Andy May @ Vanderbilt Law SchoolAndy working with an "Acoustic Kid"

Instrument  ♦  Performance & Writing ♦  Informational

Andy has taught instrument, performance, and songwriting workshops at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Walnut Valley Festival (“Winfield”), MerleFest, Augusta Heritage Center, Vanderbilt University, and in schools in eight states as Artist-in-Residence. He’s been teaching guitar and mandolin for over 50 years and has taught many hundreds of people of all ages how to play. He particularly enjoys teaching beginning and intermediate players and giving them the framework they need to become successful players.

Some of Andy’s most popular offerings are listed below- he has led workshops on many other topics as well. He always tailors his workshops to the venue’s needs and can adapt most to any age group and some to an all-ages group. [More about Andy as Educator]

Instrument Workshops

Guitar 101

Guitar workshopGrab your guitar out of the closet or from under the bed (where you hid it!) and bring it to this workshop. Andy May will demystify flat-picking and finger-picking techniques to help you improve your playing and performance and build your confidence. Bring your questions and a smile!

Beginning to intermediate-level guitarists.

Guitar 201

Andy May - guitar - close-upOK. So you’ve worked hard to get the basics down. You can play those 1st position chords and can handle some melody. Andy will help you take what you know to the next level. He will further explore flat picking & finger picking techniques for lead and accompaniment, help you build your confidence, and introduce you to jam etiquette– all skills you’ll need in order to take your playing public.

Beginning to intermediate-level guitarists.

Mandolin 101

Andy May - Mandolin hands

This workshop is for folks who are starting out on mandolin. We will cover single noting, intervals, chords and beginning tunes. Bring your mandolin, your questions, and a smile!

Beginning to intermediate-level mandolinists.

Performance & Creative

Music Performance Workshop

Andy working with an "Acoustic Kid"This workshop is for those who are thinking of making music in their community: vocalists, singer/songwriters, instrumentalists… Topics include effectively delivering your art to your audience, preparation, stage fright, choosing material, working with other musicians, carrying a solo show, tuning, etc. Bring your instrument, your questions, and a smile!

Beginning to intermediate-level musicians.

Acoustic Kids

Andy May at MerleFest-2013-Acoustic Kids (6)Andy May’s Acoustic Kids Showcases are festival-based non-competitive performance opportunities for young musicians, beginner through pro. A festival setting ensures an interested, supportive audience. In turn, the audience is treated to an Opry-style stream of entertainers, each performer doing 1-3 numbers. Andy facilitates the on-stage dialogue in the role of emcee, mentor, and educator, putting the young performers at ease with his laid-back style and genuine interest in their accomplishments. Acoustic Kids has become a much-loved tradition at major music festivals, such as MerleFest and the Walnut Valley Festival, over the past quarter-century. For musicians younger than 17 and audience-members of any age. …more info

Jamming 101

Andy May leads the Jamming Workshop at Augusta Heritage Center

This workshop is for folks who want to try their hand at jamming or to improve their jamming skills. 2008 IBMA award recipient, Andy May, will lead the workshop and there will be opportunities for group pickin’ and playing. A variety of topics will be covered including jamming common sense and etiquette, nervousness, judging the jam, practice techniques and face saving performance tips. Bring your instruments, your questions, and your smile.

Beginning/Intermediate; multi-instrument/vocal workshop.

Songwriting and the Creative Process

2013-Andy May Songwriting Workshop-Walnut Valley Festival Andy’s songs have been nominated for Juno and Apollo Awards and used on network TV and by organizations like the United Way. In this hands-on workshop, participants are encouraged to bring in and share examples of their songwriting and to bring their instruments and their questions. Topics covered will be: lyric- and music- writing tips, getting organized, writing for projects, co-writing, demos, performance, copyrights, and more. This class is for anyone interested in songwriting.

Informational Workshops

The Roots of Bluegrass Music – Music appreciation and history

Andy MayBluegrass is one of the truly American musical styles, incorporating a wealth of influences from many musical traditions. In this presentation, Andy narrates an audio journey through the archives of early recordings of American country music. He discusses the impact of technological advances on American music and traces the development and birth of bluegrass, providing recorded examples of the musical influences that Bill Monroe, “the Father of Blue Grass Music,” brought together to create the style.

Appalachian Connections

In the early 1960’s, musicians from the Appalachians changed the face of American music forever. With their recordings and touring, Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, Clint Howard, Fred Price, and others, brought the music of this region to a larger audience and inspired musicians from across the nation to embrace old-time music. Andy was one. In this workshop/performance, Andy goes back in time and revisits the Appalachian music that set him on fire, playing songs he learned as a kid from the seminal recordings and the live shows of these artists and sharing the historical context that allowed the music to take root outside its home region.