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School of Folk Music2024-03-05T15:09:29-05:00

Calliope School of Folk Music

Since its founding in 1990, the Calliope School of Folk Music has provided thousands of students with the opportunity to explore the rich folk heritage available to them in western Pennsylvania. The Calliope School is one of few schools in the region to offer courses in folk instruments and singing, keeping alive the endangered art of making and sharing music.

Learn at your own pace in a friendly, non-competitive setting. Whether you’re starting up on a new instrument, looking to brush up on rusty skills, or seeking more advanced training, you’ll receive quality instruction from the best folk artists here in western Pennsylvania at a fraction of the cost of private lessons. Classes are held on the campus of the Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside and are designed to fit your busy schedule. Terms run for eight weeks each fall, winter, and spring, with shorter workshops scheduled occasionally.


We offer a broad range of classes at a variety of skill levels that change each term; here are some examples of classes that may appear on our schedule:


Appalachian Dulcimer

Banjo I & II (Five String)

Banjo I & II (Clawhammer)


Beginning Jam Session

Beginning Voice

Bluegrass Bass

Bluegrass Ensemble

Bluegrass Harmony

Fiddle I & II

Fiddle Repertoire I & II

Fiddle Jam Session Tunes

Guitar I & II: Jug Band 101

Guitar II Repertoire: Roots of Rebellion

Guitar II: Intro to Neil Young

Hammered Dulcimer


Harmony Singing

Mandolin I & II

Mandolin: Folk Rock

Mandolin: Fiddle Tunes and Folk Songs


Uilleann Piping

Ukulele, and more!

If you’re interested in a particular class, or you’re looking for a class not listed, feel free to contact the Calliope office at (412) 361-1915 or email