Dear Warblers all!!

Singing with you was a gift! Just so you know when to check back in here for the recordings to use for the virtual ensemble, Bennett and I are going to get together tomorrow late afternoon and make them, so check back in here tomorrow evening or Tuesday morning and there should be some goods to work with! And in the mean time, if you see this message, send an email to either Bennett: bennett@worksongs.org or I miabertelli@gmail.com or both of us if you weren’t on my initial email list just so we have your emails if we need to contact you. (I don’t think I managed to get everyone’s in the chat thread).
Love you all, that was a blast!!!

In song, Mia and Bennett

Instructor:  Mia Bertelli and Bennet Konesni, Voice

  • Mia Bertelli

    Mia Bertelli grew up in the mountains of New Mexico, singing at every chance she could get. Her love of song led her to Vermont at the age of fifteen, where she dove into the polyphonic singing camps of Village Harmony like a penguin into the sea. Since then she has been filling kitchens, streets, concert halls, vegetable gardens, and public restrooms with song, both in the northeast and overseas. Her irrepressible inclination to harmonize and great love of playful nuance have mostly gotten her into all the right sorts of trouble, so she counts them among her blessings.   (more…)

  • Bennett Konesni

    Bennett Konesni grew up in Appleton, Maine, 10 miles downstream of Maine Fiddle Camp.  He was naturally drawn into the strong communities of old-time music, sailing, and farming in the area.  At thirteen he shipped as a deckhand aboard local schooners, sailing Penobscot Bay and learning the traditional work songs of the tall ships as he raised sails and hauled anchor.  Later, at Middlebury College, Bennett co-founded the student farm and spent six months studying Zulu farming songs in South Africa.  (more…)


Participation in this workshop requires the use of the Zoom application and is available for smart phones, tablets, Windows-based computers, and Apple-based computers. By clicking on the Zoom link below, you will be asked to downloads the application. To avoid delays, you might want to install Zoom before the workshop. The free version of Zoom is all that is needed. If you have not used Zoom before HERE are some suggestions to get the most out of the workshop.
Please note that the material presented is subject to change. Also, the workshop may be recorded and posted on this page and on YouTube. The recording is intended to capture the presentation of the instructor and may include comments and images of attendees. If you do not wish to be recorded, please turn off your video in the Zoom session.


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:)