Available for group lessons
8 and up
$100 per month (4 thirty-minute lessons, or 2 one-hour lessons)
Karen began performing and teaching clawhammer banjo in 1975 as a staff musician for the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. She taught clawhammer for Grandpa Jones Old Time Week, and was a regular performer for the Folk Center’s evening stage shows and at the Jimmy Driftwood Barn. After moving to Sonoma County, California, she helped create the Round Oak String Band which was featured in the cult classic film, “The Howling.” Karen performed for many years with The Great Silkie, playing a variety of styles, including old-time, British Isles, Eastern European, and Klezmer, which led to the making of the band Sevastopol, where she played “klezhammer” banjo on the eastern rhythms.
Before moving to Asheville 12 years ago, Karen taught beginning and intermediate clawhammer banjo workshops for the California Bluegrass Association Music Camp in Grass Valley, California and at Walker Creek Music Camp, in Marin County, California. Karen has been part of the Asheville old-time music community for the past ten years and enjoys the local jams, Shindig on the Green, and performing at festivals. In 2009 she helped form Honey Holler, with three other women who play fiddle, guitar and bass. Karen plays leads on the fast fiddle tunes, plays back-up on the songs and has a traditional mountain singing style.
Lessons with Karen
Karen teaches clawhammer banjo for students from about 7 years old and up. Previous musical experience is not required. For beginners, she teaches the basic strum, along with tunings and chords, playing in the old-time style. Related to basic strumming, Karen can also teach more experienced students drop-thumbing, double-thumbing, finding the melody notes, reading tablature, playing chords up the neck, various rhythms, jamming, and singing with the banjo.