2019 instructional workshops

Registration is open for 2019 workshops! 


LOCATION: Music workshops are held at  Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison, Berkeley

Dance workshops on Sat. Sept. 21 are held at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, and are listed at the bottom of this page. No pre-registration is necessary for dance workshops.


Workshop size is limited, so register early to make sure you get a spot! 

Tuition is $25 per workshop; all proceeds go to instructor.

To register for a workshop, click on the title of the workshop you want. You can also register over the phone (510-644-2020), or in person at the Freight & Salvage box office. The Freight accepts cash, checks (including check by mail), credit card.  Service fees apply to purchase made online and by phone.

Material will be taught by ear; bringing a recording device is recommended.

Thurs. Sept.  19 3:30 – 5:00 pm


Guitar - Geoff Muldaur

Old time banjo - candy Goldman

Come and learn a few of Candy's favorite clawhammer banjo tunes from Kentucky and West Virginia with focus on right and left hand techniques that add tone and texture to your playing.This class is for intermediate players who are comfortable learning by ear.

Recording devices recommended.


Fri. Sept. 20             6:00 - 7:30 pm

(participants get reserved seating with concert ticket purchase)


Uncle Dave Macon Banjo - Daniel Rothwell

Daniel will focus on the banjo stylings of Uncle Dave Macon, the Dixie Dewdrop. For intermediate/advanced players; you’ll need to already know basic clawhammer technique, including drop thumb.  


Old Time Fiddle - Casy Meikle 

Sat. Sept. 21

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Children’s Fiddle Workshop – Elise Engelberg

$25 tuition includes admission to Sunday afternoon Family Dance for one child and one adult.

Kids will learn a simple (but fun!) fiddle tune on Saturday, then play it at the Sunday afternoon Family Dance!!  Open to children aged 8 and up who have already played fiddle or violin for a year.  Reading music NOT required! Fiddlers who want to perform with the group at the Sunday Family Dance will gather at Ashkenaz at 2pm, to start running through the tune at 2:15. The dance goes from 3 to 4.  The tune will be played by the group during the first half.

3:00 – 4:30 pm
Songs & Sources - Jim Kweskin

Jim Kweskin will talk about the earlier artists whose recordings he loved and listened to. You’ll listen to portions of recordings from the source (such artists as Uncle Dave Macon, Jesse Fuller, Leroy Carr, Mississippi John Hurt etc.) and then Jim will play the song live, and discuss how and why he adapted the song to fit his taste and abilities. 


Sun Sept. 22

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
OLD Time Singing - Cody Jordan 

In this workshop we will focus on how to choose a song and then sing it with the power and expression the old songs deserve. We’ll talk about finding repertoire, phrasing, key choice, accompaniment and other stylistic elements that set old-time singing apart from other genres. We will also learn a couple of lesser known songs which were sung by some great West Virginia singers that I have influenced me. Feel free to bring an instrument with which to accompany yourself and your voice – including any questions/opinions/experiences  and join in to ensure that we all come away having learned something new.


Old Time Fiddle - Earl White

Old Time Banjo - Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson has backed up some of the greatest West Virginia fiddlers: Wilson Douglas, Ernie Carpenter, Lester McCumbers, Frank George, Bobby Taylor. For this workshop, fiddler Jesse Pearson (of the Modock Rounders) will be present, and Kim will reveal some of her banjo backup secrets!

1:00 – 2:30 pm
Southern Appalachian Ballads- Donna Ray Norton

Donna Ray Norton will teach ballads from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, songs  that have been passed down for eight generations in Madison County, NC. You will learn in the authentic knee to knee style, full of inflection and tone. Join her in this workshop to learn some stories of her home, and how to sing ballads!

Old Time Fiddle - Jesse Pearson

This intermediate level workshop will focus on the old-time fiddle traditions of Central West Virginia. Alternate tunings, repertoire, sources, and the stylistic differences between many of the region's key players will be openly discussed and demonstrated. The goal of this session is for you to leave with a better understanding of the West Virginia fiddling style and also having learned a few "cross tunes" first hand. Audio recorders are encouraged as there will be no written music.

Old Time Three Finger Banjo picking - Jerron Paxton

Jerron will teach how to play old time three finger picking in a few different keys without having to change tuning. 



Sat. Sept. 21


5:00 – 6:30 pm (Free admission)
Square dance calling workshop taught by Sue Hulsether

Square Dance Calling for Anyone!

This interactive workshop will give you a fast and furious intro to square dance calling. While you are having a great time dancing, you will learn how to start calling traditional squares.  We will learn some square dance patter, work on using our voices rhythmically, clarify the mysteries of square dance structure, and even take turns improvising while calling. Helpful handouts included;  new experiences guaranteed.  

No experience or partner needed. Come to have fun, leave with a new skill under your belt.  

7:30 – 8:00 (included with admission to dance)
Flatfoot buck dancing workshop with thomas Maupin, Ruth Alpert & Korey Posey

Get warmed up for the square dance with some freestyle buck dancing, Tennessee-style.


This workshop is all about having fun while enhancing and fine tuning your skills to help you move from intermediate to advanced.  We will explore and focus on bowing techniques that will help you get that “old time” sound, while building your repertoire with tunes in various keys. Bring recorders! Let’s play.

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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; Lagunitas Brewing Company; 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