Dr. Joy Adams  – Songwriting

Worlds in Words

Crafting lyrics to a song should feel like casting a magic spell. In this class, we’ll explore building a song from the ground up, editing and re-editing until the words best express a particular sentiment.

Where Words Fail…

Lyrics only ever tell half of the story in a good song. In this class, we’ll spend an hour learning to choose chords and melodies for your lyrics that can speak the unspeakable.

A Well-Dressed Song

Arranging and producing a song is the final and most important step in songwriting. There is a game of tension and release to play with your audience, and the production of the song is the place to do it.

Throw Me a Rope!

Methods to pull yourself out of writer’s block, performance anxiety, and low confidence. By changing the timbre of our voices and learning some of the basic characteristics of these styles we can learn to cross genres and get in touch with more of the soul of the song. The influence of the lyric in the song also guides the musical components for us. Fun.

About Dr. Joy Adams  – Songwriting

Joy was raised by wolves on a small farm north of Spokane, Washington. After surviving both the Eastman School of Music and the University of Miami, she completed her Doctorate in Music in 2016.  Known by her students as “Dr. Meow,” she currently teaches music theory and composition at Naropa University, and has been on the faculty of fiddle camps throughout the country. She has made over a dozen concerto appearances and has performed with major artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Gloria Estefan, Bobby McFerrin, and Chick Corea. 

Recent highlights include touring with Nathaniel Rateliff, performing on Live From Here with Chris Thile, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, performing at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Bonnie Paine (of Elephant Revival), recording for the Emmy-award winning soundtrack to Godless and The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, releasing Trifecta, an album of Indian fusion music, In her spare time, Joy enjoys eating pie and climbing on things. 

Joy is known for her unique and insightful approach to teaching songwriting and we are fortunate and excited to have her brand of Songwriting instruction for WinterTunes 2021.


Lisa Burns – Upright Acoustic Bass

Tricks For Better Intonation On Your Bass 

This interactive course will class navigating your fingerboard, finding notes with your hands alone anywhere on the neck, shifting accurately, and scale practice.  We will also cover changing chords on the fly in a jam situation…super fun…oh yeah!

Walking Bass!

This class will cover walking styles for Bluegrass, Western Swing, and simple Jazz Standards.  We will discuss and play arpeggios, chromatic, and scalar bass lines in the context of these styles.

Three Styles for Bass – Fiddle Tunes, Blues, Americana

In this interactive course, we will discuss the bass’s different roles in each of these styles.  We will then discuss and play tunes in each of these three styles.

Other Bass Line Rhythms (Bass Players and percussionists)

Tired of 1-5, 1-5, 1-5, 1-5….?  Have you tried Bossa Nova? Calypso? Slow Blues? Shuffle? Let’s try some syncopation!  Grab your bass, and maybe a recording device.  Drummers welcome!

About Lisa

She took up the guitar at age 12 but when she started studying upright bass in 1994 she found her true calling. Lisa has been a finalist for Northern California Bluegrass Society’s Bass Player of the year each year since the award was instituted. She has won the award 5 out of 10 years. Like many fine bass players, Lisa performs regularly with at least several bands at any given time in NorCal.  She has performed at many festivals throughout the West and her recordings include projects with Sherry Austin (Santa Cruz), Last Transit (San Diego), Mary McCaslin (Santa Cruz), Sharon Allen (Santa Cruz), and Sidesaddle & Co. (San Jose, CA) and others. Lisa’s easy-going and patient manner has won her many fans as a bass teacher, conducting bass workshops from many California music festivals to private homes. 


Joe Craven


So cool is that mighty little pair of drums from the musically rich island country of Cuba. They have been a centerpiece in Joe’s percussion toolkit for decades and, now after having visited Cuba, Joe knows more about the place of their birth as well. Portable and versatile, they fit into a wide variety of music. Joe will cover tuning, care and feeding, cover a couple basic patterns used in Afro-Cuban rhythms, plus lopes (popular in old time music), two beats and swing rhythms.

NOTE: If you don’t have a pair of bongos, borrowed or owned, you can still learn the fundamental rhythms by playing your thighs (seriously) right at your seat.  

The Fiddler Mimicking the Vocalist

I’m teaching several of my online fiddle students not just how to learn the melodies of powerful, beautiful songs, but how to “vocalize on the violin”;  the deep listening, focus and detailing on how to play the violin as if you are a singer. From Bessie Smith to Edith Piaf… Bob Dorough to Bob Dillon to Tom Waits… the rolling tone, timbre, dynamics, vibrato, martillo, vibrato… the breath and the unique and magical perfection of the imperfection of the human voice is a wondrous challenge to bring to that most vocally expressive string instrument; the violin, the fiddle, the “devil’s box”.

Shake that Rhythm!

The Egg Shaker – inexpensive and ever present – reminds us that it’s not the car…its the driver! Many folks have little idea how expressive this lil instrument is. The cool thing is that it’s a great tool to strengthen your rhythmic integrity and it fits in your shirt pocket or the accessory case of your string instrument. Show up with one and you can then show how legit an instrument it is to your pals. Dig.

About Joe

Joe wears a lot of hats as an instrumentalist, music producer, creativity educator, music festival Master of Ceremonies and fashion insultant. For over 35 years, this former museologist has made a living playing forward folk tradition and process by mashing up ideas and tools from a variety of unexpected places, creating new music altogether. Joe has made and/or recorded music with Jerry Garcia, David Lindley, David Grisman, Alison Brown, Howard Levy, Vassar Clements, Rob Ickes and many other innovative artists. As an award-winning educator, Joe has taught with jazz vocalist Inga Swearengen, bassist Victor Wooten, children’s music innovator Paul Reisler and jazz percussionist Jason Marsalis. He is a featured artist/educator in the PBS television series, Music Gone Public, a recipient of the Folk Alliance Far-West Performer of the Year Award and the Swannanoa Gathering’s Master Music Maker Award.

“Joe Craven is magical.” – San Francisco Chronicle


Keeth Crowhawk
Bruce Ogilivie

Keeth CrowHawk – Tracy Morgan – Bruce Ogilvie
Hand Drumming & Percussion

Foundation Syncopation

Introduction to fundamental rhythms in 4/4 time and 3/4 time. In order to play freely, you must understand the basics of counting time & how to mix time signatures. This is the primary job of every drummer. We will learn how to drum, sing & move while having fun drumming.

Foundation Syncopation Jam Session

This is an ensemble percussion session that any of you string players and vocalists can also jam any favorite tunes or songs to. Pick, strum, saw, and sing fiddle tunes or songs and hear them in a whole new sound with percussion teachers Tracy, Crow, and Bruce laying down world crossover grooves for our percussion students. Think of it as jamming to LIVE backing tracks!  This is Cool stuff!

World Beats & Rhythms

We will connect as a community to appreciate cultural diversity through World Beats! You will learn how to hold your pattern and hear the melodic syncopation while playing. We will mix African, Latin & Arabic patterns while learning how to relax, sing & move to World Beats.

World Beats & Rhythms Jam Session

This is an ensemble percussion session that any of you string players and vocalists can also jam any favorite tunes or songs with. Pick, strum, saw, and sing fiddle tunes or songs and hear them in a whole new way with percussion teachers Tracy, Crow, and Bruce laying down world crossover grooves for our percussion students. Think of it as jamming to LIVE backing tracks!  This is Cool stuff!

About Keeth “Crow”

“Crow” is a world music percussionist who specializes in Middle Eastern drumming.  He has performed in the area for years as the percussion section leader of the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble and collaborated with local artists and groups including Canzona Women’s Ensemble, Inga Swearingen, and Cafe Musique.  Current interests include exploring new rhythmic ideas in the multi-cultural percussion trio R3, folkloric dancing in the Tahtib/Raqs Assaya and Dabke genres, and working at local music festivals as a stage manager and drum tech.  Highlights from Crow’s journey in music include R&D on recreational drumming facilitation with the Remo Drum Company in North Hollywood, CA, studied with late Egyptian master percussionist Khamis Henkish in Cairo, Egypt, and performed with the CP AME at Carnegie Hall, NYC.

About Tracy

Tracy quickly gravitated towards drums when he joined the percussion section in the Jr. High School Orchestra. After decades of drumming in the styles of Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Blues, Country and many in between, Tracy has been able to share his talents while recording in the studio, performing live at Festivals & as an educator and drum facilitator with an emphasis on World rhythms. He first met Joe Craven at one of his afternoon drum workshops & has had the pleasure to work backstage many times with the Cravens!

About Bruce

Bruce first became interested in drumming while attending the “Heal Avila” drum event.  In 1999, Inspired by performances by Afro Cuban and African artists he became active in local drum circles.  His first exposure to coordinated drumming came while visiting a local African dance class at the old Cuesta College gym.  Since then he has attended numerous workshops with African masters and traveled to Guinea West Africa to study with Bolokada Conde.  He currently plays with Central Coast Afro Rhythm and Dance.  Most recently he has added samba to his studies and currently plays with Samba Loca. He enjoys sharing his passion of coordinated rhythms and teaches both styles.

Grant Gordy – Flat top Acoustic Guitar

Mapping the Fretboard

How to use your ears, and build on what you already know about music, to demystify the forest of dots and lines on the guitar neck!

Rhythm and How to Befriend the Metronome

Discovering ways to deepen our sense of groove and cultivate greater rhythmic confidence

The Blues Improvisational Strategies

 A deep and reverent look at one of the most important things America has contributed to the universe. A chord progression, but so much more!

Improvisational Strategies

Improvisation doesn’t just mean hot solos. A “thinking on our feet” frame of mind can make all aspects of music sound and feel fresh every time we pick up our instrument.

About Grant

For several years Brooklyn-based guitarist Grant Gordy has been a major voice on the American “acoustic music” scene, and one of the most highly regarded young instrumentalists of his generation. Having held the guitar chair in the legendary David Grisman Quintet for six years, he’s also worked alongside such musical luminaries as Edgar Meyer, Steve Martin, Tony Trischka and Darol Anger. Grant has performed all over North America and Europe, everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Montreal Jazz Festival; Jazz at Lincoln Center to Bonnaroo.

His music has been heard on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts, and he’s received attention from international music periodicals such as The Fretboard Journal, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Just Jazz Guitar and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

In addition to all his accolades, Grant is a truly wonderful teacher and has a unique way of relaxing while inspiring his students thus bringing out their best creative selves. 


Orville Johnson – Acoustic Blues Guitar

Fingerstyle Blues in the style of Mance Lipscomb

We’ll learn Mr. Lipscomb’s version of Goin’ Down Slow. One cool thing (among many) about this tune is it’s in Dropped D tuning, but played in the key of A, so you have a fat bass note for the 4 chord. He also uses what I refer to as “heavy time” in his thumb, pounding the single bass notes rather than alternating. I’ll have music/tab for this class.

Fingerstyle Blues in the style of Elizabeth Cotten

We’ll learn Ms. Cotten’s tune I’m Goin’ Away. She was a master of the alternating bass or “Piedmont style” blues picking. She was from the area of North Carolina that also brought us Rev Gary Davis, Etta Baker, and many more adherents of that style. I’ll have music/tab for this class.

Bottleneck Slide – Basics for the Slide Curious

This is for beginners in this style looking to improve their technique and/or folks that are interested but may never have tried it before. I’ll focus on the basics of muting, intonation, damping, articulation, and getting a good sound. We’ll use a simple tune that I’ll teach you to apply these concepts. I won’t have written material for this so I’ll encourage you to go back over the recording of the class to review things. Playing slide is so much about the sound that doesn’t translate nicely to writing. When written, it mostly looks like notes with a bunch of squiggly lines between them.

Lead Blues Guitar

We’ll look at several techniques that we need to understand to be able to play a greasy, bluesy solo. The proper way to bend strings, minor pentatonic blues scales all over the neck, two string harmonies, target notes, and phrasing are things we’ll cover. I’ll have some exercises and scales written out, but a lot of this stuff is conceptual-how to take these various techniques and meld them into a coherent and musical guitar solo.

About Orville 

From the southern Illinois heartland, Orville Johnson acquired his love of singing as a youth in the fundamentalist Pentecostal church he attended and, when he later began playing guitar and dobro, responded to the roots music that surrounded him by learning to play the blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, and country music that are all part of the mosaic that characterizes his own mongrel music.

He is a singer, instrumentalist, record producer, songwriter, session player, teacher, and a top notch dobro player, above all, an instinctive and sensitive musician. He has become a vital figure on the NW music scene in the thirty-some years he’s lived there, appearing on over 400 CDs, movie and video soundtracks, commercials, producing 22 CDs for other artists and hosting a roots music radio show.


Margo LeDuc – Voice

Singing For The Vocally Challenged

This Class is a really fun class. It’s not about being a great singer, It’s about allowing yourself to let go and have some fun with it. I will teach you some great techniques that you will use that will change your life. So lets have some fun!!

How to Optimize Your Breath in the Art of Singing

Margo will show you how breath control is key to connecting with your voice. She shares great exercises with the class that will give you excellent results and how to start singing songs with your new technique.

Singing in the Dark

This will unquestionably be an amazing adventure for all of us. You will discover new found confidence in your ability to truly sing without the intimidation of the cameras.

Margo’s Vocal Lab

Sing a song for Margo with everyone learning together from each other’s examples. This class peels back the layers that keep us from moving forward while helping us break through our fears in the process.

About Margo

A rare artist who can move seamlessly from the background into the spotlight, Margo LeDuc has been performing for over 20 years. She has supported artists such as pop icons Michael McDonald and Deniece Williams…performed for the King and Queen of Norway, opened for Jay Leno in Las Vegas and performed at the Monterey Blues Festival and Margo’s list of corporate clients includes Disney, Wells Fargo, General Electric, BMW and Redken. However, it’s her validating spirit and energy that has literally changed the lives of many people that caught our attention.  As a renowned vocal coach and educator, she has taught in many group settings, such as the Stanford Jazz Consortium at Stanford University as a vocal coach and mentor on all aspects of singing and performance and offering private instruction as well. 


Emory Lester – Mandolin

Combining Speed and Clarity

This class focuses on the ever-popular subject of how to develop and strategize the use the speed, and the techniques to practice it, and maintain it without sacrificing clarity, musicality, and tone.

Art of the Lyrical Mandolin

Learn how to recognize and acquire vocal qualities for your mandolin sound. We’ll focus on the subtleties of melody, the shaping of notes, phrasing, note choices, thought process and nuances in a vocal performance. Make your mandolin playing sing!

The Art of Creating Syncopation

Learn approaches and techniques of creating syncopation with the mandolin, from the developing of ‘rhythmic hands’ to the art of multi-string playing or crosspicking, with techniques on how and when to apply them.

Improvising on the Mandolin

Emory will share his insights on developing and honing improvisational skills. Concepts, techniques and exercises you can use to create musical ideas within the bluegrass music form.

About Emory

He is one of today’s foremost exponents of the acoustic mandolin.  His landmark recording projects have placed him among the elite mandolinists of our time. His clean, clear, fast and efficient mandolin techniques continue to influence many modern day mandolinists of all levels. 

Emory performs solo, in his fourteen year friendship and musical collaboration with noted banjoist Mark Johnson, and with his partner Jill Jones in the new ‘Emory Lester & Jill Jones Band’. 

Emory Lester is also a master instructor on mandolin, banjo and guitar, and has been teaching lessons in many styles and settings since 1978. In addition to performing for most of his life, Emory enjoys and always makes time to provide instruction to students throughout the world, from individual to large group settings.



Sheridan Malone – Morning Cup!

Breakfast With OnSong

For Ipad Owners, the OnSong app is a great song organizing tool. 

In this workshop we’ll cover:

  1. a) Songfile transfer from your computer or Internet into your iPad songbook.
  2. b) Creating and arranging setlists, and sub books by genre or author.
  3. c) Setting song scroll time and metronome.
  4. d) Simple reformatting of Word and Text documents to capitalize on advanced OnSong features: Key Changing, Capo keys, Chord charts and Bluetooth beaming to iPad with OnSong.

Bring an iPad with the OnSong app loaded and we’ll jump in!

About Sheridan 

Sheridan is a popular teacher of vocal technique and harmony. He  plays ukulele, guitar, and upright bass. Sheridan is a valued RiverTunes Camp family member and faculty member of RiverTunes and our sister camp Vocáli. He’s taught workshops and performed at many events in NorCal. WinterTunes thanks Sheridan for offering his heart and knowledge to our students of all things OnSong. 


Andy Reiner – Fiddle 

Fiddle Tune Sparkles Ornamentation from Irish to Blues

You could just play the notes in the order they were received … or you can bring them to life with twiddles, sprinkles, ephemerals, slides and hammer-ons.  Dress up your fiddle tunes up and scratch that hard to reach, 4th dimensional itch.

Channel Your Inner Cat to Improvise on Fiddle Tunes

Our cat, Capo, is inquisitive, exploring, mischievous, and bold; he lives in the moment and makes up his own excitement on the fly. As a musician – and a human – you have an inner cat, maybe one like Capo, which you can channel to improvise on fiddle tunes.  (This workshop will make you paws; it’s filled with licks and practical strategies!)

Fiddle Bowing Universe: Tone, Patterns and Chops

The bow is your sound!  Enter if you dare: this workshop contains the secret of tone, the top three bowing patterns for reels, the magic solutions to bow direction and string crossings, AND an introduction to chopping.  Your right arm, right wrist and right fingers will work together to elevate your music towards that “sound in your head.”  

Collaborative Fiddle Tune Composition

Dissect fiddle tunes to find out what makes them tick, explore idea creation, discuss how to use melodic development to turn a small phrase into a coherent fiddle tune, and learn how to open ourselves up to receive those magic bits of inspiration. As a group, we will collaborate on writing a new tune together, and attendees will leave with a new skill set and inspiration for writing new tunes into the future!

About Andy 

An award-winning fiddler, composer and educator, Andy has developed his own style featuring creative, rhythmic melodies, and thoughtful fusing of world styles. Earning a BM in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Andy then launched into a flurry of touring and teaching around the globe – playing e everything from Heavy Metal and Folk/Hip-Hop, to Swedish, Appalachian, Electronic Celtic… and even Bluegrass with The Earth Stringband, which toured Southeast Asia on the 2011 American Music Abroad tour for the US Department of State. 

Andy teaches students and leads teacher trainings in fiddle styles, improvisation, composition and rhythm fiddling at universities, public schools, privately, and at music camps across the US. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a Codabow Ambassador as well. 

Also known as the “Skiing Fiddler,” Andy skis every month of the year and has skied while playing the fiddle top to bottom on double black diamond runs at Silverton, CO and Mt. Baker, WA. He plays his fiddle on 14,000′ mountain summits with his wife and musical partner, cellist Dr. Joy Adams. 

Andy’s WinterTunes fiddle instruction may or may not include ski instruction.    


Greg Ruby – Acoustic Swing Guitar

Chord Melody Magic

This class will expand on topics covered in Greg Ruby’s series “Chord Melody Made Easy(ish)” in Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Unlock the magic of the fingerboard as you develop your understanding of chord inversions as you apply them to supporting melodies on the guitar. All handouts will be in standard notation, tablature and chord diagrams so note reading is not required. Open to all levels.

EZ Swing Now

Intended for either an advanced beginning guitarist or someone new to playing guitar in a swing style, this class will use common repertoire to learn the basics of swing accompaniment, melody playing and good technique. All handouts will be in standard notation, tablature and chord diagrams so note reading is not required. Mp3s and Play Alongs will keep you jamming along with the tunes for months to come!


Swing That Rhythm (Guitar) 

Swing guitar is not only a technique, but a mindset. It’s the driving force behind many of the great bands. So what does it mean to lean when you swing? From Jazz manouche to Western Swing, this class will get you feeling the sound of some of the most important swing pioneers and the approaches they used.

Jazz Licks for Guitar 101 (Lead Guitar)

Great musical ideas don’t form out of thin air; they come from learning and understanding the playing of the greats. This class will examine some of the licks and solos of the great players and get you playing them to add ideas into your swing vocabulary.

About Greg

He began playing swing and early jazz while leading the bohemian life of a busker 25 years ago. He stuck with it and, since then, Greg Ruby has become a respected and award-winning performer, educator and author. Described as “Seattle’s premier hot jazz guitarist” by Earshot Jazz magazine, he has performed with Pearl Django, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Andy Stein, Dan Hicks, John Jorgenson, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden as well as leading numerous groups under his own name, including Hot Club Sandwich.

 As a respected music instructor, he has taught at Django in June, Millwood Blues Week, DjangoFest NW, SUNY, the Seattle Jazz Night School and is the Guitar Week Coordinator for the Swannanoa Gathering.

“Over the past 20 years, Greg Ruby has become a gem of the Pacific Northwest Jazz scene as a guitarist, composer, band-leader and music historian.”  -The Syncopated Times


Heidi Swedberg –Ukulele

Rainbow Connections

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? The Rainbow Connection is a song that connects emotionally- simple yet elegant, poignant lyrics, great chord changes, and a sweet ¾ time signature. There is a lot to learn in learning this song. The idea of following a rainbow right now seems a good one, a little musical escape to Hawaii, the land of rainbows, and the Rainbow connection – there’s some hope going on there. Make connections about chord progressions and music theory, picking patterns with the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Hawaiian Music for the Advanced Beginning Ukulele Player

Ha’ina ‘ia mai ana ka puana! Get started with the Hawaiian language by learning a few simple songs with deep roots. Popoki Make a Cat employs the “Hawaiian turn-around” sound, and Kahuli Aku is a traditional chant set to music by Winona Beamer.  Bonus: seated hula!

About Heidi 

Born in Hawaii, Heidi is the daughter of a high school English teacher and a laser physicist. She is an American film actress and musician, best known for her role as Susan Ross, the fiancée of George Costanza, on the television sitcom Seinfeld. The Director of RVC, Joe Craven, is also impressed and quietly thrilled that Heidi also had regular appearances on the television series Star Trek; Deep Space Nine. She is a well respected educator and ambassador for the Ukulele and, with her partner Daniel Ward, engages many creative projects tied to the instrument and beyond.

“Always a delight, a multi-faceted and joyous trip across assorted musical landscapes, for ears of all ages.  ‘In fact, somebody please get Ms. Heidi Swedberg a gig hosting her own variety show, pronto.’ Signed, the Universe.  Definitely recommended.” – Amazonian Zooglobble


Daniel Ward – Ukulele

Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele

In this workshop, Daniel will share a number of easy-to-learn, fun-to-play, short songs and warm-ups that you can “loop” over and over. It’s a great way to build even rhythm, tone, and chord changing chops while you float in a warm tub of beautiful, repeating patterns that make you a better player as you soak them in. You’ll come away with productive tools to practice with whenever you pick up your uke and become a much more expressive player in the process. If you’re a beginner, these are great tools to start out with.  If you’re more advanced, it’s a great way to break out of whatever rut you may have fallen in to.  Level 2 – 4 (beginners welcome and will learn a lot)

Latin Montuno Fiesta!

The “Montuno” is a super fun Latin rhythm that cycles over and over, characterized by a happy syncopated arpeggio. It is found in Salsa music, but can also be plugged into any song or section of a song to give that special Latin feel that makes people jump up and dance. 

In this workshop we’ll look at a couple of classic songs to implement the Montuno pattern. If you can already do any type of “Travis” folk picking, you will be ahead of the game picking this one up

About Daniel

Daniel Ward is an accomplished musician, composer and educator, who has become one of the country’s top clinicians and performers on the ‘ukulele circuit’. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in classical Guitar performance, and a minor in composition. His musical expertise includes Flamenco, jazz, pop and most styles of world music, along with the ability to compose and improvise within these styles. He is also a seasoned educator, and has 25 years experience teaching music to all ages. 

Daniel is known for his command of Latin styles and teaches right hand techniques, adapting his style and knowledge from the classical and flamenco guitar.  He has been a featured performer and workshop instructor at festivals across the country. With his partner Heidi Swedberg, he has performed as an artist in residence at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix AZ, and performed at Children’s Music Festivals around the country, including concerts in Los Angeles, New York City, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and the Austin City Limits Festival. Heidi and Daniel were also featured performers at Music China in Shanghai in 2012.