The youth program is in the John Wright Building, 1st floor lounge
Use 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027 to reach the campus, then use the
Map at Bottom of Page

Unfortunately, Williston Northampton School won't allow us to house youth overnight, but there are nearby HOTELS you can explore if traveling from out of town. Williston is minutes away from Northampton with plenty to do for parents. 


FRIDAY, June 28th, 2024


Alissa Jackman—Fun Rock/Pop Ideas

Learn some famous rock riffs. A riff is a short, catchy idea that’s repeated, and rock music is full of them! You will learn how to make up a riff of your own by the end of class.


Alissa Jackman—How to Play in a Rock/Pop Band

Not every band is the same. The band leader will often be in charge, though some bands are open to everyone’s ideas. Most bands rehearse by ear, so you might not be provided with music. We’ll use some famous rock songs to focus on 1) how to figure out the key; 2) how to figure out the best pitches to use for that song; idea to play in the background and how to solo when the time comes.


Pattie Kinlaw—How to Play a Bluegrass Tune

First there was Irish/Scottish fiddling imported from Europe. Then, old-timey fiddling, later called Appalachian fiddling, developed. Out of Appalachian came country music, as well as bluegrass, which was created by musician named Bill Monroe. Monroe performed many tunes from Appalachian repertoire and he and his bandmates also wrote quite a few songs and tunes. You will learn one of these wonderful tunes.



Julie Lyonn Lieberman—Looping Circles

Watch Ms. Julie demonstrate a looper and then learn the secrets to using the looper: how to create bass lines, rhythm, and harmonies, the right order to record your ideas, their ideal length, and how to use this amazing stomp box to build an entire song.

Note: a stomp box is an electronic box that sits on the floor and the player steps on a button for each musical layer they wish to record.


Annika Amstutz—Learn a Tune with Fiddle Bowings

Ms. Annika will teach you a fun melody and then how to apply several different bow patterns to it to make it dance. You’ll leave this class able to apply these bowing styles to the melody or chords for any tune!


Alissa Jackman—More Fun Rock/Pop Ideas       

Learn some famous rock riffs. A riff is a short, catchy idea that’s repeated, and rock music is full of them! Try creating a riff of your own by the end of class. You will learn how to make up a riff of your own by the end of class.



Melissa Brun—Learn a Celtic Melody with ornaments and bowings

The Celtic fiddle style comes from Western Europe, namely Scotland, Ireland and a bit from England. Ms. Melissa will teach you a fun tune and show you how to use your bow and left hand to bring out the correct sound.


Allisa Jackman—How to Play on an Electric Instrument

The instruments in a rock band are all amplified, so an acoustic violin, viola or cello can’t be heard. Ms. Allisa will teach you how to select an instrument within your budget, the cables needed to connect that instrument to amplification, how to use a preamp and/or amp, and how to use special effects. She will demonstrate with her equipment and demonstrate sounds you’d never be able to produce on an acoustic, using special effects.


Alissa Jackman—Rock/Pop Techniques for Soloing

Each band has a band leader. Usually that’s the singer. Since most rock bands use guitars, the easiest key on the guitar is E, but if that’s uncomfortable for the singer, they’ll choose a key that suits their voice. The band leader will usually tell you the role they want you to play. But, in general, there are four roles a bowed string player can step into:

  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Pads (which can be long tones or a rhythmic figure that keeps repeating)
  • Fillers (to avoid playing while lyrics are sung, you play at the end of each line)
  • Solos (you make up your own ideas for whatever length of time the band allows)

We will cover as many of these techniques as possible during this session.