VIRTUAL & IN PERSON INSTRUMENT CLASSES!
Please note: We currently have sign ups available for virtual classes over Zoom and for our in person classes beginning in September 2021. Classes will note in the title whether they are online or in person.
Full Class Sessions:
Wednesdays, 6:05pm – 6:50pm, August 11th – September 22nd, 2021 (no class August 25th)
In songwriting group, our goal will be to awaken the writer within you. We will spend time each session looking into one aspect of or concept within the art of songwriting and creating chord patterns. We will also work with words and learn to edit lines into lyrics and lyrics into songs. There will be no critiquing, just guided drafting and crafting. Come with an open mind and learn something about how musicians put together their compositions and leave with lyrics of your own.
Instruments are welcome and will be used part of the time!
Mondays, 6:30 – 7:45pm, Sept 20th, 2021 through Nov 18th, 2021
Learn to play simple traditional folk songs and elementary blues on one of America’s most popular, portable instruments – the harmonica! Basic techniques such as bending, trilling, tongue-blocking, vibrato, and wah-wah will be covered. Individual attention will be given to each student. No musical background is required. Bring a 10-hole diatonic key of C major harmonica (such as the Hohner Special 20, Hohner Marine Band Model 1896, or equivalent) to the first class. For our Zoom classes, have a 10-hole diatonic key of C major harmonica (such as the Hohner Special 20, Hohner Pro Harp, or equivalent) for the first class. Required text may be purchased for $10.00.
Mondays, 8pm – 9:15pm, Sept 20th, 2021 through Nov 18th, 2021
Let’s continue our work with the harmonica and focus on the Blues. The harmonica’s unique sound is integral to the distinctiveness of many great blues bands. Learn some techniques and styles of background and lead playing. We will work on songs by Slim Harpo (“Something Inside Me,” “Raining In My Heart”), Little Walter (“Last Night,” “Hoochie Coochie Man”), Sonny Terry (“Bring It On Home To Me”), etc. Bring a 10-hole diatonic key of C-major harmonica such as the Hohner Special 20, Hohner Marine Band Model 1896, or equivalent, to first class. For our Zoom classes, have a 10-hole diatonic key of C major harmonica (such as the Hohner Special 20, Hohner Pro Harp, or equivalent) for the first class. Required text may be purchased for $10.00.(Note: This class is for people who have taken Harmonica For Beginners or others who have acquired similar skills and knowledge and have Seth’s permission to take the class.)
Thursdays, 7:45pm – 9:00pm, Sept 20th, 2021 through Nov 18th, 2021
Let’s continue to work on the songs we did in Blues Harmonica 1, including Slim Harpo’s “Something Inside Me” & “Raining In My Heart”, Little Walter’s “Last Night” & (with Muddy Waters) “Hoochie Coochie Man”, Sonny Terry’s “Bring It On Home To Me”, etc. Additionally, let’s work on songs or parts of songs that both you and I may suggest for the class. We’ll continue to work on techniques such as bending, vibrato, and tongue-slapping. For our Zoom classes, have a 10-hole diatonic key of C major harmonica (such as the Hohner Special 20, Hohner Pro Harp, or equivalent) for the first class. Required text may be purchased for $10.00. However, if you already have the Blues Harmonica 1 text, there’s no additional textbook fee.
Note: This class is not for beginners. If you have not taken the Blues Harmonica 1 class, the instructor will need to talk with you to make sure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to take this course.
Every Tuesday, 10:00 – 10:45am, Sept 14th – Nov 2nd, 2021
Our Wee Folk Classes introduce gentle sounds to your Wee Folk’s tender ears with sing-a-longs, stories, and basic children’s percussive instruments. We encourage all our little folkies to sing, dance, and play along with the music, led by our Wee Folk teacher Molly Hebert-Wilson. We also take time to introduce them to new instruments and age-appropriate folksongs alongside children’s music. Classes are based in music appreciation, learning rhythms, incorporating elements of early childhood education into music, and most of all FUN!
Every Tuesday, 11am – 11:45am, Sept 14 – Nov 2, 2021
Our PB & Jammers Music Classes show kids to how much fun music can be! With sing-a-longs, stories, and basic children’s percussive instruments, we encourage all our little folkies to sing, dance, and play along with the music, led by our teacher Molly Hebert-Wilson. We also take time to introduce them to new instruments and age-appropriate folksongs alongside children’s music. Classes also include musical games like counting the aliens on musical trips to the moon! Classes are based in music appreciation, learning rhythms, incorporating elements of early childhood education into music, and most of all FUN! Our PB & Jammers will also learn the fundamentals of rhythm and melody as well as a basic introduction to singing and music theory.
Wednesdays, 5pm-6pm EDT, JOIN ANYTIME
Aimed at intermediate-advanced fiddlers and violinists and mandolin players but all are welcome.
Learn the language of theory a tune at a time — and never forget it. We’ll cover the three most common harmony styles in western fiddling, using classic fiddle tunes to illustrate them. We’ll play with rhythm riffs, harmony runs and work out individual backup strategies based on your own abilities. You’ll see your fingerboard more wholly as well as learn new rhythms and harmonies. Handouts include sheet music, chord charts, and mp3s, but all tunes are also taught by ear. Some knowledge of music theory is helpful but not required.
Tuesdays, 5:30-6:15pm, July 20th, 2021 through August 31st, 2021 (No Class August 17th)
Bring the Philadelphia Folk School to the comfort of your home with a crash course in the most adorable instrument around! On a week to week basis we will study and learn everything from the beginning, no prior music experience necessary. We’ll explore tuning the uke, proper posture, open position chords and learn a host of old folk music.
Tuesdays, 6:30-7:15pm, July 20th, 2021 through August 31st, 2021 (No Class August 17th)
Getting beyond three chords. Take your ukulele a bit further as we dive into more complex songs and simple solo arrangements while expanding on the basics you learned in beginner class. Suitable for anyone that can strum confidently through easy songs without too much hesitation between chords.
Tuesdays, 6pm – 6:45pm, July 13th, 2021 – August 17th, 2021
Have a guitar lying around but never really got around to learning your first chords? Look no further! Beginner guitar is just that, a primer for the new guitarist. We will begin with the parts of the guitar, how to care for and tune it, and how to hold it. We will get you started on the first handful of chords for your fretting hand, as well as the first strumming patterns for your other hand. All are welcome to begin their journey with the guitar!
(Not Currently In Session – Please Check Back Soon!)
Get yourself playing like a guitar wizard! This class is for students with advanced knowledge of open and barre chords, major/minor scales, fingerpicking, tablature and lead sheet literacy who want to keep working and improving their skills. In this class, we will continue working with soloing with the pentatonic blues scale up and down the neck. We will also work on some requests from the class. We will learn the basic harmonic and rhythmic components that create R&B, 60s Rock n Roll, and folk techniques and songs for guitar.
(Not Currently In Session – Please Check Back Soon!)
Take your guitar playing to the next level! Guitar players with knowledge of open chords, strumming and some basic fingerpicking skills are welcome to join! In this class, we will continue learning minor and pentatonic (blues) scales, utilizing them in 12-bar blues and rock-n-roll formats. We will also play more difficult pieces and combine fingerpicking with strumming, as well as playing rhythm and lead in the same song. We will also work on blues, folk, and pop songs the class requests.
The Philadelphia Folksong Society is now offering numerous music related classes and workshops for children and adults of all ages through the newly established Philadelphia Folk School!
Our Beliefs & Vision
The Philadelphia Folk School believes that folk music is for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
The Philadelphia Folk School believes that everyone deserves music, confidence, and community.
The Philadelphia Folk School seeks to enhance Philadelphia and the surrounding areas by encouraging participation in traditional folk music and educating the public of its history through classes, workshops, and exhibitions, creating community connection, and fostering cross-cultural understanding.