Mandolin Camp North 2013
By Mandolin Cafe
February 4, 2013 - 4:45 pm
Mandolin Camp North 2013
Charlton, Mass. — Mandolin Camp North 2013 convenes April 12-14 at the Prindle Pond Conference Center and features an outstanding all-star line-up of mandolin instructors.
"This year, Mandolin Camp North 2013 has one of the strongest teaching staffs in the history of our camp. New this year are Barry Mitterhoff and Tony Watt. Returning by popular demand are Mike Compton and Sharon Gilchrist, plus our excellent cadre of regular Mandolin Camp North staffers. All are superb teachers," said camp director Mike Holmes.
Registration is now open and students can take advantage of the reduced rates through the camp's Early Bird Discount. "I am concerned that so few people have registered to date. Based on current enrollment, unless it changes, it's possible we'll have to cancel Mandolin Camp. The deadline for the Early Bird discounted registration fee was January 31 but we're extending that to anyone who sends the payment in full of $395 or the $100 deposit postmarked by February 17.
Advancing Beginners and Intermediates will find classes geared to their levels and needs. Advancing beginners may still only play a few phrases and chords, but they have some basic mandolin experience. In general intermediates know some tunes but aren't able to play up to speed yet. They are still working on rhythm. They may already read tab or notation, but can use help playing by ear and learning to arrange a tune or song on their own. Classes at the Advancing Beginners/Intermediate level have included Learning To Play What You Hear, Playing Slow Tunes, Controlling The Pick, Choosing Your Next Mandolin, Bluegrass Mandolin Monroe Style, Introduction to Modern Bluegrass Style, Old Time Mandolin — Brothers Music, Translating Fiddle Tunes To The Mandolin, What To Do When Another Instrument Has The Lead, Accompanying Singing, and many more.
For the Advanced Players, there have been classes in Arranging Tunes or Songs For The Mandolin, Introduction To What It Takes To Be An Effective Sideman, Playing For A Living, Playing And Composing For Commercials, and more.
We are also offering Master Classes in which already advanced students can receive personal, one-on-one critiques on such subjects as technique, tone, and taste from professional performers. As always, the full range of classes, beginner to advanced, will be offered and the Help Desk will be available to all levels for anyone who needs some extra help.
Camp web site
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The "star" instructors can be wonderful, and it is great fun to meet and play with one's mandolin heroes. But don't expect any individual attention. The workshops are relatively brief, so no time to explore subject matter in depth. Most workshops consist of working on a song or some exercises. Some instructors give out written materials, some don't. If you go, bring a good recorder so you can work on material at home. Otherwise, you will forget 90% of it after attending multiple workshops over the weekend. In my view, MCN is best for advanced and strong intermediate players. If you are a novice or advanced beginner, your time and money probably would be better spent on individual lessons.
I don't know if the current venue is any better, but the facilities at the two places I attended (one on Groton, MA, and the other in Maine) were like very low quality kids' summer camps -- uncomfortable sleeping arrangements with multiple people crowded into small rooms (bring ear plugs in case of loud snorers), truly terrible institutional food and rules against alcohol consumption. Finally, the proprietor makes no pretense about being there for anything other than the money. The snide comments and snarky attitude got old very quickly. If you don't mind this type of treatment, then MCN may be a good fit for you.