music files
levels of instruction



If you are very new to the mandolin and need the basics to kindle your new affair with the instrument, then please register for topics at this level. The physical instrument, ergonomics, and an introduction to the materials you may need to continue learning the mandolin are presented.  No experience necessary.


Topics at this level assume the player is fairly new to the instrument but has some basic skills and experience with a stringed instrument.  Because musicians learn to play in various modes, instruction will take into consideration those who learn by hearing, those who learn by sight, and those who learn by imitating. Our instructors will leave you with written and possibly recorded materials to assist your learning after the workshops are over. Since several of the panel instructors are professional music teachers, you may have the opportunity to continue learning with one of them.


The intermediate player has been playing the mandolin long enough to know a few tunes and how to get around the first seven frets pretty well, but feel they need something more in order to advance. Wanting to play faster is common, but wanting to play other genres and in other keys is also expressed. At this level it is not necessary that they read music notation, but some familiarity with tablature is helpful. Exposure to various styles and genres is a part of this level.


The advanced player who comes to the Congress is typically in a small band or weekly jam, has memorized many tunes, and is able to read music notation with some ease. This level student seeks more complexity is their playing, better timing, and wants to know more about chord and scale theory. Some wish to learn more about another genre, such as Brazilian Choro, swing/jazz, and Irish.