I'm excited to be returning to teach at the American Roots Music Program at Rocky Ridge in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to director Stephen Wade, this year's faculty comprises Val Mindel, Chris Walz, Harry Tuft, Mary Flower, Dick Weissman, Larry Edelman, Peggy Browning, yours truly, and Sharon Arms. This is a truly remarkable weekend immersion in traditional music with the ideal student to teacher ratio. Details and registration can be found here.
Matt is teaching a weekend fiddle workshop at the 3rd Annual Sustainability Weekend at Folklore Village. With the backdrop of cultural sustainability unifying the weekend, individual workshops will incorporate traditional knowledge, strategies and DIY tools for sustainable and historic architecture, traditional crafting, healthy eating, and community music making. Click here for more details and registration.
I'm excited to be returning to Stephen Wade's American Roots Music Program for the second year in a row. Now in its third year, this weekend workshop welcomes singers, banjo pickers, fiddlers, guitarists, and mandolinists—players interested in many facets of roots music. Along with private and group instruction, students learn to craft vocal and instrumental music arrangements of their own. The program probes blues, bluegrass, Cajun and Creole, old-time mountain ballad and song styles, honky-tonk fiddling, and works by newer singer-songwriters and instrumentalists who draw their inspiration from traditional music. Events include a live dance with caller, a banjo seminar, a student and faculty sing-around, and a workshop on Rio Grande fiddle tunes from Native American and Spanish colonial traditions. Details, faculty, and registration can be found here.
Fiddle Camp is a wonderful week-long musical immersion at the Old Town School of Folk Music. The camp is open to kids ages 7-14 who have completed Suzuki Book 1, Old Town School's Advanced Fiddle class, or have received a teacher recommendation. It features old-time and New Mexican fiddling and a Kodály singing class. Details and registration can be found here.
Members of the American Roots Music faculty host a free workshop at the Old Town School of Folk Music introducing this year's American Roots Music Program that will occur on Labor Day in the Colorado Rockies. The OTSFM's very own Stephen Wade will head up the workshop with the help of teaching artists Matt Brown, Peggy Browning, Maria McCullough and Aaron Smith. We'll learn a little about songs and people that came to life in Stephen's book "The Beautiful Music All Around Us." We'll work on some tunes to get us playing together, and finish with a short presentation highlighting both offerings and activities at the renowned Rocky Ridge Music Center. The workshop will be followed by an old-time jam session.
Now in its second year, the American Roots Music Program welcomes singers, banjo pickers, fiddlers, guitarists, and mandolinists. Along with private and group instruction, students learn to craft vocal and instrumental music arrangements of their own. The program probes blues, bluegrass, Cajun and Creole, old-time mountain ballad and song styles, honky-tonk fiddling, and works by newer singer-songwriters and instrumentalists who draw their inspiration from traditional music. Events include a live dance with caller, a banjo seminar, a student and faculty sing-around, and a workshop on Rio Grande fiddle tunes from Native American and Spanish colonial traditions.
Stephen Wade, banjo, guitar -- American Roots Music Program Director
Sharon Arms, Cajun & Creole expert
Matt Brown, fiddler, guitar, banjo
Peggy Browning, banjo, guitar, voice
Larry Edelman, dance calling and fiddle
Charlie Provenza, mandolin, flat-picked guitar
Jayme Stone, banjo
Paul Trunko, blues guitar
Harry Tuft, guitar, singing, accompaniment styles
Dick Weissman, banjo, guitar, songwriting, composing
Max Wolpert, fiddle
This workshop will introduce you to the wonders of the Round Peak style of clawhammer banjo playing which is associated with Charlie Lowe, Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Dick Freeman, Kyle Creed, and younger players such as Paul Brown, Riley Baugus, and Dirk Powell. Register here.
If you have a fretless banjo, bring it!
Prerequisites: Clawhammer 3
Learn an old-time fiddle tune from the repertoire of Fiddling Doc Roberts, replete with extensive bowing guidance from Matt. Doc Roberts was from Madison County, Kentucky, where he learned from his brother Levert and a local African-American musician, Owen Walker. Register here.
This workshop will be conducted entirely by ear.
Prerequisites: Fiddle 3
Fiddle Camp is a week-long intensive at the Old Town School of Folk Music that culminates in a showcase performance at Square Roots. The camp is open to kids ages 7-15 who have completed Suzuki Book 1, Old Town School's Advanced Fiddle class, or have received a teacher recommendation. Details and registration can be found here.
Join Matt Brown & Greg Reish for an infusion of old-time music. For the first part of the workshop, Matt will work directly with the fiddlers, and Greg with the guitar players. For the final 20 minutes, the two groups will meet up to play a tune together. Details and registration can be found here.
Join Matt Brown for a hands-on workshop to learn a traditional old-time fiddle tune or two from "Speed of the Plow," his new album with guitarist Greg Reish. Tunes are taught one phrase at a time with focus on both the melody and the bowing. A recording device (or app) is highly recommended. Since developing ear training skills is one of the workshop goals, Matt will teach the tune(s) entirely by ear. Registration here.
The task of arranging old-time fiddle tunes for modern performance might seem intimidating, but some basic music theory knowledge, a passion for the genre, and a bit of historical and musical perspective transform the task into a fun and gratifying experience. Join Matt Brown & Greg Reish as they demystify the process of harmonizing fiddle melodies, explore several different fiddle and guitar styles, discuss aesthetic and practical considerations, and offer some historical context.
Bring your instrument! This is a hands-on workshop and there will be time to play together in addition to the discussion and demonstrations. Matt & Greg are performing that night in a CD release show of their new old-time fiddle & guitar album, and will reflect on some of the challenges that inspired their arrangements.
Sign up here.