Level: 1-2

This class will cover those important topics critical to success for new bass players. These include introductory technique, getting a good sound, bass line construction, and playing with/listening to others. Registrants can expect to leave the camp with the confidence and ability to play with other musicians in jam sessions or performance settings (and have others want to play with them!).



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: 1-2

In this class, I want to be less a teacher, and more an inspiration. I will share my knowledge from years of touring and playing of how best to enjoy playing the fiddle…from different styles of tunes from different genres, to performance techniques and moving while playing. We’ll get a sense of everyone’s abilities and work on a couple tunes to show off as well!



Level: 3-4

In this class we will be working to improve our technique and at the same time learn new fun fiddle tunes. There will be an emphasis on playing double stops in tunes and exercises. We will also play a tune or two with harmonies and I may choose a key not so common to help our technical development.



Level: 1-2

This course will help new guitar students play standard chords smoothly and in time.

We will focus on playing common chord progressions in the keys of G, C and A major, common strumming patterns with the right hand and understanding the basics of the Nashville Numbering System to learn new songs and play them in keys that suit your voice.

By the end of this class you will have learned how to identify key parts of the guitar, the names of the open strings, the process of tuning the guitar, how to hold and use a pick and how to play a simple song using chords from G major, C major, and A major.

Students should bring an acoustic guitar, a tuner, a capo, a pick and a pen. Handouts will be given out in class.



Level: 2-3

Rhythm is what gets our toes tapping and bodies moving. If you perform in a band, duo or solo, play cover tunes or originals, or jam in the comfort of your own home, you play “rhythm guitar” most of the time.

Whether you are new to Level 2, ready to burst beyond Level 3, or are somewhere in between, this course will help you lay down a strong rhythm, make common chord progressions sound original and interesting, and support vocals and melodies – all regardless of style or genre.

Using popular songs as the basis, we will look at a variety of techniques and approaches including changing tempos and time signatures, different strumming patterns (break away from your old patterns!), new chord voicings, different right and left-hand techniques, introduction to tasty guitar fills, and more! You will be able to use these ideas in any song, with any chord progression, and in any key.

We will play and sing more than talk, in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

Bring your guitar along with picks, tuner, extra strings, and capo. A notebook and a music stand will also be very helpful to your weekend.

Aside from enthusiasm, you will need to be able to move easily between first position chords.



Level: 2-3

Exploring Fingerstyle Guitar: Let Your Fingers Do The Talking

Here’s a chance to expand your abilities with some fingerstyle fun! Drawing on a rich repertoire of roots music, we’ll explore the fundamentals of fingerstyle guitar. We’ll examine how bass notes can be combined with rhythm chords, melody lines and percussive techniques to accompany different genres of music ranging from ragtime and reggae to old timey and blues. We’ll waltz, foxtrot and fandango our way through familiar songs while learning techniques of syncopation, accent and timing. Prerequisites are an ability to move easily between first position chords, and an eagerness to extend your repertoire with some fingerstyle dexterity.



Level: 3-4

This class is intended for players who have already had some experience with flatpicking guitar and who are already able to play some standard bluegrass tunes in the common keys of G, C and D.

The focus of the class will be moving beyond the basics to skills such as cross picking, playing up the neck, making drive and good rhythm a part of your playing, developing your own solos and learning techniques for improvisation. We’ll look at these topics in the context of arrangements of well known tunes, through various exercises and a whole lot of playing in class. Be prepared to have fun and sore fingers



Level: 1-4

One of the best parts about studying bluegrass harmony is that it has a structure that enables people from around the world to come together and instantly create three part harmony. If you are a first time singer or a long time performer you have a role to play, and the reward is powerful. Bluegrass has it’s own terminology but the theory and its application will open your doors to singing harmony with any style, anywhere. In these sessions we will start with what you know, explore your voice, learn a common language, and build harmony singing skills in away that can be felt, remembered and recreated.



Level: 1-2

If you are a raw, beginner mandolin player or simply want to give this beautiful instrument a try, this class is for you. If you have become frustrated with “how to” books, I’ve been there, let me share my short-cuts with you. We will cover all of the basics at beginner speed but, this course will be more about your strumming and less about me talking. Expect sore finger tips, tons of ideas for you to build your own style upon and the ability to chord along to songs around the campfire this summer. After all, It’s called “PLAYING” for a reason.



Level: 2-4

In French, the word “ensemble” means “together”. What creates the magic in how our favourite musicians sound? What gives us goose bumps when a song moves us? This class will be part music appreciation as well as lots of hands- on and voices-on opportunities to explore our own unique , authentic resonance in a positive and supportive group environment… and come out with a song that might just sound as old as the foothills!



Level: 1-2

Have you wanted to learn how to play the penny whistle, but don’t know where to start? Or have you played a bit but struggle with fingering, breathing, or just wonder if there is a “right way” or “wrong way” to play. In this class you will learn how to hold the whistle, fingering, breathing, tonguing, timing, ornamentation and a few simple tunes. Please bring a tin whistle in the key of D if you have one. Extras will be available for purchase.



Level: 2-4

Roots Music Ear Training and Music Theory – Expand your playing through deeper knowledge of these key skills

The class will explain where chords come from, and different ways to use them. The Roman Numeral chord identification system will be introduced and students will learn to think of chord function, rather than just the letter name. We’ll develop the practical skills required when playing with other instruments, when using a capo and when having to transpose to a new key on the spot. The class will consist of theory, playing and ear-training components, where students will learn to recognize chords by hearing them.

Students should review the description of FAMI levels 2-4 and ensure that they meet all of the requirements for level 2 at a minimum. You should know your way around your instrument/fretboard reasonably well. If it’s a guitar, know the standard “guitar chords” in the keys of C, G, D, A, E.



Level: 1-4

Appeasing the Voices and Exorcising the Demons

While my songwriting course will briefly touch on topics such as the functions of a song, finding inspiration, collaborating, and the craft of songwriting, I am a firm believer that writing begets writing. If you’re looking to be lectured at all weekend, this course probably isn’t for you. If you want to jump right in and get your hands dirty, then you’re in the right place. You will spend the lion’s share of your time doing exactly that – writing. Using various writing exercises, you’ll begin to release the music inside of you that’s been waiting to get out. Bring lots of large sheets of paper (I’m not a fan of tiny little writing notebooks) and your favourite pen or pencil.



Level: 2-4

There is a lot of great music out there that has been performed or covered by amazing musicians. Occasionally, you’ll hear a new arrangement of a familiar song that makes your ears perk up with its creativity and inventiveness.

In our class, we’ll take a number of fairly familiar songs from various eras and genres and create rearrangements of the songs. Sometimes we’ll do a little tweaking, other times we’ll perform major surgery. Why? Because we can, and sometimes because we should. Maybe the song is more appropriate in a minor key. Or it might sound better with a different time signature or at a completely different tempo. But mainly because we want to make it our own and appropriate for acoustic instruments.

I’ll bring the lyrics and chords to a number of songs that lend themselves to reconstruction. 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 mess around with our arrangements until they’re interesting and really make use of what we have to play with.

Students should have reasonable proficiency with their instrument as no instruction in how to play the instrument will be given.