Mountain Songs for the Soul

Singing Mountain Songs for the Soul with Susan Pepper

This fun and interactive workshop will offer students a deep dive into Appalachian ballad singing and the beautiful vocal ornamentation that makes this tradition unique. Explore your own voice while experiencing traditional song and the folklore around it. Singers will walk away from this workshop with a couple of new songs in their pockets and strategies for approaching traditional singing.

The capacity for this class is 12 students. This class is presented in collaboration with the John C. Campbell Folk School. There will be an optional Orientation and Closing Ceremony hosted from the Folk School campus that students can attend online.

Class Materials Needed

No materials necessary

Age Range

All Ages

Skill Level


About the John C. Campbell Folk School & Lessonface

For 96 years, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina has transformed lives, and brought people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Since 2012, Lessonface has connected more than 30,000 students with over 2,000 great teachers for live music, language, and arts lessons online, delivering on our mission to help students achieve their goals while treating teachers equitably.


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The class will meet on January 21. The day starts with a 2-hour live demonstration session at 10 am ET | 7 am PT | 15:00 UTC and meets again for 2 more hours at 2 pm ET | 12 pm PT | 19:00 UTC.
(Convert to my time zone)

Enrolled students receive 30-day access to the video recordings of the classes.

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST
Mountain Songs for the Soul
Susan Pepper

How It Works

Enroll above to save your spot in the class. Lessonface will send you a confirmation right away, and a Zoom link 24 hours before the class start time. You can log into your Lessonface dashboard to access class materials, communicate with your instructor, join the live Zoom session, and access the class recordings and chat transcript afterward. Class enrollments may be cancelled for full refund up to five days before the class start date, with the exception of the materials kit fees which are non-refundable.

Book 1:1 online lessons with Susan Pepper on their Lessonface profile.

Susan Pepper

Susan Pepper

Susan Pepper teaches ballad workshops at regional and national venues including Youth Traditional Song Weekend, The John C. Campbell Folk School and the Virtual Banjo and Fiddle Frolic. She has performed ballads at the Library of Congress and is included in the Traditional Artists Directory of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Pepper worked extensively with traditional Old time and Bluegrass music programs for youth in the Appalachians and has vast experience teaching folk song, guitar and mountain dulcimer to children of all ages. Pepper has released 3 albums, The Prettiest Bird (2020), Hollerin’ Girl (2015) and her field recordings On the Threshold of a Dream (2009).  She...

Students Say

Diane B. on February 26, 2021

It was wonderful...I learned many old mountain ballads, enjoyed seeing videos of older mountain women singing that Susan showed us....there is nothing that I enjoy more than singing! Susan was a wonderful teacher -- her voice was perfect for singing many of these mountain songs -- she was sensitive to her student's needs and she made each class so much fun!

Sally R. on February 26, 2021

I absolutely adored the class. I hope to take another class with the same teacher and I’d love to learn again with the same students. I also want to take a class on site at the Folk School one day.

David V. on February 26, 2021

Marvelous. Susan had an informal, we're all just friends approach that made it easy for everyone to participate.

Adam T. on February 26, 2021

Excellent. The instructor, Susan Pepper, brought a lot of talent and passion to the class, as well as good materials. I learned a lot.

Pattie B. on February 26, 2021

Susan is a great teacher. Her choice of songs was great and she is so personable and such a good singer. I can't wait to take an in person class with her.

Virginia U. on February 26, 2021

Great! Susan is a wonderful teacher and it was a perfect way to learn to sing the old mountain songs. I felt that with the help of modern technology we were able to experience learning in a way that has been traditional for hundreds of years ... passing songs along orally to the next generation.

Verified Student on June 17, 2022

Wonderful. Great

Verified Student on June 17, 2022

Enjoyed the songs and appreciated the chance to learn some new ones. I had already warmed up so that was not necessary for me. I would have liked more resources offered to experience the music. A guide, a list of folk schools that teach Appalachian singing, festivals... Some ways to learn more and go more deeply into the music. I hadn't been in an online class before so I didn't know I should have had a keyboard to respond.

Sue w. on June 17, 2022

I enjoyed it a lot

Verified Student on June 17, 2022

Very well taught, interesting, and fun.

Ellen O. on June 17, 2022

Great — very refreshing.

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