Performing Techniques and Playing with Backing Tracks

Be Ready for Your Next Concert
October 11 - 14, 2017 | Enroll Below
Santa Fe, NM
Scott August
Intermediate and Above
Performance Techniques and Backing Tracks
Workshop Description
This workshop will focus on playing with "backing tracks" and performance techniques. Classes will be very interactive with a LOT of group playing by all participants, every day. Learn how to prepare your stage presence and tracks for your next performance. Discover how to play with backing tracks and how to begin creating your own with just a few NAF’s.
If you are part of a flute circle, you'll learn how turn your group into your own NAF ensemble. This is a great way to get everyone playing at the same time!

This will be our most comprehensive workshop for performing and playing.

The Playing with Backing Tracks part of the workshop will cover:

  • Techniques to improvise over backing tracks in ways that are musically satisfying
  • How to follow backing tracks, (when to start playing, when to stop, ways to keep from getting stale)
  • Taking your tune to the next level.
  • Which notes work best over certain sections/chords
  • Creating a NAF orchestra and taking turns being soloists and ensemble members
  • Explore the chords and rhythms of backing tracks by playing them as a group
  • Discover ways chords for backing tracks are put together by making our own chords

The Performance Techniques part of the workshop will cover all aspects of playing in front of an audience:

  • Different types of microphones, when and how to use them
  • The basics of sounds systems
  • Echo and Reverb, getting that “playing in a canyon" sound
  • How to present yourself on stage
  • Planning and Preparing for a performance
  • Ways to get your audience to support you and your playing while you are on stage

More details to come…

This will be an small workshop to give participants more personalized instruction. Space is Limited!

Workshop requirements: All participants must have NAF’s in A and D (a 5th lower), tuned to 440.
D NAFs will work, high D flutes will not. In other words, the D flute should be bigger/longer than the A.

Workshop Schedule
Click image for a downloadable PDF copy

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Date and Location

The Sage Inn Santa Fe: The Official Hotel for Ancestral Spirits

Sage InnThe 2017 Soaring Spirits Songwriting workshop will be held at the Sage Inn Santa Fe, the official hotel for the workshop. The Sage Inn is close to the historic plaza and walking distance to many restaurants and shops and they have an hourly shuttle to the plaza.
Soaring Spirits Songwriting 2014 Workshop Flashback
Photos from the 2014 Soaring Spirits workshop. It was a great workshop. Everyone wrote and recorded a song and had fun!

Scroll down to see some of our favorite photos from the 2014 workshop.

The 2014 Soaring Spirits Songwriting Workshop Graduation Dinner Photo
We had participants from all over the country and Canada!

Tom M. performs his song

“This class was excellent.  It was exactly what I wanted and needed.  It integrated and clarified the many “How to write a song” concept and idea fragments that were floating around in my head.” – Dave S., CO.

Marcia and Scott talk about her song

“Being in the Santa Fe Flute School workshops has been the best experiences of my flute journey. The energy and time Scott August puts into creating the best workshops I've attended have inspired me to take music in directions I never imagined I could go. It was really great fun.” – Marcia, TX

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Casey and Scott go over his song.

"Anyone with a passion for learning the Native American flute need look no further for exquisite instruction covering all of the techniques required to sound amazing on this instrument. From breath work to shortcut fingering techniques and more, Scott August has a wonderful methodology that makes all who desire to play, successful. I will return again and again. " -Ginni, AZ

Mack performs his song

"Scott August is not just an outstanding NAF player, but a exceptionally talented musician and composer, plus he is a patient and inspiring teacher, and just a really good person who I am privileged to work with and associate with. The school simply deepened that opinion." – Tom F., CO.

Tom plays his song

Marcia plays her song

Laura, Casey and Nina improvise a trio

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Mark H. plays a solo

Mark N. plays a solo

About the instructor: Scott August
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Multi-instrumentalist Scott August is a best selling composer/producer and Native American Music Award (NAMMY) winner. His music is regularly featured on the nationally syndicated radio shows "Hearts of Space" and "Echoes" and on the the digital networks XM, Sirius, DISH and DirecTV.

August's music has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Native American Music Award (NAMMY), an Indian Summer Music Award and Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) Award In 2009, his DVD, Ancient Light, was aired on the PBS network. In addition to his recordings August is the author of three books and a informative blog.

John Diliberto of Echoes radio says "August has always been a cut or two above most native flute players... He layers guitars, keyboards and all kinds of percussion into his compositions, moving from world fusion to airy ambiences." The Los Angeles Times has called his music "shimmering and luminous."

A Look at Santa Fe, New Mexico
Click Image to Enlarge

Santa Fe, the oldest capitol city in the U.S.A. is a premier destination spot. Nestled at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains it has attracted artists, cowboys and beauty seekers for over a hundred years. Its historic plaza, pueblo architecture, fine art galleries, museums and a unique mix of of Anglo, Hispanic and Pueblo cultures give the city its distinctive look and feel.
If you have the time, consider spending a few extra days before or after the Soaring Spirits workshop to soak up the local flavor, experience the vibrant art scene, taste the delicious New Mexican cuisine and unwind in "The City Different."

"Touch the country [of New Mexico] and you will never be the same again." —D.H. Lawrence, c. 1917

Student Workshop Comments

What students are saying about workshops with Scott August
Terms and Conditions
  • Flutes not included. If you need a flute we can help you get one.
  • If you cancel between July 1, 2017 and August 31, 2017 you will receive a refund of your payment, minus a $25 cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel after August 31, 2017, you will receive a refund of your payment, minus a $50 cancellation fee.
  • The school requests participants sign a liability waver for school participation.
  • Santa Fe is located at an elevation of 7,000'. Please talk to your health care professional if you have problems with altitude.