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Thread: Are there fewer workshops these days?

  1. #1
    Registered User SincereCorgi's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Bay Area, California

    Default Are there fewer workshops these days?

    Does it seem like there are drastically fewer instrument workshops these days? Five or six years ago it seemed like there was an interesting workshop for mandolin or guitar or something every two or three months, but now it's maybe one or two a year. I can only speak for my neck of the woods, of course. I assume people are teaching online instead?

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Sep 2002
    North Carolina

    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    To my view, seems like there are more than ever these days. The MC homepage had a link the other day, displayed a long list. When I did my first one (Butch B., 1994), there were *none*. Granted, that was in the Pleistocene Era...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    Interesting you mentioned this, when to me, it looks like instructional "camps" are flourishing.
    Do you mean workshops, like at festivals?

  4. #4
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    Dec 2017
    The Great Northwest

    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    You need to be willing to travel a bit. Lots of stuff within striking distance of a day’s drive.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    Gryphon has them going on all the time, but I've been to a few and find the format near useless.
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  6. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Rochester NY 14610

    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    One problem is the definition of "workshop." Some are real teaching programs, others are just mini-concerts built around a particular theme. I led a "Sing Me a Story" workshop at our local Turtle Hill Folk Festival last weekend, and it was basically one touring act and two local performers singing songs loosely organized around the theme of a narrative.

    We did also have more teaching-oriented workshops in guitar, clawhammer banjo, and old-time fiddle -- the latter with Bruce Molsky, and you can't hardly do better'n that! No mandolin this time around.

    Our local folk club does workshops from time to time, teaching oriented, and I'm teaching a very beginning mandolin class at the Hochstein School here in Rochester, starting next month. I'd suggest that someone who wants to learn in the workshop format, should look to one of the week-long residence programs or camps; those are invariably strongly oriented toward group instruction.
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  7. #7
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Sep 1998
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    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    Camps and workshops are increasing. We've been compiling these for probably 15 years for U.S. and Europe separately and have never seen it as strong as it is right now. In spite of a lot of competition from online resources, they're clearly not for everyone, and some likely partake in both.


    There are several newcomer camps of less than 3-4 years that appear strong and have good feedback like Alan Bibey's camp, Great Lakes Music Camp, Old School Bluegrass, the newly resurrected American Guitar and Mandolin School run by Marilynn Mair to name a few. And yet the long-time favorites are going strong including Swanannoa Gathering, Ashokan, California Bluegrass Association Camps, California Coast Music Camp, an Diego Classical Mandolin Camp, Grand Targhee, Steve Kaufman's multiple camps, Common Ground on the Hill, Camp Bluegrass and more. And these are just the camps. Plenty of smaller, individual one-day events abound.

  8. #8
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    North CA

    Default Re: Are there fewer workshops these days?

    I was recently at at a very successful Lark camp with a lot of mandolin content, from Choro to old time to Italian to Irish to BG and beyond.

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