Workshops & Courses



Songs, Singing & Performance

This class will examine all aspects of songs, singing and performing. We will cover traditional and contemporary songs, both accompanied and unaccompanied.

How do you get the most out of a song and make it your own? The answers are surprisingly simple and we will explore them in depth.

We will look at guitar accompaniment in regular and alternate tunings. We will show you how to find the best key for you and explore the various options for accompaniment. What makes one singer’s version of a song the definitive version? We will analyze the techniques that make a song great.

We will see how introductions and links are put together and how they can dress up a song and give it a unique style. We will trace the evolution of a song from a book or a field recording to performance on stage. We will discuss how a spoken introduction can set up a song.

Have you ever wanted to write a song but did not know where to begin? We will cover the stages of song writing from the initial idea to the finished song. We will discuss the tips and tricks for increasing your creativity and becoming a songwriter.

Bring a recorder, a notebook and an instrument. If songs are your passion, this is the class for you.

(This class will be offered at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and Irish Week and the Augusta Heritage Workshops in 2007.)

The Craft of Songwriting

A successful song relies on a good combination of substance and form. The substance includes the basic idea, the plot or story, what the song is trying to communicate. The form is the way in which this information is communicated. It includes the type of melody and meter and the structure of the verses and chorus.

This class examines the creative process, pitfalls, approaches, technical issues, setting, editing and rewriting as we interactively set about writing songs.

(This class has been offered at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and Irish Week and the Augusta Heritage Workshops in 2000 through 2005.)