Finding Melodies on Your Instrument with Ira Gitlin

Saturday, November 19, *1:00 – 3:00 PM EST (*updated start time)

Whether you’re playing lead or rhythm, being able to find melodies on your own is an essential skill for any instrumentalist. We’ll explore techniques for finding the notes you hear in your head, so you can forge the connections between your ears, brain, hands, and fingerboard, making you a better and more self-sufficient player.

This workshop is open to ALL string instruments!

IRA GITLIN – Ira Gitlin is widely known and respected in Washington-Baltimore music circles as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer. A former National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, he has backed up such nationally known performers as Bill Harrell, the Johnson Mountain Boys, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, and Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele.

In addition to numerous festival workshops, Ira has taught at the Maryland Banjo Academy, the Swannanoa Gathering, the Augusta Heritage Center, Banjo Camp North, Folk College, and the Midwest Banjo Camp. He has lectured on bluegrass for the Smithsonian Associates, and delivered papers at the 2005 and 2017 Bluegrass Music Symposiums.

In 1993 Ira was a one-day winner on Jeopardy.


7112 Willow Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Takoma SPARK will be SMT’s new home base starting in November.

All private lessons, group classes & workshops, and jams will occur at SPARK. And we are already cooking up some new events to host in our large event space, including open mics and a performance series! Stay tuned!


Students may elect to rent an instrument from the House of Musical Traditions, depending on availability.


We are following the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for health and safety. Students are encouraged to wash hands upon arrival.


We require a minimum of 3 attendees for all group classes & workshops. Classes will be cancelled if we have not met the 3-person minimum 72 hours in advance of the start time.

In the event of a cancellation, you may choose between either (1) a full refund, or (2) a full credit to private lessons or a future workshop.

In the event the 3-person minimum has been met, registration remains open at a slightly higher cost for the final 72 hours before the class.

$55 Workshop

Event Details