Workshop Instruction

Cara is becoming a much loved and sought-after workshop instructor, leading classes  for communities, schools, music camps and festivals.  Workshops include Songwriting, Harmony Singing, Intermediate Guitar (beyond the basics), Ensemble Performance (how to play in a group/band), and Performance & Stagecraft Techniques.  Her diverse skill-set make her a welcome addition to any festival or community program.  She is also in the midst of developing a Musician in Residence program which would see her spending time in various communities offering her skills as a seasoned professional touring musician in the form of concerts/performances, workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Testimonials/Participant Endorsements 

“Cara Luft was FANTASTIC!  I had the great pleasure of being a student in her folk rock ensemble class and it was the most musical fun I have had in a long long time.  She has a great way of incorporating learning, both technical musical skills and performance skills, into the class activities without it being onerous.   She was also very good at ensuring the entire class was engaged.  From an administrative perspective, Cara clearly knows how to run the business side of her music career and she was very easy to work with.  Incidentally, it was so easy to work with Cara, and so much fun being a part of her musical world, that my husband and I offered to host a house concert for her following the camp.  Again, an absolute professional and a very very happy audience.  If one should be so lucky as to have a musician such as Cara as part of an event or learning opportunity, they would be foolish not to snap her up!” – Sheri Brake-Muyomba, Instructor Liaison, Foothills Acoustic Music Institute

“It took me about five minutes to realize your Folk/Rock class would be nothing but 100% awesome!  Thanks for your wonderfully infectious energy and your great teaching.  I came into the class not knowing the difference between melody and harmony, and not really having sung since I was 12.  You created an environment that had me enthusiastically singing my heart out on stage.  Thank you for that amazing gift.  You completely rock!” – Jeff, Class Participant

“Cara led our group through a number of activities that stimulated the creative writing process in a way that was enagaging and practical. It didn’t matter what experience in song-crafting people came to the workshop with, or what their motivation for being there was, Cara made everyone feel welcome. She encrouraged participation and sharing in a way that let each person commit according to his or her comfort zone, but equally challenged each one to take a risk in either creating material, discovering new means to aid the process, or performing in front of a group. We saw music as an art-form from start to finish during the course of one day: from theories of writing, to practical tools, to collaboration, to shaping a song, to performance. And we laughed the whole way through! What a super way to spend a day immersed in music, no matter what your level of mastery in song writing may be.” – Katy Lucas-Buckland, Workshop Participant

“Wow!  What a pleasure it was to take your class!  You have an amazing energy about you that adds so much to your teaching.  What a huge inspiration you’ve been on my guitar playing.  Rock on!” – Joe, Class Participant

“Thanks so much for your energy and encouragement in the Folk/Rock class.  You gathered a group of widely ranging skill levels and found a way to not only include but celebrate all of us! What a great class!” – Mark, Class Participant

“I’m quite sure that I’ve never had an instructor in anything, anywhere, with as much enthusiasm and energy as you have.  It’s so easy for me to fall into working on guitar and forgetting to have fun.  More than anything else, you reminded me what this (playing and singing) is all about.  Thank you so much!” – Chris, Class Participant

“Cara did such a fabulous job at the May FAMI camp…  I have known the Luft family for years and am well aware of the musical impact they have made to the community.  Cara is getting a good international reputation and is well deserving of this.” – Don Gowan, FAMI Camp Instructor

“Your infectious enthusiasm, off-the-chart skills, and ability to help me break new ground in my music education…. wow!  Thanks for the great week.” – Matt, Class Participant

“You’re a veritable dynamo; you could power a whole city with your energy!” – Fellow PSGW Instructor

“The rock band I’m in is nowhere near as fun as this class was!  I’m excited to go home with my new rock attitude.  I’m always a product of my environment and I love being around people like you.  You make me and everyone else feel great!  Thank you so much, I needed a dose of that!” – Mark, Class Participant

Workshop Descriptions

Folk/Rock Ensemble (aka “School of Rock for Folkies”)
With voices and instruments working together in a group context, participants will acquire the “tools” necessary for bringing a song to life.  Does that sound like fun or what!?  Come prepared to rock out folk-style (i.e. taking rock songs and folkin’ them up!).  If you sing (untrained more or less) and play an instrument (beyond the beginner stage), then this class is for you. Some of those “tools” mentioned will include: how to learn and arrange a song as a group, dynamics within a song, blending instruments, listening to each other, knowing when to play simply and when to step it up, how to play in support of the vocalist or soloist, and how to get out of the way and let the song speak. We will also explore how to do tasteful fills, how to sing in harmony, and performance techniques.  Any acoustic instrument is welcome (guitar, bass, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, bodhran, accordion, etc etc), and don’t forget about the voice!  Come prepared to have fun!

Have you always wanted to write a song?  Or are you already writing and looking for techniques and exercises to keep those juices flowing?  We will use collaborative songwriting exercises and learn to use different songwriting tools: observation, rhythm, rhyme, lyrics, melody and chord choice.  Students will have the chance to write at least one original song during the workshop (solo and/or within a group). Bring lots of paper, your voice and instrument of choice.

Performance & Stagecraft
Learn to make the most out of your live performance! We will discuss everything from how to share stories in between songs and engage your audience, how to create a strong set list, tuning and talking at the same time, communicating with your band members, how to ask for what you need from the stage and sound crew, learning how to use a microphone, how to use monitors, and so much more!  Bring songs that are ready to share.

Singing in Harmony
Come experience for yourself the fun and unique qualities of singing in harmony and how to begin to master the skills needed to sing in harmony well. You will learn listening techniques, how to recognize chordal relationships and how harmony fits into a melodic landscape.  Join us for a fun and empowering experience!  Everything is taught by ear and learned as a group.

Intermediate Guitar: Beyond the Basics
Are you ready to move beyond basic strumming patterns, to explore past the 3rd and 5th frets, to experience the addiction of drop-D tuning and excited to give both hands a bit more of a workout (hammer-ons, pull-offs and fingerpicking)?  This class will be a smorgasbord of guitarist delights, offering students a chance to explore new territory beyond the basics.