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Fiddle and Drum Workshops
at theTouchstone Center for Crafts in southwestern Pennsylvania

Touchstone is a unique three-season crafts school in the beautiful Laurel Highlands 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1972 as Pioneer Crafts Council, Touchstone's original mission was to foster interest in the preservation of traditional mountain crafts. Today, this unique craft school has expanded to include contemporary and experimental techniques in addition to traditional and historic methods in disciplines such as blacksmithing, ceramics, metals, textiles, glass, oil and watercolor painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. As Pennsylvania's only residential craft school, Touchstone offers both beginner and seasoned artists more than one hundred week-long and weekend courses taught by some of North America's finest artists and artisans.

April 24 - 26
Fiddle and Drum and Then Some
Beverley Conrad and Luke Glick • $200
Intermediate/Advanced for Fiddle • All Levels for Percussion

Materials Fee Payable to Instructor: $15
Whether you are a fiddler or a percussionist, just getting started or
been at it awhile, Beverley and Luke, the Lowlander Highlanders,
team up to get a jam session going. Beverley will tutor the finer
points of fiddling-like getting the fiddler's accents, keeping solid
time, building a repertoire, playing back-up fiddle, and playing nicely
with others. Luke will offer instruction in how to play the Bodhran
drum, spoons, bones, and jawharp as accompaniments to the traditional
music of Ireland, Scotland, and the northern Appalachian
mountains. Both groups will then team up and learn to play together
effectively. Fiddle students should bring a fiddle and bow. Bodhran
students should bring a drum and tipper. Bones, spoons, and
jawharps will be provided. Recording equipment is welcome.

Beverley Conrad and Luke Glick perform throughout
Pennsylvania and beyond as the Lowlander Highlanders. Their
“Making Music Tent” brings the joy of music and hands-on experience
to many community events where they teach and tutor
budding musicians in fiddle and percussion.

August 23 - 29
Learn to Fiddle! or Learn to Fiddle Even Better!
Beverley Conrad • Beginner to Intermediate • $410

Materials Fee Payable to Instructor: $10
This is the perfect class for both beginners and budding musicians
who want to sound better, get toes tapping, and make their “violining”
sound “fiddley.” Bare-bones beginners who have a fiddle and
want to learn to play will use master fiddler, Beverley Conrad's EZ
Fiddle Tab Method to learn.. You will also learn how to care for the
fiddle and bow, tune your instrument, change the strings, and trouble
shoot and fix common problems like stuck or slipping pegs,
straightening the bridge, and cleaning the bow. The materials fee
provides printed fiddle tabs, instructional CD, and odds and ends to
keep in your fiddle case. Advanced students will learn how to
achieve the beat, rhythm, and soul of the jig, the reel, the waltz, the
slow aire, and more. Grace notes, trills, slides, cuts, rolls, drones,
chords, and double-stops inherent in the style of Appalachian and
Celtic root music will be taught. Much of what the regional folk fiddler
knows is learned from listening. Going beyond sheet music,
playing by ear, improvising harmony or “seconding,” and back-up
fiddle will be taught and used in hands-on jam sessions. Student
should bring to class a fiddle, bow, block of rosin, and extra set of
strings. Tape recorders are welcome.

Beverley Conrad, known locally and in cyberspace as the
Fiddlerwoman, has played fiddle since she was knee high to a
grasshopper. She has been featured in and has written for Fiddler
Magazine and writes the “Teacher's Tips” and “Ask Beverley” column
for the National Old Time Fiddlers Association. Coming from a long
line of family fiddlers and learning much of what she knows from
other regional fiddlers of the northern Appalachians, she is included
in the Central Pennsylvania Folk Roster as a living, traditional folk
artist. Her goal now is to pass the knowledge on to other fiddlers
as a way of preserving this old-time art. Her recordings have been
used many times in film, television, and educational works.
Her website The Fiddle: Legends, Lore and Helpful Tips is at

Also available:

August 23 - 29
Drums and Drums and Drums…
Dave Olson • All Levels • $460
In this class we will focus primarily on making Caribbean steel drums.
There will also be an opportunity to explore making ceramic shell
drums with leather heads, drums from hollow logs, and Irish
bodhrans. Students making ceramic drums should have some wheelthrowing
experience-otherwise this class is open to all levels.