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February Sky Festival Workshops

TEACHING WORKSHOPS:

Celtic Guitar:  Songs and Tunes, Lead and Rhythm in DADGAD
Participants will learn chords in the DADGAD tuning often used for Celtic guitar arrangements, and learn to play them on one or two easy songs.  Phil will teach one or two simple tunes, and participants will have the choice of learning Phil’s lead part in DADGAD or Susan’s rhythm backup in standard tuning or DADGAD.  Chord sheets and tablature provided.  Skill Level Required:  Advanced beginning to advanced guitar.

 

Rhythm Mountain Dulcimer for Songs and Tunes
Learn to play chords on mountain dulcimer as rhythm backup for other instruments or vocal parts in songs.  We will start with an easy familiar song and learn the chords for it.  Then we will use those chords for a simple tune where the lead instrument is the guitar, and then learn the chords for several more songs and tunes.  Chord sheets for songs and tunes will be provided.  Skill Level Required:  Advanced beginning dulcimer on up

Song Accompaniment on Mountain Dulcimer plus Sing Along
Accompanying your singing on the Mountain Dulcimer can be very simple – and still sound great – or it can be way more complicated, depending on your skill level and need/desire.  We will bring song sheets for several familiar songs played with easy chords on the dulcimer, and we will learn and sing them together.  For those who want to explore a more complicated approach, we will bring several songs tabbed for doubling the song’s melody on the dulcimer as you sing.  Skill Level Required:  Advanced beginning mountain dulcimer and up, also anyone who just wants to sing!

Creative Arrangements for Songs and Tunes
Whether you play traditional songs or covers, or write your own songs, the choice of instrument(s), tempo and singing technique (harmony or solo) makes a difference in the way they are received by your listeners.  We will talk about and demonstrate how we made arrangement choices for a few of the songs we sing and tunes we play, and encourage participants to ask questions about and/or to demonstrate their own choices for song arrangements. Skill Level Required:  Anyone who sings and/or plays an instrument

Writing Songs and Tunes in the Celtic Tradition
The story ballads that were sung by Celtic bards were constructed musically and lyrically in such a way as to best serve the story being told.  Equally important to a bard’s repertoire were instrumental tunes that were danceable, or that invoked a certain mood in between the story ballads.  These types of songs and tunes are still being written and performed today.  We will discuss and demonstrate old and modern songs and tunes written in the Celtic tradition, and teach the requirements for getting the Celtic sound into your own creations.  Skill Level Required:  Anyone interested in tune or song writing

 

DEMONSTRATION WORKSHOPS (THESE WORK WELL IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER PERFORMERS):

 

PHIL COOPER:
On Beyond DADGAD (Alternate Guitar Tunings)
Scottish Fiddle Tunes for Guitar

 

SUSAN URBAN:

Anything but Guitar

Songwriters

Developing Your Songwriting (Interactive and Participatory)

 

PHIL AND SUSAN TOGETHER:

Ain't No Singin' (Instrumentals)
Altered States
Alternative Love Songs
Alternative Spirituality (possibly as an alternative or adjunct to Gospel)
Circle of Life
Down the Generations
Environmental and Honor the Earth Songs
Families, Functional and Otherwise
Ghoulies, Ghosties, Etc.
Growing Older - Gracefully or Not!
Harmony Singing
Heroic & Ill-Behaved Women
Humorous and Satirical Songs
New Songs, Old Traditions
Percussion Instruments for Song Accompaniment
Remembrances, Tender and Tough
Scottish and Irish Songs and Tunes
Songs From and About the '60's and '70's (century TBD)
Songs of Conscience and Social Action
Story Ballads Old and New
Taking the Dull out of Dulcimer (February Sky plays duets with Dulcimer, guitar and cittern)
The Unsettled Life
There's No Place Like Home (songs about belonging - or possibly NOT belonging)
Women's Lives, Women's Wisdom