Traditional Music Courses

UL Lafayette, Fall 2016

Ragin' Steppers (zydeco ensemble) at Blue Moon Saloon, December 2015

Don’t read music?  No problem! All of our hands-on courses are taught by ear. If you are not accustomed to learning by ear, prepare to add a new facet to your musicianship.

UL student? 
Counting toward Music Minor: AMUS 115, MUS 327, 329, 331. Cajun & Creole Studies Minor: AMUS 160 (Sec 1 & 2), MUS 327, 329, 360. ARTS Gen Ed Requirement: MUS 360

Not currently a UL student?  
Visit http://universityconnection.louisiana.edu/ or contact University Connection, 337-482-6729 to learn how to enroll.

Cajun and Zydeco Music - MUS 360
Online, Mark DeWitt, Professor

Here is your chance to learn about the music that has made Lafayette and the rest of Acadiana world-famous, from old French ballads and Creole juré singing to the latest Cajun and zydeco crossover experiments. This course affords you the opportunity to read about and listen to lots of music: commercial and field recordings, as well as some live music.

Course content will include occasional synchronous sessions and video recordings of artists who have visited the course in the past. For the Fall 2015 semester, this course will be offered online only. A classroom version of the class will be offered in the spring.

Beginning Cajun Fiddle - MUS 327
Tues & Thurs, 11:00am – 12:15pm
, Brazos Huval, Instructor

If you have never played the fiddle before but have an instrument and are ready to learn, you are ready for UL Lafayette’s Beginning Cajun Fiddle class. Instructor Brazos Huval is known as the bassist for Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, along with High Performance. Huval is also a master on the fiddle, which he plays with the Huval Family Band, and teaches children and adults in his private studio and with Louisiana Folk Roots.

Beginning Button Accordion - MUS 329
Tue & Thu, 3:30 – 4:45pm, Instructor TBA

If you have a button accordion in the key of C and are wondering what to do with it, you are ready for the Beginning Button Accordion class. Some loaner instruments may also be available. Please contact Dr. Mark DeWitt, dewitt@louisiana.edu, for more information.

Cajun and Creole Vocals - MUS 331
Mon & Wed, 4:00 – 5:15pm
, David Greely, Instructor

This course offers group instruction in how to sing traditional Cajun and Creole French songs, such as ballads, dance music, and other repertoire. You must be able to carry a tune; knowledge of French is helpful but not required. David Greely is the founding fiddler of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, has released two solo albums, and teaches fiddle and Cajun vocals at music camps across the country.

Individual Instruction – AMUS 115

Prerequisite: group instruction class or by audition; $135 fee

Wilson Savoy, Cajun accordion instructor

Nathan Williams Jr, zydeco accordion instructor

David Greely, fiddle and vocals instructor

Private lessons for full-time students who have already advanced through group instruction or on their own. Lesson fee applies for non-majors. 1 credit (½-hour lessons) or 2 credits (full hour).

AMUS 160 Traditional Music Ensemble

All sections of this class require an audition. Sign up for a 10-minute audition time by phone (482-1020) or email (dewitt@louisiana.edu). Regular rehearsal times will be set after auditions for all groups. All ensembles meet two hours a week for one credit unless otherwise notified.

Cajun Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 001
Time TBD, Roddie Romero, Instructor

UL Lafayette students who play violin, accordion, or guitar: here is your chance to play Cajun French music for credit. Other instruments are welcome.

Instructor Roddie Romero taught himself the accordion and became a professional touring musician while still attending Lafayette High School. He inspired the “Roddie Romero Bill” in the Louisiana State Legislature, allowing minors the right to perform in adult venues if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Since then, he and his Hub City All-Stars have gone on to earn a Grammy nomination and tour the world, even as they continue to thrill audiences at home.

Zydeco Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 002
Time TBD, Nathan Williams Jr, Instructor

If you already play accordion, rubboard, electric guitar or bass, drums, or another instrument you’ve seen with a zydeco band, you are ready to try out for the Ragin’ Steppers, our zydeco band for credit.

Nathan Williams, Jr. has a degree in jazz performance from UL Lafayette and fronts Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers. They have released six CD’s and were nominated by “Offbeat Magazine” for best zydeco artist and album. He recently released a video of a performance at Festival International de Louisiane.

Bluegrass Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 003
Mon & Wed, 6 – 7:15pm, Len Springer, Instructor

UL Lafayette students who play violin, banjo, mandolin, upright bass, dobro or guitar: here is your chance to play bluegrass music for credit. Singers welcome. The ensemble meets twice a week for one credit. 

Instructor Len Springer is the leader and fiddler for the Louisiana Purchase Bluegrass Band. Their most recent CD is Story to Tell. Len toured widely with several Nashville-based artists including Brenda Lee, Donna Fargo, Ronnie Reno and Ray Price. He also worked as a staff fiddler for Top Tracks demo studio in Nashville. He was the founder and director of the South Louisiana Bluegrass Association, Inc. 

Blues Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 004
Time TBD, Corey Ledet, Instructor

UL Lafayette students who play electric guitar, bass, drums, trumpet or saxophone, come and try out for our newest ensemble. Singers welcome.

Instructor Corey Ledet is a versatile musician who plays la-la, zydeco, and rhythm and blues. He and his band were nominated for a Grammy award in 2013. His latest CD is entitled Destiny. He has also performed with the group Soul Creole and was featured in the En Français: Cajun & Creole Rock and Roll project, performing “Hey Joe” (Jimi Hendrix), “Roadhouse Blues” (The Doors) and “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder).

B.A. in Music with a Concentration in Traditional Music

Visit the UL Lafayette and School of Music websites to learn about the Traditional Music Curriculum.

If you are interested in becoming a traditional music major, contact Dr. DeWitt.

The mission of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music is to stimulate interdisciplinary research on the foundations and diversity of traditional music worldwide and to advance the preservation, instruction, and performance of traditional music with an emphasis on traditions that have developed in Acadiana. 

For more information, please contact:

Mark DeWitt
337-482-1020
dewitt@louisiana.edu