2015 Sessions - Spring: May 17-22  Fall: Sept. 6-11

Welcome - here are all the details about Chord Camp. I hope you can join us.

If you have any questions about any of the information here (or not here) please email Jon Weinberg.

Dates and lodging costs are now final and enrollment is open for both sessions of next year's Chord Camp

Updated: 10/276/2014 -  visits to this page.


Comments from past Chord Camp attendees :

"Invaluable! Jump starts my playing ability. Instead of learning just a few specific pieces, Chord Camp teaches a whole chord system of playing the dulcimer. It helps everything make sense. Chord charts are brilliant! Will probably affect everything I do on the dulcimer from now on!" - Jane, Maryland

"Thanks, Jon! I really got a lot of great instruction from your camp that I can't wait to start incorporating into my playing. Everything was so well organized from the lodging to the instructional material to the dinners. It was a great week, and I enjoyed being with the entire group." - Jeri, New Mexico

"It was a wonderful camp. It was exactly what you said it would be and just what I wanted to learn. The lessons, the music, the hospitality, the food, the companionship all made for a great week, and I'm very glad I came!!!" - Joyce, Connecticut

"In the last few years I've been to quite a few HD festivals and I've taken quite a few classes and workshops where we learn new songs and the chords that go with them. But this is the first time I can remember leaving a workshop and really understanding two crucial things: one - how the chords in a song fit and support the melody line, and two - how and where to play those chords on my Hammer Dulcimer! Your method of Chords In A Box was well presented, easy to learn, and best of all, fun to play. I feel like I've really moved up to the next level in my playing - thank you!" - Barrett, New Jersey

"I think you have given us the keys to the castle or the Kingdom. Thanks for all you efforts in helping us become musicians." - Kathy, Cape Cod Massachusetts

Click on any of the pictures above to see additional photos of Chord Camp 2014


Table of Contents

What is Chord Camp? Camp Objectives Meals and Lodging
Where is Chord Camp? Schedule How to Enroll
Jon Weinberg Workshop Sessions Other Activities
Prerequisites Cost Spouses/Travelling Companions

What is Chord Camp?

Chord Camp is an annual week-long workshop of intensive learning and playing in a small-group environment, with hammered dulcimer and guitar performer and teacher Jon Weinberg

Jon makes no assumption that you know anything about chords. At Chord Camp you will learn what makes a chord, how to play them on the dulcimer, how to use them to back up other instruments (and choral groups), and how to use them to make solo arrangements of your favorite tunes.

Most dulcimer players learn to play by playing melodies without much attention to chords. We will focus on the chords and work our way back to the melodies for a more holistic approach to both ensemble accompaniment and solo arranging. For many dulcimer players this way of thinking and playing can be a real eye-opener.

To foster accelerated learning and provide personal attention class size is limited to only 8 attendees.

Once a session is filled we will maintain a waiting list should anyone need to cancel.

Where is Chord Camp?

Chord Camp is held in New England in "metrowest" Boston (in-between the I95/128 and I495 loop highways) in the adjacent towns of Framingham and Marlborough, Massachusetts (about 30-45 minutes west of downtown Boston):


View Larger Map

Workshops and the Thursday evening concert are at the Framingham Friends Quaker Meetinghouse in wooded north Framingham, near the Marlborough line.

Framingham Friends Meetinghouse sign Framingham Friends Meetinghouse

Lodging is at the recently renovated Marlborough Holiday Inn, about 8 miles from the meetinghouse and near Jon's house, restaurants, and other services.

Marlborough Holiday Innl

Jon Weinberg

Jon Weinberg Jon has been playing the acoustic guitar since 1967 and hammered dulcimer since 1990.

He is a long-time, frequent performer and teacher at dulcimer festivals in the northeast US including the Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering and the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival, and more recently the ODPC Funfest in Evart, MI and the Pocono Winter Dulcimer Festival in Pennsylvania. For many years Jon was the hammered dulcimer coordinator of the now-defunct Cambridge Spring Dulcimer festival.

Jon plays dulcimer at weddings, church services, and other celebratory events, and performs concerts at coffeehouses, town events, restaurants, and at residential assisted living and nursing home facilities. He has accompanied the New England Children's Choir at the New England Conservatory of Music and at Boston Symphony Hall, been a featured speaker and performer on the hammered dulcimer at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and is a frequent performer at NEFFA (the New England Folk Festival).

As a member of multiple contra dance bands over the years Jon developed a system of dulcimer chords and a backup playing style that he teaches both to private students and at dulcimer festival workshops. He is currently an active member of the New England bands Allemande North and Wild Card.

Jon teaches private hammered dulcimer lessons at his home in Marlborough, Mass. and online via Skype. In 2013 he released his first CD "About Time".

Chord Camp Prerequisites

Chord camp is NOT for beginner or novice dulcimer players. To keep up with the pace of the material and the rest of the group, attendees should possess the following skills and capabilities: If you have any questions about your skill level or whether or not you should attend please email Jon and we can discuss your dulcimer and musical experiences and figure out what makes sense for both of us.

Camp Objectives

By the end of the week you should be able to:

Schedule

Sunday late afternoon - arrive and join everyone for a get-acquainted dinner at a local restaurant

Typical Workshop days (Monday through Friday):

7:30-8:30AM Breakfast at the hotel  
8:30AM Travel to the meetinghouse On Monday Jon will swing by the hotel to lead everyone to the meetinghouse. Each morning you can drive yourself or carpool with others for the 8mi. drive from the hotel
9:00-12:00PM Morning workshop  
12:00-1:00PM Lunch break  
1:00-4:00PM Afternoon workshop May be a little longer if we break mid-afternoon for an off-site activity
4:00PM Free/down time before dinner To practice, jam, explore, take a rest back at the hotel...
5:00ish Cocktails/wine/schmoozing before dinner (optional) at Jon's house, down the street from the hotel Bring your favorite local brew or a bottle of wine and/or cheese and crackers to share
6:00ish Dinner Most dinners we will go out to local restaurants. On Thursday before the concert we'll bring in pizza
After dinner Free time to socialize, jam, practice, retire to your room, etc. We may have a movie night one evening or some other activity

Monday's foundational workshops will run a little longer, after which we'll go directly to dinner (after a sightseeing stop) since the Wayside Inn is very close to the meetinghouse.

Thursday evening - Jon Weinberg (and friends) in concert - open to the public - attendees (and a travelling companion) are admitted for free and each Chord Camper is invited to perform a piece if they would like.

Friday - have breakfast and check out. Our final day of workshops and lunch will end with a late-afternoon wrap up followed by everyone helping to straighten out the meeting house. Afterwards you can depart or join us for a final "cocktail hour" and group dinner.

Friday late afternoon and evening you are welcome to stay and work with Jon and others on any pieces you've been working on and want some help and/or feedback, or anything else you have questions about. In previous years, at the request of attendees Jon has given demos on using Band-in-a-Box, and has explained and demonstrated the dulcimer pickups he uses and options.

Workshop Sessions

Here is what you will learn: Much of what we do will include exercises to impart skills and build confidence, such as group round-robin accompaniment, and small group and solo breakout sessions where you will arrange a selected tune/song and then perform it before the group.

You are encouraged to bring a piece you've been working on but maybe don't feel quite satisfied with, with which you can apply the ideas and techniques you will learn during the week. If you want more ideas and feedback there will be a session where Jon (and other attendees) can work with you to help you develop your arrangement.

Attendees are invited to perform a piece at the Thursday evening concert, either one you've played beforehand or (for the fearless) one you learned and arranged during the camp sessions.

Cost

Plan on the week (Sunday evening to Friday afternoon) costing around $1030. This can vary somewhat depending on the cost of your dinner choices, and if you want to share a room with a friend who is also attending Chord Camp.

This price is based on the following:

NOTE: for people flying in who can't bring their instruments with them a limited number of loaner dulcimers are available at no cost on a first enrolled first served basis.

Registration Fee

The registration fee is $300 and includes: This amount is payable in full when you enroll.

Registration Fee Refund Policy

If you need to cancel, your registration fee may be refundable as follows (dates listed below are for Spring/Fall sessions):

Meals and Lodging

Breakfast: is included in the price of your room and is provided by the hotel each morning.

Lunches: salad and sandwich fixings will be provided for everyone to make their own lunch (included in your registration fee). For a change of pace we may go out for lunch one day.

Dinners: For offsite restaurant dinners figure an average of $40 a dinner (including tax, tip, and maybe a drink), or $200 for the 4-5 restaurant dinners, a pizza dinner, and a visit or two to local ice cream stands.

Here are some of the area restaurants we like and/or have eaten at during past Chord Camps:

If you have any dietary preferences or restrictions please indicate this on your registration form.

Lodging

We have a block of rooms reserved at the recently renovated Marlborough Holiday Inn. The special Chord Camp rate for a single room is $95 plus tax which includes a breakfast buffet each morning. For 5 nights (Sun. through Thurs.) with tax this amounts to approximately $530.00. After February/June all unused rooms will be released and our special pricing may not be available, so enroll early if you are thinking of attending.

NOTE that:

After you enroll, Jon will send you instructions on how to make your room reservation, which must be done over the phone (not via the internet) to receive our special event pricing.

If you are interested in arriving earlier or staying later to do some sightseeing, the hotel has offered to extend the Chord Camp daily rate for you. If you'd like to do this (or are thinking about it) let Jon know when you enroll as you will need to contact a specific person to arrange this.

People driving a long distance may want to consider staying over Friday evening at the end of the week and leaving for home on Saturday morning.

How to Enroll

Here's how to enroll in Chord Camp:
  1. email Jon to let him know that you want to come and to check that there is an opening still available. Let him also know if you'll need a loaner instrument. Jon will reply to your email and tentatively enroll you if there is an opening. If you haven't heard back from him in a few days, please email him again in case your email got lost (it does happen...)
  2. Then print and fill out this Enrollment Form, fill it out and mail it to the address on the form along with your check for the full registration fee
  3. When your enrollment form and check have been received Jon will email you back a confirmation that you are fully enrolled, along with information on how and where to make your room reservations

That's it! A month or two before the session Jon will email you a few simple tunes melodies to learn in advance. As the session week approaches Jon will email you additional information on what to bring musically and weather-wise, as well as any last minute developments.

Other Activities

For afternoon breaks we might If you've never been to the area you might want to spend a weekend before or after Chord Camp to do some sightseeing. Marlborough is about 30-40 minutes from Boston, Minuteman National Historic Park, and historic Concord and Lexington, MA, and the Wrentham Outlet Mall. There's lots to see and do.

Spouses/Travelling Companions

You are welcome to bring your spouse or significant other with you to spend the week vacationing here. They are invited to join you/us for all non-teaching activities (cocktail hours, dinners, jams, and offsite activities). While you are attending workshops they are free to explore Boston and historic eastern Massachusetts, or just relax.

Note that they will receive free admission to the Thursday evening concert.


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