Mandolin is Italy’s most iconic musical instrument. It’s best known as an accompaniment to Neapolitan song, or perhaps as featured in Vivaldi’s concertos — but the mandolin has deep roots across Italy’s regions, both north and south. In Italy, folk and classical mandolin traditions are closely entwined.
Introduction to the Italian Mandolin is designed to introduce mandolin to all who are interested in learning. We will begin with ancient work songs, and progress toward court music, popular song accompaniment, and simple concert pieces. We will cover technique, practice strategies, and basic music theory as needed.
The course will be taught at beginner and intermediate levels, and tailored to participants’ needs. The ability to read standard music notation is helpful, but not essential. As a textbook we will use Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin & Fiddle Tunes by John T. La Barbera (written in both standard notation and tablature). Inexpensive, vintage Italian-style mandolins will be available for rental or purchase.
August Watters is a mandolinist and conductor/composer with a broad, multi-stylistic background. He has performed and taught widely across Europe, Canada and the United States. He holds a Masters of Music Education degree from Boston University, and has recently retired from an 18-year teaching career at Berklee College of Music, where he taught ear training, ensembles, string labs, and private mandolin lessons. He is now a full-time performer/teacher specializing in all aspects of the American mandolin, particularly its Italian heritage.