Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

2018 Workshops

Wanna Play? Here's your chance!

The workshop schedule for the 2018 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 Cathy Barton and Dave Para (of Snor T Horse), Keyreel Raskolenko, 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)Harlow Pinson

The Penny Whistle is a very simple and inexpensive folk musical instrument. With only a little effort, almost anyone can play a tune on it. And it is capable of the most amazing music! We will learn a tune at this workshop and identify some ideas for further learning. All you need to bring is a Penny Whistle in the Key of D, which you may already have, or can acquire from a vendor at the Folk Festival or locally, for a very reasonable price. Local Irish music instructor Harlow Pinson will be teaching this workshop for beginners. No experience necessary! Come have fun and make music! We will learn an Irish tune.

11:30 AMCape Breton FiddleKeyReel Raskolenko

All levels welcome. Keyreel will introduce the style and tunes from Cape Breton, NS Canada, including bow technique, ornamentation and rhythm.

12:30 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.

1:30 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.

2:30 PMAutoharpCathy Barton

Cathy Barton, performing this year with Snor T Horse, will give the basics on how to play Autoharp. If you have one sitting in a closet, dust it off, tune it up, and come and get started playing.

3:30 PMRhythm Bones (B)Rhythm Bones (B)

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.



Workshop Tent 2

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMOld-time BanjoWayne Shrubsall

Wayne will teach two- and three-finger banjo styles and frailing.

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 PMBodhranClaire Zucker

Many say that the bodhrán (Irish Drum) is the heart beat of Irish music – but how to thread the needle between weighty monotony and frenetic arrhythmia? In this workshop learn the basics of the instrument, but also how to accompany reels and jigs in a musical and supportive way. Do you have a bodhrán, but don’t know how to get started? Or perhaps you are drumming already, but want to put a bit more finesse and style in your playing. All are welcome! Clair Zucker has played bodhrán for 20 years with various bands and is performing at the festival with STEAM! For those without drums, we will have pizza boxes and dowels on hand.

1:30 PMMountain DulcimerIrma 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.

2:30 PMHow to Frail a BanjoDave Para

Dave Para, performing this year with Snor T Horse, will teach a couple of techniques that will get people started with the right-hand motion which is the first major plateau in banjo frailing.

3:30 PMCajun Double Fiddle StyleBayou Seco

Ken and Jeanie of Bayou Seco will give a workshop on the double fiddle style that is common in Cajun Music. One person plays the melody, and the other plays rhythm and chords on the bass strings. We will teach several tunes by ear showing the melody, the chords, and how to put them together to make the tune rock.


Workshop Tent 3

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMWomen's BarbershopRoute 66 Sound

This a cappella 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 AMCowboy/Country Gospel SingWing & a Prayer

Take a trip 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. Come sing the past with us!

12:30 PMGuitar (B)Pat Neff

A folk festival can be much more fun if you're playing. Beginning guitar workshop for people who are just learning to play. We'll touch on some chords, strums and a few songs to work on.

1:30 PMCeltic SingingCeltic Singers of New Mexico

Enjoy listening, singing, and learning folk songs in Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaidhlig, 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 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).


Workshop 4 Indoors

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMGuitar - Moving Bass LinesPat Neff

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

11:30 AMSinging 101Clifford Johnson

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

12:30 PMHarmonic (Overtone) SingingTimothy Hill

Timothy Hill is well known for his talents as a vocal artist. By using his vocal chords in unique ways, he can produce multiple pitches at the same time. Come to this workshop to listen to Mr. Hill and experiment with your own voice.

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 PMFlatpick GuitarGreg Butera

Greg of Greg Butera & the Gunsels will teach how to flatpick fiddle tunes on guitar.


Workshop 5 Indoors

TimeSessionNameDescription
10:30 AMFrench Folk TunesThe Secret Life of Drones

Juan Wijngaard and Sharon Berman of The Secret Life of Drones will teach a few French Folk Tunes and talk about French folk dance rhythms.

11:30 AMMandolin FundamentalsJordan Ramsey

Jordan Ramsey of Espresso! and 2016 National Mandolin Champion will discuss and demonstrate the fundamentals of the mandolin for beginning players. Expert at both jazz and bluegrass, Jordan can accommodate different styles and levels of ability.

12:30 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.

1:30 PMJaw 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.

2:30 PMMandolin Power Points (I)Claude Stephenson

Discover the mandolin's inherent strengths and power points and learn techniques to bring the most out of the instrument in your playing.

3:30 PMCrooked TunesVirginia Creepers

In this play-along workshop, the Virginia Creepers band will talk about the difference between regular tunes and crooked tunes — what makes a crooked tune crooked — and teach a few of them. They’re common in old-time music, but some people say they find them baffling or intimidating, so they’ll break a couple of tunes down.