MOO Music Fall Gathering
November 1-3, 2019

Two simultaneous programs. Register for only one:

1. Saturday-Only, Featured Performer Program

            9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday ONLY, Nov 2, 2019

            Program includes 2 Featured Performer classes, lunch and concert.

  • COST: $103

2. Full-Weekend Program w/ Featured Performer Program Option

            5:00 PM Friday, Nov 1 thru 11:30 AM Sunday, Nov 3, 2019.

            All weekend, PLUS option to take 1 or 2 Featured Performer classes.

  • COST: Depends on your choice of housing/commuter and class options.

1. Featured Performer Workshops – Saturday Only, November 2

Saturday Only (9:30 AM – 5:00 PM).  Includes a morning and afternoon CLASS (2 hours each class), Saturday lunch and a concert by our featured performers.   Please choose a morning and an afternoon class from the list below and write your choices on the registration form (we cannot offer a reduced price for just one class).  Please register EARLY (by Sept 1 if possible) to help our performers feel secure that they have reached their minimum number of participants. See the Saturday Performer-Program Schedule below.

TOTAL COST for this program is $103. Program ends at 5 PM.  PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to join us for dinner on Saturday, and stay for the evening jams and Open Mic, then you should consider registering for the FULL WEEKEND program  instead, and add the Performer Workshops.  


Brett's philosophy is that "anyone can make music, regardless of age, musical ability or knowledge!”
And his philosophy shows in responses to his workshops. He currently teaches hammered dulcimer,
mountain dulcimer, bluegrass banjo, clawhammer banjo, beginner acoustic guitar and mandolin as
well as several unique ALL INSTRUMENT workshops. Brett has authored and marketed a series of
instructional CDs that display his friendly method of teaching the hammered dulcimer and also
teaches lessons via Skype and Facetime.  Brett’s composition, "Gettysburg Rain" written and
performed by Brett Ridgeway is featured in the soundtrack of “The Path of the Wind”, a 2010
movie which features Wilford Brimley


9:45 – 11:45 AM:  You CAN Play by Ear & Canoodling Your Noodle  

Play by Ear: "Does anyone have the music for..." (cringe) FREE YOURSELF and your dependency of reading music, standard notation or tab to learn a tune! This is a HANDS-ON workshop for all instruments and will help you to learn and understand your instrument from the inside out! Using simple ear training exercises, playing a simple scale and you will be picking out tunes-by ear- by the end of this workshop! I have used these techniques several times in my workshops and one-on- one teaching and the most often exclaimed phrase is, "I can't believe I can do this!!!" Whether you read music or not, learning to play by ear is a helpful skill and yes, can be learned in this workshop.
Canoodling Your Noodle: It’s time to quit relying on other people’s musical compositions and, instead, simply learn to play the instrument right in front of you. In this workshop, you will understand how to play without relying on what is written on a musically-prescribed piece of paper! In this workshop, you will learn to “mix it up” learning to improvise and embellish on the fly. If you play any tune ten times through, you will learn the techniques and skills to play it ten different ways! This will change how you play and give you a new-found freedom and joy in your playing. Quit playing with your eyes, and start using your noodle!  Video Promo:


1:00 – 3:00 PM:  Overcoming the Fear & Practice Smarter Not Harder

Overcoming the Fear: Afraid to play in public? Terrified to Jam? Does the thought pf perform in front of people make your heart pound and hands shake?? I am the poster child of fear in public performance. The shakes, nausea, nerves…I get it. But I learned how to break the debilitating, paralyzing grip of fear and I guarantee that if you apply these simple principles and ideas, you can too!  Video Promo:
Practice Smarter, Not Harder: You can practice ALL DAY LONG and never make the progress you desire because the secret to playing successfully is NOT just practicing, but knowing HOW to practice. Many people waste HOURS of time and effort practicing their instrument, and don’t realize their practice methods often serve as a roadblock toward reaching the end-result they desire. This workshop will teach you some proven techniques, tested guidelines, and provide some hands-on practice experience teaching you exactly HOW to practice for the most efficient and effective results! Why waste hours practicing harder when you can productively practice smarter? Video Promo:


For years, Tom Kastle traveled the world, collecting and performing maritime songs and stories and
captaining sailing ships on the Great Lakes. These days, his passions are even more diverse and
include theatrical projects, from Man of La Manchato Henry IV; film projects, like Francisco Torres’ 
Delight In the Mountain; and television, where he hosted a short documentary on the Bicentennial
Battle of Lake Erie that was nominated for an Emmy Award. Tom has been part of the Solidarity
Sing Along, the longest running protest Sing in US history, for over 8 years. The SSA is responsible
for keeping Free Speech free in Wisconsin's Capitol and has been joined by performers like Peggy
Seeger, Holly Near, Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, and Masha from Pussy Riot. 

Add in musical director and composer credits, writing and performing concert opera narrations,
hosting and interpreting nautical events, and captaining tall ships on the Great Lakes (currently
relief captain schooner Denis Sullivan) and you have an artist, and sailor, living a vivid life, indeed!

“What do you say about a guy who can command a tall ship and all her crew, whose songs can
make an Irishman cry tears of pure Tullamore Dew?"                  -- Bryan Bowers


The Great Lakes once was the home of 1,600-2,000 commercial sailing ships with Chicago being the fourth busiest port in the Western World. Much of the music and lore of the seas followed salt water sailors inland and grew into a genre of Great Lakes maritime music. Tom Kastle has been following in this tradition for 30+ years as a singer, collector, writer, and sailing ship captain. The session will include shanties, ballads, stories, singing in context with the actual labor, and performance.



The Solidarity Sing Along began as an impromptu event in response to Wisconsin’s ACT 10 Legislation, with hastily assembled songbooks featuring 10 songs that some people might be familiar with.  It grew into a regular happening that took place every weekday at noon for over 2,000 days. In spite of rain, sleet, subzero weather, and 400 arrests. Those who joined the singers included Arlo Guthrie, Billy Bragg, Peggy Seeger, Holly Near, Tom Morello, Jackson Browne, and Masha from Pussy Riot.

2. Participant-Led Workshops

We are currently still recruiting presenters for the Participant-Led Workshops for the Fall 2019 Gathering.  These workshops and classes are in addition to the classes led by professional staff.  PLEASE let us know if you would like to offer one!

These programs are informal and lots of fun.  Please look for details on the MOO website & Facebook.  We will be posting additional information as it becomes available.  Feel free to check those sites often!


See Housing Information on separate page

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