Thursday, October 4, 2018

2019 Workshop Descriptions

Hello, everyone!

We're getting really excited as the retreat draws ever closer and we know you're excited too!  Here is the working list of workshops (there will be more beginning mountain dulcimer options when we add the workshops for Richard Ash - coming soon!)


Workshop Descriptions


Guy George

Discover Uncharted Gospel & Folk Territory - Advanced Beginner/Intermediate (HD)

Guy has been digging up a few lesser-known Gospel & folk tunes to share, along with
back up and harmony to accompany the melody.

Learn Easier, Practice Smarter! Get Ready to Jam — Advanced Beginner (HD)

Learn a jam tune or two and how to master them quickly. Then learn some practice techniques
to make your practice time more efficient -Learn some simple techniques to
use when you don’t “KNOW” the tune in a jam. Be ready to “jump in and jam!”

Pennywhistle - Beginner

Have fun learning to play this very portable instrument in one session! All you need is a “D” whistle and we’ll get you started with all the basics. You’ll even learn a few easy tunes, in 2 keys! Guy will have some great sounding D whistles available for purchase before the class.


Guy & Sharrie George

Get that Island Feel - Hammered Dulcimer & Ukulele! - Past Beginner & UP!

Travel with us to the islands as we learn a few melodies from the Caribbean. Get that
island feel with some calypso rhythms and melodic hooks..Bring your favorite Hawaiian
shirt and an island beverage! Intermediate & up pennywhistle players also welcome!

Celtic music for HD & UKE! - Past Beginner & Up

Learn some Celtic melodies, harmonies, and rhythms - Ukes will learn some new melodies as well for the more advanced players, focus on rhythm for others! Intermediate & up pennywhistle players
also welcome!

Manatee Orchestra - Hammered Dulcimer & Pennywhistle - Past Beginner & up

Learn and practice parts for the Manatee Orchestra and join us as we create the
unique “Manatee Orchestra Sound”! Lots of fun!


Sharrie George

Absolute Beginning Ukulele

Have fun learning all the basics on ukulele - tuning, chords, and a few strums as we learn some fun tunes! All you need to know to get you started on your way to ukulele “bliss”! For Soprano, Concert, and Tenor ukuleles in standard tuning.

Play the Melody! - Intermediate & Up Ukulele

No need to read music, we will learn to read. tablature for ukulele, and learn how to play some fun melodies, harmonies, and even a few “licks” to take your playing to the next level! Be ready to play a part in our Manatee Orchestra!

Ukulele Strum Magic! Advancing Beginner

If you know the basic chords and strums, you’re ready to move on to a few more chords, strums, and more fun tunes! Our focus will be on strums and rhythm, how to keep a steady beat and vary the basic rhythm to add interest to our back-up technique.

Manatee Orchestra - Ukulele - All levels!

Learn and practice the tunes for this year’s Manatee Orchestra! There will be a part for all players - even new players - We need advanced players to take the melody and harmony parts, while newer players keep our beat! Fun for all!

Island Ukulele - Advancing Beginner

Learn some of our favorite island tunes, and how to get that syncopated island feel for back-up. We’ll be learning and practicing chords in different keys with lots of practice strumming. Then learn what you can do to go home and create your own “island feel!”


Bing Futch

Learning Native American Flute - All Levels

Whether you've just picked up a Native American flute for the first time or have a little experience, this workshop will go over not only the fundamentals of playing, but also help you to find your own distinct voice and spirit song.  Bing will cover basics such as breath control and scales, how to use embellishments and offer easy-to-follow guidelines on how to create stories of melody and sound. There will also be some practice of playing along with a fellow flutist to discover the joy of intertwined harmonies.  Bring your own NAF in any key!  There will be a limited selection of loaners as well as flutes for sale.

Playing and Arranging In The Chord Melody Style - Intermediate (MD)

There's a secret to playing tunes that keeps the melody front and center while providing sweet harmony as support.  Once you know the ins and outs, there'll be no holding you back from creating arrangements of your favorite songs without tablature!  We'll play through a couple of pieces, take a look at how they were created all while learning a bit about how music works and how to use a few neat tricks to play just about any song you can imagine on the mountain dulcimer!

Rockin' The 1 1/2 Fret and 8 1/2 Fret - Advanced (MD)

The 1 1/2 fret and the 8 1/2 fret are controversial additions to the mountain dulcimer, though our purely diatonic instrument hasn't been truly pure since the addition of the 6 1/2 and 13 1/2 frets back in the 50s. But don't fear these two new frets.  Embrace them, learn how to use them to create new and wonderful colors.  It's another step towards chromatic thinking, but a small step that everyone can take towards understanding the mountain dulcimer more and becoming a better player. We're going to hit it hard in this workshop. All the necessary frets required, of course!

Manatee Orchestra - All Levels (MD)

It's been our tradition from the very beginning and the 7th Annual Manatee Orchestra Experience, right before the Saturday evening concert, is going to be great fun!  Here, we'll learn three new songs and prepare to join other instruments in rehearsals before the show.

Performance Gear AMA - All Levels

For those of you who endeavor to perform live, this is your opportunity to AMA (Ask Me Anything) and get a demonstration of all the key elements in your live stage set-up.  I'll help you choose the equipment that's best for you, show you how to use it and offer advice on setting up, tearing down, working with different venues and creating the perfect performance space.  You'll want to have something to take notes with, a tablet, smartphone or laptop to do some quick searches and if you have any gear that's confusing you, bring it too!

Sunday Morning Coming Down - All Levels (MD)

Back by popular demand! This session went so well last year that folks requested we do it again.  This workshop is basically a "cool-down" after three days of learning.  Any questions, clarifications, observations, discoveries, breakthroughs, etc., can be brought to the table in a session that aims to sum up, and shore up, your retreat experience.



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