Warbler Nest (Singers!) vMFC FAQ
How many classes are offered?
Mia Bertelli and Bennett Konesni are teaching together in a single class that meets 3 times Saturday and once on Sunday in Zoom rooms. There will also be two specialty singing workshops Saturday afternoon. One dealing with specifically with worksongs, taught by Bennett, and another about ballads, taught by Eric McDonald.
How are classes run?
Mia and I will teach songs in call and response format, students will mute themselves and sing back what they hear, trying to match our words, notes, inflections, ornamentation, etc.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to sing in group and hear each other in real time as if we were a live chorus- because of internet latency- but there are lots of musical topics we can cover nevertheless. We will have time to discuss the art and craft of singing, talk about healthy warmups, posture, approach and other technical details. Bennett may show some videos of musical masters at work (but only tiny clips). We also might create a “digital chorus” during or after the weekend, where students record their parts separately and a fiddle camp Wizard assembles a a video of us all singing “together”.
We will teach the the workshops in series, one class after the other with breaks between (check the schedule online). The third period may be review period, or we may do new material or our favorites from other years while doing fun projects in our own homes. (Working and singing in the kitchen is a tradition from camp we may try to replicate here… though it depends on who is in our class and what their needs are.)
How many people might participate?
We’re not sure- people are still signing up- but it will probably be between 6 and 30, of all ages.
How will singers integrate with the rest of the camp activities?
Singers can participate in other workshops in a remarkable way this year… because students can mute themselves they could theoretically sing along with any instrument teacher, in a jam session, or in other ways that they might not bee able to at Live Maine Fiddle Camp. Other Camp group activities are of course open to all… the campfire is a special singing-only moment not to miss, as is the Sunday morning Sacred Circle Which is always full of songs. And the variety show, Maestro Bistro and Camper concerts will probably all have moments/songs to sing along with. In other words, singers are like any student and have even more free range to participate than usual this year, because of the mute function.
I’d like to understand so that I can tell if my daughter will be a good match for this.
Hope this helps and let us know if you have any other questions! Thank you for asking, these answers will certainly serve to help other people as well.
Also please remember that doing this virtually is a first for us and we are going to inevitably have to iron some things out as we go. Thank you for your patience.
And finally: the “rule of two feet” applies in all things, so if it’s not working for any reason feel free to move yourself or your daughter to a different class or to take a break and come back later. That is very common at Live Maine Fiddle Camp and will be for vMFC too. It is a perfectly accepted and regularly used way to find the right place/level for each student. It will not disrupt class, and though we may or may not go over things you might miss while taking a break, we do generally review everything quickly at the end of camp, this year being no exception.
For those who are interested in attending Mia’s specialty workshop Music in Context: A Discussion, here is a link to an article that contains some relevant history:
Here is a tune that I am considering teaching as a singing-tune over the weekend! Whether or not we decide to take it on will depend on the time we have and the interest of the group members, but give it a listen! It is a recently composed tune by the Swedish duo Bäckafall derived from Malian rhythms, and it is my new favorite sticky tune! (Sticky, as in, sticks in your head and makes your toes wiggle:)