BANJO 1 - Monday (Scott)
In this introduction to 5-string banjo, you’ll learn to play in both the C and G tunings. We’ll introduce you to a variety of styles, including clawhammer, Pete Seeger-style strumming, and 3-finger Scruggs style, depending on the interests of the class. You’ll also learn to use a capo to change keys.
BANJO 2 - Wed (Godfrey)
In this course we’ll delve deeper into the clawhammer style covered in the introductory course by learning several classic old-time dance tunes in addition to learning to better accompany our voices. If you’re comfortable with the clawhammer “bum-ditty” and can play in the gDGBD and gCGCD tunings, then this is the course for you! Having already covered the basic clawhammer rhythm in Banjo 1, we will focus on “filling out” songs with more advanced left-hand and right-hand techniques.
FIDDLE - Tue (Kinney)
Whether you’re new to fiddle, or you’re ready to experiment with different genres such as Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Swing and more, this class will bring up your performance level and fine-tune your ear (no music reading is required). Beginners will learn to make confident bow strokes, keep time, and use basic scales in easy keys with simple tunes. If you’ve already mastered those skills, you’ll move on to harmony, double stops, playing in higher positions, and developing your own interests and personal style. If you’ve never picked up a fiddle, or any musical instrument, we’d recommend an “intro to fiddle setup and tuning” workshop that we will customize for new students. Please check to box you’ll see on the registration form to let us know.
GUITAR 1 - Mon, Tue (Satonin), Wed (DeMeritt)
In this introductory class, you’ll learn basic chords and chord vocabulary, rhythmic chord changing, and simple strum patterns. You’ll learn your way around the guitar, tuning, and how to pick. You’ll be making music and singing along in no time!
GUITAR 1 Repertoire - Mon, Wed (Rauschenberg)
If you’ve taken Guitar 1, or you used to play or have dabbled a bit and you need to get those callouses back, this is the class for you. You’ll firm up the skills you learned in Guitar 1, get more comfortable with rhythmic chord changes, simple strum patterns and transposition. This course can be repeated until you’re ready for the next level.
GUITAR 2 - Mon (DeMeritt), Tue (Scott)
If you already know the basic open chords in the keys of G, D, A and E (major and minor), you’re ready for Level 2. In this course you’ll learn new strum patterns and finger picking, and add the B7 and F chords to your chord repertoire. You’ll be introduced to the use of a capo, and to adding bass runs between chords. You’ll deepen your ability to transpose using the Roman numeral system, so you can play your favorite songs in the keys that are best for your voice.
GUITAR 3 - Tue (Hamilton)
Guitar 3 picks up where Level 2 left off, deepening your finger (Travis) picking skills, and adding new bass runs and fill-ins to your flat picking repertoire. You’ll learn how to use arpeggios as accompaniment in ballads, as well as strum patterns for folk rock rhythms. These core skills will set you up to play everything from folk to blues, to country and acoustic rock.
MANDOLIN 2 - Tue (Brown)
If you already know the basic open chords in the key of D, G and A, you are ready for More Mandolin. We will learn new strum patterns, cross-picking, and some simple melodies, all while learning in a group setting, in a fun and sharing environment.
UKULELE - Mon (Powers)
Like all our classes, our introductory ukulele course trains you by ear. You’ll learn basic chords, and strumming and picking patterns. You’ll be able to sing and play folk tunes, and begin to hear chord changes, so you can learn on your own, too.
UKULELE, Intermediate: The Roaring 20's - Mon (Hamilton)
The ukulele (Hawaiian for “Jumping Flea”), commonly known as the uke, is one of the most accessible and fun instruments to play. It was popular in the 1920’s and many songs of the period were accompanied by it. The songs of the Roaring Twenties are particularly suited to it as well as the Hawaiian Hapa-Haoli songs (written by American popular songwriters). It sounds great at the beach. The songs are fun to play and ukes sound good together. Tunes such as “Mister Sandman”, “Five Foot Two”,and Hawaiian favorites such as “Lovely Hula Hands” and “Little Grass Shack” are lively and pleasing. It’s a part of Americana that fits in the tradition of what we now call folk music. Students should know basic chords, I, IV and V in C, G, D, A, and E, and a few 7 and minor chords.
VOCAL HARMONY - Wed (Panter)
In our vocal harmony class you’ll learn the elements of harmony and vocal ornamentation. We’ll use tunes from the Old Town Folk School book as well as ballads and folk songs from recordings. You’ll develop an ear for creating layers of harmony and variations on familiar melodies that will help you sing harmony on new songs as well.
We offer a rotation of specialized classes to keep things interesting! If the class you like isn’t being offered this term, check back in the future—we’ll be bringing it back!
BLUES BAND - (Mon) Kinney
Join the jam session on any instrument! Starting with some old school classics you will learn to accompany and solo with confidence. We will sample various forms of Blues from Mississippi Delta to Chicago R & B. Vocalists are also welcome and participants may offer some favorite pieces to work on.
KEYBOARD - Wed (Kinney)
This folk style method for entry level or continuing students will cover both chords and melody. We will concentrate on popular styles such as Rock & Roll, Blues, traditional ballads and contemporary songs. No music reading is required and you’re encouraged to bring a portable keyboard.
PLAYING IN A GROUP - (Tue) Harvey
Can you play a few songs, hold a steady beat, breathe while playing and…and maybe are ready to sing?
Put those calluses to work in our new course!
In this class for mixed instruments (who want to sing or not) and vocalists (no instrument required), you’ll learn some of the secrets of ensemble playing. We’ll work on tempo and meter, learn melody and add some basic harmony. You’ll have an opportunity to learn the skills required of a leader: setting the tempo, bringing everyone in, directing solos, finishing, working with a microphone.
Prerequisites: Students should be able to play and easily make chords changes in the keys of D, A, G and E and use a capo (guitar/banjo).
Bring to class your instrument, a capo (guitar/banjo), a music stand if you have one, and an open attitude!
ROCK & BLUES for GUITAR Level 2 & UP - Wed (Brown)
If you have taken Guitar 1, and would like to explore 12 bar blues, early 60’s styles, and basic rock and roll – Elvis, Chuck Berry and the Beatles, this class is for you. Students should be comfortable playing, singing, and making chord changes in the keys of E, A, D, and G. Come and have fun playing guitar and remembering your “Rock and Roll” days.
Clark Brown, a resident of Atlanta, has been playing mandolin and guitar for almost fifty years. He has played in rock bands, country music groups, and at church. For 14 years he played guitar and did arrangements for the Atlanta Mandolin Orchestra. He also plays mandolin in the duo MandoCordion, and he’s been performing solo at various venues around Atlanta since 2010. He developed his solo style while taking master classes from mandolinists Simon Mayor, Evan Marshall, Carlo Aonzo, and guitarist Rene Izquierdo.
Glen hails from Wichita, Ks where he studied with the great Craig Owens and other accomplished composers and teachers at Wichita State University. He started teaching in 2004 and quickly found joy in helping others find their musical voice. Whether he’s playing in his band, The Pour Downs, or helping someone else get it together, Glen is grateful to share a musical experience with you.
Eryk Fisher began his musical journey with a harmonica and a songbook in the early 80’s. It didn’t take long to tire of commercial radio and discover local stations playing a variety of music that was culturally diverse, and to step into Atlanta’s blues scene. After playing at some open jams, he began performing in bands; regular stage performances coupled with mentoring from seasoned musicians formed the core foundation of his music education. Putting in countless hours of listening, playing, reading, writing, teaching, recording and wood-shedding expanded and continues to add to his musical knowledge.
Max’s first love is traditional American music. He has led workshops on worksongs and other call-and-response songs at colleges, farms, and community centers all over the northeast, including Sheepscot General, Whitefield ME; Williams College; Full Plate Farm Collective, Ithaca NY; Common Ground Farm, Beacon NY; Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, Williamstown MA; SUNY New Paltz; and Billings Forge Community Works, Hartford CT. He has also taught worksongs and old-time fiddle at the Folk Music Society of New York Spring weekend 2014.
Max’s vision is to give his students the tools they need to play by ear, play with others, improvise, and teach themselves. He makes it fun and easy for people learn together by using a call-and-response teaching method that develops a strong connection between ear, voice, and instrument. Then it’s natural to learn new music and join in with any group, and to play or sing well, too!
Max regularly performs in Atlanta at Freedom Farmers Market at the Carter Center, Grant Park Farmers Market, East Atlanta Farmers Market, Root City Pop-up Markets, and The Pullman in Kirkwood. Max’s essays on worksongs have been published in Taproot (Issue 13) and on Bennett Konesni’s worksongs.org.
Facebook pages for Max’s current projects:
Max Godfrey (Solo performance, lessons, writing, and workshops)
Max teaches Old-time American fiddle styles, clawhammer banjo and country-blues and folk guitar privately. You can contact him about lessons at firstname.lastname@example.org, or maxgodfrey.me or 404 218 4707.
John Harvey has played in musical groups ranging from his high school marching band and multiple ensembles to a weekly house-band and even a samba school. He has also led local jam sessions. Originally from Austin, Texas, John has made the Decatur area of Atlanta his home for the past 9 years. Since discovering the Frank Hamilton School last year, he has volunteered as an assistant teacher and joined the FHS Band as a regular performer at festivals. Recently he launched a community jam session program for the school. John brings to the school experience teaching English as a second language and coordinating music workshops. When he’s not training non-profits to use software, John spends as much time as possible singing and playing guitar and mandolin with other music lovers.
David Robert King
An Idaho native, David Robert King now lives in Decatur, GA with his wife, Marita. David’s songs have been in the top 40 on both the Americana and CCM Charts. He has shared the stage with Josh Ritter, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Mary Gauthier, Over The Rhine and Loudon Wainwright III. He has also been a featured performer at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN. David has studied songwriting with the very best: Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls), Mary Gauthier, Darrell Scott, and Jonatha Brooke. David also has a Master’s degree in education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Mick Kinney enjoys fiddling a variety of styles including Appalachian, Cajun, Celtic, Blues and Swing. A professional musician since 1978, he has played the 1982 World Fair, McCabe’s, House of Blues, Bluebird Cafe, Rendez vous des Cajuns, and NPR’s Mountain Stage. Mick has performed with John Hartford, Victoria Williams, Michelle Malone, Atlanta blues man Frank Edwards, and 1920s recording artist Stranger Malone. Recent collaborations as a folklorist have been with the Smithsonian New Harmonies exhibit, Georgia Humanities Council, Carpetbag Theater, Dust to Digital Records and Northwest Georgia Textile Heritage Trail. Currently, Mick appears often with Elise Witt, jazz clarinetist Dub Hudson, and the Kinney family old time dance band “The HickHoppers.” He has been an instructor at Swannanoa Gathering, John C. Campbell Folk School, Mars Hill College, Alabama Folk School, and Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. His class will focus on traditional fiddle technique and musical concepts such as scales, modes, and harmony.
Barbara grew up in Atlanta in a musical family from Copperhill, TN, a copper mining town on the GA/TN line. Her fiddling grandfather, John B. (“Uncle Bert”) Panter played for house dances, barn raisings, and other community gatherings, often alongside Fiddlin’ John Carson. After surviving a mine cave-in where his brother was killed, Barbara’s grandfather declared that no son of his would work in the mines. Thus the whole family including Barbara’s grandparents, parents, and all but two of her father’s siblings moved to Atlanta in the 1940s after WWII, providing a large extended family. Barbara’s father, John Panter Jr., one of 7 brothers and 2 sisters, was a fine singer with a beautiful tenor voice and a keen sense of harmony. Some of Barbara’s earliest memories are of falling to sleep at family gatherings listening to gospel singing with beautiful harmonies. At the age of 3 Barbara began playing piano and singing and strumming her little ukulele and sang her 1st solo in church at the age of 4. Her grandfather gave her his fiddle when she was 8 years old and told her he expected her to become a fiddler, further setting her on course for a lifetime of music. Barbara has played with several bands and performed throughout the southeast, in the northeast, southwest, British Isles, and even Serbia. She played and sang for over 40 years with her late husband, Whit Connah, in the band, Hurt Dog, that began in the 70s as an acoustic hillbilly, honky tonk, old time, Cajun band that evolved into Hair of the Dog with drums, and electric guitar, bass, and pedal steel; and continues with her son and daughter-in-law John and Audrey Ferguson, among others. Barbara is currently a member of The Rosin Sisters with Ann Whitley and Jan Smith, three fiddling “sisters” who love playing fiddle tunes and singing early country songs, with close attention to harmony! Barbara loves teaching and facilitating others to find their way on fiddle or guitar, and delights in guiding harmony singing in a supportive fun environment. Barbara, with the Rosin Sisters, has had considerable experience leading harmony workshops at Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week at Mars Hill, NC; at Bear on the Square Festival in Dahlonega, GA, and the Dulcimer and Old Time Festival in Palestine, TX.
Jeff has been playing music since taking up the trumpet in middle school. Highlights of his four years in the high school marching band include a stint on tuba and meeting his wife. Jeff also began playing guitar in high school. When Jeff’s children were younger, neighbor Frank Hamilton recommended the ukulele for them. The kids didn’t learn the instrument, but Jeff did. The ukulele led to banjo and then a return to guitar. Over the years, Jeff has spent countless hours sharing music with school-aged children and adult peers.
Jeff approaches music lessons as a collaboration between teacher and student. By nurturing a rapport with his students, he can shape his classes to satisfy the individual tastes and goals of everyone in the group. In his class you’ll develop not just as an instrumentalist, but as a musician; learning by ear will give you the both the ability to play the songs you’ll learn from Jeff, but the capacity to play along with songs you don’t know!
Pat grew up listening to Broadway show tunes, classical piano, and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll. After brief encounters with piano and trombone, Pat began playing guitar at age 18. He later added mandolin, ukulele, and bass to his repertoire. He enjoys many kinds of music, but is especially fond of popular songs from the 1920s and 1930s. He performs often with local Old Time string bands at festivals, dances, parties, and other events. Pat, a retired federal employee, teaches guitar and ukulele to refugee girls at the Global Village Project school in Decatur. He also volunteers at The Carter Center, Historic Oakland Cemetery, Literacy Action, Atlanta Legal Aid, and the Furkids cat shelter. He concurs with Albert Schweitzer’s dictum that there are “two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats.” The ukulele is a sweet, welcoming, and accessible instrument. Simple material can be learned quickly on it, yet it offers infinite complexities to the advanced player. The ukulele can be a gateway instrument to the more physically challenging guitar, or a wonderful primary instrument in itself, worthy of lifelong study. And it fits neatly in the backseat or overhead bin on your vacation/business trip. Pat would be delighted to help you begin your journey with the ukulele.
Fritz has played and taught guitar for over 40 years and has performed folk music and “songs of the heart” in halls, coffee houses and bars for about as long as a singer/songwriter. He has taught private and group lessons in local music shops. Fritz loves to kindle the light of musical passion in his students, and his warm, relaxed teaching style reflects the pleasure he takes in bringing people and new music together.
Fritz studied classical guitar and music theory with Lyster Bass (Lyster currently teaches at Maple Street Guitars in Atlanta). During that time he played in the master class seminar at Emory University.
Fritz also enjoys playing ukulele, octave mandolin, mandola and harmonica. His luthier work includes restoring and repairing acoustic stringed instruments in the violin, guitar and mandolin families.
Shelley Satonin-Hershkovits loves to take beginners on the adventure of discovering music. She learned to play violin in elementary school and eventually played in the Flagstaff Symphony. She then worked on the administrative staff of the San Diego Symphony. After a hiatus from classical music and some dabbling in other genres and instruments, Shelley played violin in a cover band in the late 90’s. This led to her teaching music classes and summer camps for small children, and taking training in the Suzuki method. In the next 15 years of full-time teaching, she saw so many people who thought they or their children had no “talent” experience the joy of the core Suzuki philosophy: anyone who can speak their mother tongue can learn to play an instrument well. Having completed the first Suzuki teacher training in classical guitar, Shelley realized she wanted to share a style of playing that was more accessible and popular. The opening of the Frank Hamilton School was the answer to her call.
Payton Scott started playing the banjo at the age of 14, and soon added the guitar, mandolin, bass, accordion, and dulcimer. Payton has studied under Steve Martin Banjo Prize-winner Jens Kruger, world renowned guitarist Uwe Kruger, and the wonderful Frank Hamilton. Payton performs in a folk duo with Sara Grace Carmical called The January Duo. He also performs regularly with his father, Christopher, at markets, festivals, concert halls, and private venues. Payton lives in Newnan, Georgia and is studying to become a lawyer in Atlanta.
Mike Simpson has been a leader in the Atlanta Irish music scene for 25 years. In the early 90s he wrote what was for years the web’s leading tin whistle tutorial, and taught slow sessions in the late 90s and early 2000s. He has played in numerous bands and ensembles over the years including Caislean, The New Road, and The Long Drop, and anchored Atlanta’s longest-running traditional music session from 1993 to 2013. In 2004 he went to Dublin and obtained the T.T.C.T. certification for teachers of Irish music (on fiddle), and in 2009 he released a self-produced CD entitled, “Other Forms of Magic”. He currently anchors a weekly session at The Wrecking Bar, and performs for contra dances and special occasions.
Registration & Payment Options
Single Term, 1 Class
Choose your day and class, and register for a single term. A single term is 8 weeks long.
Pay your class fee online, or by check.
$140 per student per term
$130 for FHS Members*
Single Term, 2nd Half Only
If you already play pretty well but want to find new musical friends, our Second Half option is for you! Arrive at 8pm for 45 minutes of jamming and singing when all the classes come together.
Pay your class fee online, or by check.
$40 per student per term.
* Click here for information about membership and benefits!
Monthly, 1 Class
Save money if you learn continuously! Save $120 a year with monthly billing. Continue for as long as you like and stop any time.
Requires monthly auto-pay through PayPal.
$60 per month plus a one-time $25 registration fee
$55 per month plus a one-time $25 registration fee for FHS Members*
Monthly, 2-3 Classes
Learn a lot and save a bundle! Continue for as long as you like and stop any time.
Requires monthly auto-pay through PayPal.
$90 per month plus a one-time $25 registration fee
$85 per month plus a one-time $25 registration fee for FHS Members*
Monthly, RETURNING, 1 or 2-3 Classes
For Students who are already signed up for monthly classes and on auto-pay; click the button below to select your class(es) for the new term.
The FYI and BTW
Our New Term begins Monday, March 5th
THIS TERM’S CLASS DATES:
Monday – 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23
Tuesday – 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24
Wednesday – 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25
Classes are from 7pm-8:45pm.
2nd Half’ers show up at 8pm and jam with the everybody!
Classes are held at the Oakhurst Baptist Church
222 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030
Google Map Link
Questions? Contact us!!