Level: 3-4

A title like acoustic rock lends itself to a number of interpretations ranging from a sunny, jangly trip down a southern California shore with the Eagles, Poco or America, to the unplugged revisits of big electric hits by the original artists such as Nirvana or Clapton. Straying a little off the path of that acoustic music continuum we may come to consider anything with six strings and at least a dozen frets a potential rock & roll machine. Taking that leap of faith lands us in some pretty respectable company including the Stones, The Who, Pearl Jam, Oasis, Neil Young, Dave Grohl and on the list goes.

Changing out an electric guitar and assorted gear for an acoustic guitar requires a bit of rework to recapture the original energy of a full rock band. While there is no defined recipe, different strumming techniques, chord voicings, percussive moves and soloing all get thrown into the melting pot. The intent is to provide some new ideas and approaches to bring a rock vibe to just about any song.

The class will take a few well known rock songs from different eras, deconstruct the essential elements and rebuild acoustic rock versions. Rock was never originally intended to be serious music, if it sounded good, rock on!!. Every effort will be made to keep things light with enough time to work out more complex parts if needed. That said, to get the most out of this class proficiency with barre chords, a bit of soloing or arpeggio picking is recommended.



Level: 1-4

This will be a performing in an ensemble class. It is for everyone … all levels … bring what ever instrument you play.  Ruth can cover beginner guitar & bodhran, & lots of mic technique, voice/writing/stagecraft.

Jarred is fluent on violin, mandolin & guitar. As well, he is well voiced, pardon the pun, in singing harmony. His focus for the class is to bring knowledge about the technique and etiquette of where and when to best ad accompaniment or voice to a performance or jam.

The goal is for us to all bring ourselves to the class with THESE FOLLOWING things in mind to achieve:

  1. Have fun!
  2. Gain confidence, technique, & skills in the topics/ instruments mentioned above.
  3. Unite to present a piece that we can ALL perform our own best in- from voice,  to percussion, to soloing, and beyond!



Level: 1-2

The Clawhammer technique for playing banjo is fun and versatile. It is conducive to solo playing and accompaniment – perfect for playing around a campfire. Clawhammer style is different from Bluegrass style, using a combination of strumming and picking individual notes to create a unique sound that can only be obtained on a 5-string banjo. There is no fast or fancy finger picking required – if you can move your hand up and down and have a thumb (or at least part of one), you can play clawhammer banjo, and we can show you how!

This course does not require that you have any previous experience with music – we will cover all the necessary basics and have you playing along with familiar songs in no time! You’ll learn to play chords, pick individual notes, and read banjo tab. If you already know how to play a bit, but want to learn the secret of frailing, this class is for you, too!

Come learn to play the banjo in a relaxed atmosphere and leave this weekend with the confidence to go home and play on your own or with others!



Level: 2-3

In this class, we will be exploring more advanced bass playing techniques and concepts – as this is a Level 2/3 class, it is assumed that attendees have played some upright bass before.

We will be moving beyond the basics of the instrument and into more high level concepts, including playing in different styles, understanding the role(s) of a bass player in any group, playing higher up on the neck, and techniques such as double stops. Time permitting, we will start exploring soloing on the instrument as well.



Level: 2-4

In this class we will be learning to play a few Bluegrass / American Old-Time fiddle tunes. The class will focus on the sound that makes these styles distinct. We will also review the technique needed to play these tunes well including tone production, bowing technique and the use of double stops using open strings to achieve the Old-Time sound. The class will not specifically focus on Bluegrass improvisation, but we will explore the basics of adding some theme and variation to basic melodies.



Level: 2-3

Canada is 150 years old this year and what better way to celebrate our sesquicentennial than to play a bunch of great Canadian folk songs. Our nation has produced so many talented songwriters, our main challenge will be to choose what to play over the weekend. I’ll bring the lyrics and chords to a number of Canadian folk songs and together we’ll arrange and play as many as we can reasonably fit in. Think of it as being a bit more planned than a jam but not as restrictive as a rehearsal. And the result will be some great music and a lot of fun.

All you need to bring is your willingness to share your talents vocally and on your acoustic instruments of choice. It would be great to have a variety of instruments in the class so we can create full and interesting arrangements and really make use of everything we have to play with.

Prerequisites: Students should be reasonably proficient on their instruments.



Level: 1-4

Good vocal technique enables ease in vocal production Learn how to expand your vocal range and flexibility, work on pitch accuracy and colour development, learn new songs and explore new concepts.

If you’ve always wanted to improve your singing voice, this is the class for you.



Level: 2-3

I don’t have a defined “curriculum” as such, but since learning to accompany myself and others, and having taught different levels of proficiency, I have always found that, learning different techniques comes much easier when working on songs I enjoy singing & playing.  To that end, we will structure the course around the participants’ suggestions on which songs they would like to cover in the sessions we will have at camp.

We will start with the basic word-and-chord sheet and play through with a simple strum to get the feel of each song.  We shall then start with embellishments (tricks, tips – what I call “noodles  & twiddly bits”), focusing on practical “doing” rather than theoretical “explaining”.  That said, we will explore and learn some of the theory where a “rule” may apply in several situations (e.g. here’s how to get a Dsus4 chord … and we can apply the same rule to get other sus4 chords). So we add some hammer-ons, pull offs, bass runs, finger pickin’ styles etc. raising the bar bit by bit throughout the weekend.

Likely not everyone will become proficient with everything, but from previous experience it seems everyone takes in something new and goes away doing more than when they started … and we’ll have a lot of fun in the process!



Level: 2-3

This class is for people who wish to learn how to play a guitar solo. We will focus on learning a few scales (minor pentatonic, major and major pentatonic) and how to fit them over the chord changes. Some concepts we will touch on are: phrasing, leaving space,repeating a theme and creating a whole solo from start to finish. By the end of this class you will play a solo!



Level: 2-3

All instruments and players of any musical back-round are welcome.

Remember seeing that fiddle player rip up and down the neck in a fill, seemingly creating it out of thin air? There are really only a few differences between them and the budding improviser, and while the world of improvisation can seem very intimidating at first glance, it only takes a few simple concepts to get the ball rolling.

Players will learn about the connections between improvising and spoken language, how to transcribe music effectively and how to compose their own solos and breaks. Players will learn how to approach improvising in different music styles, as well as appropriate etiquette when improvising in jam sessions.

Little to no music theory required (although it will help), and a passion for creating great music IS required!



Level: 1-2

We will focus on several aspects of mandolin skills – proper pick technique, chords, scales improvisation and playing with confidence. We will look at picking technique, rhythms, building a jam-ready repertoire and most importantly, how to play with fellow pickers.

Folk / contemporary music will be the focus, and we’ll discuss techniques such as tremolo, picking patterns and double-stops to help build interesting lead breaks and back-up for familiar songs and tunes.



Level: 1-4

“Music for the fun of it”  Come join Natasha (elementary music specialist) as she teaches music through songs, games and other hands on activities. The class will include percussion, sound experimentation, singing, moving and playing!  We will create soundscapes and songs using our bodies, voices and various pitched and non pitched instruments (this is the time to dig out your jug or musical saw)!



Level: 1-4

For songwriters just starting out or for those with some songwriting experience, here is an opportunity to learn new approaches, get refreshing ideas, connect with others to share and discuss, and have dedicated time to write in a creative environment. If songwriting is in your heart, this workshop is the place for you. In a relaxed atmosphere we will cover:

  • Song Structures
  • Rhyme Schemes
  • Lyric Writing
  • Methods to Writing Songs
  • Methods to Create Ideas and Stir Creativity

You do not need to know how to play an instrument to attend. As a minimum just bring a positive attitude, the desire to write, and openness to others and their songs. Bring your Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, iPad or whatever you might need (within reason), to help you write and/or to sing along to. No song critiquing will occur in this class. It will be a safe place to explore your ideas and focus on your craft. Get that song out of your head and into the world!



Level: 2-4

Old time blues, country, gospel and early jazz are the roots of today’s roots music. We will play and sing some of the foundational songs—they have simple musical structures that are easy to grasp and they are full of really good stories.

You don’t need a whole lot of technique coming in but we will explore how to play simple songs with conviction, so they feel authentic. Learn to use your voice, your instrument(s) and the other players to build a groove with this very cool music.

All instruments are welcome. The course is about building a feeling in a simple song. There won’t be much fancy technique instruction.

Prerequisites: You need to be able to change chords fluidly in two or three keys, and to sing while you are doing it.



Level: 1-2

We will start with the very basics (how to hold your ukulele, how to tune it, etc.). After learning the string names and some easy 2 finger chords, we will start rocking the “ukulele shuffle” and playing our first tunes. Next comes spider-walking on the strings and reading basic music notation and tablature. More chords will be introduced as well as other time signatures (waltz rhythm, rock rhythm, etc.) As we progress, we will learn a great little “C” scale and practice some cool tunes using it as our basis.

As your skill levels develop, we will look at movable chords, more complex rhythm patterns and just about the best 6 part version of Pachobel’s Canon anyone has ever heard before (all using just 1 finger). We will also play a bunch of TV & movie themes on our ukuleles like Batman, Bonanza, Gilligan’s Island and Game of Thrones so we can impress our friends, family and talent judges.

The ukulele is a wonderful gateway to playing any stringed instrument and I will show how easy it is to transition to Hawaiian guitar, mandolin or double bass with what we will learn in our ukulele classes.