Hands-On American Folk Music & Instrument Program

It is to my belief that Traditional American Folk Music should be presented to people as a way of creating an interest for it, thus continuing its preservation. It should also be considered by the participants as an alternative music path, one that is enjoyable, entertaining, historical, cultural, and most important, a folkway to foster community. Participants will benefit wholeheartedly!

~Brian Vollmer


The instructor provides Guitar, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin, Harmonica, and Upright Bass, set-up for audience’s immediate view. When participants enter, traditional music will be playing to set the mood. The presentation begins with an introduction by the instructor: his story and why he has chosen to teach people about traditional American music, a fading art form preserved by new generations that may be inspired and find joy in the folk music communities found near home and abroad.

The core of the presentation will move on to a review of each instrument with a slideshow: its origin, history, and how it is constructed. The instructor will also give a demonstration on how each instrument produces a unique sound and how it is played, traditionally. Participants will then find a hidden instrument that everybody possesses: their voice. The instructor will pass out lyrics to a traditional folk song to involve them in a sing-along. The instructor will play an audio demonstration, and then they will learn the song together. The instructor will again play a recording of the song that features all of the musical instruments presented. Participants are welcome to sing-along to this recording.

Finally, participants will have the chance to choose instruments that they are drawn to, and be instructed on how to produce some basic sounds. Participants will have a chance to explore each instrument given the time allotted.  Participants must be patient and able to wait their turn and supported with assistance as instructor sees fit.

Help on finding an instrument and further instruction can be arranged with the presenter at a later date.



Table Cloth
Instrument Stands
Bluetooth Speaker
Lyrics to Handsome Molly
Table for Instruments
Chairs for Participants