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The Hootenanny

Informal: an informal gathering with folk music and sometimes dancing.
“we invited friends to a hootenanny in our backyard”

Our guitar group classes are guided by the belief that developing musicians of mixed abilities and musical backgrounds can all benefit from a song-based approach to learning.  Students learn new musical skills and techniques in the context of playing new songs together.

In The Hootenanny, we’ll dive into all types of American music – folk, bluegrass, traditional country, and Americana.  My good friend and legendary singer-songwriter Dave Alvin once said there are two types of American roots music: quiet folk (meaning acoustic instruments) and loud folk music (meaning, most likely, loud electric guitars).  In The Hootenanny, we’ll study the quiet-ish variety.

Each week in this 90-minute class, we’ll spend the first half-hour talking about the song specific to the week.  The songs will cover the spectrum of the genres mentioned above.  We’ll play all the songs together during the final hour and see what different interpretations we can develop as a group of players.

We’ll dive into the music of Jimmie Rodgers, who has been called The Father of Country Music.  We’ll explore The Carter Family, often recognized as The First Family of Country Music.  Then there’s Woody Guthrie and his unique and driving rhythm guitar that accompanied so many of his classic compositions.  Of course, we’ll explore bluegrass and what’s called “The G Run.”

Plus so, so much more.

The goal of The Hootenanny is to bring a sense of communal joy that folk music found decades ago when people would gather around a table and play.  This still holds true today, as you can find around the world in different cultures, such as The Irish Sessions, which take place in pubs everywhere – even here in the Boston area.

Before taking this course, students should have a basic strumming ability and knowledge of open chords in the commonly used keys of C, G, D, and A.  An ability to play simple melodies/riffs with a pick is preferred but not required.

  • Age Group(s): Adult
  • Ages: Adults
  • Instructor: Michael Dinallo
  • Instrument: strings
  • Semester: Fall, Winter, Spring
  • Duration: 90 minutes, 10 weeks
  • Day/Time: Wednesdays, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
  • Start Date: September 21, 2022
  • Cost: $390