Sisters Folk Festival Has Some Amazing Classes & Workshops to Kick Off the New Year!

(Photo | Courtesy of Sisters Folk Festival)

Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) is excited to announce a new session of winter classes and workshops, all designed to take place virtually for both adults and youth during COVID-19. Registration is now open for multi-week songwriting and performance classes, instrumental music and engineering workshops and three separate Sisters Songworks offerings taught by both regional and nationally recognized instructors and musicians.

Here is a listing of upcoming classes and workshops:

Dynamics in Performance is a four-week course taught by Beth Wood taking place on Thursday evenings from 7-8:30pm (Pacific Time) January 28-February 18. This course is geared towards musicians of all levels who are interested in improving their performance skills, whether their intentions are playing open mics, improving their professional stagecraft or simply improving the delivery of their songs. Cost is $100 for all four weeks.

Writing the Songs Only You Can Write, also taught by Beth Wood, will delve into the creative elements of songwriting. A limited class size will allow for personalized learning, interaction between participants and a variety of energizing exercises to inspire maximum songwriting creativity. This six-week course takes place from 7-8:30pm (Pacific Time) on Tuesday evenings from January 26-March 2. Cost is $150 for all six weeks. Beth is a gifted singer-songwriter and winner of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry.

Pete Kartsounes, known to many as the hardest-working musician in Central Oregon, will teach Fundamentals of Bluegrass Guitar. This class will dive into different techniques of playing bluegrass guitar as well as the etiquette of “the jam” and “the songs.” Participants will learn a variety of bluegrass-specific skills including flatpicking and cross-picking, in addition to learning a variety of traditional fiddle tunes to use as a basis for honing bluegrass guitar skills. This class is geared towards advanced-beginner or solid intermediate guitar players of all genres, who are interested in learning or developing more with bluegrass guitar. Cost is $150 for all six weeks. The course takes place from 6:30-8pm (Pacific Time) on Monday evenings, and will run from January 25-March 1.

Kartsounes will also offer the workshop Bringing your Songs to Life on Saturday and Sunday February 27 and 28. During this two-day workshop, participants will learn the steps in the process from the first song idea to a recorded, mixed, mastered, packaged and produced product ready for distribution. Whether your goals include creating a CD for friends and family, marketing and selling recordings or inclusion on various streaming platforms, Pete will offer the know-how and skills to put your best musical foot forward in order to meet your goals. This workshop is geared toward songwriters and those interested in recording and distribution, whether for personal or professional use.

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jenner Fox is offering a four-week Americana Song Share for high school students (grades 9-12) on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8pm January 21-February 11. Participants will listen together to their favorite songs and talk about what makes them so lovable, then make up their own songs in a supportive environment. All musical styles and ability levels are welcome and there will be no homework as the writing will be done as a group. Class size is limited to 12 students and cost is $50, with scholarship support available through SFF.

Back by Popular Demand: Sisters Songworks Versions 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0!

Sisters Songworks is an intimate and intensive virtual writing retreat celebrating and exploring the art of songwriting in community. The weekend workshops will bring in noted songwriters and poets, facilitated by Beth Wood, to delve into the magic of songwriting. Sisters Songworks is an opportunity to learn from professional singer-songwriters, connect with others who share a love of songwriting and poetry and share your work in a non-performance focused, supportive environment. Cost is $175 per session and class size is limited.

Sisters Songworks 2.0 — February 5-7, 2021

  • February 5-7, 2021 — North Carolina Songwriter Jonathan Byrd and the SFF veteran teaching artist Ellis, with a masterclass offered by award-winning songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman.

Sisters Songworks 3.0 — March 5-7, 2021

  • March 5-7, 2021 — Sisters Folk Festival longtime friend Johnsmith and acclaimed songwriter Susan Gibson will serve as instructors with a masterclass session with multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Susan Werner.

Sisters Songworks 4.0 — April 9-11, 2021

  • April 9-11, 2021 — Tom Prasada-Rao plus one more instructor (TBA), will serve as the core instructors, with Martyn Joseph teaching a masterclass from Wales in the UK.

For registration and additional information on all these SFF offerings, please click here:

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