IAMF encourages teachers and students to initiate and maintain a monthly workshop where a local professional musician (or a traveling national celebrity musician) is invited to present a workshop designed to improve participant's skill and knowledge of a particular instrument or musical concept. The following list shows some of the IAMF workshop themes taught and discussed over the past several years:
- How to improve guitar accompaniment at fiddle contests.
- Songwriting: Getting started.
- Blues: What makes it blue? How does it differ form other music styles?
- Transcribing a song by ear and then putting the song on paper.
- Electric Bass for Bluegrass: How to get the most from the instrument.
- Mandolin: How to practice effectively.
- Accompaniment on all instruments-including the fiddle.
- Singing gospel music in the southern American (U.S.) tradition.
- How to build an effective, entertaining ensemble.
- Banjo: Picking and fingering rolls and patterns.
- Understanding and using sound reinforcement systems.
IAMF workshops are usually held in rooms provided by public libraries. Most libraries are open to the idea of free public workshops as long as workshop directors and attendees are good stewards of library property. Most libraries require that workshops be free to the public and that such workshops be advertised to the public (usually free of charge in the "local happenings" or "public events" section of the local newspaper). Many local professional musicians will donate their time to present workshops for non-profit organizations like IAMF. Otherwise, it is important to create a workshop fund to use when compensation is necessary *.
Eventually, IAMF workshops will be made available on DVD and will become available to check out or purchase. All workshops in all areas of the U.S. can be filmed (video) and submitted to the IAMF library. The IAMF library is just getting started. To submit a workshop video (preferably on DVD) to the IAMF library simply make a copy of the original and send the copy to:
Institute of American Music Foundation P. O. Box 50734 Provo, UT 84605-0734
* IAMF is building a workshop endowment fund designed to provide funding for celebrity workshops. To learn more about this fund, or to contribute to the fund, contact us.