I teach French Café Songs, Swing Guitar, and Bluegrass Jam online or in person. Scroll down to see the descriptions below.
(in case you're skeptical: yes online classes work fine: I, as well as many other teachers, have done that for a while. Different possibilities and mechanics than in person, but hey, these are special circumstances! And added bonus: if you're shy, nobody will hear you, other than your roommates...)
Click here for details
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a little video describing the class...
French Café Songs
We'll learn to sing all those classic songs French songs you've heard before (La Vie En Rose, Les Feuilles Mortes, Ménilmontant, J'Attendrai, etc...) and a bunch you've never heard before.
Click here for details
Learn to sing songs from the classic French Café Music repertoire (Piaf, Trenet, Montand, Gainsbourg, Brassens, etc.) as well as some more modern songs.
Every week we learn and sing together 2 new songs. Those can be famous or obscure songs, waltzes, foxtrots, tangos, political songs, romantic songs, happy songs, broken heart songs.
For each song, I read, explain, and translate the lyrics, then talk about where the song comes from, its social, political, and historical context, and the references hidden in the lyrics. All stuff you won't find on Wikipedia. And then, of course, we sing. We'll learn the melody together and work on the pronunciation, so in the end, you'll even improve your French!
You don't need to be fluent in French. Some basics of French would be helpful but don’t worry, I'll help you with the pronunciation, in fact, many people who have taken the class didn't speak French at all. Also, prior experience in singing, playing an instrument, or any music theory is NOT required.
I'll send the lyrics and chord charts of the song for each week, along with links so you can listen to the song ahead of time.
From previous students:
"The class was fun! Olivier is an excellent teacher, singer, and musician."
"It was well structured for both, more confident and less experienced French speakers ."
"Olivier was very responsive and engaging and a delightful musician who clearly knew his stuff."
Links to some songs we might do:
or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/olivierzyngier
Scroll down a bit for a little video describing the class...
A class for those who like Bluegrass jams, whether you're a seasoned veteran or a beginner, or maybe even coming from other musical styles and caught the Bluegrass bug. Open to all instrumentalists and singers.
Click here for details
Now that the bluegrass festival season is coming soon-ish, you're probably all fired up to get in tip-top shape and jam your heart out all night long. Or maybe you've always been a little apprehensive and shy to join a jam, but you're really eager to do that. Whether you are, or dream of being, a hot picker, a singer, accompanying yourself or others, or you like shredding on fiddle tunes.
The class covers everything from understanding the structure and form of bluegrass songs, how to follow a chord progression, kicking off and ending tunes, setting a tempo, using the capo (for those who use a capo!), playing along with 4/4 and waltz time songs, fiddle tunes and much more while becoming familiar with the unspoken rules of bluegrass jam etiquette.
By the end of the class, you'll know how to join a jam, how to prepare and call your own songs, how to play along with a song you're not familiar with (or familiar with but in a different key), how to start a song and describe it to those who don't know it, how to "guess" what the next chord is, what backup and fills to play, how to start a solo, etc.
We'll play fast and slow songs, waltzes, fiddle tunes, the whole gamut. We'll emphasize and practice how to play rhythm with, and listen to, the other players, because that's the single most important skill that'll get you invited back... or not! Anything is fair game, from what is "bluegrass rhythm", to how to chop, which chords and bass runs to play, etc.
And most important of all, the goal is to give you the confidence to play with others, enjoy doing so, and have the other jammers appreciate you being part of the circle.
The class is open to all bluegrass instrument players (guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, bass) and singers. From beginners to advanced, although you should know how to play the basic C, D, G, A, etc. chords (a.k.a. I/IV/V) in common bluegrass keys. And if you don't know what I/IV/V means don't worry, you'll see, it's very simple.
And, as a bonus, you'll see how the same principles apply when you join a band, so we'll talk about that.
I'll have songs and tunes ready for us to play, but the best would be for YOU to bring songs YOU want to share.
Technical, Booking and Payments
For classes taught through the Freight And Salvage, registration and payment are all through their site.
For classes I teach myself, Payments are possible via PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, Bill.com.
For online teaching, I usually use Zoom or Duo. For in-person lessons, we can do it inside, with a comfortable 6ft distance, or if the weather is good we can do it safely distanced in my backyard.
I am available during the day or evenings, weekdays or weekends.
Send me an email to email@example.com if you want to talk about taking lessons, or when you're ready to schedule one.