Virtual Maine Fiddle Camp!
Get a shirt!
Official V-MFC 2021 Shirts are available online!
Please note: all shirts are printed with white ink.
Please note: All times are US Eastern Standard Time (same as New York).
The password to all Zoom workshops is fiddle
Friday February 19
7:00 PM Staff Intros – Zoom Main Tent
8:30 -9:30 PM Barndance – Zoom Main Tent
8:30 – 9:30 PM Jam Sessions – Zoom Main Tent
9:30 PM Lullaby & Bell – Zoom Main Tent
Saturday February 20
9:00 AM Morning meeting – Zoom Main Tent
9:30 – 10:45 AM Workshop #1 – Nests Zoom
11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon Workshop #2 – Nests Zoom
12:30 PM Special Secret Surprise Guest? – Livestream
1:00 PM Camper Concert – Livestream
2:00 – 3:15 PM Workshop #3 – Nests Zoom
3:30-4:30 PM Specialty Workshops 1 – Zoom
4:45-5:45 PM Specialty workshops 2 – Zoom
6:00-7:00 PM Maestro Bistro – Livestream
7:30 – 8:30 PM Barn Dance – Livestream
7:30 – 8:30 PM Jam Sessions (Slow, Slow-Medium, Extra-Medium, Fast ) – Zoom Main Tent
8:00 – 8:30 PM Campfire Songs – Warblers’ Nest
8:30 PM Old Time Variety Show – YouTube
10:00 PM Lullaby & Bell – Zoom Main Tent
Sunday February 21
9:00 – 10:15 AM Sacred Circle – Zoom Main Tent
10:30 -11:45 AM Workshop #4 – Nests Zoom
12:30 PM March for Good Food – YouTube
1:00 PM Camper Concert – Zoom Main Tent
2:00 PM Closing Event & Happy Trails – Zoom Main Tent
Find your Nest
Your workshop group meets in your own virtual Nest. Find your way to your nest using the grid below. You are welcome to switch levels at any time, or try an different instrument. Feel free to explore and do what feels right to you. Fiddle groups are divided into youth and adults; other instruments are for all ages.
Click on the title to see the description and link!
First Session: 3:30 – 4:30 PM
Special Surprise Guest: Pascal Gemme
Join a workshop with Pascal!
Penny Whistle for Rank Beginners – Sandy Davis
If you’d like to start playing this simple little instrument, all you need is to have a whistle in the key of D, and show up. That’s it. During the workshop, Sandy will teach you how to tune your whistle, how to hold it, how to play the D-major scale, and how to play some very simple tunes by ear. He will also give you some tips on how and what to practice going forward, and discuss some useful whistle instruction books.
Essential Bowing Patterns – Dave Reiner
The rhythmic drive, flow of notes, and liveliness of a fiddle tune owe much to the patterns woven by the fiddler’s bow. Dave will impart this essential knowledge in a very approachable way. He’ll give easy, practical examples from common fiddle tunes, and suggest practice techniques. Structured: beginner bowing tips (10 min), intermediate bowing patterns (30 min), advanced bowing techniques (10 min), short Q&A. Helpful handout of bowing patterns and names for them.
Ergonomic Fiddling: Technique tips for playing more comfortably – Lissa Schneckenburger
This workshop is open to all levels, and geared towards those who want to improve their comfort and facility while playing the fiddle. We’ll go through the basics of how to hold your instrument, pitfalls to watch out for, and best practices. Bring your instrument and a notebook, or other way to take notes.
Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for Ukulele – Nina Miller
This workshop is for uke players who are interested in learning new, innovative strumming techniques. Chords required for this song are: C, Am, F, G, E7. Sheet music provided for interested participants.
Lullabies – Molly Gawler
This is especially for parents of young ones, caregivers of our dear elders, or anyone who would like to learn to sing lullabies or play them on your fiddle or another instrument; soothing those you love to sleep.
Ballad Migration in America (3:30 – 5:45) – Sara Grey
We’ll look at old ballads and songs coming across the pond and migrating into different regions of North America. We’ll see how the songs changed both in content, tune, lyrics, and also style of singing.
Comic and Parody Songs – Chris Brinn
Funny fun times.
Work Songs – Bennett Konesni
Before sea shanties were on TikTok, they were right here at Maine Fiddle Camp! This workshop pairs well with a household chore or two. Set your computer somewhere and sing/scrub along!
Learning Tunes and Techniques from Master Players During Quarantine – Julia Plumb
Julia will share tips and tricks for getting started with the computer program Transcribe! to learn tunes and techniques from your favorite albums, videos, and old (or new!) MFC recordings. Transcribe! allows you to take an audio or video file and slow it down, change pitch, create and save custom loops, and much more. It is an incredibly useful learning and practice tool at any time and is particularly handy during quarantine!
To get the most out of this workshop, come with Transcribe! downloaded and an mp3 of a tune you’d like to learn so you can try each tip as we learn together. The full version (for Mac, PC, & Linux) of the software is available free for 30 days, after which you can choose to buy a lifetime license for $39 – it’s worth every penny. We’ll take a look at working with video using the GStreamer free add-on, but we’ll focus mostly on the basic audio version.
Second session: 4:45 – 5:45 PM
Introduction to Tunesmithing – Steve Muise
This workshop is for anyone who wants tips on creating their own tunes. 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!
Introduction to Klezmer Music – Nancy 3 Hoffman
Klezmer music is the genre of Jewish folk music from Eastern Europe that includes wedding music and Yiddish songs. I’ll give an overview of the style and what makes it unique. We’ll learn a simple song or two, and check out a scale and rhythms that are used in Klezmer music. Open to any level and instrument.
Stage Performance – Kenny Raskin
I want to help people feel more comfortable on stage. I want to help them connect with their audience on a more authentic and exciting level. The song is not enough if the performer doesn’t connect. We will deal with things like managing nervousness, how to begin when you first hit the stage, how to end, how long a song or a performance should be, and telling your story, to name a few.
Fiddle Technique – Helen Newell
In this workshop we will explore various fiddle techniques that you can add to basic tunes. We will use bits and pieces of different tunes to practice and learn trills, rolls, bites, shudders, double bowing, and more! All you’ll need is your instrument! I will provide supplemental materials to all participants. Join me!
“Belcher’s Reel” and Black Fiddlers – Daniel Hawkins
In this workshop, we’ll learn a tune by or in honor of Alva Belcher (~1819-1900), a renowned Black fiddler and caller from Delaware County, New York whose “tunes and phrasings passed into the oral tradition beyond the county’s borders,” according to scholars. At least one observer, writing anonymously in the Andes Recorder in1926, explicitly linked the playing of 20s folk revivalists to Belcher; similarly, in 1948, Wordell Martin explicitly imitated Belcher’s distinctive slur-less bow style when playing for collector Sam Eskin. These were the musicians who in turn influenced 1960s revivalists, who in turn influence our playing today. While Belcher’s musicianship thus shapes our own musicianship, his name is no longer widely known. Come to this workshop to learn a great tune, contribute to a virtual performance, and help bring it back! All instruments welcome.
Round Singing – Kaity Newell
All are welcome!
Tenor Banjo Basics – Benjamin Foss
We’ll take a look at how the tenor banjo fits into fiddle tunes, and I’ll answer your questions about getting started on the tenor banjo, technique, and we’ll look at some classic tenor banjo ornaments. No tenor banjo required!
Québécois step dancing – Élisabeth Moquin
Élisabeth Moquin will teach beginner and intermediate Québécois step dancing. She is a young fiddler and dancer who has been dancing for many years and has studied with the best dancers in Quebec. There will be traditional music to help with the rhythm.