Classes

See below for Fall 2019 Class Descriptions and Bios

Spring 2020 class information will be posted by the end of the year

These are the morning classes, the ones you sign up for in advance, averaging 10-12 students per class (more for classes with two teachers). Class sizes are limited, and some fill up the first day we open for registration, so sign up early! You take this core class each morning (afternoon elective classes are drop-in style and don't require sign-ups). Click on a class, and you will see the full description, along with instructor bios and websites.

CLASS LEVELS:

Level 1 is "advanced beginner"; you should know the basics of how to play your instrument and keep it in tune, and play a few songs or tunes, probably not up to tempo yet.
Level 2 is "intermediate"; you can do all the above, have some experience playing with others, you're comfortable with your instrument, and can play some songs up to tempo.
Level 3 is "upper intermediate/advanced": you are a confident musician and comfortable jamming and playing in groups, but still there is always more to learn.

Please Read the Recommended prerequisites. How long you've been playing does not determine which class you should be in; it's what you can do and what you know, as specified in the prerequisites for each class, that matters. That said, a positive attitude towards learning in a group setting is the most important prerequisite for having a great time at camp. Almost all of our classes are for intermediate level and beyond.

Level 1 players! (advanced beginners)  Check out the group classes! You'll still get some instrument-specific instruction, and you'll also learn a ton by playing with others (playing with others is what it's all about!).

Feel free to call for more information (415-663-6030). The director can help you choose a class, and we will allow for some adjustments the first day of camp.

Those who feel they've "outgrown" camp classes can be considered as teaching assistants (see the FAQs page for more info).                                                                                             


Instructor(s): Morgan Cochneuer & Rebecca Richman

This class, designed specifically for young campers, provides a rich, varied, and age-appropriate experience with plenty of hands-on music making. At Walker Creek we believe the best way to learn music is to get inspired, make connections, and become engaged through fun activities that teach... Read more

Instructor(s): Keith Yoder

This is a class designed for players of all major bluegrass instruments (guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, Dobro) who have little or no experience jamming with others—or for more experienced musicians who want to spend the weekend improving their jamming skills and confidence. We will learn... Read more

Instructor(s): Suzy Thompson

We’ll learn and arrange repertoire drawn from the early great jug and string bands, female blues shouters, black country blues singers and rural hillbilly artists of the 1920s and 1930s, such as the Memphis Jug Band, the Mississippi Sheiks, Memphis Minnie, Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers, Bessie Smith... Read more

Instructor(s): Rebecca Stout

Part step-learning, part practice, part research and part injury prevention techniques, this dance class has something for all. Suitable for beginner to advanced students ages 14 and up. Ms. Becky will guide students through the basics and beyond. Learn history, hone technique, and study the... Read more

Instructor(s): Dave Keenan

You’re in a jam and it’s your turn for a solo again. What to play? I’ll teach you how to take a tune and run it thru the ‘style filter.' We’ll take standard tunes and learn how to play each of them like three stylistically different banjo players. We’ll start with Scruggs style, then see how the... Read more

Instructor(s): Molly Tenenbaum

This class will focus on making the most of what the banjo offers: open strings, open tunings, rhythmic possibilities, and a long and varied tradition to learn and grow from. In the time we have, we’ll cover as much as we can of the following:

Solo banjo: getting the notes to ring out,... Read more
Instructor(s): Eric Thorin

This class will concentrate on pulling a good tone, creating groove, and using an established technique to play in tune up and down the neck with precision, to the 12th fret and beyond. We may not have frets but we’ll know where the notes are. We will discuss what notes we can use to best... Read more

Instructor(s): Michael Witcher

In this course we will learn the foundations for proper Dobro technique along with fundamental approaches to creating an effective practice routine, learning songs, creating solos and playing back-up. Be prepared for a lot of class participation. If you've taken workshops with me before, I'll... Read more

Instructor(s): Brian Wicklund

In this class you'll learn the fundamentals to playing great bluegrass fiddle, including:

The anatomy of a bluegrass song and how to jam How to create a killer solo with variations and licks using the melody as structure Improvising over chord changes How to play basic backup and more... Read more
Instructor(s): David Bragger & Susan Platz

In this class, students will be learning old-time fiddle tunes in a variety of classic tunings and learning exciting fiddle seconding parts that emphasize rhythm, chords and bowing. We will explore repertoire from classic old-time fiddlers and introduce tunes from some lesser-known fiddlers as... Read more

Instructor(s): Eric Thompson

In this class, we'll work with setting a nice rhythm bed for a band, laying leads on top, punctuating with runs, and complimenting with supporting backup ideas.

Prerequisites: This class will be geared towards intermediate players and up. To enjoy this class, you should already be... Read more

Instructor(s): Jim Kweskin

Learn alternating thumb and finger picking patterns and how to apply them to songs such as “Railroad Bill," “Spike Drivers Blues,” and “My Creole Belle.”

Prerequisites: This course is for those of you that can already play basic guitar chords and may already know a little about finger... Read more

Instructor(s): Nina Gerber

Tired of muted notes? Do you suffer from embarrassing fret farts? We’ll spend time working on techniques that will improve your tone and dexterity, painful exercises that will stretch and strengthen your left hand. Right hand technique for flatpickers will also be discussed.

And, a... Read more

Instructor(s): Sharon Gilchrist

This class will have two main focuses: improvisation and back-up/rhythm accompaniment.

You may have been playing mandolin a while now; you may be able to play fiddle tunes and melodies to some standard bluegrass songs, maybe you are able to improvise to some degree and you are now... Read more

Instructor(s): Ben Winship

In this course we will approach the broad definition of bluegrass through the lens of old-time, blues and swing; all styles which are closely associated with bluegrass, but each with their own identity. If you are interested in broadening your mandolin horizons and learning a bit about these... Read more

Instructor(s): Del Rey

Jugband and blues songs orchestrated for the ukulele, with playing and singing parts for several levels of player. We’ll work on getting an old-timey sound on your uke, with the right rhythm, chord positions and where to find the melody. Plus we’ll try and listen to each other and play together... Read more

Instructor(s): Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum

Unlike factory-made musical instruments, which are manufactured to have a consistent sound, every person’s voice is unique. Put together two or three of these distinct voices, and you have something that is probably new to the world!

This workshop will teach the skills needed to hear and... Read more

Instructor(s): Josh Tharp

Josh Tharp started playing banjo in 1997 after first hearing Earl Scruggs. In 2006 he began his bluegrass travels with the Southern California based band Lost Highway which took him all over the US, Canada and Europe. In 2000 he went to Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and began building and... Read more

Instructor(s): many

Elective class sample topics are listed below. These one-hour classes are scheduled in the afternoons. The actual selection varies from camp to camp, but will include some of these for sure, and you can make requests if you see something that you would like to be sure gets onto the schedule.... Read more

Instructor(s): Music Caravan

Music Caravan brings a wide array of musical needs to camp including picks, strings, capos, tuners, stands, books and CDs. There will also be some instruments available. If known in advance, special orders can be brought to camp. Contact Dana Thorin: ... Read more