Bluegrass Ensemble


Level: 2-4

Get ready to play some bluegrass! This class will do large group work and be split into smaller groups to gain experience in playing and singing at the same time. We’ll cover right hand bluegrass rhythms for instruments and what to do when “backing each other up” during solos. We’ll also dip our paddles into the world of sweet bluegrass harmony if there are any takers! We will touch on soloing if desired and maybe learn the number system of chording.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!



Level: 2-3

Taught in the aural tradition, this mixed intermediate level class will learn tunes from a mix of styles, focusing on multi-layers, harmonies, back-up groove parts and overall arranging for groups/ensembles.

Sheet music for tunes will be provided at the end of the last class so come with your ears and your audio recorders charged!

Folk Ensemble


Level: 2-4

There is no “I” in band …..

A good way to become a better performer is to play and sing with others. The ensemble class provides an opportunity to do just this – as an instrumentalist, vocalist (the class is open to those who might just like to exercise their vocal chords!) or both – in a comfortable, supportive setting where folks can listen to – and learn from each other.  Instrumental skills and technique for guitars (6 & 12-string, simple bass and possibly open-tuning), banjo, mandolin family, ukelele and percussion will be included and the overall emphasis will be on how to perform as part of a band, including:

– how to arrange songs, interact and support each other;

– why, when, how and what to solo and “making space” for soloing;

– singing while playing – both lead & backing vocals including harmonizing;

– taking an active role in the ensemble, controlling one’s own input in relation to other musicians, as well as building repertoire.

Songsheets and chord diagrams will be provided and a variety of instruments will also be available in case folks would like to try something new. Bring your willingness to share your talents vocally and/or 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.

Above all, the goal is to make music together and have fun!



Level: 1

Coming Soon …



Level: 2-3

This class will focus on an understanding of basic finger-style guitar, specifically the important fundamental technique of developing an independent right thumb. We’ll look at a number of basic right-hand patterns, and move toward the goal of playing a melody against a steady bass line. Jim also likes to follow digressions or “rabbit trails,” including such things as chord structure, special fingerings, and ear training as they come up. While the course will have a planned format, the final details will be determined by the class.

Attendees should comfortably know first position chords in the keys of C, G, D, A and E and be able to change chords while keeping steady time.



Level: 3-4

Students will learn the two most common open tunings for slide guitar, plus a side-trip into slide in standard tuning.

We will work with two classic slide guitar tunes…one in each open tuning.

Students will need a slide, steel string guitars are highly preferred over nylon, and bring a tuner.



Level: 2-3

‘Soloing On Guitar’ is aimed at guitarists who are comfortable playing country, folk and blues songs in a rhythm role but not as a soloist.

In this class we’ll explore and make use of rhythm techniques that students are already familiar with and how those rhythm patterns can lead to a solid, musical and achievable solo.

We’ll also look at often used intros and endings in folk, bluegrass and blues tunes which students may have heard but not played.

As well we’ll focus on the melody of a tune or song as a source of solo ideas. Examples of these approaches will be handed out and worked on during the class with as much individual attention as the class size allows.

There will also be discussion and demonstration of how to play with the right and left hands and the art of getting the best sound with the least amount of effort.



Level: 1-2

The mandolin is a beautiful, portable, and cheerful little instrument that can add sparkle to any musical setting—but it has a steep learning curve! If you’ve found yourself on the Way of the Mandolorian, but don’t know how to get past the first few chords, this class is for you! We’ll lay a foundation of skills and technique that will set you up for a warp-speed jump into the next star system for your playing. We’ll start by going over the basics like holding the pick properly, then quickly building into finding chords, understanding rhythm and accent patterns, chord alternates, and modular scales you can use to learn new songs and maybe even take a solo someday! We’ll talk about how to play with other instruments tastefully, and back up yourself and others. Our goal is to gain dynamic knowledge you can apply in a variety of musical settings like your practice space, jams, and performances. This course is about giving you the tools you need to get from beginner to intermediate without straying to the dark side. It is The Way.

Proper technique
Expanding chord vocabulary
Introducing tunes and melodies
Growing your Strumming and rhythm
Understanding & using modular scales
Accompanying yourself and others
Laying a foundation for growth



Level: 1-4

Do any of these sound like you?: “I want to write a song but I don’t know where to start.” “I had a great idea for a song but now I can’t remember what it was.” “I have lots of ideas but can’t organize them into something that all works together.” Or even: “I have written lots of songs that I like but I’m looking to take them to the next level and make them even better.” This is the class for you! We will explore ways of finding inspiration, holding onto inspiration, organizing all the right ingredients, and cooking them all together with just the right amount of spice that everyone will want to come back for seconds! (Yep, some of my songs are about food, but not all I promise). Whether you’re a beginner or a “master chef”, let’s get together for a weekend of sharing recipes and trading notes, and see what we can all cook up!



Level: 2-3

Making use of already-learned skills, we will now put them to work. Lots of songs in a variety of uke-friendly keys will be presented with the intention of adding “color” to your strumming accompaniment. Some of these embellishments will include WILD ENDINGS (over 20) and some SLICK FILLS (nuances between vocal lines). Rounding out the “lessons” will be a little work on “getting off the page” (by ear playing). Does this sound like fun, or what? Advanced players are welcome if attracted to some of the topics.

Pre-requisite: An introductory course and the ability to play the main chords in the key of C.

Note: The course is geared for only the “small-sized” ukuleles, i.e. soprano, concert, or tenor varieties. Not the baritone size.



Level: 1-4

This class is for everyone interested in singing. If you’re inexperienced, even afraid to sing, or think that you can’t sing, you’ll discover that if you can speak, you can sing. If you’re an accomplished singer looking for new information or skills or just the simple joy of singing, this is the class. Almost all of our time will be focused on singing a great variety of songs, but also covered will be basic information about the voice, as well as how to develop, maintain and care for this most wonderful of instruments.