Folk Festival Workshop Ideas 2017

I dream of…(insert instrument here)
Program performers that include a variety of instrumentalists, singers, and styles of music in this workshop. Each performer plays a song that they always wished could have another instrument(s) as part of the arrangement, and they draw from the talent in the workshop (example: “I dream of banjos”: a banjo player would join in on the song, “I dream of an angel choir”: a chorus of singers would harmonize with the vocals).
Create a list of themes that often come up in folk songs (a train song, an unrequited love song, a song that might be played at a rally, a song about being on the road, a drinking song, a song about a dog, a song that names a small town, etc.).
Create a “BINGO” card on a whiteboard and randomly fill the squares with these themes. The whiteboard could be visible to the audience but not to the performers. Performers take turns choosing a theme from the list and playing a song that features that theme. The squares on the BINGO card are crossed out as the workshop progresses. The audience gets to yell out “BINGO!” when a full line of squares is marked off!
Take me to the water
Songs about rivers, oceans, swimming, paddling, fishing, rain, protecting water.
A voice for the voiceless
Songs that give a voice to an unheard, under-represented, or oppressed individual or group.
Put on your boots
Songs that might be sung while wearing boots (cowboy boots, rubber boots, steel-toed boots, winter boots, etc.).
In a family way
Songs about family members, births, gatherings, homesteads, traditions.
Truth or dare
Performers play a song that scares them – maybe a song that’s not completely finished yet, a song that might reveal too much about them, a song with a strong opinion, a song that’s uncomfortable, a song that divulges a secret.
Love in unexpected places
Songs about love found in strange places, between unlikely lovers, or that comes at unexpected times.
Surprising strings
All the performers in the workshop play instruments with strings, but not quite as expected (example: a guitarist who plays in alternate tunings or with a unique technique, musicians who play: a fiddle with extra strings, washtub bass, nyckelharpa, homemade instruments, etc.).

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