The Mystery of Modes Workshop
A weekend of exploring modes used for relaxation, in therapeutic music, and in Celtic and American traditional music.
We'll cover defining characteristics and basic chord progressions as well as improvising.
This workshop is geared to hammered dulcimers and harps, but other instruments are welcome.
Rental HDs and harps available.
To Register or get site-specific information, click on the location you are interested in:
- Musicians who want to become more fluent in the modes used in Appalachian and Celtic music.
- Therapeutic musicians interested in deepening their understanding of modes and learning to move between modes.
- Increased flexibility in being able to vary and improvise with modes and their chords progressions.
- Therapeutic musicians wanting Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
- Musicians interested in becoming therapeutic musicians through the Music for Healing and Transitions Program mhtp.org and similar programs.
Karen Ashbrook, CMP (Certified Music Practitioner) has had decades of musical adventures, starting with a solid classical music education growing up (piano, French horn, music theory, orchestra). In high school she discovered the world of traditional folk music and was soon on the road – literally (traversing the globe twice!) and figuratively – learning hammered dulcimer, banjo, pennywhistle, mandolin, wooden flute and more!
She is a professional hammered dulcimer performer and teacher and also runs and teaches at Irish music camps. She received her certification as a Music Practitioner through the Music for Healing and Transitions Program (mhtp.org) and works regularly as a therapeutic musician.
Although not a harp player, she has strong connections with the Celtic harp world, having collaborated with several great players (and sitting in for years on her son's harp lessons!) She has taught at Augusta Heritage Center, Swannanoa Gathering, The Catskills Irish Arts Week, CCE MAD Week, and Kentucky Music Week. Her love of modal music, teaching and healing shine through in her workshops!
The Guitar Class will meet all day Saturday and on Sunday morning. The Friday night class on Pentatonic scales will be with everyone together.
REQUIREMENTS: Guitar players should be able to play C, G and D major scales, as well as their relative minors - Am, Em and Bm. If you have questions, email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Oorts has never met a fretted string instrument or a tuning he didn't like. Well versed in both steel and nylon string guitar, cittern, mandolin, mando-cello, 4 and 5 string banjos, ukelele, harpguitar and more - if it has frets, Paul plays it (as well as musette button accordion)!
Paul is a popular ensemble musician in the English and contra dance world and favorite accompanist, teacher and performer at dulcimer festivals. He is a veteran of many festivals and camps: Augusta Heritage Center, Kentucky Music Week, H-Camp, Common Ground on the Hill, Upper Potomac Music Weekends, Pinewoods, and Timber Ridge, to name a few.
What students have said about Paul's classes:
"OUTSTANDING. I believe my class with Paul Oorts on Sunday - Improv on GDAE - was one of the most information/productive classes I have ever attended anywhere."
Student from UPMW
"Many students said your class on Pentatonics was the best class they have ever taken! Bravo!"
The organizer, Joanie Blanton, Upper Potomac Music Weekend
You can hear a concert of Karen & Paul's at the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC when they represented Belgium at a European Union Showcase.
"Really nice workshop! I'm so glad I made the trip! This is the best workshop I've ever attended. The pacing and atmosphere were just perfect. The workshop had a very well-organized and well-thought-out theme, presented at just the right level.and flexibility to accommodate the different proficiency levels of the participants. I really enjoyed the participatory exercises where each of us could elect to focus on either the melody, harmony, improvisation, or a combination. Essential concepts and building blocks were presented in a variety of learning styles, providing a wealth of ideas and inspiration to carry forward! I also have to add that listening to your CD 'Starry Starry' after the workshop was amazing, in that I could hear so many of the workshop ideas applied at a master level. Bravo!"
Bill F., Maryland - April 2017
"This is an excellent, well organized weekend workshop with one of the finest HD teachers/players in the US. Music theory was presented clearly and each mode and/or scale had well chosen example tunes. While the course did not emphasize a large number of tunes but carefully chosen ones that emphasized and helped the participants learn and remember the modes. Because the modes; Ionian, Dorian, Lydian, Mixolydian and Aoelian were clearly organized the music theory did not seem overwhelming but logical. I felt confident enough at the end of the class to begin experimenting by taking tunes I already knew and experimenting with variations of modes to increase variety and interest in the playing of those old favorites. It was a delight to see and hear Karen play her dulcimer with such expression that she brings to the instrument."
Lori Y., San Clemente - February 2017
"Karen Ashbrook just gets better and better as a hammered dulcimer instructor and interpreter of all things dulcimer, traditional music and that complicated area called music theory. Her inaugural Mystery of Modes weekend workshop in San Clemente, Feb. 2017, brought together players of different levels and interests and included a harpist, 2 Certified Music Practitioners, and players wanting to unravel the tangle of modes.
The workshop was very well organized, well paced and included all the elements as promoted. We all appreciated Karen's enthusiasm and inclusion of practical examples and applications of each mode. She was conscious of varied needs of individual students and carefully led us through each mode, supported by well prepared handouts (worth the price of admission!).
We all left the workshop with a renewed respect for Karen and the depth of her workshops, an appreciation for the various applications of what we learned and a desire to really implement the soul of the topic, whether in Celtic and American traditional music or in therapeutic music settings. Thanks, Karen!!"
Barbara Gershman, VP Southern California Dulcimer Heritage nonprofit
"Organization, documentation, and use of time couldn't have been better. The published hourly schedule was seamlessly and smoothly held to."
Jim P., San Clemente, CA - February 2017
Contact Karen Ashbrook, email@example.com, 301-655-0103.