Workshop Intros

We are delighted to announce a new musical opportunity at our Rockville studio!  Beginning on Thursday, October 14, Justin Heath, Mari Carlson, and Nick Cameron will lead a bi-weekly bluegrass jam from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. This jam is FREE to both students and community members, and intended for high school and adult students who know at least the basics of their instrument.  While it is not a class per se, Mari, Justin, and Nick are ready to support you with questions you might have about chord progressions, playing with others, and general jam etiquette. This is a great opportunity for those of you who are ready to expand beyond your living room but still feel a bit hesitant to...
  • October 5, 2021
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This blog was written by SMT’s very own Mari Carlson in anticipation for her upcoming Swedish fiddling workshop on May 16th—click here to sign up now! If you’ve ever heard Swedish as a spoken language, you’ll recognize the pronounced diphthong — the sing-song lilt and melodic cadence of the language. Similarly, the polska is a Scandinavian type of dance that is as Swedish as the diphthong. The polska is a dance tune, or, rather, an overarching term for various subsets of polskas from different regions. Its rhythm defines its melody and also gives it direction, drive, and an invitation for the listeners to MOVE! Characterized by its 3/4 meter, it bobs along with heavy emphasis on 1 AND 3, and...
  • April 25, 2021
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This blog post was written by Rhia Morsberger — a Maryland-based yoga instructor and mobility specialist who will be teaching a Movement for Musicians workshop for the School of Musical Traditions on March 8th. Anyone who uses their body for some art, sport, or trade will experience some effect of physical overuse or fatigue. For musicians, it is not so much the movement itself (e.g. working their wrists and arm muscles to play an instrument, maintaining poor posture during practice, etc.) so much as the lack of variety in the movements that get them into trouble. What you really need to treat those aches and pains is actually more movement. I can teach you all kinds of novel exercises and...
  • March 7, 2021
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Hello musical friends and neighbors! I’m Jonathan Vocke—banjo, ukulele, guitar, mandolin, and violin teacher for the School of Musical Traditions. We are very excited to announce that we will be offering—for the first time EVER—an in-person/virtual hybrid youth string band class! Before we go any further, let us assure you that we are taking COVID-19 very seriously here at the school and we will be implementing a number of safety precautions for the in-person workshop meetings. So what is a youth string band? For starters, string band—also known as “oldtime music”—is a popular form of folk music that most commonly accompanies square dances and that sort of thing. In the youth workshop, we will be learning a set of 3...
  • February 25, 2021
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What, exactly, is arranging? How is it different from composing and production? And why should songwriters care about it? In short, it is your secret weapon for making songs more powerful. You don’t have to be a veteran songwriter with a library of original material under your belt to write your own arrangements, either—you just need the motivation to get creative with your music. Want to get started? Well, SMT teacher and composer Ethan Foote will be teaching a weekly “Arranging for Songwriters” workshop on Wednesdays from February 17th to March 10th. In the upcoming workshop, Ethan will give you the tools you need to enhance your music and songwriting through the process of arranging. In addition to exploring your...
  • February 1, 2021
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