Specialty Workshops


Click HERE for a printable grid of all workshops.

Saturday, June 20, 2020, 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Introduction to Gypsy Jazz (Jason Anick)

Jason will start off by doing some playing and talking about the style. He’ll then teach classic Gypsy Jazz number like “Minor Swing”.

Jamming on New England Chestnuts (Lissa Schneckenburger)

We will spend the hour playing our favorite traditional New England dance tunes together in a loose jam session format. You can expect tunes like Jaime Allen, Petronella, Rory O’More, Moneymusk, Rippling Waves Waltz, and more. Be prepared to play along, lead a favorite tune, or just enjoy and listen.

Shake, Rattle, and Tremolo (Jeremiah Mclane)

You really must control your bellows!
Using slow, medium, and fast tunes with and without chord accompaniment; We’ll focus on phrasing, dynamics, tremolo, and other essentials.

Arranging Ballads for Self-Accompaniment (Eric McDonald)

We’ll have a conversation together about how to approach arranging old songs and making them ours. We’ll listen to some amazing recordings and performances, I’ll break down my loose process and give some examples, and (time willing) I’ll open the floor to others to do the same. We’ll talk about things like connecting to lyrical content, writing interludes, and settling on a feel. I’ll be playing guitar, but any self-accompanying instrument is welcome. You can do this with fiddle, too!

Making a Solstice Luminary (Molly and Ellen Gawler)

Ellen started this tradition of singing while carrying your Little Luminary ~ handmade from natural materials ~ to the waters edge and letting it go. We’ve been doing this as a group at Fiddle Camp, and this year we can do it on our own! We’ll have a “making a luminary” lesson and learn some songs for the light and solstice. At dusk, pick a waterway to bring your luminary to, and let it go and sing your songs. We will be doing it all together from where ever we are! Share photos video of you, your creation, and launch!

Gather materials ahead of time. You will need:
1. biodegradable twine or string of any kind (100% wool works too)
2. beeswax candle (very important that its beeswax)
3. paper, really any kind
4. small flat stone to anchor candle
5. dab of glue to anchor stone
6. any manner of sticks, alive or not, plants, flowers, ferns, moss, sky’s the limit!

Introduction to Klezmer Music (Nancy 3 Hoffman)

Jewish Eastern European Folk and Party music. The scales and rhythms that make this music distinctive will be taught and tried. We’ll improvise and play a few tunes in the style.

Beginning Ukulele (Kenny Raskin)

A chance for non-ukers to learn the uke. Simple chords and strumming patterns to get you going and have you become an obsessive ukulele player!

Let’s Talk About Rhythm (John Pranio)

We’ll take simple tunes that you know and make them come alive by focusing on how we accent and drive the tune

Worksongs (Bennett)

During this workshop we’ll learn a bunch of simple songs that will make manual work (gardening, washing dishes, sweeping the floor, rowing boats, jogging, chopping wood… and more!) easier, more interesting and more fun.  We’ll also briefly discuss how worksongs work (structural elements of great worksongs) and discuss how to lead them with possibly skeptical family/friends/neighbors. We’ll look into some history/cultural geography of this truly global practice, I’ll show some videos of cool songs at work, and I’ll answer people’s questions about how to make worksongs work in their lives. AND I’ll poll the group to see which of these things is most interesting and I’ll focus more of the time there.  Come sing worksongs!

Teen Tones (Helen Newell)

Calling all teens, all levels, all instruments! We will be learning and arranging a tune or two, and then creating a virtual performance! If you’re a teen, come join us!
If you want input on what tunes we play, click this link and fill out the super quick form!


Saturday, June 20, 2020, 4:45pm – 5:45pm

SSSG (Special Secret Surprise Guest)

We’ll gather both the melody class and rhythm class in one Zoom room, demo the tune we’re going to teach, break into two rooms (melody and chords), teach you the tune, then reconvene at the end of the hour to play it altogether.

Fiddle Skills Class (Ellen Gawler)

Have you hit a plateau with your playing? We’ll go through each member individually (as much as time allows) and troubleshoot your form and other aspects to unlock your playing potential. We will all learn from observing each other in a master-class type of format.

Guitar (Dan Faiella)

Ever wondered how some guitar players fill out the sound of their single-line melody picking with bass notes and chords? We’ll take a simple tune or two and come up with some different ways of adding some color to the melody. Through the process, we’ll try to understand better what principles could help each of us develop the ability to do this with any tune in our repertoire.

Stringed Instrument Repair and Setup Q & A (Ben Foss)

Bring your questions! In this workshop we’ll discuss some common adjustments and repairs to guitars, banjos and mandolins, and talk about what you can do yourself to keep your instrument in top playing shape.

Even Fiddles Get the Blues (Steven Weiss)

In this harmonica workshop we will deconstruct and learn to play the song “Sitting On Top of the World” as a slow blues song (not the bluegrass version). Please come with either a middle C or Low C diatonic, Richter-tuned harmonica (standard blues tuning). We will play in 2nd position.

Dobro (Carter Logan)

Exploring the use of dobro for country and bluegrass music and fiddle tunes for the dobro.

Tunesmithing (Steve Muise)

This workshop is geared to anyone who wants tips on creating their own fiddle tune. We traditionally gather to write our own tune at Maine Fiddle Camp. We’ll work collaboratively, and I coach the process so we can get a tune written during our specialty workshop time. We’ll decide whether it will be a waltz, jig, or reel (or another type of tune), decide on the key, and share ideas. We’ll name the tune, and I’ll send you a pdf of the tune with chords via email after the workshop is concluded.
There have been many tunes from the Tunesmithing workshops that I’ve done over the years, they’ll eventually be compiled into a book, and the proceeds from the book will help with Maine Fiddle Camp scholarships!

Here is tune from the workshop: Soltice Waltz – Virtual MFC tunesmiths, June, 20, 2020

Sweet and Easy Scottish Waltzes (Elizabeth Anderson)

We’ll play and learn some great waltzes to wind down to day!

Music in Context: A discussion (Mia Bertelli)

Art and music is a powerful tool for celebration, expression, connection, understanding, attention, and growth. Please join me for an open discussion about how music fits into this moment and how to approach all of our choices thoughtfully. We will not presume to have any answers, only many questions, and I hope to provide a space where by sharing our questions together we may more clearly know where we are at. This discussion is simply an effort to get the conversation started. Please bring your listening ears and compassionate curiosity.

Here is a link to an article that contains some relevant history:

Video Workshops, View Anytime

Session Obsession (Liz Faiella)

Ever gone to an Irish session and felt a bit turned around? In this workshop, we’ll explore Irish session etiquette and conventions, play some tunes session-style, and talk about how to have a good time, contribute musically, and learn tunes in a session context. https://youtu.be/gxrYTHwZISY

Dance Piano (Gordon Peery)

For the benefit of anyone who is learning to play piano for contradances. This is the first of what should be two or three sessions. This tutorial specifically focuses on the rhythm aspect of playing. https://www.gordonpeerymusic.com/piano-tutorial

Ukulele (Ando Anderson)

What you need to know to get started playing this simple fun instrument! You’ll get the basics; how to hold and strum the uke, plus how to finger two simple chords and play your first songs. All ages can taste the thrill of accompanying singers or adding sweet spice to a July jam. Come join the fun. https://youtu.be/KRqYUjPKr6I