Music Workshops A to Z

Autoharp: All the Basics
Tina Louise Barr
This workshop will cover tuning, basic rhythm strums for accompaniment, and tips on maintaining your instrument.
Ballads & Their Descendants
Casey Casebeer & Sadie Damascus
Learn about the processes that caused traditional ballads to morph into other songs, and discuss and sing samples of your own.
Matt Small & Steve Swan
An introduction to the basic concepts of playing acoustic bass in country, swing, and bluegrass styles.
Beatles Sing-Along and Play-Along
Jeannine Menger and Joe Cadora
Get to know the music of the lads from Liverpool in this sing-a-long. Learn why these brilliant songs changed the landscape of popular music forever.
Beginning Button Accordion (Accordions Provided!)
Paul Kostka
This class is geared towards the absolute beginner. Paul will pass out accordions and handouts, cover the basics of the instrument, and teach participants how to play the C scale and a simple tune. Purchase the accordion after class, if you'd like.
Bluegrass Jam
Brad Bechtel
Play bluegrass music in a jam session setting.
CJBA Jug Band Jam (2 hours)
Wayne Hagen & Christopher Richard
Jug band music is good-time music-come play and sing up a storm and have a great time doing it at this jam guided by two jug band stalwarts.
Chorus Songs
Sadie Damascus
Bring your favorite chorus songs, or just come to sing along.
Community Singing Circle & Tips on Starting One
VJ Mohan & Mark Wallace
A singing circle with Rise Up Singing available, and info on how to start a singing circle in your own community.
Concertina (2 hours)
Daniel Hersh, Jack Gilder, Riggy Rackin
An introduction to the concertina, with a demonstration and Q&A, followed by more advanced tips for current players.
Contra Dance Band (2 hours)
Art Peterson
Learn some of the basics of playing in a contra dance band and get a sneak peak at the tunes for the Sunday evening contra dance.
Days of Gold: Songs of the California Gold Rush
Karen Arlen & Nancie Kester
Rousing songs of the Gold Rush as sung by the miners and immigrants from many lands who came to California to seek their fortunes.
Demystifying Music Theory for Composition & Improvisation
In this session designed for all instruments, learn how to apply basic music theory in a fun way.
Enhancing Accompaniments w/ Walking Bass & Treble Ornamentation
Kay Eskenazi
Improve your musicianship by imparting dynamism to your accompaniments - walking bass lines, vamps, and treble notes.
Flash Mob Choir
Tony Elman
Sing chants, rounds, and more while stepping and clapping in waves of rhythm.
Folk Songs of Women's History
Estelle Freedman
Learn the meaning behind some familiar, and some not so familiar, songs sung by or about women in the past, as you sing along.
Gospel Songs
Jerry Michaels and Marian Gade
Come sing and share spiritual songs from any tradition; goddess songs, chants, all are welcome.
Guitar Techniques of Folk Blues
Explores the left and right hand techniques of Americana guitar players from the 20s to the 60s.
Guitar: Beginning Lead Playing
Mac McCurdy
This workshop provides a logical and systematic approach to working your way from chords to related scales and on to playing leads.
Gypsy Jazz Guitar
Don Price
Using six basic chord types, we'll create our own improvised lines to popular tunes from the gypsy jazz repertoire and gain a better understanding of Django's improvisational process.
Hardly Strictly Folk Music
Doug Norman
Come prepared to sing in this song circle and share the grace that comes from voices joined together in song.
Harmonica Convergence
Paul Herzoff
A gathering for those interested in the harmonica. Learning about it, learning to play it, sharing what you know.
Harmonica Jam
Paul Herzoff
Bring your axe! Come to listen, come to learn, come to show off. All instruments welcome!
Hawaiian Songs in English
Becky Woo and Karen Broder
Players of all instruments and singers are welcome to play and sing along to some classic Hawaiian songs in English.
Hello, Bye Bye Blues (Ukulele)
Dan Scanlan
A freestyle ukulele workshop that marries a popular Tin Pan Alley tune to a traditional blues in the same key
History of the Industrial Revolution through Folk Music
Bev and Jerry Praver
Trace the history of the industrial revolution and its profound effect on our lives through folk songs.
Honky-Tonk Heroes and Angels
Beth Berkelhammer
Come share a song by your favorite honky-tonk hero or angel, or just come to listen!
In Harmony's Way Song Session (2 hours)
Deborah Sandler
Come lead a song, request a song, or just sing along on drinking songs, gospel songs, sea shanties, camp songs, silly songs, sad songs, or anything else with a good chorus or refrain.
Intro to the CAGED System for Guitar
Don Murdoch
Embark on the first steps of your journey around the guitar neck using five basic chord shapes and the CAGED system, one of the best methods for understanding how the neck works in regular tuning.
Irish Slow-Mid Speed Tune Session
Ann McChesney-Young
Play Irish tunes together at slow and moderate speeds. All instruments are welcome
Irish Songs
Amelia Hogan
Celebrate Irish ballads, songs, and the Sean Nos tradition. Sing (or play) along as stories are told through song.
Jazz Standards Jam
Joe Lavelle
If you love to play or sing jazz standards, come join in this jam.
Kate Wolf Songs
Glen Van Lehn & Tes Welborn
Sing and share the music of Kate Wolf in this song circle.
Learn Three Beatles Songs on Guitar
Jeannine Menger
Bring a guitar and capo, and learn three Beatles songs using charts and tab: "Blackbird", "And I Love Her", and "Lucy in the Sky with "Diamonds"
Making Music with Found Objects
Sadie Damascus
Create wonder and weirdness, and maybe beauty, from stuff you bring from home. Click through for a list of suggested objects.
Making Your Performance Work (for Everyone) (2 hours)
Michael Smolens
This workshop is designed to benefit anyone on the performance spectrum - from someone who has never performed to a highly-experienced performer (and everyone in between).
Maybelle Carter Style Guitar Soloing
Colin Botts
Learn "Carter Style" flatpicking, playing the melody while maintaining the rhythmic guitar strum.
Occupella Leads Songs from the "No Fossil Fuels" Songbook
Come learn songs from Occupella's recently-released "No Fossil Fuels Songbook"
Oktoberfest Jam
Bill Likens
Musicians and singers join in a German, Austrian & Swiss music jam session covering beginning and intermediate tunes.
Old-Time Song Session & Jam
Laura Lind
Strum along and sing along to old-time traditional songs of the 20s, 30s, and early 40s.
Pagan Songs and Rounds for Justice
Turning Earth Singers
Join in on rounds, songs, and sacred chants led by an East Bay Pagan a cappella ensemble.
Bev and Jerry Praver
A song circle, with Bev and Jerry contributing some of their own parodies, and all participants welcome to share theirs.
Quebecois Jam
David Brown, with Kerry Parker and Tony Phillips
Jam on fiddle and accordion tunes -- reels, jigs, marches, waltzes, and more. All instruments welcome.
Scandinavian Music Jam
Bill Likens and Bob Palasek
Scandinavian and Scandinavian-American waltzes, schottisches/reinlenders, and polkas will be covered in this jam.
Sea Shanties and Songs of the Sea (2 hours)
Peter Kasin & Richard Adrianowicz
We'll start with a brief introduction to the different types of shanties and spend the rest of the workshop singing as much as possible.
Shape Note Singing
Gary Breitbard, Peter Ross & Terry Moore
Singers and non-singers alike are welcome to join in on this moving four-part a cappella music that dates back to the early days of our nation.
Sing For Clem
Matt and Pam Small
A gathering of friends sharing memories and songs for Clem, led by his son Matt and his mom Pam. No sad songs, as he requested in his will.
Sing the Everly Brothers
Gene Gibson & Kit Nelson
Come to the Everly Brothers jam. Sing along, play along, and harmonize to the songs of that iconic 60s duo.
Sing with your Fiddle
John Roy Zat
Learn how to fiddle and sing at the same time. For beginning to advanced players.
Songs of Simon & Garfunkel
Don Murdoch & Marlene McCall
Come prepared to share or request your own favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs, and to sing along or sing harmony.
Songs of the Copper Family
Bill Moore
Enjoy and share in these classic traditional English farmers' songs as sung and saved by the Copper Family of Rottingdean.
Songs that Faith Petric Sang
Ed Hilton
Faith Petric, matriarch of the SF Folk Music Club, died this year. Come share the favorite songs you learned from her, and sing along on others' favorites songs they learned from Faith.
The Art of Performing (2 hours)
Redmond O'Colonies
Two hours of exploring ways to better yourself on and off stage.
The Friendly Ukulele Workshop & Jam for Beginners & Beyond
Richard Rice
Easy chords, slow strums, and practice for beginning ukulele players, with a jam on a couple of simple songs at the end of the hour.
Three-Part Harmony: What to Listen For, Which Notes to Sing
Muse Crossing
For these who love vocal harmony and want to learn how to do it (or learn how to do it better!)
Tom & Myron's Guitar & Harmonica Workshop
Myron Grossman & Tom Murray
Myron & Tom will play blues and swing tunes, describe simple ways to approach vocal, melodic & harmonic playing, and present improvisation ideas, jamming methods, and rhythm and lead concepts for ensemble playing.
Traditional Songs of Death
Arlene Immerman
A song circle for sharing traditional songs about death -- -- ghost songs, departing songs, grief songs, executions, or murder!
Way Out West Jam
Roan Michaels
Bring your favorite songs in any genre about ghosts, highwaymen, desperadoes, hobos, spacemen, hillbillies, and tragic women of the night.
What's in a Chord Name: Music Theory for Everyone
Kay Eskenazi
In a user-friendly way, this class unveils the essence of chords.
World of the Ballad
Casey Casebeer
An examination of themes that appear in traditional ballads, with illustrative excerpts sung by Casey and workshop attendees.