14th Annual Folk Boot Camp

July 23rd 10:00 AM - July 25th 5:00 PM

14th Annual Folk Boot Camp

Studio Bell




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Presented by Calgary Folk Music Festival and the National Music Centre

Calgary Folk Music Festival and the National Music Centre present a unique opportunity to learn from Calgary Folk Fest’s favourite guitar heroes, songbirds and songsmiths. Glean new songs, arrangements, vocal techniques and instrumental skills over three consecutive days among NMC’s collection of rare and curious keyboards.

Folk Boot Camp is geared towards musicians with a basic grasp of their craft who want to supplement their own studies with coaching from some of the world’s finest musicians.

Songwriting, vocal and guitar classes are $160 each.

Register for two classes and get both for $270. Call 403-233-0904 to purchase this option.

Boot Camp registrants can also purchase 40th Calgary Folk Music Festival tickets at a 10% discount.

Freeing your voice

Vocals with Ndidi O

July 23 – 25 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Class description

Ndidi’s class will leave you with a better understanding of vocal tonality, breath work and integrating the voice and the body to deepen a connection and ability to interpret and perform vocal music. This workshop will delve into the world of vocal expression.

From breath work to movement together, her class will free up vocal blockages and inhibitions while exploring vocal performance dynamics.

The first part of the day will focus on warm up and technique, followed by performance work.

What to bring

Notetaking devices, moveable and comfortable clothing. Come with a willingness to let your voice be heard and to allow others to be heard and explored without any fear of judgment.

Separating the riff and the raff: guitar techniques for living a creative life

Guitar with Kat Danser

July 23 – 25 10:00 am – 1:00 pm · $160

Class description

Kat’s class will deconstruct the notion that guitar players are gods. We’re all capable and empowered for this accessible instrument to become a conduit to lead a creative life. Whether you consider yourself a beginner or maestro, her workshop will create a common language based on the foundations of inclusion and acceptance. You’ll learn songs of activism from popular roots music styles and will leave with a sense of accomplishment, connection and excitement.

In this fun and engaging workshop, you will learn how to:

  1. develop your skills no matter your level;
  2. play rhythm guitar;
  3. express your soloing skills at the right place and at the right time in any song;
  4. build the needed confidence so that you can play your guitar anywhere, anytime and in any genre.

The emphasis will be on technique as an avenue to join into ensemble activities.

What to bring

Bring a guitar plus erasable pen and fine point sharpie marker. Dress comfortably. Also bring a positive attitude, patience with yourself, humility, persistence and openness to learning.

Class level/requirements

You must be able to:

  1. tune your guitar with a tuner;
  2. pay attention during content instruction;
  3. be patient with yourself;
  4. ask for help when needed, and
  5. receive constructive critique for your development.

Songwriting is fun. Let your freak flag fly

Songwriting with Steve Poltz

July 23 – 25 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

The class

Steve’s been making up songs since he was a kid. He loves encouraging people to create, no matter their age and desires to inspire students to start and finish songs. Deadlines are great for spurring creativity. Students will be paired up for co-writes plus do solo work to craft and create songs on their own.

Performance techniques will be discussed and he’ll encourage students to create, perform and disseminate their music.

What to bring

An open mind and willingness to participate. Bring guitars or whatever instrument you write with plus notebooks and pens. A small recording device like a cellphone is useful to record ideas.

How to skin, cook and devour a song

Songwriting with Dave Bidini (of Rheostatics)

July 23 – 25 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Class description

Songs will be pulled apart and studied so students can create songs that will be worked on as a class. The idea is to create fresh material with new tools and push people to explore different ways of songwriting.

What to bring

Instruments to play, mainly, guitars. A laptop to play and study songs would be good. Bring an open mind and willing to work and write over course of sessions.

Class level/requirements

Basic understanding of songwriting.

Rhythm of the People

Indigenous progam with Indigenous Resilience in Music, Amy Willier, Zoey Roy, Eekwol, and Willie Thrasher

July 25 10:00am – 6:00 pm · $20

Calgary Folk Music Festival, IRIM and Moonstone Creations present a full-day program that pairs Indigenous youth with emerging and established Indigenous artists and musicians for a time of learning, sharing and creating. Learn more about this special event here.