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Traditional Music

For the most up-to-date course offerings, including times and instructors, please read the 2016-17 Course Catalog.

Beginning Guitar

Always wanted to play guitar at jam sessions or with friends? Played in the past but need a refresher? Learn the fundamentals of the guitar in this group class for beginning players including use of guitar picks, helpful posture and finger picking patterns, how to tune the instrument, alternate tunings and when to use them, building muscle memory, and how to use strength without over exertion. Participants will learn commonly used chords so they will be able to learn new songs independently, and most importantly, the class will focus on keeping a steady yet flowing beat and rhythm. (Ages 12 & up; 10 weeks)

Beginning Fiddle

Learn tunes and style pointers in this group class for beginning fiddle players or folks who just prefer more relaxed tempos. Tunes will be chosen from Old Time, Irish, and French Canadian traditions. Classes are taught by ear with sheet music provided as a backup. In addition to learning tunes, the class will cover basics of fiddle technique. Participants are encouraged to bring a recording device. (Beginning adult; 12 Weeks)

Monday Night Fiddle

Learn tunes and styles from Celtic, French Canadian, Cape Breton, and New England Contra Dance traditions. Classes taught by ear with sheet music provided as a backup. Participants are encouraged to bring a recording device. In addition to learning tunes, the class addresses relevant instrumental technique and theory for harmonization. Prerequisite: Some prior playing experience and comfort with the scales of A, D, and G major. (Intermediate adult; 16 Weeks)

Fiddle Ornamentation, Harmonization and Set Building (Advanced Adult)

Playing repertoire from a variety of traditions, learn how to implement stylistic ornamentations, harmonize melodically and rhythmically, and how to build sets and medleys. For players comfortable learning by ear and playing at faster tempos. (Advanced adult; 8 Weeks)

Slow Jam

Monthly  jam session at a slow tempo guided by an experienced faculty member. A tune list is distributed in advanced of each session, but participants are welcome to bring tunes as well. Open to all instruments. Call for schedule.

Trad Ensembles: Dance Music from France and Brittany

In this class we’ll focus primarily on dance music from France, including Breton tunes from Brittany in the Northwest, as well as from the Limousin and Auvergne regions in Central France. We’ll talk about the origins of Breton and French dance tunes, their history as well as their use today, including regional styles, ideas for medleys and arrangements, melodic variations, options for harmonies, ornamentation and chordal accompaniment. But first and foremost we’ll learn lots of tunes! All instruments are welcome, open to musicians of an intermediate level on up. (10 weeks)

English Country Sessions

Monthly second Sunday UVMC English Country Dance Instrumental Music sessions provide a friendly, flexible and spontaneous small ensemble setting for beginning intermediate to experienced players of a variety of traditional instruments. Sessions are interactive in choice of music, with some of the tune list coordinated with local ECD series. Occasional group leaders may be invited. Drop-ins are welcome.

Sources for written music are primarily the P. Barnes, ed. English Country Dance Music, Books 1 & 2; and the P. Matthiesson, ed. Waltz Books I, II, & III. 

Contact / Tune List / Further Info: Dave Beaufait, dwcdwb@gmail.com