Music Workshops for Adults and Children

I offer several music workshops for adults, and (currently) one for children:

Do It Yourself Harmony

Margaret Nelson teaches novice and experienced singers to create harmonies “by ear.” Starting with simple one- or two-note harmonies to simple tunes, students are gradually given the confidence to start creating individual harmony lines to more complex melodies. An encouraging vocal experience!

Ballads as Literature

The foundation documents of the modern English language are the King James Bible, the body of stories that center around King Arthur, and the traditional story ballads of England and Scotland.  The language of the big ballads is notable for its strength and its economy. Tremendous stories are told in a few minutes of four-line poetry set to a tune.  A verse or two of scene setting and a few lines of dialogue introduce the characters and put the listener into the heart of  the action.  Exposure to this remarkable narrative compression can have surprising effects on the work of student writers.

Love, Death and a Catchy Chorus: Big Ballads for Harmony Singers

Big ballads you can sing along with.  Margaret Nelson leads student singers through famous and-lesser known ballads, many with repeat lines and choruses.  Word sheets for more than seventy fine ballads from the English, Scottish and North American traditions are available to workshop participants.

Pocket Percussion (Spoons and Jinglesticks)

A short easy introduction to small percussion instruments.  I teach spoons playing, from simple beats to knuckle rolls and showy rhythm patterns.  I also demonstrate the use of homemade tree-branch-and-bottle-cap jingle sticks.   Illustrated directions for making jingle sticks are available to workshop participants.

Teens may be interested in my music workshops for grown-ups, and are certainly welcome to attend them.

I’m currently offering one music program for children:

Recycled Rhythm, Younger Children

Margaret’s Recycled Rhythm performance is lively, satisfying entertainment for kids 3-7 years old and their parents.  Makes a cheerful corner at a family reunion, an educational  house concert for a home school group, or a memorable and interactive Farmers’ Market act.