Educational Musical Programs and Workshops:
As an ethnomusicologist, folklorist, and performer, I offer programs that can be tailored to virtually any educational setting, from elementary school to high school to college students, museums, and to adult and senior non-credit programming. Each program is a self-contained module that generally runs about 50 to 60 minutes each. However, they can be expanded or trimmed to fit the needs of the client and the audience.

I teach short songwriting workshops (hour to hour and a half) or longer multi-session songwriting sessions. For example, pre-Covid, I taught a 16-week songwriting class for military veterans co-sponsored by the Durham Arts Council, Durham Veterans Administration Center, and the Joel Fund.

Musical Journeys:
Take a musical journey from the ancient Celtic lands to traditional Appalachia right up to the modern sounds of country music. Learn how Garth Brooks, or his genre of music, cut its teeth around the misty glens of Scotland and Ireland and how the cultural baggage of the Ulster-Scots was brought to the Appalachian area of America. This journey is accomplished through lecture and performance with the Celtic harp, tinwhistle, banjo, dulcimer, Autoharp, mandolin, and vocals.

Learn about the origins of ballads, the different types of ballads, and their characteristics. Through lecture and performance the students will hear examples of Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Appalachian ballads and here stories within these ballads that rival complexity of any soap opera and the action of any Russell Crowe and Julia Roberts movie. It is storytelling in its truest bardic form that will entertain as well educate those who listen.

Learn the history of several folk instruments that have been instrumental in the development of Western folk music from the British Isles to America. Here examples from the Celtic harp with Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and other pieces, Appalachian dulcimer, tinwhistle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, Autoharp, and fiddle. Besides the instruments themselves, several styles of the instruments will be discussed and demonstrated, such as fingerstyle vs. flatpicking guitar, clawhammer vs. Scruggs style banjo, and more.