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Showing posts from 2016

I Manage Music for Weddings

Since 1986, I have been working with a variety of musicians including solo/strolling violinists, harpists and singers; trios and quartets; chamber ensembles; rock and blues bands; and DJs.
I'm happy to answer any question you might have about planning music for your special day including ceremony music, cocktail hour, dinner music, reception/dance, soiree music as well as music for the various transitions in an event.
FWIW, I am located in Western Massachusetts, near Amherst College. Most of the weddings I work with are in New England, specifically Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut, although I have managed music for weddings in Maine and New York state.
To learn about the musicians and ensembles I can provide, as well as ask me any questions, feel free to call 413-561-2275 any time or use the contact box on the sidebar!

I buy mandolins! Any condition.

I buy mandolins, mandolas and mandocellos.

If you or someone you know has an old (or new) mandolin kicking around the place that nobody wants, send me some pictures of the front, sides and back, details of the scroll, endpin and any damage.  If you know the provenance of the instrument (where it was made, the brand, serial number), include that information.  If you don't know anything about it, that's fine also.

Why do I buy mandolins?

I am the founder and director of the Springfield Mandolin Orchestra, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit dedicated to providing educational performances and events throughout the Metro Springfield area.  I offer a program for beginners called "Play to Own", where people that would like to join the orchestra may borrow a mandolin, mandola or mandocello, and come to rehearsals and mandolin lessons.  At the end of the year if they are still playing, they may purchase it at my cost!

Learning to play the mandolin is fun and profitable!

The mandolin is one of the most accessible instruments to learn.  Because of the frets, all of the notes are laid out for the player visually, making it super easy to know where to put your fingers.  The instrument is very light, so it is suitable for even the smallest of adults or teenagers.  Because it's tuned in fifths, it is easy to learn scales, arpeggios, and chords - the building blocks of all music!

You should learn to play the mandolin today!  To find out how visit my website:

Folk Song and Music in Québec: A Brief Introduction

by Stephen D. Winick, Ph.D. On his first trip to the New World, in 1534, explorer Jacques Cartier found a rich land inhabited by Huron and Iroquois Indians. He promptly claimed it for France. Cartier gave the name “Canada” (from an Iroquois word for “town”) to the area around the Iroquois village of Stadacona, on the banks of the St. Lawrence river. In 1608, the first permanent French colonists established Québec city in the same location, bringing their songs and music with them.
Early immigrants to Québec came from all over France, but especially from several provinces in the north and west: Normandy, Picardy, Anjou, Poitou, and Brittany. Not surprisingly, many of the traditional French songs we now find in Québec are common in those provinces as well. “Dans les prisons de Nantes,” for example, is set in Nantes, an important city that was historically the capital of Brittany. Located at the confluence of the Loire, the Sevre, and the Erdre, Nantes might be remembered fondly by Frenc…

Mandolin Group Concerts & Class Information

There are several mandolin group concerts coming up.  These concerts are free to all!  Donations are gladly accepted.

The concert dates are as follows:
October 1, 2016 - Soldier's Home in Holyoke, MA.  2pm-3pmOctober 8, 2016 - Porter Phelps-Huntington Museum, Hadley, MA. 2-3pmNovember 12, 2016 - The Arbors - Amherst, MA 2-3pmFebruary 12, 2016 - The Loomis Community - South Hadley, MA 2-3pm If you would like to participate in the Mandolin Group, classes meet currently Monday nights from 7-9pm in South Hadley, MA.  PM Adam Sweet for an address if you would like to attend.
Each class meets for two hours.  Sheet music, books and other study materials are provided by the instructor. The class is open to any and all levels of mandolin, mandola, mandocello and mandobass, regardless of experience.  
The cost of the class is only $125 a month!  If you buy 12 classes in advance, you may take 10% off the total cost, a $150 value.

Musical Legacy of the Acadian People

Music and song have always been an important part of Acadian culture. The Acadians brought hundreds of old French songs, many of which were originally accompanied by dances, to each region of the Maritime provinces in which they settled from 1538 - 1758.

Acadia (French: Acadie) was a colony of New France in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine to the Kennebec River. During much of the 17th and early 18th centuries, Norridgewock on the Kennebec River and Castine at the end of the Penobscot River were the southern-most settlements of Acadia. The actual specification by the French government for the territory refers to lands bordering the Atlantic coast, roughly between the 40th and 46th parallels. Later, the territory was divided into the British colonies which became Canadian provinces and American states. The population of Acadia included members of the Wabanaki Confederacy and descendants of emigrants from Fran…

Buy a 12 pack of Fiddle Lessons, and take 10% off!

If you sign up for 12 fiddle lessons, you can take 10% off the total!  That's $78!!

Fiddle lessons are available Fridays and Sundays at Downtown Sounds in Northampton, online using Skype or Hangouts, and may be available at your location.

Use the contact form on the side bar to connect, or call 413-561-2275 any time

Booking Service

We are a New England-based booking agency that provides live music and DJs for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversary parties, corporate events, private parties, clubs, festivals, schools and colleges, concerts, coffeehouses and other special events.

Serving Massachusetts (MA), Connecticut (CT), New Hampshire (NH), Rhode Island (RI), Vermont (VT), and New York (NY).


Traditional Irish Pub/Ceilidh Music
Click Here

The Americana Project
Bluegrass, Old Time, Western Swing, Acoustic Country
Click Here

Adam's Klezmer Orchestra
Klezmer, Balkan, Jazz, Swing

The Springfield Mandolin Orchestra
Classical, Pops, Traditional Mandolin
Click Here

Fiddle Hill
Traditional Fiddle Music
(Celtic, Irish, French-Canadian, Scottish, New England)
Click Here

Don't see what you're looking for?

We also book solo instruments (violin, piano, harp, guitar, etc.), duos, trios, quartets, as well as many other bands not listed here. Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll let …

Happy Father's Day from Sweet Music!

I'm going over to Downtown Sounds this afternoon. I have a fiddle student at 1pm, and then I'm going to have a late Father's Day lunch with Bina around 2:30. He likes burgers, so we'll probably go to Fitzwilly's. I don't want to miss the music at Joseph Blumenthal's 40th anniversary party, so we'll head over to Armory street around 5 for the festivities. Have a happy father's day, dads!

New Location Coming Soon: Downtown Sounds - Northampton, MA

Adam Sweet will be offering violin and mandolin lessons at DOWNTOWN SOUNDS in Northampton starting in July 2016 on Sundays from 12pm-5pm and Fridays from 2pm-7pm

If you would like to take lessons at DOWNTOWN SOUNDS, call 413-586-0998 or email and tell them you want to schedule a lesson with Adam Sweet.

The Baskin-Robbins Effect Dampens Enthusiasm in Musical Products and Services

The Baskin-Robbins Effect Dampens Enthusiasm in Musical Products and Services PERHAPS THE MOST commonly asked question at the NAMM show is, "Have you seen any really hot products?" In years past, whenever you asked the question, you'd get a list of "must see" items. These days, however, it's more often greeted with a shrug, a pause, or perhaps a non-committal answer like, "nothing amazing, but I saw a few cool guitars, I like the brand x tuner, and brand Z is offering a decent new keyboard." Do these diffident replies indicate that industry R&D teams are falling down on the job? Have we become so accustomed to revolutionary technologies like smartphones and Bluetooth that we don't impress easily? Or is something else at work here?
We don't think deficient R&D efforts are the problem. Manufacturers in every segment of the industry continue to refine and advance designs and production methods, resulting in the highest level of produ…

A Guide to Mandolin Care for Fall and Winter

Your mandolin is made mostly of wood and before it was used to create your prized and beautiful musical instrument, its main purpose was to soak up moisture, nutrients and sunlight. Yes, that’s right. Your favorite instrument was once a living tree!  It is no surprise then, that as the cooler seasons approach, your precious instrument is subject to structural change and even damage due to moisture and temperature changes. Therefore, It is vital that you know how to care for your musical instrument during these transitional seasons. The following are a few tips for caring for your mandolin during the Fall and Winter months. 
Check the Humidity Level 
Low humidity levels can cause your mandolin to warp and crack, and this is something that often occurs in the colder months – as humidity levels drop and the mercury dives with the falling temperatures. Even if your mandolin is not exposed to the cold directly, the external dry weath…

The New Sweet Music Community on Google+

Hello and welcome to the Sweet Music community on Google+ 
This is a community of musicians and people that want to learn about a specific musical style (we specialize in Bluegrass, Celtic and Klezmer), or learn a stringed instrument (we specialize in violin/fiddle, mandolin, mandola - also teach guitar, banjo and cello). 

For several years, I've maintained a website but it doesn't make sense to do that any more as the way people search for music teachers has changed. Utilizing a page and a community on Google+ makes a lot more sense, as it's dynamic, engaging, and a platform where I can share information and stories in real time, instead of in a static, two-dimensional manner. 

I'll be using this community to post information about upcoming concerts and recitals, new books, strings, accessories and other things I have going. I'd like students to feel free to share anything or use this community to ask questions.