Banjo, clawhammer with Chris Coole: intermediate

This class is for people who have a basic understanding of the clawhammer style (lower intermediate to advanced). It will focus on the three major right hand techniques (basic strum, double thumb, and drop thumb). We'll look at the mechanics of each, and how you can use them to construct tunes. We'll incorporate all this into some fun tune arrangments and songs. It would be helpful if students could play the basic strum (bum-ditty) to some degree, the other techniques will be covered from the beginning.


Chris Coole has been a full-time bluegrass, old-time, and folk music musician for 22 years. In that time, he has established an international reputation as both a clawhammer banjo player, and singer songwriter. Apart from his solo work, and collaborations (The Foggy Hogtown BoysDavid FranceyIvan RosenbergErynn Marshall), he has played as a sideman on over 150 recording sessions. Through workshops, private lessons, and his instructional DVD “Elements of Clawhammer Banjo”, he has taught a whole lot of folks how to play the banjo.

Double Bass with Matt Weiner: intermediate

Taste, Tone & Timing. Let’s get to work on the aspects of your playing that will make your band mates go "Yes!"
We’ll take a look at the secret exercises that every in-demand bass player does every day. In addition, we’ll spend some time taking apart a song or two and talk about what makes those bass lines really work. The three "T"s, of course!

Bassist Matt Weiner is equally at home playing jazz, swing, old time, tango, Brazilian music, and almost anything else. He can be spotted around Seattle and elsewhere plucking, slapping and bowing the bass in the Casey MacGill Trio, as well as with Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Marco de Carvalho, Eli Rosenblatt, the Tall Boys, Chicharra Tango and many others. He played the role of bass player Joe B. Mauldin in the 5th Avenue Theatre production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly StoryAt the Ukeshack #1, an album of bass and ukulele duets he recorded with Del Rey, was released in 2007. He has taught at the Portland Ukulele Festival, Menucha Ukulele band Camp, the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop, and the Port Townsend Ukuele Festival.

Fiddle with Rayna Gellert: intermediate

This is an intermediate level class appropriate for folks who already know their way around a fiddle and have at least a handful of old-time tunes under their belt.
We'll learn traditional tunes in a variety of tunings, with a focus on getting your bow arm to be versatile, rhythmic, and tonally rich. Bring an audio recorder, musical curiosity, and plenty of gameness.

Guitar with Kristin Andreassen: novice

This novice guitar class will get you feeling confident about playing basic rhythm with other people. Whether you’re singing folk songs with friends or joining a raging bluegrass or old time jam, the core skills are the same — you need to be an active listener, play the right chords, and change chords gracefully while maintaining rock solid timing. We’ll practice those skills, and we’ll also look at the nuances of right and left hand technique to transform that handful of chords you know into enjoyable, stylistically identifiable music. Depending on class interest, we’ll look at how to accompany yourself while singing, including choosing the right combination of chord shapes and capo position to suit your voice (and other magic tricks of the rhythm guitar trade).

Guitar with Chris Quinn: intermediate

Here are some things we will cover in our class: strumming and picking patterns, improving technique, refining individual playing habits, the effective use of a capo, major and minor chord shapes, working with a metronome. Other items include: how to survive in a jam session, develop a better understanding of rhythm guitar and its role in the band scenario, plus cool things that just come up spontaneously.
Please come to class with: picks, strings, guitar capo, guitar strap. Also feel free to bring a video recording device that you feel will best capture your specific learning opportunities. (To be used for review, only in class, and as a learning tool, no online posting of class material please.) Your questions.

Mandolin with Andrew Collins: intermediate

The intermediate mandolin class will look at several aspects of mandolin playing. We will begin with practice approaches for improving your basic mandolin techniques. That includes working on pick strokes, rhythm playing, using different chord voicings and developing speed. There are many genres that feature the mandolin, so we are going to explore some of the differences in approaches to playing bluegrass, blues, old time and a little peak at western swing. Lastly, there will be some attention paid to improvising and the most dreaded of all, playing backup in a song. While this is an intermediate class, this class is appropriate for a wide range of players. The focus is having fun and learning how to get the most out of your practice time.

Ukulele with Aaron Keim: novice and intermediate

Ukulele Boot Camp and Beyond: Join Aaron for a fun and functional weekend of ukulele learning. We will start with the most important fundamentals before moving on to extended techniques. Basic chords will lead to "up the neck" shapes. Our first strumming patterns will show us how to make up our own. Easy melody picking will lead to clawhammer and finger style techniques. We will learn all this using classic songs and tunes from the string band music tradition so that you can "fit in" with the other folks at your next jam!
Are you a Novice player?  If you know 7 or 8 basic chords and can strum a few simple songs/tunes this class is for you!

Lead & Harmony Singing with Anne Louise Genest and Max Heinemen: all levels

This workshop is for anyone who loves to sing and wants to explore lead and harmony vocals in a safe, supportive, and fun environment. Working with repertoire drawn from both bluegrass and old-time archives, we’ll look at the finer points of lead and harmony singing, including breathing and vocal production, exploring your vocal range, singing solo and lead parts, how to find harmony parts, how to "blend" with other voices when harmonizing, and how to use your voice to work with tone. We’ll look at single voice songs, and move on to duet, trio, and quartet harmonies, as well as call and response. Everyone will have the opportunity to learn lead, tenor, and baritone parts, and we’ll spend time singing all together and in small groups. We’re really looking forward to doing some singing with you! Recommended prerequisite: the ability to sing a melody reasonably in tune.