Classes

See below for Spring 2020 Class Descriptions and Bios

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 & Krishna Feeney

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): Greg Schochet

All together now! In this bluegrass jamming class we'll chew on the big and little ingredients that make up a delicious bluegrass stew, such as:

Rhythmic and melodic roles of each instrument All aspects of jam etiquette Repertoire selection How to find your key for singing Deciding when to... Read more
Instructor(s): Evie Laden

Open to all string instruments and geared towards beginning/intermediate players, we will explore repertoire, roles and rhythm in traditional old time music. We will find new repertoire and/or work on known tunes, the melody, rhythm, chord changes, potential singing parts, and techniques for... Read more

Instructor(s): Bill Evans

Take your playing to the next level! Designed for intermediate to advanced students with two or more years of playing experience, Bill will work with each student before camp to create a set of individual goals and objectives for the weekend. Class time will be divided between group instruction... Read more

Instructor(s): Leela Grace

Take your old time banjo playing to the next level! This is your chance to expand your repertoire while honing technical skills. You’ll learn fun, beautiful tunes and songs in a variety of keys and tunings. We’ll work to create clear melodies without sacrificing rhythm. Each tune may challenge... Read more

Instructor(s): Steve Roy

Bass: the root of everything! This class will explore all things bass. We'll cover a variety of topics including:

The roles that bass plays in various band and jam settings, and how to relate and connect with the instruments/people you're playing with Posture and technique fundamentals that... Read more
Instructor(s): Ivan Rosenberg

Since I teach at Walker Creek often and get a lot of repeat students, I'd like to try something new this time: helping you all speak Dobro more fluently by increasing your Dobro vocabulary. Here's my plan for the weekend:

Day 1: Learn a slew of open and closed-position Dobro licks!... Read more

Instructor(s): Nate Lee

Want to gain the skills you need to successfully play in jam sessions and bands? In this class you will learn kickoffs, melody, fills, chords, backup skills, endings, and more! You will also learn about technique, tone, taste, and everything else you need to start reaching your goals as a... Read more

Instructor(s): Tricia Spencer

Tricia will teach fiddle tunes her family has played for generations as well as other tunes from masters of old-time music that she has learned throughout her lifetime. Tricia will utilize her "Grandma’s Cheats" that her grandma Iona taught her as a young girl.

These "cheats" are two... Read more

Instructor(s): Paul Shelasky

This course in Swing/Jazz fiddle will explore the basics of improvisation with an emphasis on the rhythms and phrasing of Jazz. We will start with easy solos in the Western Swing style, including “Milk Cow Blues” and “Corinna.” All of these will be in the first position.

We’ll progress... Read more

Instructor(s): Kathy Barwick

We'll explore the technique known as "crosspicking" in flatpick guitar, in particular the styles of Doc Watson, Norman Blake, and Clarence White. We’ll cover as much as we can of the following:

Basic crosspicking technique, including the DUDU (down-up-down-up) and DDU patterns. Explore... Read more

Instructor(s): Howard Raines

In this class, we will learn all about the BOOM, listening for chord choices, playing bass runs, and keeping time. Though we'll spend a lot of time strategizing about backing up old time fiddle tunes, the skills and concepts you'll learn in class will help your playing in many other styles and... Read more

Instructor(s): Tony Marcus

This class will move through styles from western swing to more straight jazz of the 1930s style, with the emphasis on rhythm playing. I will teach a repertoire of swing type songs utilizing a fairly limited vocabulary of chord shapes. We'll also concentrate on the compact 4/4 right hand... Read more

Instructor(s): Joe K. Walsh

In this class we will do a variety of exercises and learn a number of tunes, each picked to help develop our technical skills and deepen our understanding of the instrument, the stylistic elements of the music, and our ability to improvise. We will examine arpeggio and chord patterns and how to... Read more

Instructor(s): Tim Connell

This class will focus on learning to perform swing repertoire on the mandolin. Great melodies, interesting chord progressions, groovy right hand percussion and a springboard for improvisation - swing mandolin has it all!

In this class, all students will:

Learn the melodies of... Read more
Instructor(s): Luke Abbott

Learn how to sing your heart out bluegrass style! In this highly participatory class, we’ll be exploring how we can "give more and get more" with our voices, with a particular focus on the (loosely-defined) "bluegrass" style of singing. It means fine-tuning the basics: feeling at ease while... Read more

Instructor(s): Rebecca Stout

Singing in harmony begins with "thinking in harmony." Learn how to tune in to the voices around you while practicing an array of tips and tricks for harmonious singing in duos, trios and quartets. Each day begins with an old time standard duo that will slowly metamorphose into a bluegrass... Read more

Instructor(s): Katie Glassman

We’ll sing songs from the classic swing and Western swing catalog as you learn how to find the key that suits you. I'll provide a booklet of swing and Western Swing songs with lyrics and charts that we can work from. We’ll work on vocal technique, style, and harmonies to any song that suits your... 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