Curriculum Offered

Explore immersion & elective options

Registration & Fees
COVID-19 Policy

Rebekah Rolland will host a Singing Master Class this year for all levels in addition to participating in many singing electives and courses.

Instructors

Mandolin

Mark Miracle, KC Groves

Guitar

Peter McLaughlin, Reno McCormick, Alvin Blaine, Julie Sullivan, KC Groves

Fiddle

Chris Brashear, Matt Rolland, Rebekah Rolland, Reno McCormick

Banjo

Reno McCormick, Alvin Blaine, Richard Brown

Upright Bass

Sheila McCormick, Mike Shiner

Singing/Songwriting

Various instructors

Electives:

Various Instructors (1 hour)

Subject to change based on student needs and desires. This is just a sampling of the types of electives taught. Most are for all levels—check the board at Camp.

2 & 3 Part Harmony Singing
Fast/slow Jam Classes by level
Guitar Explorations
Fiddle & Mandolin Duets
& More!

Tracks:

New for 2021! 4 TRACKS offered with various Courses

 

This year we will be offering a variety of courses within 4 tracks listed below. Courses will be 75 minutes long and include discussion, demonstration, then gathering in breakout groups to play and practice with guidance. Students may enjoy any course on any day and do not have to choose one track. These courses will be co-taught and instructors may change from day to day offering students an opportunity to benefit from different instructors’ knowledge, and to practice in breakout groups, based on the various styles and techniques offered.

Please see the schedule upon arriving for levels and specifics regarding who your instructor(s) will be.

Track 1: Truegrass to Newgrass (Bluegrass Track)

We will examine the work of the great legends in Bluegrass from the beginning (including Bill Monroe, the Carter Family & Mother Maybell, Doc Watson, Clarence White, Stanley Brothers, Louvin Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Del McCoury, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan and more!) to the evolving styles of current masters and innovators of our time (such as Sam Bush, David Grisman, the Steeldrivers, Gillian Welsh, Dave Rawlings, Sierra Hull, Chris Thile, and more).

Course examples:

(Int-Adv) Guitar Crosspicking Techniques

Through examination of Clarence White and other masters like Tony Rice and Norman Blake, we will dissect the patterns used to create this full and floral sound injecting syncopation as a means of driving the melody.

(All Levels/All instruments) Brother Duets (for Sisters too)

Through the amazing family catalog of the brother band genre including the Delmores, Osborne Brothers, the Louvin’ Brothers and others we will study, sing and play as a group, emphasizing work on close duet harmonies.

(Int-Adv) The NewGrass Frontier

Through the eyes and hands of the great players like Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, and more, we will look at the evolution of Bluegrass and what links the sound to the past, while moving it forward with infusions of jazz, blues and rock.

Track 2: Swing, Cowboy Twang & Country Classics

Country music is at the heart of our great American cultural expression and heritage—crossing over and influencing Bluegrass, Blues and jazz, and vice versa. We are fortunate enough to have a couple of great dobro players with us this year which we will feature in some of these courses along with all the other instruments and how they contribute to this downhome sound.

Course examples

(All Levels/All instruments) Cowboy and Cowgirl up!

Cowboy music is synonymous with the cultural development and history of the West. Let’s look at some classics that are still welcomed around campfires anywhere in the world. In this course, we will pull from this repertoire and sing and play emphasizing storytelling and basic accompaniment. And, there might even be some yodeling involved…

(All Levels/All instruments) Country Classics

Through the lens of music by country music heroes like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Jimmy Rodgers, Johnny Cash, George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and more we will breakdown some easy chords progressions, while singing and playing these classic songs from the days when there were only scratchy radios!

(Int-Adv) Let’s Swing!

In this course we will examine structures of Swing chords as they are used by the likes of Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, Asleep at the Wheel, Fats Waller and more and how they have influenced other genres. A blues or bluegrass jam will always welcome an injection of swing to wow your musical compadres!

Track 3: Blues, Jazz, D’Jango & More

Course examples:

(Int-Adv) I got the Blues so bad…. Mike Shiner

Mike Shiner will walk students through basic and more advanced blues progressions interjecting historic context. Emphasis will be on playing proficiently but with soul and passion. Mike will lead students in jams where players can practice blues backup and leads and receive encouragement with suggestions for improvement. This is one course where a harmonica is welcome.

(Int-Adv) D’jingo D’jango

In this course, students will receive instruction on the intricacies of gypsy jazz and more advanced chords. This course will be of special interest and geared for guitar and fiddle students.

(All Levels) I got Rhythm

Well…do you? Having great rhythm can make or break a band, or your own musical performance. Many people get stuck because they play alone, or don’t even realize their rhythm might be “off”. This critical 6th sense is what really forms the foundation for all good music. In this course, students will be lead students through exercises to help them achieve better rhythm while exploring more creative approaches to enhance your playing and singing.

Track 4: Singing & Songwriting

(All Levels) Singing while Accompanying yourself on your instrument Course

This course will be for all levels but especially for novice-intermediate students that would include instruction on how to make a song your own, getting better at presenting, not looking at your hands, fills and simple leads from a chord to enhance your songs.

(All Levels) Songwriting for all levels with various instructors will also be offered this year. Many of our instructors are accomplished songwriters eager to share their knowledge and tips with both beginning and advanced songwriters.

 

Daily Immersion

Mandolin

Novice/Intermediate Mandolin

This courses will reinforce basic skills on the mandolin with a focus primarily on bluegrass styles. We will be exploring how to perform a solid rhythmic chop to back-up others, including simple two finger chords with relative minor chords. We will learn a few simple, but well known tunes that are essential to a standard bluegrass repertoire and that are likely to be played at bluegrass jams throughout the world. Students must be somewhat familiar with their instrument and know how to play basic chords in G, C, and D.

Intermediate/advanced bluegrass mandolin

This courses will be presented in “modules” for a more intensive workshop style. Each session of the course will offer a different lesson in various skills building on the previous in order to help you improve your playing in all aspects of bluegrass, folk and Americana styles on the mandolin. We will focus on everything from creating a strong rhythmic chop, to clean single note fiddle tune style playing, to double stops and backup accompaniment. Students should be able to know all their chord forms, play basic lead melodies and rhythmic accompaniment at a medium tempo.

Guitar

Novice – Intermediate Guitar

This guitar course is for the novice-intermediate players. You must have a basic understanding of and be able to move between chords in at least 3 keys to enjoy this course (G,C,D and preferably A & E, knowing relative minor chords of each key is helpful but not necessary as we will discuss. Please take IM1 if you are not as confident in these abilities). We will introduce techniques and skills needed to play your chords more efficiently and fluidly in various keys, which will also help you to better accompany yourself while singing. Additionally this course will concentrate on how to create a solid rhythm in order to backup others. In this course you will learn how to practice in order to build a more diverse repertoire and acquire more tools to elevate your playing to the next level of proficiency and pleasure. Time permitting, we will also look into how the notes and chords are structured on the fretboard. Students will be able to benefit from courses taught by several of our fine teachers over the duration of the camp.

Intermediate/Advanced guitar

This course is for the more advanced player who wants to play with abandon and just crank it up a notch or two. We will discuss the influence of many styles including jazz, blues and acoustic rock, on the acoustic guitar, but primarily focus on bluegrass flatpicking technique. We will work on lead improvisation to develop tasty solos, adapting fiddle tunes to guitar, cross-picking methods, and playing leads out of chord positions up-the fretboard utilizing the whole neck. Additionally we will discuss band dynamics, ways to improve timing and tone, and how to be a better performer. There will also be discussion of some of the “master” flatpickers and their styles. Students will be able to benefit from the co-teaching model and experience various styles, tips and techniques from the many fine, accomplished guitar teachers on premise over the duration of the camp.

Fiddle

Novice/Intermediate Fiddle

Our novice to intermediate fiddle classic will focus on developing your current technique and expanding your repertoire of fun fiddle tunes commonly played in jams. The goal is to make your playing more fluid, and build your musical confidence so you are more comfortable playing in a group setting with other instruments. Bringing a recording device will probably be helpful for most students, but more importantly a willingness to dig in and start playing.

Intermediate/Advanced fiddle

These courses will help the more experienced player learn skills in lead development, back-up “percussive” fiddling, and other techniques in various styles from folk, to bluegrass, to acoustic rock. We will focus on style and bowing techniques that give fiddle tunes their groove. This workshop is meant for students with experience on the violin (even if they’ve never “fiddled”) and more experienced fiddlers looking to expand their repertoire and sound. We will spend our time addressing topics in master class style, practicing bowing techniques, and learning several tunes by ear.

Banjo

Intermediate/Advanced Banjo

Some ultimate goals in to learning to play the banjo are being able to play with solid timing, to create your own breaks, and to improvise fluently. In this class you will add to and build on what you’ve already learned in order to do just that. We will see how melody, harmony, and rhythm work together and learn how to present ideas effectively.

Topics to be covered in this class will be, among other things:

  • Working up your own solos and licks
  • Playing rhythm and backup and learning more about fitting the banjo into a band setting
  • Playing in unfamiliar keys
  • Learning your way around the fingerboard
  • Learning some specifics of right and left hand technique to improve your tone, timing and speed
  • Learning to break away from arrangements picked up from tabs (often the big challenge for people wanting to move their playing to a new place)

Prerequisites:

Students must have familiarity with the basic open and closed chord shapes, and have proficiency changing between them. They should know some of the standard repertoire of bluegrass songs and Scruggs arrangements and licks on the banjo. Also, students should be comfortable with basic roll patterns associated with the style.

You will need a 5 string banjo, a set of fingerpicks, a thumbpick, and a capo. It is also advisable to bring a notebook and writing utensil.

Novice/Intermediate
Banjo Description Coming Soon

Singing Master Class Immersion with Rebeckah Rolland

Singing Master Class for all levels

This is a vocal course that will focus on the elements of good vocal technique and its application in the singing and songwriting of Bluegrass and Americana music. The class is designed for vocal students of all levels, from those just becoming acquainted with their voices to those hoping to take singing to the next level. We will work on a variety of songs and exercises meant to build confidence, strength, control, and expression in their vocal development. We will also learn to apply the principles of vocal harmony, blending, and dynamics through a number of group-singing activities.

Additionally, in keeping with folk tradition, students will explore the styles of past and present icons who have come to define traditional styles of singing–from the high, lonesome sound of Bill Monroe to the soaring melodies of Joan Baez to the smooth and soulful croons of Tim O’Brien.

Although you do not have to play an instrument to be in this course, you may receive greater benefits if you do. If you are more interested in playing and singing (and have basic playing skills) please see Playing & Singing Level 1 (novice-intermediate–course description coming soon) but you may also “mix and match” courses by taking both at different times.

New this year! Upright Bass for novice-intermediate in bluegrass and folk with Sheila McCormick, and intermediate to advanced blues, swing and jazz foundation with Mike Shiner.

These courses are for those who want to understand the unique and important role the bass plays in ensemble performing in bluegrass, blues, jazz and other musical forms.

Both classes will work on posture and strength, right and left hand technique including runs. These course will be co-taught so that the instructors can assess students levels and be able to move students into appropriate learning pods based on those levels. Both instructors Sheila McCormick and Mike Shiner are accomplished performers who will lead instruction on the upright bass offering tips and technique on sound, dynamics, and performing in a variety of styles.

* This course is based on demand and may only be offered as a ½ track so students can take other courses of interest such as singing and playing, or other instruments. We need at least 3 students per course to keep it on the schedule.

Electives

Our versatile teachers will be working together in these various electives for an exciting mix of instruction. Please check the schedule during camp for elective descriptions, exact times, and instructors. We will be adding more electives as the camp fills up. If there is an elective you’d like to see, let us know! 

2 & 3 part harmony singing for all levels

These electives will give students an opportunity to sing leads and harmonies on songs from the classic bluegrass repertoire. We share a catalogue of songs left to us by Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, the Stanley Brothers, Hazel & Alice – as well a huge body of songs from earlier predecessors in rural country music like the Carter Family. We will look at vocal style, phrasing, fundamentals of pitch and enough about music harmonies to help you find your way in a duet, trio or quartet.

• Jam Classes (Various levels)

We will offer various levels of jam classes, breaking students into small groups for an intimate, guided jamming experience. Novice students can take Jamming 101 class which will offer instruction on jam etiquette, backup, simple leads, and harmony singing. We will play in a circle (at least 6 feet apart) where you can try out leads in a safe, supportive environment lead by all instructors.

Only requirements: You must be able to tune your instrument (electronic tuning devices welcome) and change smoothly between G, C, D, and A. Fast playing is not expected, nor is the ability to solo required.

Advanced Jam classes will be offered in various styles: bluegrass, swing and blues. These will be facilitated by various instructors with focus on agility, style and presentation, but mostly for big fun!

• Instrumental Explorations (intermediate-advanced)

In these classes we will look into musical styles for various instruments including exploring cowboy and swing chords, gypsy jazz, and more eclectic, creative forms. We will also offer insights into the styles and techniques of some famous influencers like Doc Watson, Django Reinhardt, Tony Rice, Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, and more.

More descriptions for electives for other instruments coming soon!