2018 Workshops

 

Scottish Fiddle Workshop with Ryan McKasson

Saturday, October 6th time 9:45-10:45am - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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Intermediate/advanced level. I will teach a traditional and a modern tune, if time permits, picking from either Jig, Reel, or Strathspey (possibly a slower tune depending on the level of the class as a whole and what people want). Generally, my teaching philosophy is to use these tunes as vehicles for teaching some of the key elements of emotionally charged and groove driven music. Particularly, this class will be about how to connect the emotion and/or groove to the notes in the tune. This may be regarding bowings, bow or breath management, and overall rhythmic themes and motifs that are common within Scottish music. But players of all instruments will get a lot out of this because I really like to show how I make a tune "feel", from a phrase-by-phrase point of view - getting down to the nitty-gritty of how to make a tune fit a groove, or how to connect the notes to create emotionally charged lines. All tunes will be taught by ear. Fiddle centric, but all instruments are welcome. Taught by Ryan McKasson

 

Rhythm Guitar Ideas

Saturday, October 6th 9:45-10:45am - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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In this workshop, we will explore different aspects of rhythm guitar accompaniment for fiddle tunes. This will include, bass lines, percussive hits, voice leading, and more, and will cover different tune types as well. The workshop will be held in standard tuning, and is suitable for intermediate to advanced guitar players. Taught by Colin Cotter.

 

Introduction to Fiddle for Absolute Beginners

Saturday, October 6th 9:45am-10:45am - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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Where's the frog? What's an F-hole? Why use rosin? How do I hold this thing? The answers to all these questions and more can be found in this class. Bring a fiddle, or find a friend to share with. Mostly Q & A, with the easiest tunes to walk away with. Mostly catering to adults. Parents or listeners: bring ear-plugs. Taught by Collin Stackhouse.

 

Sean-nós: Irish Dance for Everyone

Saturday, October 6th 11am-12pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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If you can walk, you can dance! Join us for an introduction to old-style Irish solo dancing from Galway. We'll learn about sean-nós dancing and then explore basic rhythms, steps, and patterns. All ages and experience levels welcome. Taught by Alicia Guinn.

 

Shanty Singing Workshop

Saturday, October 6th time 11am-12pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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This workshop will comprise a brief history of the unaccompanied group singing traditions of Great Britain and Ireland, including demonstrations by the presenters of various types of shanties and work songs. A guided sing-along of a simple shanty will follow, with each vocal part led by a member of Portland-based folk band Biddy on the Bench. Participants will learn the basics of harmony and leading, as well as gaining a contextual understanding of the history of shanty singing. Noah Cotter of Biddy on the Bench, who has been singing Irish and British ballads and shanties since he was thirteen, will lead this workshop. All skill levels welcome!

 

Bodhrán Basics for Beginners

Saturday, October 6th time 11am-12pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

No experience? No Drum? No Problem! This class is suitable for beginners age 14+. We will cover the basic mechanics of playing the traditional Irish frame drum and learn a basic reel pattern, as well as drum & tipper selection, maintenance, and musicality. Bring your own drum or borrow one of ours! Taught by David Pender Lofgren.

 

Second Fiddle in Irish Music

Saturday, October 6th 12:45pm-1:45pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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Eventually, as a fiddler you'll be in a session with several other fiddlers playing the melody. How do you move away from the safety of the notes you know, to add more texture? Given the right scenario, drones, chords, harmonies and (dare I say) the occasional chuck or chop can add a lot to a tune. There are ways to play along to a tune you don't even know, without totally making it crash and burn. Taught by Collin Stackhouse

 

Beginning Tin Whistle 

Saturday, October 6th 12:45pm-1:45pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

The Irish tin whistle is both a brilliant instrument in its own right and a great way to dip your toes into the seas of traditional Irish music. Come join Casey Dyer of Biddy on the Bench, who has been playing the tin whistle for over 15 years, learn the basics of the tin whistle and the Irish music culture. The workshop will explore the tin whistle through learning a common Irish tune. Casey will discuss his approach to the music and how to fully express the power of an Irish tune with the unique sound of a tin whistle.

 

Ceili Dance Class

Saturday, October 6th 2-3pm. - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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Ceili dances are native Irish social dances that date back as far as the 1500s. Similar to contra dancing, they are led by a caller, contain a few basic steps, and have easy-to-learn patterns based on heys, quadrilles, round dances, and long dances. In this fun, lightly aerobic class, we will learn the basic steps and two or three dances to explore the dance form's variety. No experience is necessary; all ages and skill levels are welcome! Please wear something comfortable, bring a water bottle and comfortable soft dancing shoes, such as jazz shoes, dance sneakers, or athletic shoes. Taught by Kelsey Wilson.

 

Building Sets of Tunes in Irish Music

Saturday, October 6th 2-3pm. - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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Whether on the fly or pre-planned, the seamless transition from one melody to another can be one of the most exciting moments when playing Irish music. An ensemble can take advantage of these transitions as well as varied instrumentation and dynamics to create a set that takes the listener on a sonic journey. Member of the band Na Rósaí will discuss their process of linking tunes into longer sets and ideas for creating ensemble arrangements. This will mostly be a discussion workshop and instruments are not needed. Led by members of Na Rósaí

 

Tips and Tricks for Backing Irish Tunes Using Standard Tuning

Saturday, October 6th 3:30-4:30pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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In the past few decades Drop D and DADGAD have become the guitar tunings of choice to provide rhythm guitar backup for Irish melodies. This workshop will reintroduce standard tuning and chord shapes to help you get that "Irish" sound by using just standard tuning.  By taking advantage of drone and muted strings and creative capo placement you'll get a lot of confused onlookers asking what tuning you are using. A discussion of some rhythm basics will also be included. Led by Richie Rosencrans.

 

Irish Fiddle Basics

Saturday, October 6th 3:30-4:30pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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For newer fiddlers or fiddle players who are new to Irish music. In this class we will learn a tune or two (depending on time) by ear and discuss basic Irish fiddle technique, including rhythm, groove, and ornamentation. Please bring something to record with. Taught by Erik Killops.

 

Beginning Flute

Saturday, October 6th 3:30-4:30pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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In this workshop will demystify the sometimes daunting elements of the Irish flute. We will discuss tone production procedures, best breathing practices, and an ornament or two. We will also cover methods of learning tunes by ear, and some of the history of this mighty instrument. Those in the beginning class may choose to return for the advanced class, as the information will all be applicable. Led by Conor O'Bryan.

 

Irish Social Dancing

Saturday, October 6th 5-6pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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Simple and fun partner dancing! This class will introduce the most basic forms of Irish social dance. We'll learn basic footwork and figures. All ages and experience levels welcome. No partner needed. Taught by Alicia Guinn.

 

Shanty Singing Workshop

Saturday, October 6th 5-6pm - $10, no registration required

at Sylvia Center for the Arts -  205 Prospect St.

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This workshop will comprise a brief history of the unaccompanied group singing traditions of Great Britain and Ireland, including demonstrations by the presenters of various types of shanties and work songs. A guided sing-along of a simple shanty will follow, with each vocal part led by a member of Portland-based folk band Biddy on the Bench. Participants will learn the basics of harmony and leading, as well as gaining a contextual understanding of the history of shanty singing. Noah Cotter of Biddy on the Bench, who has been singing Irish and British ballads and shanties since he was thirteen, will lead this workshop. All skill levels welcome!