Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

2017 Workshops

Wanna Play? Here's your chance!

The workshop schedule for the 2017 Albuquerque Folk Festival is coming together.

All of these workshops are designed for festival goers' participation. Even if you don't have an instrument to play, workshop presenters and/or other participants can often loan you one or share theirs to give you chance for a little hands on. Don't be shy! Come join the fun! And if you do have an instrument at home, don't hesitate to bring it along. We have an instrument check room available from the festival start until 9:00 PM so you don't have to lug that instrument around all day if you don't want to.

One of the great things about the folk festival is that everybody participates. Performers are more than willing to share their expertise with everyone at the festival. This year, you'll find Randy Granger, Carrie Rodriguez, Bayou Seco, and more giving workshops.

Workshops labeled with a (B) are especially targeted to beginners. If a workshop is labeled with an (I), it's for intermediate players.

Thanks to Scott Reeder for organizing the instrumental workshops and Irma Reeder for organizing the vocal workshops.




Workshop Tent 1

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMTin Whistle (B)Andy Moss

Workshop for whistle beginners. In one hour, play a few tunes. Have lots of fun. Bring a whistle in 'D', or buy one from a festival vendor.

11:30 AMBeginning Guitar (B)Kevin Herig

Kevin Herig, Director of Rock 101 Music Academy, will conduct a guitar workshop for aspiring guitarists of all ages! This crash course will teach proper picking and strumming technique, fretboard navigation, chord formations, and much more. Come learn your first song on guitar and walk away with a solid foundation and understanding of this wonderful instrument! 

12:30 PMRoot and Alternate Bass Notes for Guitar PlayersPat Neff

Enhance your guitar playing by using bass notes to move between chords.

1:30 PMABCs of Banjo!Pat Neff

Using the I, IV. V chord progressions up the neck. Play some of the songs you already know on upper positions on the banjo neck. A great step to being a better banjoist.

2:30 PMMountain Dulcimer (B)Irma Reeder

Come and experience this versatile instrument rich in American history! It's easy and fun to get started. We'll cover some basics for beginners, then enjoy playing songs with parts for all skill levels. Some instruments provided. Irma is a past Colorado State and Texas State mountain dulcimer champion and the 2016 Southern Regional champion. She is also co-founder and director of the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival.

3:30 PMFocus on BowingNorth Valley Tune Tanglers

What makes a fiddle tune dance? Sure, you need to know the notes, but then you need much more.  If you are interested in adding some of what it takes to get people out of their seats and dancing to your fiddle style, join the North Valley Tune Tanglers as we unpack some of what we've discovered after years of playing fiddle tunes.  The focus is not on learning a new tune, but rather on learning some tricks to add pulse, variety and rhythm to your playing.



Workshop Tent 2

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMPlaying Fiddle Tunes on BanjoWayne Shrubsall

Playing fiddle tunes with three-finger and clawhammer styles. Bring your banjo!

11:30 AMBlues Harmonica (B)Jimmy Abraham

This year we play blues harmonica, the fabled cross-harp. Bring a diatonic harmonica in the key of C. I will have a few harmonicas for those who need one, or buy one from one of the festival vendors.

12:30 PMRhythm Bones (B)David Wilson

Learn how to play this simple but versatile rhythm instrument. Bones can be played with almost any genre of folk music and fit nicely in your back pocket. A limited supply of bones will be available for use during the workshop. Otherwise, bring your own or buy yourself a pair for an affordable price from our vendors.

1:30 PMIntro to Traditional Irish FiddleEileen Sullivan

In this introductory workshop, you will learn a lively tune or two and be introduced to style, rhythm and ornamentation in Irish music.

2:30 PMHammered Dulcimer (B)Scott Reeder

Trapezoid-shaped instrument you get to hit with hammers with as many strings as 12 guitars. Introduction for beginners or the curious, several instruments will be available. Scott co-founded the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival.

3:30 PMTohono O'odham Fiddle TunesBayou Seco

Ken and Jeanie will teach 3-4 tunes and harmonies. They learned this style of fiddle music from Elliott Johnson in Cababi AZ out on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in the early nineties. It dates back several hundred years and has a lot of European influences. There are Mazurkas, Chotises, Polkas and 2-steps. Timing is often irregular.


Workshop Tent 3

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMWomen's BarbershopRoute 66 Sound

This a capella chorus creates exciting performances that push the envelope of the barbershop art form. Come learn about female barbershop singing and join in the experience.

11:30 AMNative American FluteRandy Granger

Randy will cover the history of the Native American flute leading to the standard modern tuning (minor Pentatonic scale). Using the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" as an example, he will show you the considerations needed to incorporate the flute into "your" music (folk/acoustic/Americana). Guitars or native flutes are welcome but not required.

12:30 PMCowboy/Country/Gospel SingWing & a Prayer

Let's go back to the music of a bygone era: cowboy music of the silver screen, traditional folk music, and old-time country gospel.  Add to that a few fiddle tunes and Celtic melodies, and the result is a wonderful musical step back in time for people of all ages.  From Amazing Grace to Wildwood Flower - Come sing the past with us!

1:30 PMCeltic SingingCeltic Singers of New Mexico

Enjoy listening to and singing choral and work songs in Scots Gallic, Broad Scots and English.

2:30 PMShape Note SingingShape Note Singers of New Mexico

Experience a way of reading music that dates back to colonial times. Learn about this unique tradition while singing in four-part harmony. All vocal parts are welcome. No experience is necessary.

3:30 PMWhole Toning: Free Your VoiceMaryse Lapierre

Free your voice, open your heart! Whole Toning is a heart centered practice of breath, movement, vocal toning, mantra and mudra, in support of our personal growth and evolution.  Workshop participants will be invited to breathe, tone along with a drone, and do gentle stretches and movements, focused on grounding, relaxation, and opening the heart.  Open to all, no singing experience necessary!  Come experience your body as a musical instrument, and raise your resonance!

4:30 PMAmerican FiddleCarrie Rodriguez

Expand your knowledge of American Fiddle Music and your creativity on the violin! This workshop includes a brief introduction to American fiddle styles, learning a bit of the fiddle history, a few of my favorite fiddler's solos, and improvisation techniques. We will also learn a fiddle tune with guidance on ear training skills, groove, stylistic vocabulary, and bowing.


Workshop 4 Indoors

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMFiddling in BandsTom Perry

Tom will present ideas on how to play along in bands and quickly find the chord progressions the other musicians are playing…even when you've never heard the song before! Tom Perry has been fiddler with country western stars Ray Price, Tony Douglas, The Louisiana Hayride, and many others.  Today he plays concerts at churches, arts & crafts festivals, and other events.  He has a new TV show, "Mountain Chapel" which airs on Fox TV around New Mexico, Sunday mornings at 5:30am, featuring music & scenery.  Tom lives with his wife Lynda in the mountains near Taos, NM.

11:30 AMSinging 101: Learn to SingClifford Johnson

Important basic elements of singing: breathing, posture, care of the voice, dynamics, and resonation.

12:30 PMMandolin (B)Laurie Phillips

Maybe you have a mando and aren't quite sure how it works, or maybe you can play a little but want more. Bring it to this workshop and we'll make some music! We'll work out a tune by playing it, learn some chords and how to handle a pick, and point to some things to work on. It's all by ear, so you don't need to read music. And you'll get a handout to take home with chords and good local websites! 

1:30 PMMulticultural Harmony Sing, All voices welcome!Arana Kalwaic

African songs, world music, spirituals, rounds.  ALL VOICES WELCOME! No experience necessary.  Learn by ear in 4 part harmony.  Sponsored by Albuquerque's unique Frabjous Day Choir Community--an Ubuntu choir where "singing is our birthright."

2:30 PMUkulele (B)High Desert Sand Fleas Ukulele Club

This workshop is intended to be an introduction to this fun and portable instrument - learn strumming, a few chords and techniques that will get you playing. A limited number of loaners will be available. Hawaiian shirts are optional.

3:30 PMKlezmer MusicBeth Cohen

Klezmer refers to the the dance music of the eastern European Jewish people. Learn to play a klezmer dance tune with Beth Cohen: a long-time ABQ music teacher and folk musician, Community Klezmer band director since 1995, co-producer of KlezmerQuerque & band member of The Rebbe's Orkestra & Goddess of Arno. All levels of musicians and all instruments are welcome.


Workshop 5 Indoors

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMJaw Harp (B)Kenneth Dean

Symphony musician Ken Dean will go over basic techniques for this ancient mouth-resonated instrument. Feel free to bring your own instruments. There will be a limited number of instruments available for $6.00 each at the workshop.

11:30 AMAccordion 101 (B)Nathan & Jessie

Come and learn basic piano accordion technique with Nathan Rivera of Nathan & Jessie.

12:30 PMSongwriting 101A Jug of Punch

50 ways to work your song out…." We each have different approaches to writing songs and tunes. Band members of Jug of Punch will briefly discuss their techniques, then take an idea from the participants and talk about how to flesh it out, often by applying one of the other approaches (eg., take a melody and harmonize it, or take a chord progression and improvise a melody).

1:30 PMAmazing Breath LessonCathleen Wilder

Join us for the Amazing Breath Lesson and learn everything you always wanted to know about breathing for singing!  This fun, practical hands-on workshops covers all the basics and includes a great exercise you can practice at home.  (If possible, bring a yoga mat or blanket and a tape recorder for the exercise).

2:30 PMSouth American InstrumentsBaracutanga

Join us in a musical exploration of the many unique percussion, wind and string instruments of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil.  We will teach proper technique, demonstrate traditional musical styles and invite participants to play the instruments.

3:30 PMBluegrass Harmony SingingSilver String Band

Silver String Band, Albuquerque's premier folk/bluegrass/americana ensemble, established in August of 2015 as a collaboration between musicians already deeply entrenched in the New Mexico music scene. With a name inspired by the streets of Albuquerque, SSB continues in the steps of local Old Time favorite Peg Leg Joe, who experienced a lineup change in early 2015 and knew they couldn't just allow themselves to leave behind the truth they'd found through their musical collaboration. Silver String Band gives a nod to their past with some old time references but truly hits their stride playing traditional bluegrass favorites and creative covers in the bluegrass style.