Sisters Folk Festival to host musical workshops


Last updated 1/11/2023 at Noon

Beth Wood will conduct a workshop on “Songwriting in Community.” PHOTO PROVIDED

Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) presents two six-week songwriting and musical arranging workshops at Sisters Art Works (204 W. Adams Ave. with local artists Beth Wood and Joe Schulte beginning in February and continuing through May. Registration opens on Wednesday, January 11 at 10 a.m. at Participants must be 18 or older to enroll.

First up is “Songwriting in Community: A 6-Week Workshop/Playshop with Beth Wood” every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. February 21 through March 28. Weekly sessions will explore topics such as: What are the nuts and bolts of songwriting and how can we utilize them to convey our message? What makes a memorable melody? How does song form influence the communication of a narrative? Under the guidance of instructor Beth Wood, aspiring writers will explore tools for beginnings and engage in wordplay and writing exercises.

“I love sharing what I have learned and what works for me in songwriting. I love supporting other songwriters in their creative process and in sharing their work… and I believe we have much to learn from each other,” said Wood.

Working from prompts to generate new ideas, students will collaborate in a nonjudgmental, supportive space to access their unique stories and translate them into song. All levels of songwriting experience are welcome, with a maximum of 12 participants.

Joe Schulte will lead “Wood & Steel Bluegrass,” a six-week course. PHOTO PROVIDED

In the spring, Joe Schulte will lead “Wood & Steel Bluegrass: A 6-Week Bluegrass Music Workshop” on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7 p.m., April 5 through May 10. This series will focus on song arrangement, jam awareness, and “bluegrass etiquette.” Participants will learn how to take traditional bluegrass tunes commonly found in jam circles and bring them to life by finding the right key(s) to play them in, construct intros, outros, and apply other interesting arrangement ideas. Students will improve their ability and confidence in jamming and learn to take their favorite song and turn it into a tune they could bring to any jam to lead.

This is a beginner/intermediate class open to 20 pickers. Participants should have a solid ability to strum and switch between the basic and common chords on their chosen instrument. Bass, cello, or fiddle players must be able to identify some common notes and to play at least one basic scale or simple melodies. Singing is encouraged, but not required.

Tuition for each course is $150/person for all six sessions. SFF will offer a pay-what-you-can pricing model to interested participants. Classes will take place in the JAM Studio or Suite 101 of Sisters Art Works.

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