NRCC to offer string instrument classes, clogging
|New River Community College will once again offer string instrument classes this fall at the campus in Dublin. The twelve-week courses include beginning fiddle, clawhammer banjo, beginning rhythm guitar and a combined fiddle and banjo early intermediate class. Additionally, a new 13-week clogging class will be offered.
The beginning fiddle class will be held on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., beginning September 10. The beginning rhythm guitar class will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. beginning September 11. Clawhammer banjo will be held on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. beginning September 12 and the combined fiddle and banjo early intermediate class will be held on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. beginning on September 13.
The clogging course will be held on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning on September 12. Classes are open to students of all ages.
The beginning fiddle, clawhammer banjo and fiddle and banjo early intermediate classes will be taught by Floyd musician Mike Mitchell. Mitchell is the founder and director of the Floyd Music School, which teaches students of all ages to read and write a variety of music, while emphasizing local heritage mountain music. He holds a degree in music from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio, and has played violin for 35 years. Mitchell also played fiddle for area bands “Acoustic Endeavors” and “Blue Moonshine.”
Mitchell’s beginning fiddle and clawhammer banjo courses will present students with the basic rudiments of all music, but will focus on teaching students mountain heritage music pieces. Banjo students will begin by learning basic chords and progressing to melodies, while fiddle students will begin with melodies and progress to chords and double stops.
Early intermediate fiddle and banjo students will focus on more advanced techniques including other keys and tunings. Additionally, students will learn rhythm and melody and have the opportunity to “jam” together.
The beginning rhythm guitar course will be taught by musician and NRCC CAD instructor Jeff Levy. Levy has been playing guitar for most of his life and has played in several bands of varying genres including country, southern rock, Christian country and bluegrass. He has recorded two songs, one of which, “Red, White and Blue,” was included in a compilation CD made for troops serving in Iraq.
Levy’s guitar course material will include the parts of the guitar, fundamentals of chording, strumming and picking methods and playing music in the top three frets of the guitar. Students will also have the opportunity to learn the basics of the chromatic scales.
Clogging will be taught by Lisa Linkous. Linkous is the owner, dance instructor and choreographer of Back Porch Studios in Floyd. She is also an A.C.E. certified group fitness instructor and an AFAA certified personal trainer.
Linkous’ NRCC clogging course will focus on clogging basics and does not require special shoes, though a tap or clogging shoe is encouraged. Students will learn most dances in the line dance/solo style and at least one circle dance will be taught. Music will include traditional bluegrass and contemporary country.
The cost for the beginning fiddle, clawhammer banjo and combined fiddle and banjo courses is $180. The cost for the rhythm guitar course is $162 and the clogging class is $234. For all instrument classes, students must furnish their own instruments, tuners and two sets of strings.
To register for any of these classes, contact the New River Community College Office of Workforce Development at 540-674-3613.
Michelle Porterfield of Pulaski (back left), John Hess of Belspring, and Diana Wilson-White of Blacksburg practice during Mike Mitchell’s beginning fiddle class last semester.