Level: 2-4

Anytime a tune is to be performed there are decisions to be made: How should it start? How should it end? At what tempo should it be? And when there is more than one person performing the song, the possibilities – and the decisions – multiply: Who starts? When do the other instruments come in? Are there instrumental solos? Who plays them? Will there be harmony singing, and if so, by whom?

This class will look at the myriad of things that go into making an effective arrangement of a tune played by an ensemble. Will include discussion of all the above, plus discussion of other devices like key changes, a capella sections, dynamic changes, song structure. We’ll talk, listen to effective arrangements and work out some arrangements of songs the class can play.

All instruments and voices are welcome; rudimentary familiarity with the instruments is a pre-requisite.



Level: 1-2

This class will outline learning proper technique regardless of if your’re a beginner or intermediate player giving you the right foundation no matter what direction you go with the banjo. I will also be focusing on proper practicing technique’s.



Level: 1-2

Starting Out As A Lowend Friend

Congratulations on picking the coolest instrument in any band. You will find it just like being a goalie in hockey, everybody loves you and they’re so happy when you show up.

The goal of this class is to inspire your love of playing bass, to gain the basics to be able to jam and to experience the fun of playing with other musicians. From there you’ll be able to move on to intermediate bass classes and focus on the finer points of technique.

We’ll first learn the Nashville Number System and how it relates to music so we can communicate effectively and clearly with other musicians. We will learn the major scale, the minor scale and a handy modal scale. With these tools, we will have you easily jamming 3 and 4-chord songs by the end of the weekend.



Level: 2-4

Hone your instincts for the old stuff with this diverse, eclectic bag-o-tricks workshop. We’ll be talking about finding and picking good songs, arranging songs to tell the story, fitting yourself and your instrument in to create ‘events’ in the simple structure of the songs. There will be opportunities to learn some new tunes, play in ad-hoc groups with new people, and jam out some old favourites. Additionally we’ll talk about stage craft, touch on song writing, and if there’s interest, even some talk around the nuts and bolts about the background of running a band in your ‘spare time’.



Level: 2-3

Essentially we will work on enhancing your singing while playing, and your playing while singing ! Whether presenting songs to others or to yourself, creative mastery is the goal.

Each class will consist of:

  1. Exploring and being aware of the “inner-artist” aspects of music.
  2. Practising “outer-artist” disciplines of voice and instrument.
  3. Enhancing and demonstrating songs in both solo and ensemble settings.
  4. Surprise topics.
  5. Having the time of your life.

Participants should bring a chord-type acoustic instrument, electronic funer, a capo, notebook and Pen, voice, music stand (optional), and recording device (optional).

This class will maintain a supportive and enjoyment-filled atmosphere. You can’t miss the target



Level: 2-3

The class will focus on the Mandolin and it’s 8-string siblings as a rhythm (rather than solo) instrument to accompany songs as part of a band (which can be anything from a Guitar/Mandolin duo to a Mandolin Orchestra!). We will focus on basic chords and simple melody lines to add “musical colour” to song arrangements. No genre is safe(!) and we will try to cover familiar 3-4 chord rhythm arrangements to folk, country, bluegrass and beyond styles. There will be minimal theory and as much playing together as we can fit in! We will also learn something about the history of the instrument and its evolution into the different shapes and designs which we see today.



Level: 2-4

What is it that makes ensemble magic happen? A spirit of adventure, deep listening, finding a groove, playfulness, trust of self and others, space to respond, delight, leading and following, and finding inspiration, are just some of the qualities that contribute.

As singers and instrumentalists, we’ll explore the possibilities through fun activities, musical exercises, and games that provide great opportunities for learning about ensemble music-making on many levels. We’ll deepen our ensemble skills through musical adventures, while delving into practical tips and techniques for playing together regardless of genre.

Bring your curiosity, voices, and instruments, and let’s create an experience that is far more than the sum of its parts – ensemble magic !”



Level: 2-4

In this class we’ll look at the role of the acoustic guitar in bluegrass music as a rhythm and a solo instrument. Students will be introduced to strumming patterns that are fundamental to the sound of bluegrass as well as more advanced rhythms that can enhance even the simplest two chord song. We’ll look at common bass runs and how to extend or vary them to suit different musical contexts. There will also be exposure to playing guitar solos in well known bluegrass songs and fiddle tunes. Students should be comfortable playing with a flatpick and have a good working knowledge of basic, first position chords such as G, C, D and F.



Level: 2-3

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: 2-4

In this class we hope to have fiddlers and more! Do you play banjo, guitar, double bass or penny whistle ? Come join our ensemble class ! In this class we will take a fiddle tune and make it a fun arrangement for all instruments ! You will have fun playing great traditional tunes in arrangements for more then just the fiddle !



Level: 2-4

In the late 60s, a lot of very creative music came out of the psychedelic era. It was loud and wild and often featured interesting melodies and lyrics, unusual musical structures and strange instruments.

In our class, we’ll recreate a number of songs from the psychedelic era. Of course a Marshall Stack amplifier doesn’t fit with FAMI’s acoustic mandate, so our mission will be to rearrange the songs to suit our voices and instruments. Together, we’ll come up with arrangements that capture the essence of the original songs but in an acoustically appropriate way.

I’ll bring the lyrics and chords to a number of psychedelic songs of the 60s (how’s that for alliteration). 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 such as fiddle, Dobro, mandolin, bass and percussion so we can attempt to imitate some of the weird and wonderful sounds heard in the original recordings.

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



Level: 1-2

This class will cover those important topics critical to success for new guitar players. As guitar is a very broad field of study, the class will be briefly delving into several guitar-related topics. These include introductory technique, getting a good sound, basic rhythm & lead guitar playing, fingerstyle guitar & flatpicking 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: 2-3

Do you find yourself playing what you already know how to do: strumming the same chords in the same way, and playing the same single-note lines and patterns? Stop bumping your head against this barrier by learning the Guitar Skills Bucket List. In this course you will learn what you must know to take your playing to the next level.

Using popular songs as the basis, we will look at a series of important guitar-playing skills (the “Bucket List”) that you need to know to improve your overall playing ability. These include strumming and rhythmic approaches, single-note playing, cool chord choices and voicings, introductory soloing and improvisation, and moving back and forth between strumming and single lines. We will also explore using a wide range of picking techniques. These are all skills you can use in any song and in any key.

After a weekend soaked in fun, sore fingertips, and limited sleep you’ll know what you need to work on going forward.

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. You are also welcome to record parts of the session.

This course is aimed at guitar players well established at Level 2 (roughly Level 2 ½) and we will cover material to the end of Level 3 (e.g. Level 3 ½). The other requirement is lots of enthusiasm !



Level: 3-4

The Scope of this course is to focus on the right hand. To get things started and make sure we are all on the same page we are going to work on a right hand Study called, ‘Etude for the Pinky’ by Roger Hudson. A modern finger style piece designed to exercise the baby finger of the left hand but requiring full use of the P, I, M and A fingers of the right hand.

From there, we will move on to a piece by finger style champion Craig Dobbins called ‘au Contraire’. A piece written by Mr. Dobbins in homage to the great French fingerstyle guitarist Marcel Dadi.

From there and time permitting we can move on to some other pieces that I will have available from world of Classical, Ragtime and Blues. The list will include pieces such as Study No 2 in C major by Fernando Sor, Study No. 3 in A by Matteo Carcassi, ‘Romance’ by Robert Benedict, ‘Slow Drag’ a Ragtime Tune and in the Blues department ‘You now Have Your Basic Bebop Blues’ by Alan de Mausse, a great Blues Fingerstylist. These can all be done on a steel string Acoustic Guitar or nylon string Classical Guitar. You’ll work your fingers to the bone but come out with a lot more than boney fingers.



Level: 1-4


Welcome to a weekend of inspiration and fun, a weekend of songwriting without rules – only tools. Let’s capture and bring to life your untold stories, thoughts and passions. We will focus on lots of writing and sharing, filling our toolbox with different ways to find and realize you own lyrics and melodies.

Have some thoughts you can’t get down on the page? Or off the page and into a song? Now is the time to bring that song to life! You are a songwriter !