top of page

Spring 2024 Classes

Register now!

Your online payment is your registration. Or, register by emailing class coordinator Tracy Loysen at and sending a check to Summit School, 46 Barre St. #5 Montpelier VT 05602.

BEGINNER OLD TIME FIDDLE 102 with Jenny Monfore

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:45 pm, 8 weeks, starting March 12, $200


Do you have a bit of experience playing old time fiddle but have been struggling to sound like a ‘real fiddler?’  Want to graduate from playing alone at home to jamming with other people?  


In this class we’ll learn tips and tricks that will help your fiddling sound more natural and feel comfortable.  We’ll cover basic bowing techniques and how to apply them to bring tunes to life, how to tune your fiddle to play in the common keys you’ll encounter at jams, and learn a few tunes by ear to start building your old time repertoire.  We’ll practice leading small jams in class—not as scary as it sounds!—so you can gain confidence playing with other people.  


Students are encouraged to bring a recording device.  Everything is taught by ear.


This class is geared towards folks who have taken previous fiddle lessons/Summit School fiddle classes, or played old time fiddle for at least 6 months.  

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

Jenny Monfore has been playing old time music since her early 20s. Starting out on clawhammer banjo at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC, she picked up the fiddle and hit the road! She’s traveled around the country playing at regional old time festivals, from Clifftop to the Alaska Folk Fest and many in between. She enjoys playing and calling square dances, small jams at house parties, and introducing new folks to the wild world of old time music! She lives near Montpelier and has a flower farm called Old Time Flowers. Visit her website to learn more:


Mondays, 7:30 – 8:45 pm, 6 weeks starting April 1, $150


Wayward Songs and Crooked Tunes! In this 6-week class we’ll be working half-time on approaches to putting songs from other musical traditions (country blues and country and beyond) into clawhammer, and the other half on crooked fiddle tunes. It’ll be a mix and mash, mostly in Open tuning, and no one will be required to sing if that’s a thing! I’ll have a bunch of options in mind and will be open to suggestion as always. You should be an intermediate or advanced player, familiar with the fundamental clawhammer techniques and comfortable with the main tunings. I teach “on the fly,” in the old-time way, but also provide tablature for reference and encourage folks to record in class. “What do you call a gentleman? Someone who can play the banjo, but doesn’t.” No gentlemen allowed!

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
IMG_4250 2_edited.jpg

Ted took up the banjo in the mid-1990s after playing the guitar for 20 years. He has attended old-time music workshops and festivals since, and learned from master banjo players such as Tom Mackenzie, Pete Sutherland, and Dan Margolies. Ted has taught clawhammer classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students at the Summit School since 2008. He has also served on the Summit School Board since its inception, and is currently the Board Chair. In addition to teaching, Ted plays banjo with “Kick ‘Em Jenny,” a volcanic old-time stringband from Central Vermont:

LEARNING TO PLAY BY EAR with Hilari Farrington

Thursdays, 6:30 – 7:45 pm, 4 weeks, April 4 - 25, $100


There are many people who play music well, provided that they have sheet music in front of them. However, have you ever wished that you could play without sheet music?  The fact is, you can.


This four-week intensive class in learning to play by ear will help you “ditch the dots”, and let the music flow directly from your ears to your fingers.  


Musicians taking this class should be able to play their instrument at an upper beginner to advanced level.  All instruments welcome.

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
Hilari harp_edited.jpg

With her husband, Benedict Koehler, multi-instrumentalist Hilari Farrington has taught and performed throughout North America. She is also a co-founder of the Vermont School of Irish Traditional Music.

Youth Classes

BEGINNER FIDDLE with Jeanne Miller

Wednesdays 5:15 - 6:15 pm. 8 weeks, starting March 13, no class April 24, $120

In this course students will begin with the basics of how to hold the bow and the instrument. Students will be playing simple tunes in a very short time. By the end of class students will have a small repertoire of standard fiddle tunes.  In this class students will learn: holding the fiddle, bowing with confidence, G scale, quarter note & eighth note rhythms as well as beginner fiddle tunes. Students are encouraged to record the class. 




PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

Born in New York, Jeanne comes from a long line of musicians.  Jeanne started playing violin at age 7 and had a rich grade school experience playing with many orchestras and quartets all over Long Island. Wanting to move out of the New York area, Jeanne played her way into college attending the Crane School of Music at Potsdam. Once graduated, she moved to Vermont, and started a family in the Northeast Kingdom. Putting music aside to raise her family, Jeanne made the shift to folk music after playing in a string band. Currently Jeanne plays in the Bleeding Hearts Family Band with her two sons, plays solo performances and performs with the Vermont Folk Orchestra in Greensboro.



Sundays 4:15 - 5:30 pm. 5 weeks starting March 10, $75

No class March 24 (but we might have an evening jam)

For intermediate level trad musicians of all varieties of any (youth) age who can learn tunes by ear from the Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, and Old Time tradition. Join the group to learn a few new tunes, practice familiar tunes, create some harmonies, and meet other trad kids and teens in the area. All acoustic instruments welcome. Come as you are–no previous Trad Band experience needed. Plan to play at the Mud Season Spectacular Youth Showcase April 13! Contact Joanne Garton with questions via




PayPal ButtonPayPal Button


Sundays from 5:30 - 6:45 pm. 5 weeks starting March 10, $75

No class March 24 (but we might have an evening jam)

For advanced traditional musicians ages 11 and up interested in creating tune sets, harmonies, and arrangements, and learning about each other’s instruments and musical backgrounds. Get your favorite tunes ready for the dance hall! All instruments welcome with a focus on New England contra, Celtic, and Old Time tunes. No need to have been in a previous Trad Band class. Plan to play at the Mud Season Spectacular Youth Showcase April 13! Contact Joanne with questions via

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

Fiddler and dancer Joanne Garton mixes her pervasive passion for Scottish culture with the drive and rhythms of the New England dance floor. She performs, teaches, and records traditional music and dance from Scotland and Cape Breton with big influences from Ireland, England, Quebec, Appalachia and New England. A resident of Montpelier, Vermont, for the last 12 years, Joanne teaches kids and adults, performs on stage, plays in sessions, and of course, steps out on the dance floor at contra, Scottish, and English dances. Visit for videos, sound bites, gig listings, and more.


COMMUNITY JAM led by Susan Reid, Gretta Stone and Jacob Stone (and others)

First Thursday of each month, 6:15 - 8:00 pm, drop-in, $5 donation/session

Montpelier Senior Activities Center, 58 Barre St., Montpelier

The Community Jam is an opportunity for acoustic musicians at all skill levels to come together, learn new tunes, learn jamming skills, practice learning tunes by ear, connect with others in the rich music community in Montpelier, and have a fun evening.  At each jam there will be a short instructional segment at the beginning, to welcome and encourage new attendees.


We welcome fiddles, mandolins, acoustic guitars, banjos, accordions, concertinas, dulcimers, harmonicas, pennywhistles, recorders, ukuleles, and bass.  (No amplification except for bass guitars.)


We will be playing a wide variety of tunes:  Celtic, old-time, contra dance and square dance tunes, bluegrass, and whatever else participants bring to the jam.  


We welcome players at every skill level; if you know a few chords on your instrument you will be able to participate and grow your musicianship.  Playing with others is an essential path to becoming an accomplished musician, and even the most passive participation in a jam can be a wonderful growth experience.


This is a drop-in event; no registration needed.  We request a donation of $5 per session to support both the Summit School and the Senior Activities Center.


Registration and Payment:

When you pay for a class online, you will automatically be registered.

You can securely pay online securely via Paypal by clicking the button next to the class of your choosing. The Summit School appreciates payments by check or cash when possible in order to minimize service fees. Checks for the amount listed should be sent to: Summit School, 46 Barre St. #5, Montpelier, VT 05602. Checks may also be dropped off at that location in the secure dropbox with the Summit School sticker. Please note the relevant class in the description line on the check. If paying by check or cash, please email the registrar, Tracy Loysen, at with student name (if not yourself) and the name of the class you wish to register for.


Unless otherwise indicated, weekly classes are held at the Center for Arts and Learning at 46 Barre St. in Montpelier. The Community Jam is held in the downstairs Community Room at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre St. Masks are optional and welcome in both buildings. Please do not come to class if you are not feeling well.

Refund and Payment Policies:

After the first week of programming, no refunds will be provided. Student cancellation a week or less before the program begins results in a refund of half of the tuition. No refunds or make-up classes offered for student absences due to illness or family emergency.


Contact the class coordinator, Tracy Loysen, at or 802-522-3083.

summit logo png_edited.png
bottom of page