Lessons & Workshops
Donna is a seasoned guitar teacher who specializes in country and Delta Blues and acoustic and electric slide guitar. She teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music. She has also taught blues fingerstyle guitar guitar, or songwriting at a number of guitar camps, folk and blues clubs, music conferences, festivals, music stores, grammar schools, high schools, community colleges, and libraries.
Donna has taught at a number of guitar camps including the Great Guitar Camp in North Carolina and at the Augusta Heritage Center’s Blues and Swing Week at Davis and Elkins College. She has taught workshops at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference, the Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and folk clubs.
The Old Town School of Folk Music – Upcoming Workshops
Description: Advance your acoustic slide guitar and fingerstyle technique by learning songs, licks and styles of traditional and contemporary Americana, Blues and Roots artists. Students will learn both solo fingerstyle and slide songs, but will also learn how to add color while accompanying another instrumentalist. Attention will be given to building skills in improvisation, soloing and more advanced techniques such as alternating thumb / Piedmont Picking. Students will play songs in standard, open G and open D tunings. Artists covered will vary by session.
March 22-25, 2022
Over three days, Donna taught two high school classes how to write songs during Storyteller’s Week. At the end of the week, one of the classes performed their song in the school auditorium with Donna and her band (along with the band director John Unch on keys). The song they wrote was called “Goldfish Blues” a.k.a “Swimming in Circles” – about the restlessness and boredom of being a High School Student. Donna thanks the great kids at Antioch High School, teachers, staff and also her band for joining in on the fun!
Description: Learn all you need to know to begin and advance your slide guitar playing. Topics covered include slide guitar technique, types of slides, guitar setup, playing clean notes, vibrato and right and left hand damping. The class will introduce the songs, styles and slide licks of traditional, folk, blues, roots and Americana songs. Bring a slide and an audio or video recorder.
The Old Town School of Folk Music (OTS)
Donna learned country and Delta Blues, acoustic and electric slide guitar, ragtime and Piedmont style guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music by listening to and copying licks from old blues recordings and taking classes from OTS teachers Chris Walz and Jon Spiegel.
Upon a recommendation from Chris, the OTS hired Donna as a teacher in November 2015 where she currently teaches acoustic blues fingerstyle and acoustic and electric slide guitar. Jon and Chris asked Donna to join them for a performance, “Slide Guitar Masters of Old Town School” at Szold Hall. They later performed together at festivals, including the Woodstock Folk Festival.
Lessons and Workshops Offered
Music Programs with Tony Nardiello
Donna and her husband, Tony, offer several music programs, presentations, and workshops at libraries, music conferences, and festivals. Please see the program titles below and feel free to request a description from Donna. Donna offers programs as a soloist or with Tony. Donna can also customize s specific music programs to meet your needs.
- Blues Guitar from Mississippi to Chicago
- Blues in the Schools
- The Roots of Americana
- The Roots of Chicago Blues
- Women in the Blues
Thank you for a wonderful class! Your enthusiasm for the genre is contagious and I greatly appreciated your expertise and the tabs you provided.
— Gary G. (Workshop Participant)
Donna Herula is the best slide teacher around. After talking lessons from Donna, I started including slide in all of my shows. I was new to guitar because keyboard was my main axe. She’s great at teaching technique, and recognizing your ability, then catering the lesson for you. I’m reading tab, learn by ear, and soloing. I could go on and on. If you want to learn slide from the beginning, like I did, or just improve your playing, she is the teacher you want.
— Downtown Charlie Brown, Chicago Blues Musician (Private Student)
Everyone loved the performance! Also it was great working with you. You and Tony were amazing. Thanks!
— Nadine (Library Events Coordinator)
It was a great concert. Everyone that attended was very pleased. Thanks for coming out! We look forward to hosting you again.
— Sylvia (Library Events Coordinator)
YouTube Delta Blues Guitar Lesson
In this video, Donna teaches Big Road Blues (Tommy Johnson)
and Future Blues (Willie Brown) at the Fountaindale Library