This class will be a group sing-along through some of our favorite repertoire from the "First Family of Country Music" - the Carter Family of Southwest Virginia. It can be a powerful feeling to sing through these old classics in a group of folks singing in harmony. The more the merrier!
The Handmade Music School offers unique learning experiences in music, history, and dance with master teachers. Events offer high quality instruction and performances from local and global master artists and are focused on preserving, sharing, and celebrating the musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Events are held online, at The Floyd Country Store, and at local venues in Floyd, Virginia. Register today for a workshop, class, lecture, performance, or a multi-day camp!
The Handmade Music School is currently offering workshops through our Handmade at Home Virtual Workshop Series. Workshops are offered weekly with some of the best musicians, dancers, historians, songwriters and more. Stream live on CrowdCast platform or tune in any time after the event to watch the replay! Follow us on Crowdcast at crowdcast.io/handmademusic.
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This class will explore the unique driving fiddle and banjo style of our regional repertoire, rooted in Southwest Virginia's dance music tradition. Learn from local master musicians Chris Prillaman, Jared Boyd, Mac Traynham, and Andy Buckman.
This is a listening/discussion-based workshop for players of all instruments in which I play a number of familiar and unfamiliar tunes and the group helps me chart its structure on a dry-erase board, listening for unique versus recycled content in two-measure “phrases” and then single-measure “fragments.” It is super fun and really helps those who are intimidated by the thought of learning tunes on the fly.
Flatfooting is a traditional style of step dancing from Appalachia that involves percussive footwork. While some dancers perform memorized sequences of steps, others are more improvisational and freeform in their movements (“doing their own thing”). Mainly though, it is a way to enjoy and participate in the music with your feet. This class, for dancers of all levels, will focus on the traditional flatfooting steps and styles of western North Carolina. No prior experience is required, but wear smooth-soled shoes (preferably leather) and no taps please.
Hear one of Southwest Virginia's premier old time dance bands up close and personal. Twin Creeks will demonstrate their signature regional sound and take questions from the audience. Members of Foghorn Stringband will help to moderate the workshop and break down the components of their style that give them such a unique sound.
Guitar is the backbone of the Virginia string band sound and Mac Traynham is a master rhythm player. Learn fills, bass runs, and the basics and stylistic techniques of backing up a band and playing behind singing.
Together we will be exploring many aspects of playing the banjo! From how to execute your playing with good mechanics and economy of motion to developing a style that is your own, we will examine several approaches to improving your playing as a whole.
In this workshop Phil will focus on listening skills that enable musicians assess and contribute to tunes that may be unfamiliar. Build confidence and learn how identify common melodic figures, rhythmic patterns, and chord changes that will help you to jump right in and play along. Intended primarily for banjo players, this workshop may also prove helpful to guitarists.
Learn the basics of square dance calling from one of the foremost dance callers in the nation! Phil Jamison is a nationally-known dance caller, old-time musician, and flatfoot dancer. He has called dances, performed, and taught at music festivals and dance events throughout the U.S. and overseas since the early 1970s, including more than thirty-five years as a member of the Green Grass Cloggers.
Have you ever experienced the magic of singing harmony with others? Do you like old time and country duets? Do you simply like to sing? Through a wonderful repertoire of songs we’ll spend this class practicing concepts of lead and harmony singing: building confidence by first spending time learning the melody, then finding the tonic and building a chord, and adding baritone and tenor parts. We will give special attention to lyrical and melodic phrasing, listening to each other and practicing to learn more about what makes a song or singer stand out and pull at our heart strings. Bring a song notebook, a writing utensil, and a recording device if you like. Let’s sing!
Southwest Virginia has a distinct and vibrant tradition of old time dance music that continues to get people moving on the dance floor to this day. Local master musicians Mac Traynham and Andy Buckman will delve into some of their favorite tunes and stories sourced from locals in Floyd and the surrounding counties. Please bring a recording device so that you can take these tunes home with you!
This upright bass workshop will emphasize providing a solid rhythm for jams and band settings. Participants will get to practice good left and right hand techniques while familiarizing themselves with the finger board. Sure there’s gonna be lots of 1-5 but we’ll work on incorporating and understanding bass runs too!
This collaborative workshop will focus on duo playing and how musicians adapt to each other's playing depending on who we're playing with, instrumentation, and other variable factors. We'll demonstrate examples of folks who don't play much together compared with folks who do play regularly together to show the importance of listening, fluidity, and flexibility when playing music in unfamiliar settings.
Learn songs and stories from the rich folk music tradition of Southwest Virginia with local master musicians Mac Traynham and Andy Buckman. Reeb Willms and Caleb Klauder will also share their perspective on these songs and the influence that the music of this region has had in the development of their own repertoire. Please bring a recording device so that you can take these songs home with you!
This class will focus on tunes from the Fauquier County, Virginia fiddler, John Ashby. His playing is ever-inspiring to me and I always go back to his three amazing LPs from the 1970's on County Records when I need a good fix of real old time fiddling. I'll start by teaching tunes that have a repetitive bowing pattern throughout both the A and B parts and we'll move on to other tunes that just vary slightly in their patterns. After a few tunes are learned this way and certain bowing patterns are recognized, it should be easier to hear these rhythms in other tunes and should be helpful for learning new tunes.
Banjo-playing participants will be invited one at a time to join Adam on fiddle and Beth on guitar, playing a tune of their choice at their preferred tempo. Friendly feedback will be provided before and after each collaboration on how to make the blending of instruments as successful as possible. This is a great workshop for folks who have developed a bit of comfort on the banjo in a vacuum but are not quite sure how to play with the other instruments and/or do not feel ready to jump into an open jam.