Workshops, Lessons, and Classes

Franke Center Education offers classes, workshops, and lessons. Our teachers are dedicated professionals who excel in their field and make learning fun!

Songwriting with Jim Oliver  | 6-week workshop | Starting July 15

July 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12, and 19. 6pm – 7:30pm

Whether you’re a seasoned working musician or a beginning songwriter,  Jim Oliver’s workshop will help you take your songs to the next level. You’ll learn to:

  • Identify what kind of songwriter you are
  • Use simple language to write songs that sound as you would speak
  • Define song structures
  • Employ the use of real experiences as material for your songs
  • Edit the songs you write
  • Get your creative juices flowing

…and more!

Jim Oliver has been writing songs since 1981. He landed cuts on three Joshua Creek albums: Joshua Creek (Here I Am); Heaven’s Not That Far (Last Chance Colorado, Mornin’ Dad, Let Go and If Any of You) and Sunday Afternoon (Give A Little). He placed songs in the movie Fathers Of Faith (Here I Am, If Any Of You and Let Go) and has written and recorded about 300 songs. He wrote and released four albums of Christmas music (over 50 songs), including a single song publishing deal with Justin Wilde’s Holiday Music called Christmas in The Kitchen. Jim has promoted and participated in workshops featuring songwriters Beth Nielsen Chapman, Annie Roboff, Walt Alderidge, Audrey Assad and Kathy Mattea. Jim is a member of ASCAP and of He was a volunteer regional workshop coordinator of The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) for many years. Currently, Jim is the lead vocalist for a local band called “The Edge” and is also a member of the acoustic bands COW and JimJam.

The class is for people ages 16 and up and will take place in-person in the Downstage Club at The Franke Center.

Cost: $100



Guitar  |  Acoustic Blues with Kjell Croce  |  6-week course  |  Coming soon!

Guitarist Kjell Croce is a musician who wears many musical hats. Now based in Marshall, Michigan he has traveled and lived in various parts of the United States, and has been fascinated by the abundance of musical styles throughout the country. From blues to bluegrass, folk to jazz with a big helping of rock and roll, he has absorbed these styles and made them into his own. He has shared stages with bluesmen Lonnie Brooks and Jimmy Johnson, singer/songwriters Ellis Paul, Kate Cambell, and Dave Ramont, and performed at the Michigan Talent Showcase, the Ann Arbor Dancing Lights Folk Festival, and Harmonyfest in Three Rivers. In addition, his last CD “Lightnin’ Rod” received airplay in the US and Europe with Ray Pieters-Dreesens of Radio Milo commenting, “Very expressive voice, strong lyrics, great rootsy and diverse sound.” In addition to his solo work, he can be seen performing with the group’s COW and 3LB CUT.

The workshop will take place in person at the Downstage Club at The Franke Center, and COVID-19 safety restrictions will be in place. Participants will need to sign in, sanitize their hands, wear masks, and maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another.