Here you can find descriptions of some of our upcoming classes offered through the Bellingham Folk School. To find out if a class will be occurring on a specific date, please refer to our calendar. Scroll down or jump to a specific type of class: Singing, Fiddle, Rhythm, All Instruments, Jams, etc.


 

All Instruments

 
 
 

SLUG JAM!

Thursday, October 12 & 26, November 9 & 30, December 14 6-8pm | $5 suggested donation

Looking for a jam session that isn't too fast?  Come join other emerging adult musicians in a session designed for slow playing!  Our goal is to welcome adults at any level to play Old-Time American, Irish, Scottish, Swedish, and other folk genres together.  We will try to spend as much time as possible playing tunes rather than learning new tunes as a group.  If you wish to introduce a new tune, please keep it simple and bring at least five copies of sheetmusic (ideally with chords included) and ideally an internet link of the tune being played slowly so we can practice at home!

Link to tunes commonly played at the Slug Jam: http://www.ibiblio.org/kuphaldt/socratic/sinst/misc/index.html

 

Basic Harmony: Creative Communion (for voice and instruments)

Wednesdays in October 6-7pm Investment in your creative life: $50 | Paul Russell

After a successful workshop at The Subdued Stringband Jamboree, Paul Russell is offering an extended 4 week course on Basic Harmony. This course is for anyone and everyone wanting to get deeper into the creative communion of singing and playing in harmony.

Investment in your creative life: $50

Come with a friend and each receive a $10 discount.

Visit TheMusicalMandala.com to take an online course introducing the principles we'll explore together in the course.

 

Calling all strings!

Sunday, October 15th & November 12th 2-4 pm Suggested donation $2-$5 | hosted by Deidre Kane

Celtic tunes for all! Violin, viola, cello, guitar, mandolin, ukulele. Purchase "Celtic Tunes"by Craig Duncan, a Mel Bay book from Amazon for your instrument then come play with us.

 

Fiddle

 
 

FIDDLE FOR THE ABSOLUTE BEGINNER 

6-week series, Mondays 6:00-6:45pm (September 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23) $75 for all six weeks | Cayley Schmid

Always wanted to try a violin but didn't know where to begin? This workshop is the perfect starting point for potential fiddlers, for ages 8 to 108. We'll start from the very beginning, so no musical experience is necessary! We'll learn how to find the notes on the fingerboard, how to use your bow, and you'll be playing a couple of simple tunes by the end of our time. Bring your own instrument. Rentals are available at Allegro Strings Violins and Quist Violins in Bellingham. Please RSVP to Cayley Schmid at cayleyschmid@gmail.com

 
 
 

KIDS’ FIDDLE CLUB - LEVEL 1

Most Mondays 5:00-5:30pm (check calendar for exact dates) $10 | Cayley Schmid

Fiddle Club at the Bellingham Folk School is a fun way for kids to learn fiddle music in a group setting and develop group playing skills. All classes are taught by ear (no written music). We cover tunes, chords, accompaniments, arrangements, and how to enjoy making music with others. These are drop-in classes, so pre-registration is not required. Fiddle Club Level 1 is geared towards fiddlers who have some experience with violin, and can play one or two tunes at a slow tempo. If you are unsure which level is the best fit, please contact Cayley Schmid at cayleyschmid@gmail.com

 

KIDS’ FIDDLE CLUB - LEVEL 2

Most Mondays 5:30-6:00pm (check calendar for exact dates) $10 | Cayley Schmid

Fiddle Club at the Bellingham Folk School is a fun way for kids to learn fiddle music in a group setting and develop group playing skills. All classes are taught by ear (no written music). We cover tunes, chords, accompaniments, arrangements, and how to enjoy making music with others. These are drop-in classes, so pre-registration is not required. Fiddle Club Level 2 is geared towards fiddlers who have experience learning tunes by ear and can play several tunes at a medium tempo. If you are unsure which level is the best fit, please contact Cayley Schmid at cayleyschmid@gmail.com

 

ADULT fiddle club - Level 1

Most Mondays, 6-6:45pm (check the online calendar for exact dates) $10 | Cayley Schmid

Come learn fiddle tunes by ear at a slow pace. This is a good class for adult fiddlers who have little to no experience learning by ear. Mostly Irish and Scottish tunes. A recording device is encouraged. If you are unsure if this level is a good fit for you, please contact Cayley Schmid at cayleyschmid@gmail.com

 

ADULT fiddle club - Level 3

Most Mondays, 7-8pm (check the online calendar for exact dates) $10 | Cayley Schmid

Come learn fiddle tunes by ear at a moderate pace. This is a good class for adult fiddlers who have learned by ear before, want to build their repertoire, and explore embellishment ideas. Mostly Irish and Scottish tunes. A recording device is encouraged. If you are unsure if this level is a good fit for you, please contact Cayley Schmid at cayleyschmid@gmail.com

 
 
 

Voice

 
 

Open Your Voice with Meghan Yates

Alternating Tuesdays 6:00pm-7:30pm and Saturdays 11:00am-12:30pm

$10-$20 sliding scale/drop-in | Meghan Yates

During the first part of class, we'll explore chanting, harmonics, the more mystical elements of the voice. Then we'll move into more technique, combining body and vocal awareness and techniques to expanded breath, tone, range, and other foundational elements of vocal training. Also, as needed and welcomed, we will explore blockages to using our full voice through collaborative sound healing techniques. All are welcome! Email Meghan at whimsymim@gmail.com with questions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/710404049119933/

 

 

Ukulele

 

BEGINNING UKULELE CLASS WITH AMBER DARLAND

Wednesdays 7:15-8pm, 6-week session starting soon

Cost: $90-125 (sliding scale - you pay what you can). Cash or check, due at first class

Join us for this 6-week class facilitated by local singer+songwriter Amber Darland. Both classically trained and self-taught, Amber has over 20 years of experience playing and teaching a variety of instruments and she is thrilled to be teaming up with the Bellingham Folk School to offer a beginning Ukulele Class. Ukulele is a perfect instrument for beginners and students of all ages. The small body makes it effortless to hold and its narrow neck allows for playing that is easy and comfortable. In a fun and friendly learning environment, you will discover the basics of the Ukulele, including proper playing position, how to read notes, basic chords and strumming patterns. We will start out playing simple songs then build our repertoire as we learn new chords. 

No prior musical experience required. Class is limited to 10 students. 

Want to give the gift of music? Gift certificates are available. 

Contact musicwithamberdarland@gmail.com to reserve your spot! 

 
 
 
 

Toddler Music

 
 

TODDLER + PRESCHOOL MUSIC WITH AMBER DARLAND

Toddler Classes (For ages 1-3) Tuesdays at 9:30am, Wednesdays at 10:15, Thursdays at 9:30 or 10:15am | Amber Darland

Preschool Classes (For ages 3-5) Tuesdays at 10:15am, Wednesdays at 9:30am | Amber Darland

Participants reserve their spot for a weekly, 30 minute class. Classes are billed 6 weeks at a time. $40 per 6-week session

Join local singer-songwriter + performer + kid enthusiast Amber Darland as she leads a music class for you and your kiddo(s) age 1-3 or 3-5 years old. We will sing classic children's songs as well as introduce you to songs that you've never heard before. There will be instrument playing, singing, movement and plenty of fun! Instruments will be provided. $40 per 6 week session. Accompanying sibling? Ask about the sibling discount. Class is limited to 10 children (with accompanying adult). These classes fill up! Please reserve your spot for a 6 week session by emailing: musicwithamberdarland@gmail.com

Note***the difference between Toddler and Preschool classes are minimal. There will be more movement and complex rhythm and rhyming for 3-5 year olds. Slightly younger or older kiddos are welcome in either class - just know that there may occasionally be a song or activity that doesn't fit your child's interest/abilities. Email: musicwithamberdarland@gmail.com with any questions.


*babes in arms welcome at no additional cost

 

Music Together By the Bay

Thursdays 4:30pm-5:15pm or Saturdays 9:30am-10:15am | register for 10-week block

Music Together by the Bay provides a weekly, highly experiential 45 minutes of fun-filled, singing and movement, fingerplays, instruments and American Sign Language signs! Music Together By the Bay, a licensed Music Together® Center that serves the greater Bellingham area. We subscribe to the philosophies and practices presented by Music Together Program.

The Music Together by the Bay program:

  • Introduces children to the joys of making music with their parent(s)/caregiver(s) instead of passively receiving it from CD's or television
  • Creates a space where your whole family will have fun singing, chanting, dancing and signing in our mixed age (newborn-5 years) classes
  • Shares the gift of family music with the greater Bellingham community
  • Believes that ALL children are musical
  • Is fun for the whole family!

Register at: www.musictogetherbythebay.com

 

 
 

Bellingham Irish Festival October 6-8

These workshops are part of the Bellingham Irish Festival, October 6th-8th.

Find out more at www.bellinghamirishfestival.com

 

Scottish Fiddle Workshop with Ryan McKasson

Saturday, October 7th 9:45-10:45am $10 Ryan McKasson

no registration required

This workshop will take place next door at Allegro Strings Violin Shop

Intermediate/advanced level. I will teach a traditional and a modern tune, if time permits, picking from either Jig, Reel, or Strathspey (possibly a slower tune depending on the level of the class as a whole and what people want). Generally, my teaching philosophy is to use these tunes as vehicles for teaching some of the key elements of emotionally charged and groove driven music. Particularly, this class will be about how to connect the emotion and/or groove to the notes in the tune. This may be regarding bowings, bow or breath management, and overall rhythmic themes and motifs that are common within Scottish music. But players of all instruments will get a lot out of this because I really like to show how I make a tune "feel", from a phrase-by-phrase point of view - getting down to the nitty-gritty of how to make a tune fit a groove, or how to connect the notes to create emotionally charged lines. All tunes will be taught by ear. Fiddle centric, but all instruments are welcome.

 

Tin Whistle for the Complete Beginner

Saturday, October 7th 11am-12pm $10 | Todd Citron

no registration required

Shake out your hands and get your fingers limber for an hour of basic instruction in playing the tin whistle (aka penny whistle).  If you have a “D” whistle, bring it along; if not, I will have a few to lend. Ages 10 and up. 

 

Rhythm Guitar Ideas

Saturday, October 7th 12:15-1:15pm - $10 | Colin Cotter

no registration required

In this workshop, we will explore different aspects of rhythm guitar accompaniment for fiddle tunes. This will include, bass lines, percussive hits, voice leading, and more, and will cover different tune types as well. The workshop will be held in standard tuning, and is suitable for intermediate to advanced guitar players. 

 

Plethora of Pipes!

Saturday, October 7th 1:30-2:30pm $10

no registration required

“Don’t all bagpipes play just one tune?” “Are those REAL bagpipes?” “Wait, why aren’t you blowing?” Get the answers to these questions and more as Elias Alexander, Preston Howard, and Aaron Malcomb demonstrate different bagpipes from the Irish and Scottish traditions and the tunes they play. Open to all ages, all levels, all instruments.

 

Irish Fiddle Basics Workshop

Saturday, October 7th 2:45-3:45pm $10 | Erik Killops

no registration required

For newer fiddlers or fiddle players who are new to Irish music. In this class we will learn a tune or two (depending on time) by ear and discuss basic Irish fiddle technique, including rhythm, groove, and ornamentation. Please bring something to record with. Taught by Erik Killops.

 

Bodhrán Basics for Beginners

Saturday, October 7th 4pm-5pm $10 | David Pender Lofgren

no registration required

No experience? No Drum? No Problem! This class is suitable for beginners age 14+. We will cover the basic mechanics of playing the traditional Irish frame drum and learn a basic reel pattern, as well as drum & tipper selection, maintenance, and musicality. Bring your own drum or borrow one of ours! 

 

Uilleann Pipe Tunes Workshop

Saturday, October 7th 5:15-6:15pm $10 | Preston Howard

no registration required

This workshop will take an in depth look at a few uilleann pipe centered tunes as played by master pipers from the mid 20th century, such as Seamus Ennis and Tommy Reck.  Various elements of uilleann pipe technique and ornamentation will be highlighted along the way.  All intermediate/advanced instruments are welcome.  This will be of particular interest to pipers, flute players, and fiddlers. Taught by Preston Howard.

 

Backing Tunes with Irish Bouzouki for Beginners

Sunday, October 8th 10:30-11:30am $10 | Richie Rosencrans

no registration required

This workshop will focus on using the instrument for backing up melody players. Richie will cover beginner concepts like getting a good tone from your instrument, simple rhythms, bouzouki friendly chords, and effective use of the capo.  Some experience on guitar or bouzouki is helpful but not needed. Taught by Richie Rosencrans.

 

Beginning Flute Workshop

Sunday, October 8th 10:30-11:30am $10 | Conor O'Bryan

no registration required

This workshop will take place next door in Allegro Strings Violin Shop

In this workshop will demystify the sometimes daunting elements of the Irish flute. We will discuss tone production procedures, best breathing practices, and an ornament or two. We will also cover methods of learning tunes by ear, and some of the history of this mighty instrument. Taught by Conor O'Bryan.

 

Essential Albums of Irish Music 

Sunday, October 8th 11:45am-12:45pm - $5 | Harper Stone

no registration required

New to Irish music? Wondering what to listen to for inspiration and to get the feel of the music? From my collection of hundreds of albums, I've picked out a few We'll go over the top albums that anyone who plays or enjoys Irish music should hear. We'll cover both bands and solo artists, new and old. Top players of all the major instruments will be mentioned, so you can get some ideas specific to your instrument. We'll listen to a sampling of these in the class so you'll know which artists tickle your fancy. A burned CD sampler of different musicians that are talked about will be available to purchase for an additional $5. 

 

Beginning & Intermediate Irish Harmonica Playing

Sunday, October 8th 1-2pm $10 | Jan Peters

no registration required

Hi! If you come to this workshop I think the best thing will be for us all to have a ‘C’ harmonica. I will demonstrate some tunes on different harmonicas including some ‘Irish Tuned’ or ‘Paddy Richter’ ones. This will be to show and encourage the possibilities, but for this session we’ll concentrate on learning one tune, ‘The Chanter Song’, in D minor. Also we’ll talk about what are the three main keys most readily available on your ‘C’ harp ­ C major, D minor, and G blues key for the mouth organ we so love. I’ll have you all try what you can individually as well as we’ll find what we can do as a group. If we get through one tune, we’ll start another. It’s not especially easy as most tunes require you to play higher up on the instrument. So in preparation for the class you could practice getting your single notes all up and down sounding clear and strong. We’ll do a bit of rhythmic and chordal improvisation with a keen ear on keeping it within the Irish idiom, and work on one or two ornamentations.  

 

Ogham - The Celtic Tree Alphabet

Sunday, October 8th 2:15-3:15pm $10 | Harper Stone

no registration required

Did you know that in the ancient Celtic alphabet, every letter was linked to a tree, and they were the keys to a whole body of hidden knowledge? Did you know that the bards and druids of old had a secret system of sign language that let them communicate without anyone noticing? In this class you'll learn how to write the Ogham runes, what they mean, and how to use the sign language.

 

Harper Stone & the Cauldron of Plenty - Stories of Ireland 

Sunday, October 8th 4:45-5:45pm - $5 

Traditional folktales and myths from Ireland told with musical accompaniment by Jan Peters and Abigail Hobart. Tales of magic, humor, intrigue, and delight will pull back the wool that shrouds the world of dream and bring you on a mist-covered path through a thousand years of Irish legend. Come wander in a land filled with Gods and fighting men, sea people and strange beasts, fairies, tramps and thieves who linger in the long hours between midnight and day.