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Vocal Harmony

Instructor:   Natasha Sayer / Emily Triggs

Vocal Harmony

Instructor:   Natasha Sayer / Emily Triggs

Course Description:

Level: Not Applicable  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

Experience the simple yet immense pleasure of harmonizing with others in this fun, uplifting class that teaches multi-part harmony arrangements. In this interactive class you will learn how to sing harmony naturally and intuitively, gaining skills and techniques to find beautiful harmonies. We will start out with the essentials and by the end of the weekend you will know how to harmonize above and below the melody. Prepare to do lots of singing and to challenge yourself to use your ear in new ways as we will go through practice activities, work to blend our voices in small and larger groups, sing songs we love and learn new songs!  

Some things we will cover:

  • most commonly used harmony techniques
  • how to create a great vocal blend
  • building harmonies by ear
  • tricks to practice singing in harmony on your own
  • tips for maintaining great vocal health
Natasha Sayer

Natasha SayerNatasha has been playing, singing, writing and performing in and around Calgary for over two decades, currently playing accordion and guitar with harmony driven folk quartet Magnolia Buckskin and keyboards with David Martin's eclectic indie project, the Fragments.

Her voice is emotive and powerful; her songwriting ranges from intensely personal to downright silly! Natasha is a passionate teacher who has taught elementary music in Calgary for over 12 years.

She enjoys developing and putting on shows with her 400 music students. Her 2009 children's album "Big Bad Bantam Rooster" was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.

WebsiteMagnolia Buckskin

Emily Triggs

Emily TriggsEmily Triggs is an experienced guide in helping many strengthen and realize their authentic musical expressions. She possesses degrees in Creative and Literary Arts, is educated and experienced in instructing.

Born into a large musical family, Triggs caught the music bug at an early age.  An avid songwriter, she eventually followed her muse from Montreal to Calgary, by way of West Virginia where she explored the Appalachian side of roots.

With Calgary bands, she’s been a House Doctor, a Fallen Angel, a Magnolia Buckskin and a member of June Gloom. Pushing the boundaries of what is considered folk/roots she draws on her influences spanning the Deep South with the likes of Lead Belly, through Texas blues, strains from the Appalachian Mountains to her early years in French Canada.

Finalist for Calgary Folk Festivals Songwriters Competition 2006, 2015, 2016. Finalist for South Country Fair Songwriters Competition 2017. "Emily engages the listener. Her songs are double edged, unapologetic and a unique sound in the genre of Alt Country/Roots.”

Websites:    Emily Triggs,   Magnolia Buckskin

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.