Elective courses

Every day at KS, participants will have the opportunity to take 2 to 3 elective courses in addition to their core (i.e., either Bandura or Choral Workshop) programming. Once you register for camp, you'll receive a questionnaire asking you to rank your choices for Week 1 courses and your choices for Week 2 courses. Space in electives is limited, so be sure to rank your preferences strategically!

While we are preparing the list of electives this year, please have a look at last year's elective courses.


Week 1 courses


Composing and Arranging for Bandura

Nick Deychakiwsky

Deychakiwsky teaches students to apply concepts like melody, rhythm, and harmony to create music for the bandura. Participants learn to combine multiple musical elements to create satisfying musical pieces, in both traditional and contemporary settings. Participants should have some understanding of music theory.


Advanced Technical Development I

Ivan Shmilo

This course teaches advanced techniques to seasoned bandura players. If you’d like to master complex runs, rhythms, fingering techniques, and if you’re looking for challenging repertoire, this is the course for you.


Fundamentals of Music Theory


This course provides an overview of pitch, rhythm, melody, harmony, chord progressions, musical phrasing, scales and modes, embellishments, as well as musical form. Participants will learn to identify these musical concepts in performed or notated music to help prepare them not only for the bandura course repertoire, but for their future musical endeavors.


Kharkiv Bandura Playing

Julian Kytasty

The Kharkiv technique allows both the right and left hands to play the entire range of the bandura (see wikipedia.org/wiki/Kharkiv_style). This course will review the two left-handed positions used in Kharkiv technique, Kharkiv tremolos, and integrated playing styles.  If you would like to take this course but do not have access to a Kharkiv/Poltava-style instrument, please write to ks@bandura.org and we will do our best to find one for you to rent.

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Sound, Recording, and Reinforcement

Andrij Birko

Learn the finer details of producing a performance: optimizing microphone placement, setting up a soundboard, “ringing out” reverb, adjusting equalizer settings, and using Dynamic Effects, Delay Effects, and Filter Effects.


Week 2 Courses


Conducting and Group Leading

Oleh Mahlay

Participants will learn the basics of directing performance, interpreting phrasing and communicating that interpretation to performers, using gestures to indicate tempo and dynamics, cueing techniques such as inhalation and gesticulations, as well as organizing rehearsals and performances. This course will also cover the preparation of a lesson plan and the psychology of motivating your musicians.

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Free Improvisation

Julian Kytasty

Kytasty leads participants through a one-week improvisation course that focuses on moving past chord-based harmony and developing your ability to make music without the constraints of a predetermined structure. This course requires basic music theory knowledge, or to have taken Music Theory in Week 1.


Solo Contemporary Rhythm Bandura

Myhaylo Kostowskyj

This course will expand participants’ style, vocabulary, performance skills, and—most of all—their musical comfort zone. Participants will learn to understand contemporary musical rhythms, to identify rhythm styles, and recognize the approaches that define those styles. This course is designed for instrumentalists with higher skill levels.

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Advanced Technical Development II


This course teaches advanced techniques to seasoned bandura players. If you’d like to master complex runs, rhythms, fingering techniques, and if you’re looking for challenging repertoire, this is the course for you! This course does not require you to have taken the first week of Advanced Technical Development.


Kharkiv Bandura Exercises

Andrij Birko

An intensive focus on exercises geared specifically towards the playing of the kharkiv style of bandura.  These technical exercises will help with the proper placement of the left hand throughout the bandura, develop coordination of both hands, and show you tips to produce better sound while playing the kharkiv bandura.