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Classic Country/Folk Bluegrass Sing-Along Jam Session
Presented by Howard Blumenthal

This jam will focus on singing & playing along with the “classic” country & folk songs everyone knows. Bring your instrument, your voice and your suggestions for songs you love (that others may know). We’ll sit in a circle & see if we can get everyone singing along to these wonderful classic songs. There will be an opportunity to play along also. The general “format” will be to sing a verse, sing the chorus, then (if there are folks with instruments) an instrumental ‘break’ or solo. It’s important to have someone leading each song to get everyone started by announcing the key, time sig, & teaching the chorus. So if you have some songs you’d like to share please help out. Howard Blumenthal has plenty of experience leading this type of sing around and will have a list of songs that folks may know, & be ready to lead them. This will be a fun jam for everyone on any level! You can sing melody, harmony or just listen or hum along. If you’re inclined to inject an instrumental solo, go for it! We’re all there to have fun and learn something new!

Singing and Playing with Sara Watkins
Presented by Sara Watkins
Sara will discuss accompaniment, harmony and learning how to contribute. Bring your instruments, songs and questions.

Quilting Ideas
Presented by Elizabeth Corewin
Quilt making looks complicated but really it isn’t! We’ll be making a couple of different t blocks to get you started on your next quilt.

Canadian Tunes, Eh!
Presented by Elizabeth Corewin
Play some great Canadian fiddle tunes. All instruments welcome. Sheet music will be supplied. Duty free!

Beginning Ukulele
Presented by Drew Danielson
This workshop is designed for the beginner. Participants will learn a few chords to accompany vocals in a few easy songs. Beginning strum techniques, simple chords and lots of smiles. Bring your ukulele and get started learning to play. There will be up to 10 ukuleles available for anyone who would just like to give it a try. If you always wanted to play an instrument, the ukulele is probably the easiest to learn.

Exploration of Ukulele Chords Above the Third Fret
Presented by Drew Danielson
Participants should be able to change chords easily in the first position (third fret & below). In this workshop participants will learn some alternate chords for rhythm strumming to enhance their playing of the ukulele. New chord positions and moveable chords will be applied to specific songs. Printed instructional materials will be used and there will be ukuleles available for student use.

Driving your fiddling with bow pulsing and phrasing & Fiddle Beginner/Intermediate
Presented by Rachel Eddy

These fiddle workshops will focus primarily on how to help your fiddling sound better and more driving. It will be geared toward learning how to use bow pulses, bowing phrases, and note combinations to give fiddle tunes a shape. In learning these things we will also explore ways to be more consistent players, and how important that is in terms of leadership in jams. This will not be a repertoire heavy class, but rather using a couple tunes that utilize certain helpful techniques, and really working hard to know them before you leave. There will be lots of playing time, as fingers on strings is the best way to take home what you learn!

These two classes complement each other and it would be helpful (though not necessary) to take them both as there will be foundation blocks to build upon being taught throughout both sessions.

Claw-hammer Banjo
Presented by Rachel Eddy

The banjo workshop will focus a lot on how to use your thumb to make the banjo swing in different percussive ways. We will study common phrases on the banjo and learn how to vary them in different ways. This will not be a repertoire heavy workshop, but rather using a tune that utilizes certain helpful techniques, and working hard to have really good economy of motion with our claws. Being able to bumditty is required, and having some experience with drop thumbing will be very helpful. Audio and some limited video recording is welcome in both classes.

Maybelle Carter Style Guitar
Presented by Jim Hale

The famous "Carter Scratch" guitar style combines melody and rhythm that underlay the distinctive sound of Carter Family recordings. Jim Hale identifies the basic techniques used in this style. The song "Wildwwod Flower" is taught as an example. If time permits other tunes may be included as well. As this course will be taught by the methods of the oral tradition, students ​will find a recording device​ is helpful​.

Maybelle Style Autoharp
Presented by Suzanne Jaroszynski

Maybelle adapted her guitar style to pick melodies on the autoharp. ​Suzanne has followed Maybelle's style closely to perform "thumb lead" instrumentals on the instrument. "Wildwood Flower" is the best known song played in this style. As this course will be taught by the methods of the oral tradition, students ​will find a recording device​ is helpful.

Clawhammer banjo, beginning & advanced
Presented by Suzanne and Jim

This class is for folks just starting out with the clawhammer style, whether total beginners or Scruggs-style players looking to expand their horizons. We will work to achieve fluidity with the right hand, precision with the left, and co-ordination between the two. As this course will be taught by the methods of the oral tradition, students ​will find a recording device​ is helpful​.

Intro Harmonica
Presented by Michael Hogg

With your 10 hole diatonic harmonica tuned to the key of C, you'll learn a couple of folksy tunes to play by ear. No experience necessary, but you'll need a positive attitude! Harmonicas are available for purchase on site. Keeper song books (with tabulature) will be provided.

Old Blues Songs for Voice, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin Harmonica, and whatever else you’d like to play
Presented by Michael Hogg

Come and participate in playing a few old simple blues songs. Bring your instruments and/or your voice. Harmonica players will need a 10 hole diatonic harmonica tuned to the key of C. We're going on a musical journey back 80 years or so, and our objective is just to have fun. All tunes will be in the key of G, so the harmonica players can practice a little cross-harp (second position) with their harmonicas tuned to the key of C. Keeper song books (with chords) provided. Harmonicas will be available for purchase on site.

Teach yourself Mandolin – description coming!
Presented by Michael Hampsey

Intro to Traditional Finger Picking Guitar – description coming!
Presented by Michael Hampsey

Contra Dance Open Band
Presented by Peggy Shutes Kaiser

The HOTAfest Contra Dance Open Band will provide the dance music for Saturday evening’s Contra Dance. Music will be provided. It is recommended that participants attend the Open Band Rehearsal during the day on Saturday. Music will be provided. The tune book will be available to participants after June 30. To obtain a copy, email Peggy at

Sunday Morning Gospel Music Session
Presented by Peggy Shutes Kaiser

Sunday Morning Gospel Music Session is open to all musicians of all levels. Come to play and/or sing. Listeners are welcome. Feel free to bring a song to share.

Hammered Dulcimer 101
Presented by Curt Osgood

A primer for beginners. Some topics will include string, note, and octave schemas, hammers, tuning (wrenches, tuning machines) and dulcimer stands. We will learn some simple hammering patterns and try a simple melody or two.

Hammered Dulcimer 2
Presented by Curt Osgood

Building on workshop number 1, we will learn some simple chords and discuss choreography dynamics. We will learn a few simple fiddle reels and or jugs and explore building chords into our melodies and backup strategies using the chords.

Basket or Vase Weaving – description coming!
Presented by Sharon Reiland

Beginners Slow Jam
Presented by Gayle Sheets & Larry Spencer

A very easy entrance into the fun world of jamming! A slow tempo, chords explained and lots of fun! Bring your favorite tunes! Jamming is so much fun and so helpful in learning music!

Intro to Mountain Dulcimer
Presented by Gayle Sheets & Larry Spencer

Having trouble playing your mountain dulcimer? Gayle and Larry will assist you AND teach you a song about “Trouble”…so bring your troubles and concerns and go home with a new song!

Introduction to Folk Art "Crankies"
Presented by Ellen Gozion

Ellen will introduce attendees to this whimsical folk-art form by demonstrating several of her hand-constructed moving illustrations which are accompanied by traditional folk ballads, tunes and/or stories. She will conduct a Q&A session and give concise instructions on how to embark upon making one's own crankie frame (construction) and illustrated scroll. The last portion of the class will be used to create a short group-effort crankie illustration. For more information on crankies visit or

Flatfoot Dancing
Presented by Emily Pinkerton

All are welcome to this step-by-step exploration of Appalachian percussive dance. We’ll start from scratch to get everyone up and moving, and by the end of class we’ll take a look at one or two advanced steps from dancers like Charlie Burton, Thomas Maupin and Jay Bland. Most of all, we’ll focus on the joy of dancing and finding your unique way of moving to the music. Bring leather or hard-soled shoes if you have them!

Time In A Bottle
Presented by Clair Carlson

Jim Croce style guitar - beginning or intermediate levels welcome (need to know how to finger pick).




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(last edited July 24, 2017)




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