Classes at The Kentucky School will be offered in music, creative writing, arts & crafts, and more.

Click here for current course offerings and times.

 

MUSIC CLASs Descriptions

Classes for all ages, as well as custom private lessons offered in banjo, fiddle, and guitar in the Lexington, KY area.

Learn to play by ear! Develop the skills you need to participate in and even innovate the Appalachian tradition--while discovering a new creative community with which you can grow and have fun.  

GROUP CLASSES & RATES

CORE CLASSES:

Old-Time Banjo 1

Banjo | Group Class | Beginner

75 minutes * Once a week for 8 weeks * $180

For anyone interested in beginning the five-string banjo and its traditional styles. This course will introduce you to the more common regional ways of playing this instrument. Students will learn first-position chords, overhand (clawhammer), as well as a few fretting-hand techniques. By the end of the session, you should be ready to succeed in Old-Time Banjo 2.

Fiddle 1

Fiddle | Group Class | Beginner

75 minutes * Once a week for 8 weeks * $180

For anyone interested in beginning the fiddle and its traditional styles. We’ll review the A and D major scales, as well as some simple melodies. Then we’ll learn several standard fiddle tunes, including shuffle and saw stroke bowing patterns. After eight weeks, you will be able to play a small collection of standard fiddle tunes and be well on your way to succeeding in Fiddle 2.

Guitar 1

Guitar | Group Class | Beginner

75 minutes * Once a week for 8 weeks * $180

For anyone interested in beginning the guitar. Learn chords, simple strums, and tuning in a fun, relaxed group setting. You’ll be introduced to the basic elements of rhythm and harmony that will have you making music in no time! Guitar 1 is for the absolute beginner. In this class you will learn parts of the guitar, how to tune your guitar, basic chords in several keys, simple strumming techniques, helpful practice tips, and a handful of songs with lyrics and chords.


REPERTOIRE CLASSES:

Old-Time Banjo 2

Banjo | Group Class | Intermediate

75 minutes * Once a week for 8 weeks * $180

In this class you’ll go beyond the basics with specialized techniques like the drop-thumb, as well as Appalachian modal tuning. You’ll also learn more challenging banjo songs, as well as the banjo’s relationship to fiddle tunes. Here you’ll begin to develop skills with alternate tunings and advance your experience in picking up tunes by ear.

Fiddle 2

Fiddle | Group Class | Early Intermediate

75 minutes * Once a week for 8 weeks * $180

In this class you’ll go beyond the basics with rhythm and scale knowledge. Here you’ll focus on tuning and key selection, as well as the context for how to use these skills to advance your practice. You’ll also review songs learned in Fiddle 1, increasing your confidence and mastery.

Guitar 2

Guitar | Group Class | Early Intermediate

75 minutes * Once a week for 8 weeks * $180

Build on your skills by learning lots of great songs, different strums and a few "licks," while singing and playing at the same time! Build upon your new Core Guitar 1 skills by learning to play basic open chords in the keys of A, E, D, and G, smoothly without losing the beat. There are hundreds of tunes to learn at every skill level.

Old-Time String Band Ensemble

Various | Group Class | Intermediate-Advanced

2 hrs. * Every other week for 8 weeks * $180

You are invited to our String Band Ensemble - Int./Adv. Class!  This class is for the guitar, fiddle and old-time banjo player who has mastered the skills and techniques at the beginner level and who is ready to play in a string band setting.  If you are comfortable learning tunes by ear, and want to meet other musicians and learn more about traditional Kentucky music and beyond, this is the class for you.

This class will meet every other week for eight weeks (4 classes total) and we will focus on 4-6 new tunes.  The fiddles are considered the lead instrument in this music and will focus on melodies and bowing rhythms in standard and other old-time tunings such as "cross" and "high bass;” guitars will focus on rhythm accompaniment and bass runs in the popular keys of G, C, A and D; and banjos will focus on both melodies and rhythm in these different tunings.

Students will have access to a Google Doc which will include names, keys, charts, and lyrics to the tunes we cover in class. Each week  we will spend a portion of the class listening/singing the tune of the week, then break out into small groups by instrument to play the tune, and then reunite to play as a larger group. Many of the tunes will be instrumental "fiddle tunes", but we’ll always try to choose some tunes that have words and/or a waltz or song and harmony singing parts. At the end of each session is a pot-luck, concert, and tunes party at The Kentucky School.  Please join us! And if you have any questions please e-mail us at thekentuckyschool@gmail.com.