Workshops & Panels

FARM 2014 Workshops

Thanks to our Workshop Coordinator, Charlie Mosbrook for putting this together.

Thursday Afternoon

  • At 2 pm, Tim Grimm: Master Class
  • At 4 pm, The Legacy of the Carter Family: Hall and Morgan:

Friday morning at 9 am

  • Legacy: Eric Peltoniemi:  Eric will lead a discussion on the history of Red House Records, it’s place in the continuing legacy of American folk music, how it is evolving with the on going changes in the music industry today and into the future.

Friday Afternoon at 12 noon

  • Musicallity: Jack Williams:  You can play thousands of songs with three chords. We’ll discuss ideas on how to create more interesting arrangements for your songs – trad or contemporary. We’ll discuss learning how to widen your understanding of the “chord” and the scale-notes which are available in any key to add harmony, counter-melody, and “commentary” with your instrument. We’ll talk about the use of non technical ideas like color and feel, and the role of rhythm in accompaniment. Learn what sets musicality apart from practical mastery, and why in the best of both worlds you should cultivate both.
  • Carry It On – Continuing the work of Pete Seeger through Unionism” Tret Fure:  The folk music community was, in many ways, introduced to unionism by the music of Pete Seeger. He taught us about Joe Hill, Aunt Molly Jackson, Woody Guthrie. But he also taught us about the many people who have, through the years, worked together for the good of us all. It is in that spirit that Local 1000 was created and Pete was one of its first members. Come join us in celebrating his legacy and continuing his work.
  • Creole French music Dennis Stroughmatt (Joanne Murdock):  from the people who live just a few miles away from the conference, in Ste Genevieve and Old Mines Missouri. The workshop will also discuss the work of a collector, and how to find and cultivate and save this music.
  • Getting the most from your farm experience: A panel discussion geared toward first timers and anyone hoping to get more from their time at FARM.  Annie Capps, Simeon Peebler, Lee Herman, Kerry Patrick Clark
  • Radio DJ: Sue Kessell and other participating folk DJ’s:  A panel discussion led by the people who deliver our music to new audiences through the airwaves. Learn how music is chosen and what you can do to increase your opportunities to get airplay. The panel will be followed by a reception for the DJ’s where you will have a greater opportunity to meet face to face

Saturday Morning at 9 am

  •  Eurythmics workshop looking at the connection between music and dance. Be prepared to dance this morning with Red Brick Rhodes: Becca and Red Chrosniak

Saturday Afternoon at 12 noon

  • Grant Writing, Chris Vallilo:  Grant writing for the working musician, including Arts and Humanities Council grants and a street smart discussion on the real world ins and outs of using grants as fund raising and support tools.
  • Songwriting: Andrew Calhoun & Jenn Rawlings:  This songwriting workshop is not about craft or how you should write every day or every week or write in this or that genre or any of that stuff. Songs that matter hold information that can’t be conveyed any other way. This is about search, about using fresh forms to break new ground; about listening and paying attention; about trusting the image; about matching a melody to a lyrical or kinesthetic image. Finally, it is about editing and arranging as a passionate process that is slower but every bit as necessary as the moment of creation.
  • Art and Craft of Home recording, Jay Mafale:  As the music industry continues to reinvent itself, posing new obstacles and new opportunities, DIY album projects are more popular than ever. There’s no doubt that recording at home can save a great deal of money, but how can you get your recording to sound as good as your favorite song on the radio? Jay will share tips and techniques that can elevate everyone’s recording experience and help yield excellent results. He’ll also show you some of the “toys” involved and explain costs, benefits and limitations of home recording (as well as give advice on when to involve a professional). Through hands-on, interactive participation with the group, Jay proves just how quick and easy it is to get set up and start recording without stress and frustration. He will provide all necessary equipment for the workshop as well as hand-outs detailing important gear, techniques and costs. Singers, instrumentalists, budding engineers – step up to the mic!
  • Effortless Singing and Harmony Singing Workshop:  Brenda Freed, MA in Music Education/Music Therapy, has been performing all her life and teaching voice privately for over 20 years, including conference and festival voice workshops. A 2014 Folk Alliance workshop attendee, described her teaching best: “I was impressed with Brenda’s gift for quickly identifying the root of a singer’s problem. Her methods are solid; the concepts clear and precise.
  • Taking it to the Next Level” Joanne Murdock:  Career planning workshop. Though the title is Taking it to the Next Level, this is a very unique workshop, where artists are shown some of the alternative and hidden markets, and demonstrate the steps you need to take to move from local to regional, (and Whether you WANT To do that!) — there is a rich landscape of venues and places to connect with your audience. Important for artists to remember that there are huge audiences and potential fans for their work, outside of the folk circuit. Importance of radio airplay/CDs, publicity, Why do we need to tour anyway, and is touring right for you?

Saturday Afternoon at 1:30 pm

  • Crowd-funding: Joanne and Lee Murdock/ Charlie Mosbrook:  Kickstarter, Indigogo and other platforms now offer artists the opportunity to seek funding from their audience for new projects. Learn how this works. The positives and negatives. Get involved in the discussion. Last year this panel was well attended by many with strong experience in crowd funding who offered a deep discussion into this topic.
  • Vid grid, Jeff Robertson:  Panel of three professionals to provide feedback about the effectiveness of artists’ live video for booking public listening rooms and house concerts. Participants submit one live video link of one entire song that automatically loads from YouTube or Vimeo- Participants will have been invited to submit video in advance of the conference. FARM showcases are now juried in this manner. Learn how to reach the judges with your video.
  • Venues peer group.  Moderated by Dudley Smith (Smitty) and tbd:  The focus will be on issues affecting anyone presenting live music in a House Concert or small Listening Room venue. How to build an audience, how to book the artists you love, ‘tricks’ to use on show day, how to avoid legal complications, etc. Come share your tips for success with, learn from, meet and connect with, your music presenter peers in this moderated group discussion.
  • Stagecraft, Stephen Lee Rich:  A focus on presentation and performance. How to take a collection of songs and develop them into a dynamic performance.
  • Working in “Non Traditional” Venues, Chris Vallilo, Anna Stange, Ron Muka:  A panel discussion on the many opportunities to perform within our communities focusing on Libraries, nursing, assisted living, schools, and more.


Workshops and Panels Overview

Folk DJ Panel – FARM 2010

Every year we work hard behind the scenes to bring you a diverse line-up of workshops and panels, with a host of experts from our own community who can address current technology, changing face of the independent music business as well as performance and instrument techniques.

Workshops will take place on Friday and Saturday afternoons and for the first time this year we’ll be offering two master classes beginning at 2pm on Thursday.

Not sure if you have any expertise worth sharing? These are some of the topics we’d like to see covered at our conference this year:

  • Social Networking
  • Performance Rights Organizations
  • Effective Concert and Artist Promotion (getting butts in the seats)
  • Performance Techniques
  • Booking Yourself a Tour (and not going broke)
  • Alternative ways to make a living as a musician

Got any suggestions? What would you like to see us present? We’re particularly interested in hearing from Venues and Presenters on this.

If you would like to propose a workshop for our 2014 conference send an email to and please include the following information:

  1. Workshop subject (title is even better) and description.
  2. A short paragraph describing your experience in presenting this workshop

Answer the following additional questions:

  1. Would your topic work as panel? or would you consider working with a co-facilitator?
  2. Have you presented this workshop at a previous FARM? When?
  3. Will you be attending the entire conference? Any scheduling requests.

We’ll be posting this year’s workshops as they are confirmed so check back often.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Official FARM Playlist

We are currently featuring artists who will be performing at the Mill IOWA WELCOME on Sun., Feb. 15th in Iowa City.

Future FARM Dates

Dates for future FARM conferences in Iowa City, IA

* October 22 - 25, 2015
* October 27 - 30, 2016
* October 19 - 22, 2017

2014 Friends of FARM

Sandy Andina
Sue Kessell (WNUR)
Kerry Patrick Clark
Simeon Peebler
Wayne Greene (
Deb Kirmer - Last Minute Folk
The Gordons
West Bethesda Folk Music Concerts
Ten Pound Fiddle

Visit our Sponsorship page for more info.

FARM Member States

North Dakota
South Dakota