Classes & Teachers
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The Morning Breakfast Club Sessions
Start your day with a cup of musical sunshine for your brain and/or body. Come early for breakfast & bring your iPad with your ‘newly’ acquired OnSong App & join Sheridan for a tutorial on how to use this most amazing tool for musicians. Or wake up your mind & body with an early morning movement session. Or join Michelle for a super fun wake up with “The Boomwhacker Rhythm Romp!” What’s a boomwhacker you ask? Come find out! These sessions are offered each morning in addition to your class cores & workshops. Just more chances to learn & have fun. You’ll be ready for a day of classes and feeling good to go!
Morning Rhythm Romp
Starring… The Boomwhackers!
Start your day putting rhythm in your body with a little movin’ & groovin’! Michelle continues the Boomwhacker ™ (colorful pitch tuned plastic percussion tubes) interactive rhythm games. But more than just a heck of a lot of FUN, these exercises can really help you feel and understand rhythm better. The goal is to quickly help wake up the brain with some simple rhythms and movement exercises played out on the body with the “Booms” and friends.
Morning Glory Movement Class: Monday
This first morning class will help prepare your mind, body, and voice for your camp adventure by combining breath, voice, easy stretching and movement with elements of Yoga and Qi Gong. (No mat work)
Breakfast with OnSong: Tues / Wed
a) Songfile transfer from your computer or Internet into your iPad songbook.
b) Creating and arranging set lists, and sub books by genre or author.
c) Setting song scroll time and metronome.
Bring an iPad with the OnSong app loaded and we’ll jump in
Classes & Workshops
It’s all right here!
You can leisurely scroll through our class offerings and teacher bios; OR use the handy navigation below that says “CLICK ME!” where you can then click any RED link (a teacher or a class name) to go right to that spot without having to scroll around.
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Oh, and here’s a link to our Ability Chart for some clarity about those class levels… just click here.
JOE CRAVEN / Songwriting, Bongo (Percussion), Fiddle
- C: Fiddling the First Day! Beginning Your Journey (levels 1-2)
- C: Songetry; Quick Start Poem to Song (all levels)
- W: Bongo & Shaker! (levels 1-3)
- W: You’re On! Performance & Connecting With Your Audience (all levels)
LISA BURNS / Bass
- C: Beginning Bass for Bluegrass, Blues and Folk (level 1)
- C: What the Folk? Bass for Folk Music, Singer/ Songwriters, and Beyond (levels 2-4)
- W: Bluegrass Slow Jam (all instruments) (levels 1-4)
- W: Other Bass Line Rhythms (Bass Players and Percussionists) (levels 3-4)
CATFISH JACK CHAUVIN / Harmonica
- C: Get Hooked On Harmonica! (level 1)
- C: Playing Harmonica on the Rack (levels 1-4)
- W: Beginning Harmonica (level 1)
- W: Play Well With Others; The Art of the Jam (all levels)
- W: Blues Harp (levels 3-4)
TOM CORBETT / Mando, Guitar
- C: Mando 2 (Turned Up to Eleven) (levels 3-4)
- C: Flat-Pick Bluegrass & Country Guitar (levels 3-4)
- W: Blues Mandolin (levels 3-4)
- W: Theory for Dummies (And Other Smart Folks) (levels 2-3)
- W: Motown Hoot (levels 2-4)
KIMBERLY FORD / Vocals
- C: Vocal Improvisation & Expression (all levels)
- C: Ensemble Singing; Vocalizing Well With Others (all levels)
- W: Songs of Joni Mitchell (levels 3-4)
- W: Intros, Outros & “In-Between-Tros” Vocal Lab (all levels)
- W: Harmony Singing; The Basics (levels 2-4)
SUSIE GLAZE / Vocals
- C: That Acapella Voice with a Beat! (all levels)
- C: Craft Your Act: Stage Prep & Show Readiness (levels 2-4)
- W: From Bill Monroe to Alison Krauss, Come to the Bluegrass Sing! (levels 2-4)
- W: Pete Seegar and Woody Guthrie Meet at the Folk Hoot! (levels 2-4)
- W: Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Carter Family Songs We Love! (levels 2-4)
STEVE GUST / Cajon (Percussion)
- C: The Cajon & BEYOND; Thinking (and Playing) Outside the Box (levels 2-3)
- W: Advanced Cajon Workshop (levels 3-4)
- W: Introduction to the Amazing, Versatile Cajon (level 1 but all welcome)
MICHAEL GUTIN / Piano Accordion
- C: Piano Accordion From Scratch (levels 1-2)
- C: Beyond Scratch Accordion (levels 3-4)
- W: Keyboard Accordion – Your 1st Date (levels 1-2)
- W: Intermediate Accordion (levels 3-4)
- W: Accordions & Melodicas; A Piano in Your Hand! (all levels)
HAWKEYE HERMAN / Guitar
- C: Intermediate Slide Guitar (levels 2-4)
- C: Intermediate Blues Guitar – Rhythm & Lead (levels 2-4)
- C: Down By The Riverside-Songs of Peace, Hope, Freedom & Inspiration (levels 2-4)
- W: Blues You Can Use – Blues Song Repertoire (levels 3-4)
- W: How To Transpose a Song Into Any Key (With or Without a Capo) (levels 1-4)
SYLVIA HEROLD / Guitar
- C: Introduction to Swing Guitar (levels 3-4)
- C: Adventurous Folk Guitar (levels 3-4)
- W: Learn Two Scales for Guitar (levels 2-3)
- W: Strumming Patterns For Guitar (levels 1-3)
- W: How To Make, Use and Share Chord Charts (levels 3-4)
SNAP JACKSON / Banjo, Ukulele
- C: Beginning to Intermediate Fingerpicking on the 5-String Banjo (levels 1-3)
- C: Oldtime Banjo; Beginning to Intermediate Clawhammer / Frailing style (levels 1-3)
- W: Clawhammer Techniques for Ukulele (levels 2-4)
- W: Finger Picking Patterns & Applications for the Ukulele (levels 2-4)
- W: Office Hours with Snap (all levels)
SHANE KALBACH / Mando, Fiddle
- C: Beginning Mandolin (level 1)
- C: Beyond Beginning Fiddle (levels 2-3)
- W: Bow Basics For Fiddlers (all levels)
- W: Finding the Melody On The Fly (level 2-4)
- W: Office Hours with Shane (all levels)
MICHELLE KIBA / Ukulele
- C: Ukulele For First Timers (level 1)
- C: Beyond Beginning Ukulele Repertoire (levels 2-4)
- W: Snazzy, Jazzy Swing for Crooners (levels 3-4)
- W: Wanna Get To Know the Ukulele? Come On Down! (level 1)
MICHELLE LOVRICH / West African & Caribbean Percussion
- C: Rhythm, Hand Drum & Percussion Fun-da-mentals & Beyond (all levels)
- C: West African Style Percussion & Ensemble (all levels)
- W: Hand Drum Playshop (all levels)
- W: Drum and Rhythm Circle (all levels)
LINDA McRAE / Songwriting
- C: Songwriting with Intent (levels 2-3)
- C: Nashville Co-Writing Sessions (levels 2-3)
- W: Object Writing — Writer’s Block? (all levels)
- W: Performance: From Light Bulb Moment to Stage Lights! (levels 2-4)
- W: Finish What You Started (levels 3-4)
SHERIDAN MALONE / Ukulele, Vocals
- C: Beyond Strumming for Ukulele (levels 3-4)
- C: Learn to Sing – The Fundamentals (level 1)
- W: Vocal Troubleshooting (all levels)
CINDY MURPHY & MATT LINTON / Cello
- W: Introduction to Folk Cello! (level 1)
PATRICE WEBB / Guitar
- C: Beginning Guitar – Learning & Playing Beloved Folk Songs (level 1)
- C: Fingerpicking Style Blues; In the Beginning (level 1)
- W: Rag Mama Rag! (level 3-4)
- W: Fingerpicking for Folk Singers (level 1-2)
- W: Songwriting for Swingers (all levels)
Joe Craven / Songwriting, Bongo (Percussion), Fiddle
Creativity educator, former museum curator, visual artist, actor/ storyteller, festival emcee and recipient of the 2009 Folk Alliance Far-West Performer of the Year, Joe Craven has made music with many folks, from multi-string instrumentalist David Lindley to Blues slide guitar master Roy Rogers… Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia to Dobro Master Rob Ickes and in groups from Psychograss to The Horseflies. He was percussionist and fiddler for mandolinist David Grisman for almost 17 years. Joe now performs with his daughter Hattie Craven, Joe Craven & The Sometimers and other projects and collaborations. A Cum Laude graduate in Museology and Aesthetics, Joe has presented at numerous schools, universities, detention centers, medical facilities and special needs facilities. His training outreach includes Wells Fargo, The American String Teachers Association, Goodwill Industries and teacher in-services across the country. Joe is Director of RiverTunes Roots Music Camp, Director of Vocáli Voice Camp and a keynote clinician for Wintergrass and Delfest. And no matter who he’s connecting with; a community workshop in Costa Rica, a university lecture demonstration in Washington, jamming with Gnawan musicians in Morocco, or on stage in front of thousands of school kids in Scotland, he’s at home and loving every minute.
“Everything Joe touches turns to music.” David Grisman
“With Joe Craven at the helm, the possibilities are endless.” Sing Out! Magazine
Fiddling the First Day! Beginning Your Journey
Levels 1-2Have you wanted play the fiddle? For first timers and beginners, Joe jump starts your desire to play. The fiddle is exciting, ultra cool and you can do this! Boldly bow where no bowing has gone on before! Joe shows you how to comfortably and confidently bow in different keys and even play a simple tune the first session! After a couple sessions, you’ll be able to join and support a jam. Then we’ll move forward into the third day and really get you hooked! NOTE; we’re working on acquiring some fiddle packages to try/borrow during Camp but if you have a lead on one already, please bring it to class. The fiddle should be playable, with a properly haired bow (that means more hair than on the top of Joe’s head) and a spare set of strings, if possible.
Songetry; Quick Start Poem to Song
All Levels“Songetry” connects something most of us have already done (writing a poem) to something new (writing a song). As many of us know, poems, whether rhyming or not, can tell a story in an accessible form of metered rhythm. Everyone has the ability to write such stories, short or long, and that is the grist for the mill of songwriting. Joe has been teaching this class at other camps and workshop settings over last several years with great response… and now he brings it to RiverTunes. There are different ways to approach writing a song; sometimes the music comes first and then the lyrics. In this session, Joe will guide you with the approach of story first and then the music to serve the written word. This class is geared towards entry level songwriting, but anyone can benefit from the process. Bring a spiral ring notebook, a pen or pencil, and recording device. Bring an instrument, too – if you want, although it’s not required.
Bongo & Shaker!
Levels 1-3So cool is that mighty little pair of drums from the musically rich island country of Cuba. They have been a centerpiece in Joe’s percussion toolkit for decades and now after having visited Cuba, Joe knows more about the place of their birth and how they live there today. Portable and versatile, they fit into a wide variety of music. Joe will cover tuning, care and feeding, cover a couple basic patterns used in Afro-Cuban rhythms, plus lopes (popular in old time music), two beats and swing rhythms. Joe will be bringing as many pairs of bongo as possible, but there will be a limited number. Joe will also give you a crash course on the highly expressive egg shaker – and that ain’t no yolk. Ritmo Grande! Bongos available to borrow, but register early… class size is limited. THIS YEAR Joe will have some of his pro bongos for sale!
You’re On! Performance & Connecting With Your Audience
All LevelsThe minute you share your music with any one person or a group, whether on stage or not, you’re on! How do you look? What do you say between your tunes/songs? How do you handle “mistakes”? Inattentive listeners? Distractions? The list goes on. You want to feel that your music “speaks for itself” but your ability to connect that music to your audience can play quite an important role in selling your story to others. Some call it “vibe”, some call it “presence”, some call it “sales” and one can say it’s all these things and more. Joe will facilitate the group in a very supportive, encouraging session of learning from each other while addressing fears, confidence and connection through communication. And that’s more than just playing the music “correctly”. So come on down…’cause ya can’t win if ya don’t enter!
Lisa Burns / Upright Bass
Lisa Burns has been playing and singing for as long as she can remember. She took up the guitar at age 12 but when she started studying upright bass in 1994 she found her true calling. Lisa has been a finalist for Northern California Bluegrass Society’s Bass Player of the year each year since the award was instituted. She has won the award 5 out of 10 years: 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2019. Her main band, Sidesaddle & Co., was named NCBS Band of the Year for 2008. Lisa performs regularly with several bands, including Sidesaddle & Co., Michelle Kiba and the TikiTones, and Grace Clark and Swingitude. Lisa has been seen on stages throughout the West, including Wintergrass (Tacoma, WA), the Strawberry Music Festival (Yosemite, CA), Summergrass (San Diego, CA), the California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Festival (Grass Valley, CA) and the Rawhide Bluegrass Festival (Scottsdale, AZ). Her recordings include projects with Sherry Austin (Santa Cruz), Last Transit (San Diego), Mary McCaslin (Santa Cruz), Sharon Allen (Santa Cruz), and of course, Sidesaddle & Co. (San Jose, CA). She is also releasing her first solo recording, produced by Jayme Kelly Curtis. Lisa’s easy-going and patient manner, has won her many fans as a bass teacher, conducting bass workshops from many California music festivals to private homes. She has also taught at the California Bluegrass Association’s Music Camp.
So, you want to be in a band
But, how do you go about making that happen? Here is the secret: Play the Bass! Within a few months you will have people knocking on your door. Your musical life will take off, guaranteed! So, take a look at these class offerings to get you started:
Beginning Bass for Bluegrass, Blues and Folk
We will cover good posture, playing position, left and right hand technique, while working on appropriate bass lines for each of these styles. We will cover Bluegrass fiddle tunes and Bluegrass singing songs in several different keys. We will cover passing tones (bass runs), scales, walking bass and different time signatures. We will cover appropriate bass lines for the Blues and for Americana tunes. No prior knowledge of the Bass is required.
What the Folk? Bass for Folkies, Singer Songwriters and Beyond
This course will be tailored to the students. We will cover bass lines appropriate for each style. We will cover pedal point, some arco (with a blow) playing as well as arranging for singer/songwriters.
Bluegrass Slow Jam
A slow jam is just what it sounds like — songs played S-L-O-W-L-Y in friendly keys, with patient help from the instructors to learn the tunes, and guaranteed fun. We will cover how to lead a song, how to accompany the leader, how to take a break and more. Bring ideas for songs you want to learn or work on leading. A few songs will also be provided!
Other Bass Line Rhythms
(Bass Players & Percussionists)
Tired of 1-5, 1-5, 1-5, 1-5…? Have you tried Bossa Nova? Calypso? Slow Blues? Shuffle? Walking? Let’s try some syncopations, y’all! Bring your bass, and maybe a recording device. Fun, fun, fun! Drummers welcome!
Catfish Jack Chauvin / Harmonica
Catfish Jack has been teaching the joy of playing the harmonica for over 25 years. Inspired by the Chicago Blues Legends James Cotton and Little Walter, Catfish soon found his own way in the Bay Area Blues scene. He later fell in love with the country blues playing of Sonny Terry and Charlie McCoy. That took Jack to Austin, Texas where he began sitting in with local favorite Ruthie Foster. Catfish is able to get students playing the simple folk tunes as well as helping students get that “bluesy” sound. In other words, “play the blues”! Jack specializes in helping students flourish in using their own unique sounds on the harmonica to blend with other musicians.
Get Hooked On Harmonica!
ALL ABOARD for an Amazing Foot-Stomping, Knee-Slapping Harmonica Fandango! The “people’s instrument” is calling all riders. This workshop is for the absolute beginner to the professionally curious. Now is the time to discover the magical secrets of the harmonica. For over 150 years the harmonica has been providing joy through out the world. Learn simple folk, pop and blues melodies. Create your own unique “train” sounds. The harmonica has been a proven stress reducer and latest studies show playing the harmonica help maintain a healthy lifestyle. All students will need a 10-hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C major. So put a smile on your face and let’s play!
Playing Harmonica on the Rack
Neil Young, Jack Bruce, Jimmy Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Slim Harpo, Billy Joel, Jimmie Fadden? What do they all have in common? They all play guitar, bass, piano, drums and the harmonica and at the same time! Who needs a band? Now you can too!
Your trusted guide Catfish Jack is here to lead the way. Learn to play simple folk songs, wail the blues, or accompany yourself singing your original songs. Here’s your chance to learn the “tricks of the trade”. You’ll explore playing harmonica on the rack in first and second positions. Come discover your inner Dylan (or maybe not!) So grab your guitar, bass, keyboard, mandolin, or drums and your harmonica (a diatonic harp in the key of C please) and let’s get rocking!
This is it folks, your chance to get down and dirty with the harmonica. Well, maybe just quickly learn how to play the Mississippi Saxophone. Get down with Single notes, Chugging (not beer), your own Train Sound, and of course the magical Wah-Wah. These techniques will allow you to play the harmonica..now! Playing the Harmonica is Fun and Good for you! Find a ten hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C and let’s do this!
Play Well With Others; The Art of the Jam
A little nervous about playing with other musicians? Don’t worry! It can be a terrifying experience! Catfish Jack is here to gently guide you through the process. What key is the song in? Do I take a solo? Me, sing? When should I play, when should I not play? (that’s the real question!)These concepts will be thoroughly explained in this workshop. You’ll discover how brave you really are! Easy to use techniques like asking the person next to you “hey, what key are we in?” So come on down and let’s start jamming!
This is where you’ll discover your…wait for it… Tone. Yes, that mysterious sound that makes every harp player unique. We’ll explore the art of bending which is the heart of playing the blues on the harmonica. You’ll experience how the blues scale can be an endless source of improvisational ideas. So grab all your harps and let’s begin the journey to master your Tone.
Tom Corbett / Mandolin, Guitar
It was his father’s Vega banjo-mandolin that inspired 11-year-old Tom Corbett to start picking on old-time standards and absorbing the sounds of Bill Monroe as well as newgrass mando gods like Sam Bush and David Grisman.
Those seminal influences can still be heard in his soulful playing. After relocating from his native Ohio to California, high-profile stints with acclaimed folk-bluegrass festival faves the Acousticats and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, multi-instrumentalist John McEuen’s entertaining String Wizards band earned him accolades and a loyal following. He’s consistently active on L.A.’s acoustic music scene, playing mandolin and guitar with numerous acts onstage, including Robin & Linda Williams. Tom joined McEuen, Jimmy Ibbotson and singers Jennifer Warnes and Laurie Lewis in the award-winning 2002 DVD Nitty Gritty Surround. More recently he even took on one of those only-in-L.A. jobs: teaching TV/film star Tom Selleck how to play ukulele for a role in a play!
After years of earning respect from peers and audiences for playing behind better-known artists, Tom stepped into the spotlight as bandleader and songwriter with several CDs to his credit. Once again he brings his fun and infectious spirit back to RiverTunes!
“Few musicians can pull off in the studio the kind of live joy [Toms’ Tonight I Ride] exudes.” ~ SingOut! Magazine
Visit Tom’s website at tomcorbett.net
(Turned Up to Eleven)
This class will push you out of your intermediate complacency to rise as a Champion of Improvement. You should be comfortable with multiple chord forms and scales and the ability to play and accompany fiddle tunes and songs. The goal will be to expand your mandolin brain to tell your fingers they could be doing so much more with their time. MMGA “Make Mandolins Great Again”
Flat-Pick Bluegrass & Country Guitar
This core class will ignite your fiery flat-picking flourishes with handouts and musical examples using Bluegrass & Country for our kindling’. Lead, rhythm and cross-picking examples to expand your skills and give others even more reasons to want to be you.
If you woke up this morning you might have the blues which will come in handy if you want to attend this blues mandolin workshop and learn “so I’ve got the blues, how can I apply it to my mandolin playing?” Rhythm, Bass lines, Blues Scales and Turn Arounds will be explored so if your “Man or Women done left you” or you were “Born Under a Bad Sign”… you’ll know what to do.
Theory for Dummies
(And Other Smart Folks)
It’s back out of popular demand! Tom’s “Dummies for Theory” will try to erase the fuzziness of music theory from your brain and hopefully turn on a light bulb or two so when you’re on Jeopardy and the subject is “I’ll take ‘E7 flat 9’ for $40”, you’ll be able to hit the buzzer “what is E-G#-B-D and F”. Don’t be diminished, get off your flat five and dominant your musical knowledge because then, you’ll…(wait for it)…be sharp. Make it a true daily double, if you dare.
but everyone is welcome
If your “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” or you find yourself “Rolling On the River” or having to “Stop in the Name of Love” you may have a problem. Or maybe as “My Mamma told me,” “You Better Stick Around” because you’ll be learning Motown classics in this “Barry Gordy” inspired Soul Hootenanny. Fun for young and old alike. Choreographed dancing encouraged…wardrobe not provided. Tom’s “Hoot” workshops are legendary and highly recommended for the squeamish and non-squeamish.
Kimberly Ford / Vocals
Kimberly Ford is a nationally touring artist with her Joni Mitchell tribute band, Dreamland. Their Spring tour in April will include a performance and the world renowned Kennedy Center in DC. She Co-directs the Santa Barbara Jazz Workshop; a big band jazz workshop which is held for a week each summer in Santa Barbara. Kimberly also teaches at Kim Richmond’s “Northwoods Jazz Camp,” each year in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She has been a featured instructor at Joe Craven’s Vocali Voice Camp in Colfax, CA.
Notably, Kimberly developed a voice therapy and public speaking program for the international Paralympic Winter Games which is still in use.
Her musical background includes studies in light opera, R&B, Country, Bluegrass and Jazz. She has produced 4 of her own CDs, as well as lent her voice to numerous other projects, both as a vocalist and as a voice over artist for documentary films. She has also acted in numerous documentary and educational films.
Kimberly has recorded and performed extensively during her multi-decades career with such notables as Kim Richmond, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, and Joe Craven.
Kimberly makes her home in Santa Barbara, California.
Vocal Improvisation & Expression
All LevelsHow do we sing without words? We’ll address some of the fundamentals of taking a vocal solo, or ‘scatting’ in a song (which is making up a melody line with just syllables). It’s almost like creating your own language in the moment! You will learn to express yourself with new personalized melody lines both with and without words you know. It’s fun! We laugh a lot and importantly, find greater confidence in our personal vocal expression. We’ll also use both spoken word as well as sung word to explore and express poetry.
Ensemble Singing; Vocalizing Well With Others
All LevelsThis will be a comprehensive core on the art of singing in the canopy of others. Kimberly will cover 3 basic areas in this 3 day exploration:
- Circle Singing: A guided ensemble vocal exploration of all of the instrumental parts in a song, creating original compositions on the spot. Sometimes it’s brilliant and moving and sometimes it’s a bit of a train wreck, but we learn from it all and have juicy vocal takeaways from all of it.This is the party game everyone should have in their musical tool kit.
- Rounds: Learning to hold your part while other parts are moving around you can be magical while gaining an understanding of the process.
- Blending: Learning to blend your sound with the sounds of those around you is deep, rich work. Learning to adjust your personal tone to create that wonderful ensemble sound with others is musically life changing.
Songs of Joni Mitchell
What makes Joni Mitchell’s music so spellbinding? We will learn some of her tunings, her history and some of her artistic legacy. You’ll go away with a new appreciation for this great artist as well and your own Joni Mitchell song(s) you can share with friends and fans.
NOTE: Kimberly is the featured vocalist, guitarist and dulcimer player in the nationally touring band, “Dreamland,” who plays the music of Joni Mitchell. Kimberly is one of the best resources you’ll find anywhere for Joni’s catalog.
Intros, Outros & “In-Between-Tros” Vocal Lab
Do you get lost in a song? Have trouble knowing when to come in, when to allow for solos and for how long? How to start or end a tune? These are common problems. It’s not entirely your fault. We will tackle all of these things in this session and send you swaggering back to that campfire jam where you lost your confidence last night.
Harmony Singing; The Basics
What makes a meaningful harmony line? We will explore the fun and beauty of creating beautiful harmonies for songs we love. We will learn how to choose the right harmony lines at the right times to enhance a song. We’ll also discuss some tips on holding our parts.
Susie Glaze / Vocals
A native Tennessean, Susie grew up in the shadow of the Grand Ole Opry, learning the craft of country and bluegrass from a short distance by regular immersion of Flatt & Scruggs, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn among others. When just 16 she sang for her brother Rick’s writer’s nights song showcases in Nashville. New York audiences saw Susie’s Broadway debut when she played the role of the young Southern matriarch Mary Jane Wilkes in the original Broadway company of Roger Miller’s musical play Big River. During her two years with that company, Susie began researching the works of the pioneering artists who developed country, folk and bluegrass music from the early years in America and was led inevitably to the work of The Stanley Brothers, The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Doc Watson and Jean Ritchie among many others. After relocating to Southern California, Suzie has been recording and performing – from 2000 to the present – garnering praise and awards. As an educator, Susie specializes in the production of acapella singing she calls “The Art of the Unaccompanied Voice” and she has presented lecture demonstrations at USC Thornton School of Music and at Cal State Northridge on “Balladry to Bluegrass”. A current specialist in performance and historian on the work of Jean Ritchie, Susie is a writer for FolkWorks.com online. Her articles have also been cross-published in part online at NoDepression.com.
“A flat out superb vocalist… Glaze delivers warm, amber-toned vocals that explore the psychic depth of a lyric with deft acuity and technical perfection.”
— LA Weekly
Visit Susie’s website at susieglaze.com
That Acapella Voice with a Beat!
What does it take to deliver a song without accompaniment? Acapella singing is always a stand-out for the unique properties of the unaccompanied voice.This class goes to the heart of the essentials for singing and performing a capella, with songs coming from contemporary sources and older ones. Bring your favorite songs to sing and share! We’ll work on ear training, breath control, tone placement and emotional connection. This year we’re adding percussion elements to our core, so bring your shakers, tambourines, spoons, whatever moves you! Song sheets, handouts and FUN will be provided, but students are urged to bring in song material of their own. Let’s go there and do this!!
Craft Your Act: Stage Prep & Show Readiness
Levels 2-4 *
Get your act together and take it on the road! This core class will be about picking songs for a show set, how to order them and why, where to add harmony and why, along with core techniques on harmony and vocal production. This core will show you how to choose songs for a set, plan, rehearse and perform like a pro! We’ll even talk about stage patter, introductions and more. Students bring in between 3-5 tunes, original or cover songs, and we’ll make your act into a polished, ready-to-perform set, either solo or with a group. If you have a group at camp, all members must take the core together. Let’s get you sounding great and ready to rock!
* NOTE: If you’re a beginner on your instrument, leave it in your tent but come and sing with us. Why? Because you can! And it’s fun, dagnabbit.
From Bill Monroe to Alison Krauss, Come to the Bluegrass Sing!
Levels 2-4 *
If you’ve ever wondered what “that High Lonesome sound” was, you’ll find it in the songs of the legends of Bluegrass, from Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, to modern voices like Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. Bring your instruments and join us for a real bluegrass jam! Song sheets and banjo jokes will be provided!
Pete Seegar and Woody Guthrie Meet at the Folk Hoot!
If “This Land is Your Land” and “If I Had a Hammer” met and had a family, this is what this workshop will be about! A real folk revival will be in session as we spiritedly share the songs of the passion of folk festivals and camp fire hoedowns! Song sheets and handouts will be provided.
Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Carter Family Songs We Love!
Levels 2-4 *
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken, by and by, lord, by and by…” “Hello Stranger, put your loving hand in mine…” “My Dixie Darlin’, listen to the song I sing….” The Carter Family songs are some of the most beloved country songs you’ll ever sing. We’ll have us a true Carter family jam session! Fried chicken will not be provided, but song sheets and napkins will! Come join us!
* NOTE: If you’re a beginner on your instrument, leave it in your tent but come and sing with us. Why? Because you can! And it’s fun, dagnabbit.
Steve Gust / Cajon (Percussion)
Steve began taking drum lessons at age ten. Steve’s studies led him down the path of rudimental playing with a strong interest in drum and bugle corps. He began playing professionally in the bay area and southern Oregon at seventeen. In the mid-1980’s Steve became interested in Scottish Highland drumming and joined the Eugene Highlanders Bagpipe Band performing at highland games throughout the northwest. For the past eight years, he has performed with several artists in the greater Sacramento area.
You can watch and listen to Steve here: brucetuttle.com/claydogs-friends
The Cajon & BEYOND; Thinking (and Playing) Outside the Box
Levels 2-3Steve will, once again, be teaching a core class on, but not limited to, the box drum. He’ll explore the history of this versatile percussion instrument from Peru, and the class will concentrate on two widely used rhythms: train beat and shuffle. Steve will teach proper posture and valuable exercises to enhance the student’s learning experience. The class will also take a look at some accessories to add different textures and sounds created by this instrument. There will be some cajons available to borrow and please feel free to bring your own instrument to the class. Class size is limited, please register early!
Advanced Cajon Workshop
Levels 3-4In this advanced cajon workshop, Steve will focus on developing advanced skills to accompany solo acoustic musicians in two basic rhythms: “train beats,” and shuffles in 4/4 time. He will present more complex patterns on the cajon. The workshop will stress listening to the music and finding the “groove” without overpowering the instrument(s) being accompanied. Steve will share his belief that good percussion is a support role and requires a gentle approach…never obtrusive or in the forefront. There will be instruments to play and share. Prior cajon experience will be a great help.
Introduction to the Amazing, Versatile Cajon
All levels, but intended for beginnersNew this year, Steve offers an “Introductory Workshop” to performance percussion featuring the cajon. He will demonstrate basic percussion accompaniment on various types and styles of shakers and on cajon. Emphasis will be placed on learning downbeat and upbeat in 4/4 time and working with other musicians (or a metronome!) to keep a steady tempo. This workshop is open to all skill levels, but will be intended for beginners.
Michael Gutin / Piano Accordion
Michael Gutin plays the piano accordion in a wide variety of musical styles which he has developed in over five decades of performing as a soloist and with various bands including his most recent dance band project “Michael’s Mixed Nuts.” According to Michael, “The accordion is really just a portable pump organ with a unique sound!” It’s great when played as a self-accompanied solo instrument or in ensemble as a wonderful complement to just about any other instrument or voice. He has joyously introduced folks to the accordion – those with some prior knowledge of the piano and those who are just drawn to this really fun and remarkably versatile instrument. And Michael can show you how the keyboard accordion can tastefully and beautifully fit into any type of Americana roots music!
A guest soloist with the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra, Michael has performed and conducted workshops at many festivals and music camps including the Strawberry Music Festival, Live Oak Music Festival, High Sierra Festival, Contra Carnivale Music and Dance Festival. Michael plays Cajun, Zydeco, Swing, and Rock and Roll tunes at the Palace Grill Cajun Restaurant in his home town of Santa Barbara, California where he has performed weekly for over fifteen years. We’re delighted to have Michael bring his wonderful teaching spirit to RiverTunes with this new – and really fun – instrument addition to our offerings.
Piano Accordion From Scratch
Michael gives you the chance to strap on a piano accordion and get you right down to learning how to play it! Our Accordion Jedi Knight will provide several accordions of different sizes (appropriate for both large and small people). In a short amount of time you will learn what all of those keys, buttons, bellows, and switches do, and you will be making music before you know it. This class is perfect for the person who has never played an accordion before, as well as for the person who has some previous experience and wants to get better at it. Each daily session will progress so that by the end of camp you will be able to actually play some tunes and maybe even sing along while you play.
NOTE; Loaner accordions will be provided for classroom use only – or you can BYOA (bring your own accordion).
Beyond Scratch Accordion
The next step! This class will be custom tailored to the ability level of the individuals who attend and Michael will concentrate on what those folks want, and need, to learn most. For folks who would like to progress on from the elementary “from scratch” playing level. Michael will get students right into working on right hand keyboard techniques, left hand bass button runs, bellows control for volume and expression, and other special things to make accordion playing really, really cool. In the 2019 version of this class, you’ll be amazed what you’re going to learn in 3 days!
NOTE; Loaner accordions will be provided for classroom use only – or you can BYOA (bring your own accordion).
Keyboard Accordion – Your 1st Date
Levels 1-2You might be nervous and we understand. The accordion comes from a good family and is a cheap date because you can just show up without any financial investment. Just let Michael strap one on and, who knows, the two of you might be making beautiful music together in a lifelong relationship. (You and the accordion, of course, not Michael).
Levels 3-4Already playing accordion? Feeling ready to move beyond beginning accordion? Then come on down! Michael is proud to take you to the next level wherever that might be for you. He’s got your back and the “keys” to the next rung on the accordion ladder.
Accordions & Melodicas; A Piano in Your Hand!
All LevelsHey there!!! … all you people who can already play a little (or maybe a lot) of piano…. Come and try out two different keyboard operated wind instruments that sound really cool, are fun to play, and are extremely portable. Michael will get you going right away and teach you some easy tunes on a keyboard accordion and/or a melodica. He will provide several keyboard accordions of different sizes appropriate for different size people, and also a few melodicas. This workshop is great also for those people who don’t necessarily play piano, but who wanted to try out an accordion during the Accordion From Scratch core class and were busy taking a different core during that time. Come try out an accordion and a melodica, and learn some tunes, too!
Hawkeye Herman / Guitar
With over 50 years of performing experience, Michael “Hawkeye” Herman exemplifies the range of possibilities in acoustic blues, and personifies versatile musicianship, originality, and compelling artistry as a blues storyteller. Hawkeye HermanHis dynamic performances have won him a faithful following, and he leads a very active touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school programs, and workshops. Hawkeye performs a wide variety of traditional blues, ballads, swing, and original tunes, on six-string and twelve-string guitar, and is an adept and exciting practitioner of slide guitar and slide mandolin.
Visit Hawkeye’s website at hawkeyeherman.com
Intermediate Slide Guitar
Levels 2-4You CAN express yourself freely and creatively on slide guitar. You will learn quick start skills that will expand your guitar playing for years to come. Learn techniques that will allow you to comfortably play slide guitar with confidence, originality, and satisfaction. Have fun and enjoy the process of learning/playing and expressing yourself on slide guitar. (Not for beginners.)
Intermediate Blues Guitar – Rhythm & Lead
Levels 2-4Gain a better understanding & deepen your personal resource of ‘good choices’ in playing creative, solid, & tasty blues guitar accompaniment & lead. (Not for beginners.) You CAN express yourself freely and creatively. You’ll learn quick start skills learn and more advanced scales and techniques that will allow you to comfortably play blues guitar with confidence, originality, and satisfaction that will expand your guitar playing for years to come. Have fun and enjoy the process of learning/playing and expressing yourself on blues guitar. (Not for beginners.)
Down By The Riverside – Songs of Peace, Hope, Freedom & Inspiration
Group play and sing-along of ‘good vibes’ songs for uplifting good times and creating a sense of unity and community through making music. This session comes with a supplied songbook. Beginners & all levels welcome are welcome. All instruments are welcome. (Knowledge of basic chords is highly recommended, but not required.)
How To Transpose a Song Into Any Key (With or Without a Capo)
Are you tired and exasperated about your singing songs in keys that are not appropriate for your own vocal range, too high, or too low, for you? In this workshop we’ll learn how to find where your own vocal range is, and how to transpose the chords of songs to keys most appropriate for your own voice, with and/or without a capo. All levels and instruments are welcome.
Cruise the Blues with Songs You Can Use – Blues Repertoire
This is a blues repertoire session. Group play and sing-along. Learning to play/sing along on ‘classic’ blues songs. Back by popular demand. In this class you will expand your musical repertoire by learning to sing and play a variety of ‘classic’ and well-known blues songs. This workshop features a supplied songbook. Basic understanding of blues accompaniment and blues song/chord formats is necessary for this class. NOT for beginners.
Sylvia Herold / Guitar
Sylvia Herold brings to RiverTunes a deep enthusiasm and knowledge of jazz, swing, and folk songs. Researching songs and developing guitar arrangements fuels her artistic passion. Herold loves to share that enthusiasm and, with more than 30 years teaching experience, has developed a unique method to help students advance. Her teaching credentials include California Coast Music Camp, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, BC Swing, Colorado Roots Music Camp, and Ashokan Acoustic Guitar Camp. Her performance credits include Cats & Jammers and the Hot Club of San Francisco. She currently performs with Wake the Dead and the Sylvia Herold Ensemble.
Introduction to Swing Guitar
Levels 3-4Learn to play and sing easy jazz and swing songs in this supportive and fun class. Pick up new chord shapes and hone your right-hand swing feel. You’re ready for this class if you know first-position chords (A, C, G, D, etc.)
Adventurous Folk Guitar
Levels 3-4Sing and play moody traditional folk song and the cream of modern songwriters. Guitar arrangements will be approachable but with an eye to mastering open-sounding chords, power strums, riffs, bass lines, and more.
Learn Two Scales for Guitar
Levels 2-3You know chords; now start exploring the melodic side of your instrument. We’ll take it slow and easy as we drill two major scale patterns you’ll be using for the rest of your life!
Strumming Patterns For Guitar
Levels 1-3Get your right hand grooving in this hands-on workshop. We’ll tackle several essential strumming patterns and apply them to songs we’ll sing and play.
How To Make, Use and Share Chord Charts
Levels 3-4Learn to make chord charts that are easy to read and follow. “Box charts” were born in the jazz world but they work for any style song. You don’t need to read music to make high-quality charts that you and other musicians will appreciate.
Snap Jackson / Banjo, Ukulele
In July of 2006, after hearing John Hartford’s Mark Twang album, singer-songwriter, Snap Jackson, walked into a music store in Stockton, California and purchased his first banjo. He has been obsessing over it ever since. Aside from playing both Scruggs Style and clawhammer banjo, Snap also plays the ukulele, blues harmonica, and mountain dulcimer. In recognition of his efforts, Snap received the Male Vocalist of Year Award in 2015, in addition to nominations in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for the Northern California Banjo Player of the Year award. He also received an endorsement deal in 2011 with both the Deering Banjo Company and Kala Brand Ukuleles. When he is not on the road fronting his band, Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players, he can be found at home playing the banjo and spending time with his family. Some of Snap’s major influences include: John Hartford, Nina Simone, Tony Trischka, Jerry Garcia, Earl Scruggs, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder.
Visit Snap’s website at knockonwoodplayers.com
Beginning to Intermediate Fingerpicking on the 5-String Banjo
Levels 1-3Join me as we unlock the many finger picking mysteries of the wonderful 5-string banjo! We will touch on many things ranging from, but not limited to, finger picking patterns, chords, back up techniques, how to read banjo tablature, etc! The only requirement is a banjo that stays in tune and your inquisitive mind! Finger picks are recommended, but not a must.
Oldtime Banjo; Beginning to Intermediate Clawhammer / Frailing style
Levels 1-3Often times referred to as frailing, or clawhammer, this soulful and rhythmic style of playing is one of the definitive sounds of oldtime music and is often heard being played in a wide range of styles in the acoustic music scene. This hypnotically percussive style of banjo playing is played with the bare fingers, so no finger picks are required. We will learn and discuss chords, percussive patterns, back up, alternate tunings, and the overall dynamics of this beautiful style of banjo playing.
Clawhammer Techniques for Ukulele
Back by popular demand! We will work on applying techniques to the ukulele that are commonly used in clawhammer banjo playing, bringing a fresh new voice to your uke. Worksheets will be given out with patterns for you to take home and practice. Don’t forget to bring your uke!
Finger Picking Patterns & Applications for the Ukulele
Stuck in a rut on your little 4 string winder? Come hang out! We will learn and discuss various finger picking patterns that can be applied to the already amazing world of the ukulele! Utilizing chords that that are already in your repertoire, these picking patterns will add flare and versatility to your playing. We will also touch upon slides, hammer ons, and pull offs.
Office Hours with Snap
Snap will offer a group session with each student allowed several minutes to pose a question about something in particular or a review about something learned in either banjo core or ukulele workshop. This is meant to benefit all present and Snap will move quickly to address your questions.
Shane Kalbach / Mandolin, Fiddle
Shane Kalbach is a man of many talents. Since receiving his Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from California State University, Sacramento, Kalbach has become a respected player in the California music scene. Aside from playing fiddle, mandolin, and guitar in the Knock on Wood Players, Kalbach played principle viola for both the Merced Symphony and The Townsend Opera Players. Despite his busy schedule, Shane has remained very active in various youth music programs including the La Honda Music Camp, Pacific Music Camp, The Central Valley Youth Symphony, where he is the conductor of the Preparatory Orchestra. Shane is also a dedicated music teacher throughout the Lincoln Unified School District in Stockton, CA. For any of you out there looking to study with Shane, he is available for private lessons at Main Street Music in Tracy, CA. Shane’s list of major influences is way too long to list here and is ever changing.
Level 1New to the mandolin? Trying it out to see if you like it? Already play another instrument and want to add the mando to your arsenal? You’ve come to the right place! Shane will give you a great introduction to the 8 winged wonder & how to survive in a jam on the mandolin.
Beyond Beginning Fiddle
Levels 2-3You’ve got basic bowing down and can play some notes and 2, 3 basic scales. Let’s learn some tunes and refine the basics! You already know how awesome the fiddle is, now let’s go on in a little deeper… heck yeah!
Bow Basics For Fiddlers
Exercises and techniques for using the bow. Shuffle patterns and the “chop” technique will be introduced. Learn exercises for better bow hold, tone and control. Take a bow, you fiddlin’ rock star!
Finding the Melody On The Fly
This popular workshop provides tools, tips and tricks for finding the melody of a song when you’re in a jam session. All instruments and voices are welcome!
Office Hours with Shane
Shane will offer a group session with each student allowed several minutes to pose a question about something in particular or a review about something learned in either his Fiddle Core or Mandolin core. This is meant to benefit all present and Shane will move quickly to address your questions.
Michelle Kiba / Ukulele
Michelle is a nationally known ukulele player, teacher, hula dancer who enjoys sharing her love of the ukulele along with the Hawaiian culture. She sings and plays ukulele as a music educator, entertainer and music therapist. She has performed and taught nationally and abroad at many major ukulele festivals and music camps. Her workshop and concert tours include; ‘Ukulele Hall of Fame Rhode Island, McCabes Santa Monica, the San Antonio Ukulele Festival, the Mid-West Uke Fest, Indiana, Portland Ukulele Festival, California Coast Music Camp, American River Music Camp, Nihon Ukulele Association Tokyo Japan, Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay Australia. Michelle has taught weekly classes for over 25 years at the Santa Cruz Art League, Yu-Ai Kai Japanese Community Center in San Jose. She is a credentialed adult education instructor and is currently on staff with the Community Music School in the Santa Cruz. Michelle has written and produced a number of ukulele songbooks and CDs on her own label Big Idea Records.
Visit Michelle’s website at UkaLady.com.
Ukulele For First Timers
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play the ukulele but need a little guidance to get started this class is for you. No musical experience needed. We’ll learn how to hold your instrument correctly using healthy ergonomics, how to tune, proper finger placement and of course some easy but fun tunes. All students are encouraged to bring a music stand, a pen for note taking, and a recording device (tape recorder, or memo recorder app on your cell phone).
Don’t have a ukulele? No problem, I will have 3 extra ukuleles available as loaners. (first dibs claims one – see me at the Tiki Lounge). Also see Dana (Music Caravan) for a “Loan to Own” ukulele.
Beyond Beginning Ukulele Repertoire
If you’ve been playing ukulele for a while and want to move forward with more complex chords, left and right hand techniques applied to cool swing, Hawaiian, pop and more, this class will be your ticket to the next level of playing. We’ll talk a bit about theory and transposing and how and when to use a capo. And it’s big fun too! Amaze all your friends and family with the super charged packet of tunes you’ll receive in this class.
If you have costuming for a Roaring 20’s student performance, bring it to camp. Think Gatsby or flapper girl.
Students should be sure to bring a pencil for taking notes, and a recording device (voice recorder app on your cell phone) and a music stand.
Snazzy, Jazzy Swing for Crooners
Levels 3-4Let’s explore the world of classic jazz and Swing standards and maybe a Bossa Nova or two. If you’ve already been playing for a while, jump in. Fun, challenging and geeky but Oh So Cool! Students should be sure to bring a pencil for taking notes, and a recording device (voice recorder app on your cell phone) and a music stand.
Wanna Get To Know the Ukulele? Come On Down!
Level 1This class is my one time afternoon ukulele intro for first timers. If you’ve been curious about learning the basics of playing ukulele this class is the perfect opportunity to start out right. I’ll give you the solid foundation to try the ukulele. Plus you’ll get several charts of easy to play songs. Don’t have a ukulele? No problem, I will have 3 extra ukuleles available as loaners. (first dibs claims one – see me at the Tiki Lounge). Also see Dana (Music Caravan) for a “Loan to Own” ukulele.
Michelle Lovrich / West African & Caribbean Percussion
“Rhythm is free and is in everything. My goal is to show people they can feel, play and have fun with rhythm!”
In addition to her monthly community drum circle in Oregon, nowIn addition to music performance, Michelle enjoys her time helping others discover the joy of rhythm through facilitating community drum circles and teaching West African style drum classes. Michelle hosts a monthly community drum circle in Oregon, now going on 10 years. Michelle can be found regularly packing up her van with drums and percussion instruments to deliver fun filled drum and rhythm circle experiences to all sorts of groups including schools, camps, festivals, community events and private parties. The beauty of the drums is that they bring people together wherever they go… regardless of race, language, age, skill level or status. The drum circle levels the playing field in a simple nonverbal way that all can instantly enjoy and become a part of. Michelle’s extensive study of the traditional West African rhythms of Guinea and Senegal include teachers such as master drummers Mamady Keita, Bobby Bovenzi, and Mamadou Lamine Thioub. Her study of rhythm led her to a path of bringing community together in rhythm. Studying with the likes of Arthur Hull, Kalani, David Chiller, and Remo Health Rhythms, Michelle has collected a wealth of rhythmical knowledge that she uses to show a group how to find a common pulse to provide a solid rhythmical foundation for individual improvisation and exploration.
Visit Michelle’s website at drumcircleconnection.com.
Rhythm, Hand Drum & Percussion Fun-da-mentals & Beyond
NOT FOR DRUMMERS ONLY! Rhythm is the backbone of all music. A deeper understanding and feel for rhythm will enhance any music you play. This class is designed to help you feel, play and connect with rhythm while helping you gain an understanding of the important foundational rhythmic principles underlying all music which can be used for learning or creating simple to fuller rhythms.You’ll explore a variety of rhythms on Michelle’s colorful palette of drums and percussion instruments from around the world. She will also be showing you how to play drum brushes on pizza boxes to complete your toolbox of well rounded percussion spice bag essentials. Michelle will be giving a little extra attention in this class to Latin rhythm and percussion. You’ll learn a variety of different clave patterns as well as rhythms for the conga, bongo, cajon, quiro, cow bell, cabasa and maracas. Michelle adds a new rhythmic layer each day leading up to an orchestrated ensemble that will be performed by the class!
West African Style Percussion & Ensemble
Come experience the joy of layering simple, ancient polyrhythms with a group! Michelle will be breaking down the intricate pieces of West African style rhythms step by step and providing instruction on the djembe, dun-dun (bass drum), shakere and double bell. Michelle adds a new rhythmic layer each day leading up to an orchestrated ensemble that will be performed by the class! Each class also includes rhythm games and exercises designed to sharpen your timing, tonalization, improvisation and solo techniques. Michelle can show you how to apply these rhythms to any instrument you play. A fun musical and community building experience.
Hand Drum Playshop
Drums & Percussion Instruments provided
Michelle will demonstrate and give instruction on hand drum technique on a variety of hand drums including djembe, cajon, conga, bongo and doumbek. Then you’ll get to play these instruments in a facilitated rhythm circle jam A groovy good time!
Drum and Rhythm Circle
Drums and Percussion Instruments provided
Michelle will have her wonderful collection of drums and percussion instruments from around the world available for you to use as she facilitates a social circle of rhythmic exploration and play. She’ll incorporate rhythm games that help enhance listening, timing, and dynamics as well as provide ideas for improvisation and creating your own rhythms.
One of the most satisfying and important components of music making, is understanding – by truly feeling and seeing with others – the rhythm of organized sound. Doing this in a circle with others is significant, helpful and powerful. Remember that hand drumming and other percussion expression makes us better musicians on ALL instruments. Experience the joy of community music making while playing with rhythm. Be prepared to relax, smile and have fun!
Linda McRae / Songwriting
Former Member of Spirit of the West and British Columbia’s Hall of Fame Pioneer Artist Linda McRae is a storyteller with a touring career spanning three decades. Her unforgettable melodies and thought-provoking lyrics, imbued with compassion, love and wonder, carve their way into the heart. Her musicianship on banjo, guitar and accordion distinguish her as one of the true, soulful pioneers of honest roots music. She is also an experienced and empathetic teacher presenting her Express Yourself Writing Workshops in partnership with festivals, youth and adult correctional facilities and recovery facilities.
Her latest release, GOING TO THE WELL, is a courageously stripped to the bone recording, the bulk of which features McRae on acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals. Rounding out the recording are: Gurf Morlix on guitar/vocals, Bill Kirchen on guitar/vocals Shara Gustafson on bg’s and Deni Gauthier on guitar.
Music critic John Apice of No Depression, “There is a Linda McRae sound…like a bottle of wine that has been hidden in a cool damp cellar for 75 years and only recently was uncorked.”
More at lindamcrae.com
Songwriting with Intent
We are all connected but we are also uniquely individual and have our own stories to tell. Let’s explore ways to find your unique voice, mine those stories and tell them in a way that will have your listener think “wow, that song is about me!”
Nashville Co-Writing Sessions
Calling all songwriters! Are you a songwriter who has never written with anyone else but would like to try? Are you a writer but don’t play an instrument? Do you play an instrument but find it really hard to write the words? Do you just want to find some new ideas lyrically and/or musically? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then this class is for you! Bring a pen or pencil and some paper and come do some co-writing.
Object Writing — Writer’s Block?
This writing technique is based on “sense bound writing” and will help generate descriptive ideas that are uniquely your own. By writing for a timed period anywhere from 1 – 10 minutes on a chosen subject using as many senses as possible your listener will be better able to get inside your song than if you just “tell” them about something. You’ll find more people saying, “Wow, that makes me think of the time when…”
Performance: From Light Bulb Moment to Stage Lights!
Do I believe you? What are you singing about? Are you connecting with the emotional content in your song? Let me help you find your true, unique voice and connect with the meaning of your song. Being open, honest and “inhabiting” your song can’t help but connect you with your audience.
Finish What You Started
Do you have stacks of unfinished songs taking over your living space and your head-space? Do you have a song that’s almost done but it’s just not quite “speaking” to you yet? Let me help you figure it out. Please bring a copy of the lyric to one song you’re having trouble with and let’s see if we can get it to where it wants to be.
Sheridan Malone / Ukulele, Vocals
Sheridan Malone is a singer/songwriter from Ukiah, California back for his seventh year at RiverTunes. He’s been a popular teacher of vocal technique and harmony, and plays ukulele, guitar, and upright bass. He loves to play ensemble, especially with multi-part harmony. In addition to RiverTunes Camp, he’s taught workshops at Ukiah Ukefest, Ukes On The Loose, California Bluegrass Association Camp, Walker Creek Music Camp, El Cerrito Free Folk Festival, and an Art Stay voice and ukulele workshop at Emandal in Willits. He performs regularly around Northern California, and gives private voice lessons. Catch him in line or at table with several other singers, and you may be drawn into some acapella harmony!
Visit Sheridan’s website at sheridanmalone.com.
Beyond Strumming for Ukulele
Take your playing to the next level. In this ukulele class we give you some tools to not only improve your own self accompaniment, but add more fun to your playing in ensemble or jams. In this progressive class we’ll take a different approach every day for new skills. We’ll start with a roadmap in double stops for cool licks and leads, and finish with some arpeggio and simple finger styles, all done in the context of a song. We’ll even try some closed chord only tunes and make key changes up the neck.
Skill level: Intermediate and up. You should be able to play closed ( all 4 strings fretted) chord shapes for Bb, G, and D on your soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, and make chord changes easily. Color code fingerboard chart, and several tunes for jam circles with notation and tab will be provided.
Learn to Sing – The Fundamentals
(but others welcome)
Learning to generate sound and have control over it is a mystery to many. The path to successful vocal production is a process of discovering how our wonderful wind instrument really works, and then taking steps to set free our own true voice. In this progressive class we’ll start with the basics of breathing, posture, and warm-ups to produce all kinds of sounds. We’ll then learn to resonate freely, gain range, power and color. Then we’ll apply those techniques to singing vowels, words and phrases, and ultimately express them as a song that will feel as good to a listener as it does for you to sing it.
Sing one for Sheridan, and he’ll give you tips on how to improve, including ways to get consistent sound throughout a melody line, maintaining pitch, and delivering the lyric. You can also come to observe and support others being coached.
Cindy Murphy & Matt Linton / Cello
Cindy Murphy is a professional forensic examiner and semi-professional cellist of nearly 50 years from Madison, WI. She’s a business owner, recovering police detective, and classical cellist who now plays nearly anything including a little punk rock with her friends from Hoot’n Annie String Band.
Matt Linton is a professional forensic examiner and amateur cellist of 25 years. He’s played in symphonies and bluegrass bands alike, and has performed on stage at the Hollywood Bowl and Davies Hall with the International Space Orchestra, a symphony of space scientists and engineers.
Matt and Cindy have taught and collaborated with fellow Rivertuner Ryan Pittman (also a digital forensics guy) to co-author a paper called “Bits and Bytes: Striking the Right Chord in Digital Forensics” about all the ways playing music and learning an instrument helps brains work better. Click here for more.
Just the workshop this year.
Introduction to Folk Cello
Level 1The cello has been around for at least 500 years in classical & folk music, though the once common practice of using a bowed cello to accompany old fiddle tunes has faded over time. Now the cello is currently experiencing a modern comeback! This versatile instrument can take on many roles, from melody to harmony to bass line and with a little creativity, it also pitches in with percussion and sound effects… the cello can talk and laugh and sing! Cindy and Matt will guide you through the basics of this superhero stringed instrument, covering the basics such as tuning, basic left and right hand techniques, chops & rhythms, bowing a nice sound, etc,… Loaner cellos will be available for use during class time!
Patrice Webb /Guitar
Patrice Webb is a singer songwriter who’s life takes her from the back-roads of the Sierra Nevada to the hills of Northern Idaho where she lives with her husband and a family of 4 legged critters. Patrice’s songs tell of the lives of those who’s stories make up the vibrant tapestry known as “Americana”. These are songs that are sung in a voice full of poignancy and humor and are described as “snapshots in time told on a bed of folk, country, swing, and the blues.”
Patrice Webb’s song about domestic violence “No Where Else To Go” Receives an honorable mention in the Woody Guthrie Song Contest! The song can be found on Patrice’s CD “Turning of the Page”
Visit Patrice’s website at patricewebb.com
Beginning Guitar – Learning & Playing Beloved Folk Songs
Level 1Hey you! Are you a new guitar player wanting to get your folk thing going on? Can you play in the key of A,C,D,E and G? In this workshop we will learn tried and true folk songs heard in Jams Everywhere!!! We will strum, sing, and most important of all, we will do it together! Jam etiquette will also be covered!
Fingerpicking Style Blues; In the Beginning
Level 1In this class students will get back to the roots of folk music by going back to where it all started: The Blues! We will learn to get that thumb going on the bass while picking a melody with the fingers while learning some of the classic songs that make up blues, country blues and ragtime. Ability to play open chords easily in the five natural keys is needed and a bit of fingerpicking experience is a plus as well! Come and get the blues with us!
Rag Mama Rag!
Levels 3-4Journey back to the golden olden days of Ragtime Music and learn a tune er two from this treasured form of American music! Artists like the late great Reverend Gary Davis from North Carolina left us an incredible repertoire of music transposed from piano to the guitar. This style of guitar is elegant and earthy and Patrice brings it to RiverTunes for the first time! This class is for intermediate students and some ability to fingerpick is required!
Fingerpicking for Folk Singers
Levels 1-2In this class, Patrice will show you a couple of simple cyclic picking patterns that can be used to play 100s of folk songs. This is a workshop for those who are beginning singers and players and so all you singers who are wanting to get past the old “strum strummy strum” this is just the thing you need to put some blingin’ into your folk singin’! The workshop will cover both songs in 4/4 time as well as 3⁄4 time.
Songwriting for Swingers
All levelsAre you a swinger? Do you want to spice up your songwriting by making things SWING? In this workshop we will explore the song forms that make up this iconic style of music still loved and played today. The workshop will explore the chord progressions that are the basis for so many of our famous songs from the American Songbook and there will be a little creative writing exercise to help students start their journey into that “thang called SWING”!
Dave Emery / Yoga
All LevelsOur dear friend and fellow RiverTuner, Dave Emery, will be offering a 50-minute Gentle Vinyasa Yoga Class each day appropriate for all levels after the afternoon electives – from 5pm – 5:50pm. Come find some movement, breath and relaxation. It’s a perfect way to end a day of instruction and music making! Please bring a mat or beach blanket and water. There will also be a few loaner mats… first come first served.
The RiverTunes “Jam”boree
Each evening, RiverTuners head to designated campsites to kick off the first 1/2 hour of night time jamming with the “Jam”boree. Immediately following the evening performance activity, these different themed jams are kicked off by our teachers to facilitate a supportive jamming experience for all. Bluegrass, swing, hand drumming, song circle, the blues and more…Stay with one jam, stroll and sample or just hang out – it’s your choice! Any jam can go as long as there are folks to support it. The Tiki Lounge is also a traditional fav spot that can last well into the night. We just ask everyone to be respectful of pals close by who are already retired for the evening. There will be a schedule in this year’s handout guide at camp. Jam on, Pilgrim!
Gary & Sally Beese / Slow Jam
Sally and Gary will once again be our awesome RiverTunes Slow Jam hosts every night after the main activities. All levels and all instruments are welcome! The Beeses will keep it slow and easy so everyone can join in. If you have a solo you have been working on, it’s the perfect place to try it out. Also, the Slow Jam will help you get comfortable playing with and in front of others. They will play a lot of songs in G, C, and D, and some 2 chord songs. Gary and Sally can also help you with using a capo. They have loaner song books to keep whole group movin’, groovin’ and playin’ together. Be sure and visit them! RiverTunes loves Gary and Sally and we’re so grateful to them. They hope to see you there any, or every, night!