Workshops are subject to change for 2023.  Below are the workshop descriptions from 2022.

All workshops are open to everyone. We’ve identified some that are especially recommended for children and beginners. If a workshop sounds interesting but over your head, you might want to attend anyway, listen, record, get sheet music, etc. and take it home to work on later.

Fiddle Clinic (Linda Danielson)  This is not a class nor a workshop, but if your shoulder hurts when you play … your bow bounces on the long notes … you need help with a tune from class …  you want to take the next step to being a better fiddler …  Linda will be available throughout the day to offer individual help.


Adding Bass Runs to Your Guitar Chords (Jerry Parks). Including a few simple bass runs when going between chords can really add to the sound of your rhythm playing. In this workshop we’ll cover several of these simple runs that can be used when playing in any key.  A bonus will be the famous bluegrass “G” run.

Beginning Mandolin (Chico Schwall) If you play another instrument the mandolin is an obvious second one because it has some things in common with the fiddle and the guitar and it fits in with any kind of music and any instrumental combination. We’ll explore basic technique for tunes, harmony and accompaniment and improvisation. This is an intro workshop, open to all with an interest.

Cajun Fiddle For Kids (Kelly Thibodeau)  For beginner and intermediate youth, participants will learn how to “saw”, play a simple Cajun two-step and learn enough sound effects to illustrate a short narrated folk story about a kingdom of magic frogs located deep in a Louisiana swamp.  Sounds include frogs, crickets, skeeters, gators, snakes, wind, rain – even a herd of mooing cows.  Come have fun!!  Some fiddles provided.

Great Old Hoedowns:  Missouri to Oregon (Linda Danielson). Find out about Oregon’s Missouri fiddling heritage, brought by fiddlers who came here on the Oregon Trail, after the Depression and during World War II. Start learning some of the hoedowns our fiddling ancestors brought from Missouri. Printed music and Youtube links provided; you are invited to record. Recommended for intermediate and advanced levels.

Introduction to Slow Circle Jamming (Kim Drapek). Join Kim for a friendly, relaxed jam with friends new and old. We will play in a round-robin format, taking turns calling, starting and ending tunes. This jam will be a fun social forum for practicing with a group, picking up new tunes by ear, sharing a tune you know, making mistakes, asking questions and practicing etiquette typically expected during OOTFA jams around the state.

Introduction To Ukulele (Amy Burrow) At this workshop we will have fun singing and learning to play simple accompaniments.  Music and handouts will be provided.  All you need to bring with you is a desire to have fun with music, a standard tuned ukulele (GCEA, high G preferred), an electronic tuner, a music stand, and a strap for holding your ukulele (optional but recommended).

Introduction to Western Swing (Aarun Carter). Learn the history of Western Swing fiddle, and learn the Western Swing classic, San Antonio Rose! If you already know the melody, don’t worry! Two harmony parts will also be taught. You will receive supplemental recordings and sheet music emailed at the end of class. You will also receive Faded Love learning materials (including harmony).

Learning to Listen:  Intro to Learning by Ear (Shari Ame) This workshop will help unveil the mystery of picking up tunes around the campfire.  Come learn how to tell what key a tune is in, how to identify the bare bones of sounds you hear in the air, and generally how to get your bearings without sheet music.


Cajun Fiddle for Adults (Kelly Thibodeau)  —-This workshop for adults will focus primarily on a Cajun two-step type fiddle tune but if time permits, instruction will also be given for a Cajun waltz.  Cajun tuning and technique (sliding) will also be discussed.  A skill level of intermediate to advanced is highly recommended for this workshop.

Circle Jam (Allison Lindley)   Would you like to gain experience playing in a circle jam? We will host jams each afternoon during which you can relax and play for fun. It’ll be a hands-on opportunity to play tunes with others, setting your tempo. Handouts will be available that outline basic etiquette and a list of tunes that are commonly called at jams.

Cross-Tuning Fiddle (Shari Ame) – Don’t be afraid of cross-tuning! It’s not as scary or as hard as you may think. In this workshop we’ll explore the incredible resonance and satisfaction of open tunings with some well-known standard Old-Timey tunes. You’ll get to explore ADAE, AEAE, GDGD, maybe even AEAC# (!!) Guaranteed not to hurt your instrument, though it may bend your brain a bit…

Fiddle-izing What’s On Paper (Linda Danielson) A hands-on workshop for advanced-beginner to intermediate fiddlers, about ways you can make a fiddle tune your own: starts, stops, tags, licks, micro-variations, and kicking the rhythm. It’s about how to figure out what you can do and when to do it to make a string of notes on paper into a fiddle tune.

Finger-Pickin’ Guitar (Josh Humphrey) This workshop will cover the basics of fingerpicking technique for players new to the technique, as well as some variations, bass runs and advanced rhythm for more advanced players. The position of the hand, the production of tone, and clarity of sound will be the focus of the workshop.

Introduction to Improvisation for Kids (Miya Saito-Beckman). Improvisation is a unique opportunity for us as musicians to let loose while being self expressive and inventive while playing. We will discuss the theory behind improv but will also get the hands on experience of taking solos!  You will learn how to backup and accompany one another so that you can continue to jam out with your friends for years to come. This is the chance to let your musical creativity takeover in a supportive and instructive environment!

Next Step For The Ukulele (Amy Burrow)   You will need to know a few chords and simple strum patterns on your ukulele. Taking your playing to the next level, we will explore new songs, a few more three fingered chords, new strums and simple picking patterns.  Participants will receive a CD with play-along tracks of class songs, and a booklet to help you at home.  You need to have your own ukulele (strap is strongly recommended) a digital tuner, a music stand and a pen or pencil.  The ukulele should be tuned to high G, C, E and A.  Baritone sized ukuleles are ONLY acceptable if you also bring a capo. Baritones are tuned differently, and it will be hard to stay with the rest of the class if you do not have a capo.


Adding Vibrato To Your Fiddle (Jenny Humphrey). Incorporating vibrato into your fiddle playing is a challenging yet straight forward series of steps. If you’d like to learn more about the technique and/or address some bad habits, please join this workshop.

Circle Jam (Amy Burrow Check out the description for the Introduction to Circle Jam on Tuesday. Put those new jamming skills together for a circle jam and relax after all those classes.

Introduction to Texas Style Fiddling (Sherry McKenzie). Named for its place of origin and evolution, Texas fiddling is a tradition that evolved with masterful fiddlers like Benny Thomasson among others putting their own touch on the old tunes that were brought to Texas by Irish, Scottish and German immigrants.  In this workshop, we will discuss the history of Texas style, what to expect at Texas style jam sessions and fiddle contests, along with resources for listening and learning. We will also focus on bowings and variations specific to Texas styles and how to apply this to fiddle tunes you already know. Bring your recording device and your questions too! 

It’s All About the Bass (Ken Luse).  This workshop is designed for (and targeted to) the inexperienced or novice musicians to help them better understand the role and the contribution of both the bass fiddle and the rhythm guitar, banjo, or mandolin in a performance setting. It will demonstrate why these back-up instruments are so vital in keeping the timing/tempo structure of the music produced by the fiddles.  We will demonstrate different time signatures (3/4, 4/4, 6/8,) and the role of the rhythm instruments in  those time signatures.

Old-Time Song and Sing-A-Long for Kids (and Others) (Chico Schwall)  Relax and sing along with some great American songs from across generations – funny ones, corny ones, story songs and beautiful melodies. This workshop will be family friendly – not just for kids!

Playing Back-Up for Vocals (Allison Lindley) Playing behind a vocalist can be challenging but, in this workshop, we’ll take away some of the mystery. Several techniques will be covered, like staying away from the melody line, adding harmony lines, double stops, fills and chops. Bring your fiddle, this will be a hands-on experience in “fiddling” behind a vocalist or other lead instrument. 

Traditional Irish Fiddle (Shari Ame)—- We’ll explore what makes a tune “sound Irish”:  Irish tune types, their rhythms, their quirks and common tendencies, ornamentation (cuts, rolls and bowed trebles) and some solid bow patterns to generate good “lift.”  Instructional CDs will be available.