Friday, September 22, 2017

New studio location

We have moved to a new studio location!

The new address is 4 Open Square Way, Suite 130 Holyoke Mass old 1040

We have new hours available as well including Friday from 5 p.m. Until 9

The folk group has one slot open if you would like to join the folk group please do so now as it is filling up quickly.

The mandolin for beginners group has openings for four more mandolin beginners if you would like to join this group please use the contact form on the sidebar.

The advanced mandolin group has openings for at least two more players and we are specifically looking for cello players that would like to learn how to play mandocello. If you are a cello player and would like to learn how to play mandocello Mr Adam Sweet will give you a free mandocello lesson to get you started.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Current Open/Available Lesson/Class Slots

I have the following open private lessons slots during the week:
  • Thursdays 8-9pm
Group Class Openings
  • Mandolin for beginners group class  Wednesdays at 7, 
  • Folk music group class Thursdays at 7

Mandolin Orchestra

The Mandolin Orchestra rehearses once a month at the studio

4 Open Square Way
Holyoke, MA 01040

Please RSVP if you plan on attending so that we know how many chairs to set out.

Monday, September 4, 2017

South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra / Advanced Mandolin Group Class

The Advanced Mandolin Group Class forms the core of the South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra. 

The class meets Monday nights from 7-9pm the studio:

4 Open Square Way
Holyoke, MA 01040

There is no cost to join the orchestra.  You may come to any rehearsals you like.

If you would like to register for the Advanced Mandolin Group Class, or find out more about the Orchestra use the Contact page on the sidebar.

Thank you!

Monday, May 1, 2017

What does it take to learn to play the mandolin?

I've been teaching mandolin since I graduated from Hampshire College in 1985.  I teach all ages and all styles.

One of my earliest students was DJ and radio personality "Johnny Memphis".  At the time, he was playing celtic music and wanted to be able to play the mandolin to compliment the sounds of his band, and he wanted an instrument that he could play and sing at the same time.

The first thing you have to learn is how to hold the instrument.  Of course a good strap will keep the instrument from falling to the floor, but you'll need to understand how to position it so that your right arm and hand is in the right place for picking the notes, AND for playing rhythm and chords.

Next, you need to learn the best way to hold the pick for picking out melodies, and for chording.

In the same hour, you will learn how to hold the neck of the instrument, where to place the fingers of your left hand, and how to position your left arm, elbow and wrist for the most advantageous use of all 4 fingers (yes, string players have 4 fingers and a thumb).

I'll also spend a good amount of time in your first lesson introducing you to some basic music theory.  I want you to get started on scales right away, so the first thing you'll learn are the intervals (spaces between the notes) for each scale.  I'll introduce the concept of the Circle of Fifths, and talk a little about key signatures and modes.  These are topics that we'll go over weekly from now on.

Finally, if there's time, I'll talk about proper practice habits, how to divide your time to be the most productive, and tell you about a couple books I'll want you to get.  You can buy the books now and take a look at them.  We'll go over them in detail the next time I see you.

How do you get started with lessons?  Use the contact form on this page, or call 413-561-2275 any time.  I have slots available during the week, and I offer lessons online with Google Hangouts.

Check my schedule for openings and availability.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

5.7.17: River Roll and Stroll on the Rt. 116 Bridge

Holy S.Had! Take to the street and come together on the bridge that connects Holyoke and South Hadley for a vehicle-free, care-free Sunday celebration and experience the Connecticut River in a whole new way!
The Route 116 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge will be closed to traffic for this free, open streets event featuring music, art, activities, food, and fun for all ages. Free admission; rain or shine. An ‘open streets’ event presented by the Bike/Walk Committees of the City of Holyoke and the Town of South Hadley, with support from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT); MassBike; and the Cultural Councils of South Hadley and Holyoke, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Event sponsors include E-Ink, Holyoke Medical Center, Republic Services, Mount Holyoke College, Big Y, PeoplesBank, Conklin Office Furniture, and Holyoke Youth Soccer League.
Holyoke-South Hadley River Roll and Stroll Street Festival
Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 11am to 3pm
On the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, Route 116
Free Admission | Rain or Shine

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mandolin concerts coming up

Adam Sweet's Mandolin Project will be performing on Sunday, May 7th at the River Roll and Stroll in South Hadley Falls.

The festival will start at 9 and go until late in the afternoon.  The mandolin project will play Bach and Mozart in the morning, and Schubert in the afternoon.

For more information about that, or to register to take mandolin lessons, visit

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mandolin, mandola, mandocello lessons!

I am now offering mandola and mandocello lessons at the studio in addition to mandolin.  Mandola is the "viola" equivalent in the mandolin family of instruments.  Mandocello is the "cello" equivalent.

Mandola players often read the Treble Clef, only an octave higher and with different fingering.  Sometimes called the "Tenor Clef".  Many mandola players also play viola and therefore read the standard viola "Alto Clef".

Mandocello players read the Bass Clef.

The fingering on both instruments is identical to the fingering on the bowed-string counterpart, so viola and cello players could switch over to the fretted versions quite easily.  In fact, if you have a little guitar background, the transition is even easier as you will already have experience with frets and a pick.

To learn more about taking lessons, visit my website where you can check the schedule and contact me about lessons.  Thank you!  Adam Sweet

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