No group classes are scheduled for this year, but if you are interested in coming down, please contact me directly.
I plan to be in Pittsburgh for a weekend workshop in Pittsburgh if my health permits me to get there. Right now the plan is for Friday evening December 2 thru Sunday noon December 4. For more info and to stay updated on schedule changes for this class email Cindy Harris
in case you are wondering, the part that is most important to the old mountain musicians as well as what we teach is the rhythm. And it has to do with the overall “rhythm of life”. The rhythm/right hand is 85% of the whole; the noting/left hand then adds it’s 12% of the whole: That leaves melody/tunes being worth approx 3% of the whole.
Get the right hand rhythm down and you get an 85%, even if you do nothing more. Get the right hand rhythm “dancing” and then the left hand rhythm “counter-dancing” with it, you get 97% of the whole.
But you can now get a glimpse of the value of “tunes, tunes, tunes”. No right hand rhythm and not left hand counter rhythm, but 300-500 tune melodies… That equals 3% total.
I didn’t make this up; check with the old folks. No one copied another because they were playing their own “inner pulse” and any melody notes were just a vehicle to make rhythm equaling their “inner pulse”. But that applies to all homemade music coming from deep in the innards [spirit, not mind] from folks from all over the world. Thus it is always changing minute by minute.
This then is why I desire that all my students start to begin to learn [if they haven’t already] their own dialect, whether it is the dialect of their vocal use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc or the rhythm that is built into the dialect of their own “inner pulse”. They are the same for playing this old WVA mtn music.
It’s a real challenge, this. However it is a very rewarding journey often into a person’s unknown, her/his inner being. but it’s just “simple music played simply by simple folks” OR “Deceptively simple but extremely complex music played from the human spirit, not the mind, which contains the fragile, but powerful, cultural messages and heritage of a people who were/are just as complex as all other humans on the face of this Earth. Wilson Douglas, a WVa fiddler who has now passed on, said, ‘It takes about ten  years just to start to begin to[understand and] learn this old fiddle [IE: traditional Old Time] music’.”