Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp

The Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp (recently re-named for its late founder) is celebrating six years offering the finest musical instruction. It is a camp like no other, where pros study with legends and dedicated hobbyists learn from the best in the field.

Louis Jay Meyers was the Executive Director of Folk Alliance International (FAI) from 2005 – 2014. A native of Austin, Texas and one of the founders of SXSW (South by Southwest), Louis was an avid banjo and pedal steel player and was a tireless champion for musicians. His creation of FAI’s Music Camp is perhaps the most significant example of his vision for community building and his passion for great music. Louis’ vision for the camp was clear: a community built around learning and playing music, where the focus is on the exchange of knowledge and sharing of traditions, where world-class musicians serve as instructors to students of all ages and levels. Louis’ original vision is the foundation for the Music Camp, and his legacy of community inclusion and passion for music continues today.

Each class is $10 in advance or $20 on-site, unless otherwise stated (free classes are indicated in red). Only conference registrants can sign up for classes. They are not open to the public.

There are three camp sessions each day. When registering, please keep in mind that you can only choose one class per session.

Register Here

Thursday, February 14, 2019

From Writer’s Block to a Masterpiece (Berklee Online)


10:00am – 11:15am (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Shane Adams

Learn to utilize Shane Adams’ 15-minute Quick Fire technique that obliterates writer’s block by exploring and utilizing the hidden treasure vault of your favorite songs.

Eastern European Social Dance Workshop


10:00am – 11:15am (Dièse – 321)

Instructor: Polky Village Band

Folk dance is an integral part of folk music in many countries and traditions. Participants in this workshop will learn energetic polkas, obereks, and fun wedding dances. No experience is necessary and the Polky Village Band promises to get you moving to Polish and Ukrainian social and partner folk dances in no time! Level: beginners.

Practice Smarter, Play Better

11:30am – 12:45pm (Barre Oblique – 317)

Instructor: Cathy Fink

As a touring musician, life is busy! Between traveling, performing, and your business to do list, little time is left to continue honing your craft. This class will teach you how to organize your practice time so that you improve your playing systematically. You will learn how to create practice drills, measure your improvement, work with a metronome and other tools for practice.

Clawhammer Banjo

11:30am – 12:45pm (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Kaia Kater

This will be a hands-on workshop where participants will learn tunes in the clawhammer style as well as several drills to improve technique. Participants should bring their own instrument; observers are welcome.

Creative Guitar Tricks for Songwriters

2:00pm – 3:15pm (Barre Oblique – 317)

Instructor: Joe Crookston

Explore a plethora of ways to use your guitar to enhance your performance & heighten the sonic quality of your songs. This class will teach you about using creative guitar ideas while presenting your songs in an interesting and surprising way yet still putting the song first.

Ukulele for Guitar Players

2:00pm – 3:15pm (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Marcy Marxer

From one finger chords to jazz melodies, this class will unravel the mysteries of the Ukulele for Guitar players. You will learn how to accommodate four strings instead of six while making a full sound, right and left-hand techniques, and will walk away knowing how to play a new song on the Ukulele.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Intro to Québécois Foot Percussion


10:00am – 11:15am (Dièse – 321)

Instructor: Olivier Demers

Podorythmie is a traditional French Canadian method of foot tapping during musical performances to produce a percussive sound by hitting feet on the floor. This technique is especially common during fiddle performances. This class offers a beginner-level introduction to this unique technique for all levels of musicians.

Ridiculously Simple Song Tweaks (Berklee Online)


10:00am – 11:15 am (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Shane Adams

In this hands-on class, learn to apply ten easy lyric, melody, and chord enhancement techniques that instantaneously amplify and exploit the unique personality of your song.

The Art of Harmony Singing

11:30am – 12:45pm (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Good Lovelies

Sing and harmonize like the pros! Using popular music examples this class will work through a series of harmony devices, blending techniques, tricks for practising at home, and tips on vocal health. Come ready to sing, try new things, and most of all, have fun!

Exploring Quebec’s Traditional Repertoire

11:30am – 12:45pm (Barre Oblique – 317)

Instructor: David Boulanger

In this workshop, you will learn different styles of tunes from Québec. Some that are for dances (square dances, contradances, stepdancing etc.) others that are simply beautiful melodies (because we sometimes need to play for fun!) This class will demonstrate a selection of tunes that are from different parts of Québec and highlight the differences between these regions.

Canadian Fiddle Styles

2:00pm – 3:15pm (Barre Oblique – 317)

Instructor: April Verch

There are several different regional styles of fiddling in Canada from coast to coast, including Ottawa Valley, Western Canadian, Metis, Maritime, Cape Breton and French Canadian. This workshop will provide an overview of these different styles & explore what makes each of them unique.

Stage Critiques

2:00pm – 4:00pm (Dièse – 321)

Instructor: Vance Gilbert

In this revolutionary workshop your whole presentation – from adjusting the microphone, stage patter, eye contact, song arrangement, and approach to the instrument – will be reviewed, gently critiqued, and adjusted in real time by seasoned performer Vance Gilbert in the supportive stage setting of other singer-songwriter students, one of whom will be “next” to take the stage. It’s all entertaining and great fun.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Woodshed – a Songwriting Masterclass (SOCAN)


10:00am – 11:15am (Barre Oblique – 317)

Instructors: Stephen Fearing, Rose Cousins, Florence K

The Woodshed is an age-old musician’s term for uninterrupted time away to deep dive into the creative process. Join three of Canada’s premier songsmiths for an in-depth discussion of their practice, craft, and writing techniques in this free masterclass session.

Introduction to Inuit Throat Singing


10:00am – 11:15am (Dièse – 321)

Instructor: Kathleen Merritt

This workshop will include demonstrations of traditional katajjaq, otherwise known as Inuit throat singing. Focused on the history and current state of katajjaq, participants will hear songs such as Anuri (the Wind), Kituriaq (the Mosquito), Kuurvaluk (the River) and more! Attendees will learn some basic sounds and techniques, and will develop a greater understanding of this beautiful art form practiced among Inuit for countless generations.

Circle Singing

11:30am – 12:45pm (Barre Oblique – 317)

Instructors: Joni NehRita, Jane Lewis

Circle Singing is a community-building experience of creating spontaneously improvised music in a group. Facilitators guide participants in singing in a safe, non-judgmental circle, practicing listening and memory skills, melody, harmony, and rhythm. It is an immersive, fun, “live looping” musical experience for singers at any level. There will be some (optional!) opportunities to improvise for those who wish.

Onstage Sound ~ For Women By Women

11:30am – 12:45pm (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Christine Butchart

This sound workshop for women presented by Christine Buchart will provide a practical overview of sound theory, sound board function, EQ techniques, and the fundamental vocabulary and terminology to get what you want and need when speaking to sound crews from the stage during sound checks and in live performance.

Intro to Bluegrass Flatpicking

2:00pm – 3:15pm (Parenthèse – 319)

Instructor: Flynn Cohen

Learn the basics of bluegrass lead guitar playing, including fiddle tunes and breaks on vocal tunes. This workshop will focus on right-hand picking technique and straight-forward left-hand melodic ideas in first position. (Best for students who can play a C major scale.)

Gene Shay Songwriting Critique


2:00pm – 4:00pm (Dièse – 321)

Moderator: Gene Shay; Panelists: Rich Warren, Bill Garrett, Connie Kaldor, Shane Adams, Tom Paxton

This annual forum is a chance to experience a songwriting help session and critique. Artists who have signed up in advance will perform one unrecorded song and receive constructive feedback from a panel of experts on melody, lyric, and instrumentation. This is not a performance critique and many great songs have debuted at this workshop in the past. Songwriters: Sign up in advance at the information booth and come prepared with 5 copies of the unrecorded song lyric sheets.