party dances, sing traditional songs, and play instruments—all to explore the cultural history and heritage of Appalachia. Instrument instruction will include mountain dulcimer, banjo, guitar, mandolin, limberjack, and more. We’ll also learn from other folk musicians and dancers through archival video clips, radio segments, and possible in-person visits. All levels welcome.
The ukulele is a happy little instrument, and this class is all about having fun. No experience is needed to learn to play, and it might change your life. Learn the basics of tuning, strumming, chords, and how to play songs. Uke can do it! Bring a playable soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele; you may also arrange to borrow an instrument from the Folk School. At the end of the week, you’ll know chords, rhythms, and how to play with others.
Build an iconic percussion instrument: the cajón! Spanish for “box” or “crate,” this wooden drum has a fascinating history, from its 19th-century origins with enslaved Africans in Peru, to its use today as accompaniment for a range of modern and traditional Latin American dance music. Learn to construct your own cajón, plus get a hands-on introduction to the variety of rhythms and tones this versatile instrument can produce. All levels welcome. Note: materials fee may exceed $100.
Dive into techniques for playing bass in various American roots styles including jazz, old-time, bluegrass, and folk. Hone both the technical and artistic sides of your playing as we learn helpful exercises, refine playing techniques, and work on creating musical ideas. Learn strategies for creating logical and beautiful bass lines and get inspired by examples and transcriptions from recordings. Weird bass player fun guaranteed. Intermediate students welcome.
Do you love to sing? Do you love (or want to feel more comfortable) singing harmony? If you can hold a tune, join us! Learn dozens of rounds, from cheerful and upbeat to ancient and haunting. Enjoy the mesmerizing effects of a group starting the same song at different times. Learn the mechanics of what makes a great round and write one together! No musical reading ability is required.
Join this legendary musical duo to explore a handful of beautiful old tunes and discover the easy techniques that really make it sound like fiddling! Fiddlers will explore drones, double stops, and phrasing with the left hand; with the bow, hand-slurs, dips, and pulses. Guitarists will learn techniques to take their rhythm playing to the next level with runs, bass lines, and rhythmic drive. For intermediate players comfortable playing in the keys of A, D, and G.
Delve into the American musical tradition that gave us iconic and comforting tunes such as “Simple Gifts.” In this active and collaborative class, explore Shaker songs from a historical and cultural perspective and learn to read the various notation systems used in Shaker hymnals. Get familiar with the songs, dances, and “motioning” used by the Shakers during their meetings, or worship services. Then, choose and learn Shaker songs of personal interest to present individually and/or in groups.
Unlock the mysteries of getting that old-time fiddle sound in this intermediate to advanced class. Refine your bow work, try your hand at double fiddling with a fellow fiddler, and beef up your tune repertoire. Explore a deep well of traditional music including more archaic tunes of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. All instruments (not just fiddle!) are welcome, including back-up instruments such as guitar.
Family, friends, mentors, rare recordings, and old manuscripts are all wonderful ways to learn old-time fiddle tunes. Learn tunes from these sources and more as the instructors share well-loved and more obscure tunes from their home states of Kansas and Texas plus the surrounding areas. We’ll explore second fiddling and guitar back-up. Students will learn all tunes and techniques by ear. For intermediate to advanced fiddlers.
Tap into two ways to keep rhythm in the Irish tradition: with a drum and with your feet. Gain an introduction to playing the bodhrán, including basic techniques, positioning, strokes, and rhythms. Alongside, try your feet at the improvised, percussive style of Sean-nós dancing, all to live fiddle music provided by musician Margaret Graham. All levels welcome.
Get your thump on! Build a customized washtub bass and hit the road with a jug band. This version goes beyond the broomstick on the edge of a tub: it’s tuneful, it’s tunable, and it’s loud. Be prepared to transport your new instrument home. No building skills are required, just an interest in this classic folk instrument.
In the leather studio, create an instrument strap of your choice for your guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, or accordion. Learn basic tooling techniques and create a unique design for your pre-cut straps. In the music studio, dive into playing music with others: jamming, duets and trios, bands, and playing for dances or concerts. We’ll also explore the fundamentals, etiquette, and theory of playing together. Banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, and mandolin are all welcome!
Making music together is one of the joys of the holiday season. Gather ‘round for a weeklong exploration of country Christmas music, from familiar favorites to hidden gems. We’ll discuss songwriting for this genre, looking at distinctive characteristics, common themes, instrumentation, and arrangements. As we share stories about our own favorite holiday memories and traditions, we’ll learn and create songs to sing and play together.
Learn the basics of the ukulele—from holding and tuning it, to making chords, strumming, and maybe even a little fingerpicking. From folk to jazz to country and more, the ukulele is a fun, accessible instrument that can go anywhere you want to take it. Return home with a solid foundation for continuing your exploration of this small but mighty instrument on your own.
Start with the basics: tuning, right- and left-hand techniques, and bum-ditty rhythm. We’ll also delve into applicable music theory, fretboard understanding, and different approaches to accompanying songs and tunes on the clawhammer banjo. Study the historical and cultural context of the music, as well as stylistic considerations. Explore approaches that remain useful and exciting for long-time banjo pickers. Students will learn by ear, with written resources provided.
Build your very own 000-style parlor guitar with Sitka spruce top, Honduran mahogany body, and herringbone purfling. Learn all the skills to build a great sounding instrument. Class will cover complete construction, top tuning, scalloped bracing, neck shaping, installing and dressing frets, guitar set-up and inlay. No woodworking experience is needed; all levels welcome. Note: materials fee may exceed $100.
Inside all of us there lives a song. You are invited on a journey to find your song and bring it to life. Explore the techniques of developing melody, meter, style, and lyrics with an Appalachia-based songwriter. Learn to honor the story behind your and your classmates’ songs, and work on how to introduce your song to the outside world, should you choose to let them hear it! All levels welcome; some instrumental or singing experience helpful.
Ever wanted to play that six-string thing but felt you couldn’t? Absolute beginners and those who have begun playing and need some help: let’s have some fun making friends with that guitar. We’ll get familiar with the instrument and cover the basics—what makes music music , rhythm fundamentals, chords, chord structures—all without having to read sheet music. Jump in with both feet and b e the little engine that could!
Tune your hands and ears to the fundamentals of playing the mandolin. Build right- and left-hand techniques that allow you to play with good sound and no tension. Learn two- and three-finger chords and strumming techniques that will get you playing tunes with other folks very quickly. Get started on your new favorite instrument and have a great time doing it!
Roses are red, violets are blue, a luscious week of love songs is waiting for you! From happy to desperate, and from old to brand new, we’ll explore songs from American folk traditions and beyond, embracing all harmony options as we go. Get ready for a week of nonstop singing, learning all new songs by ear. Fall in love with the satisfying experience of singing good songs with good harmonies. All levels welcome; some singing experience helpful.
Week + Weekend: This class continues through February 18. Craft a custom electric guitar starting from lumber. Select your guitar design from a variety of classic templates, then spend the week learning to mill, shape, wire, and set up your instrument. Create something truly unique while gaining an introduction to modern lutherie. This class is best suited for students who have some experience using woodworking machinery and power tools. Note: materials fee may exceed $100.
Songs that celebrate the gifts and struggles of the seasons, the turning of the day, and daily rituals such as meals can be a way to mark time and be present for the world around us. Come explore songs on topics of seasonal change, sunrise, sunset, and more. We’ll sing a mix of rounds, ballads, layered songs, and folk songs from contemporary community singing movements and traditional English and Scottish sources. All levels welcome.
Get beyond the basics with this tiny yet mighty instrument! Elevate your playing style as we dive into advanced chord shapes and techniques such as fingerpicking and arpeggios. Learn to find melodies and scales, unlocking a new level of creativity and expression on the uke. Say goodbye to simple strumming patterns and hello to intricate and beautiful melodies. Best suited to players at an intermediate level or above.
Use this screen to search and sort our products. Use the search features to filter the products you are looking for. Use the "sort by" links to sort your results. Use the page numbers to view another page of product results.
Click the "Add to Cart" button to add that product to your shopping cart. You can enter a quantity larger then "one" to add multiples of the same product to your shopping cart. Click the "Remove One" link in the cart summary to remove a quanitity of one of an individual product. The shopping cart summary will display the products and options in your cart and total amount due.
Click the Product title or the "More Details" link to view all the details of this product.
If the product is full you will see a "Wait List" button. You can click this button if you would like to be notified if we add capacity. You will receive an email if capacity is added at which time registration will be on a first-come first-serve basis.
If the product is not ready for purchase you will see a "Notify Me" button. You can click this button if you would like to be notified when this product is ready for purchase.
Some products can only be purchased through our partner. In this case you will see an "External Register" button. Click this button to purchase through our partner's website.