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Make friends, meet music. (in that order)

Spring Group Lessons at the Ottawa Folklore Centre: Ukulele, Guitar, and more!

The Ottawa Folklore Centre is happy to offer you a full roster of courses for the April/May 2012 group lesson season. Group lessons are one of the best ways to get introduced to a new instrument from Ukulele to Guitar, Clawhammer Banjo, Hand Drums, and Fiddle. Read more about the courses below! Also, keep an eye out for special workshops coming up in Harmonica and Ukulele. It’s going to be a busy spring!!

Beginner Guitar for Adults with Kurt Walther.

In Guitar for beginners part 1, Kurt offers a relaxed experience for adults who have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Kurt will cover the basics of chording techniques, scales, strumming patterns with songs chosen by the class. No musical experience necessary.

Wed 8:00-9:00 pm, Apr 18-Jun 6, 8 weeks, $136 Members ($156 non Members)

Beginner Fiddle for Adults with Elizabeth Foster

If you’ve been looking to try your hand at the fiddle, but have no experience whatsoever, this is the course for you! Squeaks and squawcks are welcome. Here you will learn the basics of fiddling in a mellow supportive environment, from bowing technique and fingering to simple ornamentation. Students will also have the opportunity to try out a few basic fiddle tunes. This course is designed for the absolute, complete beginner.

Mondays 5:30-6:30 pm, Apr 23-Jun 18, 8 weeks, $136 Members ($156 non Members)


Five-String Clawhammer Banjo for Beginners w/ Paul Hornbeck

This course is designed for novice players with little or no previous experience playing the five-string banjo in clawhammer (or frailing) style. In eight weeks, students will learn the basic clawhammer strum; how to read tablature; basic chords for commonly used tunings and at least one song or tune in those tunings; left-hand techniques such as hammer-ons, slides, and pull-offs; and an introduction to modal and other tunings.

Mondays 7:30-8:30 pm, Apr 23-Jun 18, 8 weeks $136 Members, ($156 non Members)


Five-String Clawhammer Banjo for Intermediates with Paul Hornbeck

This course is designed for players who have mastered the basics of clawhammer banjo. The eight-week series of lessons will include such subjects as advanced double-thumbing, mastering some of the more complex fiddle tunes, techniques for accompanying songs and other musicians, non-standard tunings, and how to use “rolls” and other “hot licks”.

Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm, Apr 23-Jun 18, 8 weeks $136 Members, ($156 non)

Five-String Clawhammer Banjo for Advanced with Paul Hornbeck

Not for the faint of heart! Contact the school to see if you’re ready for this one. We can also put you in touch with Paul, the instructor.

Mondays 8:30-9:30 pm, Apr 23-Jun 18, 8 weeks $136 Members, ($156 non)

I Got Rhythm with Don Gibbons

I Got Rhythm is an 8 week group class for people of all ages who want to learn about rhythm and partake in group hand drumming. The course is geared towards beginners or those who are relatively new to playing hand drums/percussion but everyone is welcome. It will be of particular interest to those who purchased a Djembe and are having difficulty learning how to play it or are having trouble in finding a group of drummers to get together with and just enjoy the fun of drumming. The course will begin with Djembe rhythms from West Africa and then move on to include rhythms played on a variety of other percussion instruments, such as djun djuns, congas, timbales, cowbells, claves, guiros etc. depending on participant interest. The course will begin with an introduction to what a rhythm is as well as some of the ways rhythms are created. The group will then learn about how to hold drums, hand positioning and a few techniques to produce different sounds on the drum head. After that the group will move on to several standard rhythm patterns commonly used in West Africa and various Caribbean countries. The real fun will begin as the group learns to play several complimentary rhythms at the same time to create a polyrhythm, in which each individual will play a part in a much larger and more complex rhythmic structure. As the group progresses, participants will be encouraged to take short solos, although this will not be mandatory. The course is about learning but it is even more about having fun as individuals and as a group.

Thursdays, 6-7pm, April 19-june 7, 8 weeks, $136 members ($156 non).


OFC Group Djembe Class with Don Gibbons

This 8 week course focuses on two kinds of West African drums called Djembes and Djun Djuns and one other percussion instrument called Agogo. After learning the basic techniques of the instruments the class will learn and play a variety of primarily West African rhythms that are designed for and played on those instruments. Course participants are required to either bring their own djembe or rent one. Djun Djuns and Agogos will be supplied. Each rhythm learned will consist of four interrelated parts that are played together as a polyrhythm. As the course progresses participants will be encouraged to learn to improvise and take solos although this is not mandatory. Prior experience is not a prerequisite.


Thursdays, 7-8pm, Apr 19-Jun 7, 8 weeks, $136 members, $156 non

Introduction to Ukulele Song Accompaniment w/ Joel

Come find your musical voice through learning to sing and play the ukulele. This introduction to the Ukulele is for those picking up the ukulele for the first time. Students will learn to play the ukulele as an accompaniment to voice and sing popular songs together in a group setting. We’ll cover a variety of accompaniment techniques to get you playing interesting and fun versions of songs you know and love. At least one song per week will be covered (yes, we can get you playing a song in a week!!!). Though the focus will be on playing songs together in order to learn the basic techniques of the ukulele, certain fundamentals of music will be introduced and worked through so that the ground is broken for future musical study, whether through further courses or through independent study. 4 weeks, Tuesdays, 7:00-8:00pm, May 8-May 29, $68 members, $80 non members.

Continuing Ukulele – Chords / Scales / Melody – Chord arrangements with Joel

Continuing ukulele with Joel Jacques is for those who have already learned to play a few songs and can change easily between several basic chords and now wish to further explore the musical possibilities of our adopted four stringed friend. A certain amount of time each class will be dedicated to listening to the way various artists have used the ukulele in popular music throughout the 20th century. We’ll apply this to the repertoire we tackle together in class. We will begin to explore the relationships between melodies, scales and chord progressions and some basic fundamentals of music theory will be covered and applied to our arrangements.

4 weeks, Tuesdays 8:00-9:00pm, May 8-29, $68 members, $80 non.

Rise Up Singing “Uke style” with Arthur McGregor

This May and June, get ready for summer campfire season by joining Arthur McGregor for a six week “Rise Up Singing” ukulele class! Rise up Singing is a classic song book with over 1200 songs in it and Arthur knows them all…well a lot of them! He’ll pick a bunch his favorites and participants are encouraged to include a list of tunes that they’ve always wanted to learn how to play. Students ought to know their basic first position chords, but chord charts for each tune will be included and explained before getting into the playing. Each song will have two basic learning components to it. The first is to get comfortable with the chord changes and rhythm, followed by adding singing into the equation. Students will find that Arthur has a very gentle approach to teaching singing and playing, and no one will be left behind. This class looks to be a lot of fun! (note that students should be somewhat familiar with basic first position chords). RISE UP SINGING Book Special $20.00 regular format, $30 large format.

Tuesdays, May 8-June 12, 6-7pm, 6 weeks, $102 members, $120 non.


Up next | Prochainement

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  • Ottawa Folklore Centre
    1111 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 3X4
    613.730-2887 | 1-800-385-FOLK (3655)

Hours | Heures

  • Monday-Friday  10 am to 9 pm
  • Saturday  9:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Sunday  12:00pm-5:00pm

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