New Classes, Old Songs

by Sandra Foyt on October 5, 2010

in Enrichment Ideas

Many of the Old Songs Instrument Classes begin this week, but it’s not too late to sign up. And some classes, such as instruction on the Mountain Dulcimer, will not commence until early November.

Fall 2010 Instrument Classes

• Learn Easy Quebecois Tunes with Steve Fry, Monday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1, 8
Relatively easy and wonderful tunes from the Province of Québéc will be patiently slow-taught by ear. A CD with large-print sheet music for all taught tunes (and a large body of other tunes, as well as resource information) will be provided. Suitable for many instruments, but participants should have some playing experience on their instruments. Info, contact Steve: 518-674-8646 oremail him

• Beginning Piano Accordion with Peggy Minore, Tuesday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
October 5, 19, 26 and November 2, 9, 16
Basic beginning technique, theory and note reading for both hands. It’s easier than you think. If you have any questions regarding your instrument or ability, contact Peggy: 518-439-1060 or Email Peggy

• Clawhammer Banjo with Dave Kiphuth, Thursday, 7:15 – 8:30 pm
October 7, 14, 21 and November 4, 11, 18

Have fun learning banjo the old time way with David Kiphuth. We will cover all aspects of Appalachian-style, from basic frailing through advanced drop-thumb clawhammer. Learn the subtleties of Round Peak North Carolina banjo, so loved by fiddlers! We will be learning through repetition and tablature, with simple and more advanced versions of tunes. It is highly recommended that you bring recording devices, either audio or video to class so that you can "take the tune home." For more info, contact Dave at 518-587-4735 or email him

• Intermediate Northern Fiddle with George Wilson, Thursday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 11
(note date changes from previous announcements)

This class will be geared toward intermediate fiddle players that
would like to improve their sound & learn some new tunes. There’ll be
a lot of emphasis on bowing – for better tone, rhythm, & expression.
We’ll mostly focus on the northern styles- French Canadian, Cape
Breton, Shetland, Scottish, Irish, all of which blend into the New
England style. If you like sheet music you can use it, but we’ll do a
lot by ear. For more info, call George at 518-283-4957 or email him

• Irish Guitar Accompaniment with Eric Everson, Monday, 7:15 – 8:30 pm
October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1, 8

Getting in Tune with Your Melody Players — Both Mentally and Instrumentally. Learn methods for accompanying tunes in different keys; popular chord progressions, and accompaniment for the Irish tune set structure (including how to listen for key changes during a set of tunes). Information on different players’ styles, sessiun etiquette for accompanists, and techniques for “building” a set of tunes will be included. Members of Curragh will join the program throughout in order to provide opportunities to work with melody players and hear their perspective on accompaniment. Course will be taught on 6-string guitar tuned in Dropped D, with use of a flat pick. Some knowledge of chord shapes up the neck will be helpful but not necessary. Note: this class will focus on the accompaniment of dance tunes and will not cover song accompaniment. For beginning/intermediate players. For more information, contact Eric at 518-756-8273

• Basic Fingerstyle Guitar with Roger Mock, Wednesday, 5:45 – 7:00 pm
October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3, 10

This class is for guitar players with some experience. We’ll be doing song accompaniment and instrumentals from Celtic, blues and American folksong repertoire. Direction of the class will be partially inspired by student interest. Contact Roger for info: 518-861-5782 or Email Roger

• Beginning Mandolin with Mike Otis, Thursday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 11

An introduction to mandolin playing, covering both picking and chord techniques, with a repertoire based on traditional fiddle tunes. Instrument care and selection will also be discussed. For more information, contact Mike at 518-872-0864.

• Mandolin II
w/ Mike Otis, Thursday 7:15 – 8:30 pm
October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 11
A further exploration of the mandolin, expanding upon the technique and repertoire covered in the beginning class. For more information, contact Mike at 518-872-0864.

• Hands-On Music Theory with George Ward, Wednesday, 7:15 – 8:30 pm
October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3, 10
Learning by ear, choosing the right chords to play, using any system of music notation (or inventing your own), all these things and more benefit from a working knowledge of basic music theory. With your instrument in hand (whatever it is), this class will explore scales, intervals, chords and chording, some basics of music notation, key signatures, the cycle of fifths…and probably more. Any instrument – from a pennywhistle or a ten-hole harmonica to a guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass or keyboard is appropriate. And we’ll play a few tunes as well. Call George for more information: (518) 399 – 0315 or

• Beginning Mountain Dulcimer with Susan Trump, Tuesday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

We’ll explore DAD tuning, work on strum directions and left hand fingering. We’ll learn some fiddle tunes, and other repertoire that works well on dulcimer. Contact Susan for info. Phone: 518/ 357-4018   Email:

• Intermediate Mountain Dulcimer with Susan Trump, Tuesday 7:15 – 8:30 pm
November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

The focus is on repertoire building using a variety of styles, including
fiddle tunes, songs, Celtic melodies, waltzes, while learning appropriate picking, or finger picking techniques and fingerings.. Contact Susan for more info: Phone: 518/357-4018   Email:

• Irish Pennywhistle Repertoire with George Ward, Wednesday, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3, 10
All you’ll need is a key of D pennywhistle – available at the first class – and some basic knowledge (if you can play a two-octave scale, you’ll be fine). The goals of the class are to give each member a solid collection of new tunes to play and to practise on – from simple to challenging – and to develop everyone’s ability to learn by ear.You won’t need to be able to read music, but all tunes will be available as written music. Tape recorders are strongly encouraged. Questions? Call George at 518/399-0315 or

Where To Go:

Interested? Call Old Songs at 518-765-2815 Tues.-Fri., 10am-5pm or visit

Old Songs, Inc.

PO Box 466 • Voorheesville, NY 12186-0466
(518) 765-2815 • Fax: (518) 765-4248 • Email:

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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