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Bluegrass Jam Class

Taught by Heidi Olsen using the Wernick Method*

Woodstown, NJ at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival

735 Route 40 (Harding Hwy), Pilesgrove, NJ 08098

September 3-5, 2021

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 9-11am

Tuition: $85 for 3 sessions, or $30 per session

$10 off if you register in advance; festival admission required. $30 deposit reserves your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance.

Assisted by Barry Mitterhoff

Students must wear masks to participate in this class.

This class will be held in a large, well-ventilated building.

Heidi Olsen has long been involved in the bluegrass scene in the Central New Jersey area, playing banjo with her band Heidi Olsen and The Night, and hosting the Bluegrass Jam radio program for 12 years. Heidi’s mission in life is to pass on her love of bluegrass by encouraging others to sing and play together.

To that end she started a workshop ten years ago which has introduced many students to the joys of jamming. Students praise Heidi’s patient teaching style and her ability to get everyone jamming in a non-threatening environment.

Email Heidi

Heidi’s students say:

“I never enjoyed playing or practicing until Heidi made it click for me!”
“If it wasn’t for Heidi, I don’t think I would even be playing bluegrass music.”
“Heidi is very enthusiastic, supportive, and encouraging. She makes you smile!”
“Learning with Heidi has allowed me to develop the confidence to play out with others — a dream I had all but forgotten.”
“Inspiring, positive and engaging attitude … the group wants to do well for themselves but also for you.”
“It was all a great experience for me. Heidi had just the right combination of toughness and sweetness to foster a perfect learning environment.”
“I especially appreciated her tips on jamming etiquette and feel I am comfortable enough to participate in a jam session.”

* Wernick Method Classes teach real bluegrass jamming!

  • All bluegrass instruments welcome
  • No jamming experience necessary
  • You will be jamming the first class!
  • Friendly, encouraging, knowledgeable teaching.
  • Gentle tempos! Mistakes expected!
  • Music reading not needed or used
  • Singing not required, but encouraged and taught.
  • Easy 2- and 3-chord songs, slow speeds.
  • Soloing not required! “Faking” solos taught.
  • Understanding, low-pressure, time-tested teaching
  • Intermediates welcome, and given added challenges
  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Learn many bluegrass standards
  • Full ground rules and etiquette of typical jams
  • How to lead songs and how to follow new songs
  • How to find melodies, fake solos, sing harmony
  • Ear skills taught and emphasized, as in real bluegrass
  • Group and individualized instruction on backup skills

Do you qualify? It’s easier than you may think!

If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or dobro… you can be part of a bluegrass jam.

Only requirements:

  • You must be able to tune your instrument (electronic tuning devices welcome) and
  • change smoothly between G, C, D, and A. (Fiddles and basses need to know which notes work with which chords)

For more info or to send payment in the mail, email office@letspick.org.

Click any photo to enlarge.

  • All Wernick Method classes/camps will be conducted either outdoors or in very well-ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Safe 6′ distancing at all times
  • Temperature screening of all participants upon arrival, followed by all washing hands
  • Prior disinfecting of common surfaces (doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.)
  • Anything handed from one participant to another (such as a borrowed tuner or capo) will be disinfected before transfer.
  • With these measures taken, we expect that all can relax and enjoy the class!

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