2020 instructional workshops

Register now for 2020 BOTMC online workshops! 


This year, all workshops will be held online, using Z--m.  Participants must have a Z--m account, which is free; sign up at the Z--m website..  Z--m links and passwords for workshops will be sent with confirmation, after you register.

Please do not share these links with others; the income from the workshop goes to the instructors, so if you do share, it comes out of the instructor's pocket. 


FREE WORKSHOP, Sat. Sept. 26 at 1:00 pm PDT  -- Lecture-demo with TONY THOMAS. Learn, ask questions and discuss Black Banjo with one of the foremost scholars on that subject.  We will post the Z--m link the day before the workshop.  


Tuition is $25 per workshop.  This year, we are also offering an ALL-ACCESS pass ---- this entitles you to attend as many workshops as you want (as many as 8), for the all-inclusive price of $100.  

To register for a workshop, click HERE.  Credit card only this year. 

Material will be taught by ear; we hope to be able to record/video the workshops and make the recordings/videos available to participants, but we're still working that out. 


workshops are one hour in length



Sat. Sept 26


11:00 am PDT   - Flatfooting Fundamentals - Beginning Clogging - Charmaine Slaven - 

Appalachian Flatfoot Dancing: Learn the art of accompanying Southern fiddle music with your feet!  We'll start with the basic rhythm foundation steps, and learn accent steps as we go, with an emphasis on dancing with good musicianship.  Flatfooting is an excellent way to improve your rhythm as a dancer and/or musician.  You'll be learning to let your entire body "hear" the music.  It's also an excellent work-out, as you'll be so entrenched in the music, you won't even realize you're working up a sweat!  This class is physical, so be cautious if you suffer from back, hip, knee, ankle issues.  Comfortable work-out clothing, a full water bottle, a smooth open wood surface at least 3x3 feet, and low-heeled leather-soled shoes appropriate for dancing are recommended.  This class is suitable for all levels, we'll start with basics and build up, with more advanced steps towards the latter half of class.  Please feel free to contact me in advance with any questions at charmaineslaven@gmail.com


12:00 noon PDT     A visit with Alice - Alice Gerrard  -  fiddle tunes, stories and songs

2:00 pm PDT        Fiddle - Eddie Bond  

4:00 pm PDT        Fiddle - Gabrielle Macrae -  Gabrielle will teach an intermediate Old Time fiddle workshop with an emphasis on bowing technique. She will teach one or two tunes and touch on different techniques and tips in the context of the tunes. 



12:00 noon PDT     Introduction to Hilltopper style two-finger banjo picking. - Ivy Sheppard -  Ivy will explain and demonstrate the Creede Birchfield “gallop lick” and the more nuanced alternating thumb and index lead two-finger style of Bill Birchfield. Students will learn a classic Roan Mountain Hilltopper tune in both styles. 

**recordings will be provided of Bill and Creede before the workshop.

2:00 pm PDT     Clawhammer Banjo - Barry Southern - Barry will teach an intermediate clawhammer banjo workshop. He’ll teach a tune, and talk about tips and techniques for making your playing smooth and rhythmic. 


4:00 pm PDT  Cajun Singing - David Greely - We’ll learn to sing a simple standard Cajun two-step, two verses, in Cajun French dialect, with tips on dialect traits to listen for in all Cajun songs. If there’s time, we’ll learn a waltz.

Sun. Sept. 27



11:00 am PDT  - Clogging  -  Evie Ladin

Clogaerobics - Kicking off your Sunday with an old-time skill building dance workout.


12:00 noon PDT  Fiddle - Earl White 

2:00 pm PDT   Cajun Fiddle - David Greely- We’ll learn a standard Cajun two-step with emphasis on distinctive rhythms and ornaments in Cajun music, then a Cajun waltz as well. 

4:00 pm PDT   Fiddle - Jake Blount 


12:00 noon PDT  Banjo - Jake Blount 

2:00 pm PDT Two-finger style picking -  Joseph Decosimo - intermediate level and above


4:00 pm PDT   Duet Singing - Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin - Demo-style workshop, with plenty of time for questions and answers.

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OUR FUNDERS:  We greatly appreciate the generous support of Ed Littlefield, Jr.; Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA), in partnership with the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation; the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission; the Alameda County Art Commission; and the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation. 

 Thanks also to our nonprofit sponsors:  Freight & SalvageKPFA-FMAshkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, and the California Bluegrass Association


Extra-special thanks to our Valiant Volunteer Coordinator, Lael Sigal, and of course to all our volunteers – they make the BOTMC possible!


© 2020 Berkeley Old Time Music Convention