Instructional Workshops

Check back in early June for 2020 Updates and Information.

Here’s what happened in 2019:

Music Workshops listed first, followed by Dance Workshops, then Children’s Offerings:

Balladry with Sheila Kay Adams, Friday 6pm

Locally famous and internationally renowned, Sheila Kay Adams performs ballads from English, Scottish, and Irish traditions as she learned them from her ancestors, as well as innovating other tunes with a signature drop-thumb clawhammer style on the five-string banjo, an ability which has won her recognition and awards. Adams’ extensive knowledge of balladry has also been featured in National Public Radio‘s The Thistle & Shamrock program with Fiona Ritchie, and her ballad singing and musical performances have also been featured internationally, including the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.

A seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and claw-hammer banjo player, Sheila Kay Adams was born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina, where she learned to sing from her great-aunt Dellie Chandler Norton and other notable singers in the community such as, Dillard Chandler and the Wallin Family (including NEA National Heritage Fellow Doug Wallin). Located in the Dance Tent.

Banjo with Richie Stearns, Saturday 12pm

He’s been described as one of the major innovators of 5-string banjo playing. As a workshop  presenter and teacher, his credits include the Vancouver and Winnipeg Folk Festivals in Canada, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Philadephia Folk Festival, West Virginia’s Augusta Heritage Center, NY’s Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, Alaska’s Folklife Festival, Meadowlark Music Camp in Maine and many others in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. When he’s not been touring in the last 30 years, Richie teaches banjo and offers weekly music sessions.

“What I’ve learned from my students,” says Richie, “is that everyone has a different way of learning. When I teach, what I try to do is show people how to listen. It’s all about sharpening listening skills, being aware of what’s going on around you, and using what’s going on in the moment to inspire you to improvise.” 

Located at the Old Coffee Barn.

Fiddle with Tatiana Hargreaves, Saturday 1:30pm

Tatiana’s teaching draws upon her performing experience as well as her academic background. Combining history with musical technique and stylistic commentary, Tatiana engages her students with more than just the tunes. She has taught at music camps such as the Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Heritage Week and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and has presented about the history of old-time and bluegrass music at institutions such as Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and El Institute Superior del Arte (ISA) in Havana, Cuba.
“Tatiana is one of the most effective teachers I’ve encountered in traditional music. She’s able to provide a framework across a range of skill levels by introducing the basics of a tune, then augmenting that with hands-on discussion of bowing and possible variations, grounding it all in source recordings as well as historical and cultural context. The instinctive joy she finds in the fiddle is contagious.” – Missy Roser Located at the Old Coffee Barn.

Bass with Andrew Small, Saturday 3:30pm

Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Small holds a Masters Degree in Double Bass Performance from Yale University and has performed with artists ranging from Sierra Hull to the North Carolina Symphony. A native of Eastern North Carolina, Andrew now lives in Floyd, VA where he serves as director of the Handmade Music School at the Floyd Country Store and also tours as bassist with the group Bill and the Belles. Winning the blue ribbon in the bass contest at the Mt Airy Fiddlers’ Convention in 2012, Andrew has also won numerous blue ribbons from fiddlers’ conventions around the Southeast for his old-time fiddling. Located at the Old Coffee Barn.


4:30pm – Freestyle Flatfooting Dance Workshop

Come ready for fun and exercise! Flatfooting is a percussive dance form – your feet beat the drum. In this workshop, we will explore freestyle flatfooting to old time music, practice finding30122752615_a25a141199_z the rhythm of a tune, learn some simple steps and practice “playing the tune” with those steps. Jan Gittelman leads this instructional workshop to live music. Wear smooth-soled shoes if you can, and bring a towel and water bottle, because we are going to sweat!

Clogging with The Green Grass Cloggers, Saturday 11:45am

Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams, but more influenced by older flatfoot and buck dancers, North Carolina’s premier clogging group has been kicking up their collective heels for over forty years, and together have developed an original, eclectic style. Unlike the traditional “big-set” mountain square dance figures, they use choreography based on four-couple western square dance figures in short energetic routines. Stop by and learn some basic clogging steps and more advanced moves, as well. Located in the Dance Tent.

Children’s Fiddle & Guitar with Eliza Meyer, Friday 6pm

A student at Broughton High School in Raleigh, Eliza has a style that has been influenced by the traditional ballads of Madison County and the round-peak music of Surry County. She is a proficient and experienced teacher of  fiddle, banjo, guitar, autoharp, ukulele and voice to younger children. The workshop format will be determined by the students’ needs, with Eliza showing techniques, offering chord charts and personal assistance. It will focus on Fiddle and Guitar, but feel free to bring other instruments as well. Located at the Old Coffee Barn.


Children’s Clogging with Kendall Harkey, Saturday 11am

Kendall Harkey has been clogging with the Apple Chill Cloggers for 10 years. She began dancing as a kid when her mom taught her how to clog in her kitchen at home, and since then has enjoyed teaching kids who love to dance. This workshop is recommended for ages 5 and up, and will teach circle dances and simple clogging steps. Located in the Dance Tent.


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