Traditional Music Courses

UL Lafayette, Spring 2016 (January 13 - May 6)

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?
Note that AMUS 115, MUS 319 and 328 count toward the Music Minor, as well as the Cajun Creole Studies Minor. MUS 360 and 364 fulfill the ARTS general education requirement.

Not a UL student?  
Visit or contact University Connection, 337-482-6729 to learn how to enroll.

Songwriting - MUS 319
Wed, 5 - 8pm, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Instructor

Write songs (both words and music), alone or in teams, in genre(s) according to your interests. May be repeated once for credit. Instructor Kelli Jones-Savoy writes songs, sings and plays fiddle with the bands Feufollet and T’Monde.

Cajun and Zydeco Music - MUS 360
Tues & Thurs, 12:30-1:45pm, 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.

Ethnomusicologist Mark F. DeWitt holds the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music. He is author of the book, Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California (2008) and a contributor to The Accordion in the Americas: Klezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More! (2012)

Music Appreciation: Music of the World- MUS 364
Mon, Wed & Fri, Noon-1pm, Dr. Jessamyn Doan, Instructor

Learn about traditional and popular music from contrasting music cultures across the globe. This lecture class is an introduction to music as a universal human activity and as an expression of personal and group identity. Instruction will include participatory components such as learning dance steps and/or playing musical instruments from the regions studied.

Ethnomusicologist Jessamyn Doan recently completed her doctorate in ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania, after writing her dissertation, “Allons à Lafayette (Let's Go To Lafayette): The Intersection of Heritage and Tourism in Southwest Louisiana's Cajun Music Revival.”

Intermediate Cajun Fiddle - MUS 328
Tues & Thurs, 9:30 – 10:45, Kevin Wimmer, Instructor

This class is for students who have completed Beginning Cajun Fiddle, those who can already play several tunes, or those who are otherwise proficient on the violin. Kevin Wimmer is a veteran fiddler from a musical family and studied with Dewey Balfa before going on to play with Balfa Toujours and the Red Stick Ramblers. He currently performs with Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.

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. The ensemble meets for two hours a week for one credit.

Instructor Roddie Romero leads the Grammy-nominated Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars with his world-class vocals, accordion and slide guitar playing. The brew of roots music he and playing partner Eric Adcock (keyboards) have been cooking up since they were teenagers continues to enthrall Acadiana audiences, and a new album is due out shortly.

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 our program’s newest ensemble.  . The ensemble meets for two hours a week for one 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.

Bluegrass Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 003
Time TBD, 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.

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

Auditions for all ensembles will take place during the first week of classes. Sign up for a 10-minute audition time by phone (482-1020) or email (

Individual Instruction – AMUS 115
Prerequisite: group instruction class or by audition; $135 fee

Wilson Savoy, accordion instructor

Nathan Williams Jr, accordion instructor

David Greely, fiddle 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).

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