Adult Music Courses

The School of Music is taught by some of the folk world’s top teachers

Each online session consists of four weekly lessons. Local students are encouraged to participate in Caffe Lena’s jams and open mics in order to further develop skills and become part of a folk music community.

To ask a question about the Caffe Lena School of Music or learn more about scholarships please email musicschool@caffelena.org

Four week Courses

Beginning Guitar with Marcy Marxer

Time: The course will take place on Mondays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Dates: October 26, Nov 2, 9, and finishing on Nov 16.

Each class will start with gentle warm-up exercises. We’ll work on chords and a song or songs. Each class includes a chord chart and a practice track of backup music.

Songwriting with Dan Navarro

Tuesdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET

Oct 27, Nov 3, 10, 17 with a showcase presentation on Nov 24

Dan will lead you in four classes exploring the basics of song structure, the dynamics of story arc, the role of repetition, the elusiveness of originality, and how-when-why to break the rules, all in the quest for a connected and satisfying form of expression and communication.

Blues Guitar with Guy Davis

Wednesdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Dates: October 14th, 21st, 28th and November 4th

Guy will weave this workshop experience together with laughter, compelling story and song as well as clear instruction in technique. This is a guitar-based workshop but singers, harmonica players, and others are welcome to attend.

This course is for advanced beginners.

Clawhammer Banjo with Bruce Molsky

Wednesdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Dates: October 21st, 28th, November 4th and 11th

We’ll look at a couple of classic tunes and focus on the important elements, like phrasing and rhythm, and work on techniques such as pull-offs, drop thumbs and rolls.

Suggested experience level: If you have at least a small repertoire of tunes and feel comfortable learning short phrases by ear, then you’ll be fine.

Old-time Fiddle with Bruce Molsky

Thursdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Dates: October 22nd, 29th, November 5th and 12th

Tunes are taught a phrase at a time, first melody, then bowing, and then piecing things together. We’ll dig into old-time music’s unique phrasing, rhythm, syncopation and intonation.

Suggested experience level: If you have at least a small repertoire of tunes and feel comfortable learning short phrases by ear, then you’ll be fine.

Irish Tunes for Clawhammer with Allison DeGroot

Saturdays from 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Dates: November 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

In this course we will learn a repertoire of tunes, work on getting comfortable with the 6/8 feel, and develop a process for adapting tunes on your own. 

Suggested experience level: This class is designed for intermediate and advanced players and control of the drop thumb technique will be needed.

Beginning Clawhammer with Allison DeGroot

Saturdays from 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Dates: November 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

By the end of this course, the goal is to have you using bum-ditty and double thumbing, focusing on good technique and rhythm. You will learn a handful of tunes too!

Suggested experience level: This class is designed for people who are new to clawhammer banjo.

Individual Workshops

Slide Guitar with Robin O’Herin

Saturday, November 28th, 2:00pm

Learn right and left hand technique, alternating bass lines, beginning slide guitar techniques, how to use open tunings–chord shapes, slide licks and runs, as well as repertoire by Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Fred McDowell and more.


Marcy Marxer: Beginning Guitar

Two-time Grammy winner Marcy Marxer is a master guitar player whose love of teaching makes her an awesome teacher for all levels. She has over 50 recordings to her credit and has been honored with 8 Signature Model Instruments.

Marcy Marxer | Pinecone.org

Dan Navarro: Songwriting and Accompaniment for Songwriting

Dan Navarro’s journey began as a songwriter, often with the late Eric Lowen, for artists as diverse as Pat Benatar, The Bangles, Jackson Browne, Dave Edmunds, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, The Triplets, Dutch star Marco Borsato,  and Austin outlaw legend Rusty WeirIn the 1990s and 2000s, Dan and Eric recorded and toured as the acclaimed acoustic duo Lowen & Navarro until Eric’s retirement in 2009 (and passing in 2012). Dan has transitioned smoothly into a busy solo career over the past dozen years, touring nationally almost constantly.

Artist Profile: Dan Navarro | Music Connection Magazine

Guy Davis: Blues Guitar

Guy Davis has spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, earning him the title “An Ambassador of the Blues”. His work as an actor, author, and music teacher earmark him as a renaissance man of the blues.

Guy Davis: Blues' Renaissance Man | Centrum

Bruce Molsky: Old-Time Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo

Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations.

Allison DeGroot: Irish Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo & Beginning Clawhammer

Allison de Groot combines love for old-time music, technical skill and a creative approach to the banjo forming her own sound – unique and full of personality.  Her collaborations with Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, Bruce Molsky’s trio Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, The Goodbye Girls and Nic Gariess provide spaces to explore the role and depth of clawhammer banjo.

Interview with Allison de Groot - Oldtime Central

Robin O’Herin: Slide Guitar Workshop

Robin O’Herin has been a touring Delta and Piedmont blues and gospel musician since 2004, specializing in bottleneck blues and gospel. Her concerts are historically rich, often interactive events that  include original and traditional American music. She has played festivals, coffeehouses, & house concerts. Song selections may include Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson and Robin’s own original blues and fingerstyle ballads.

The Recorder - In Advance: Holy Blues Concert to feature Robin O'Herin

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