Happy new year! There will be another series of Zoom Workshops with Stewart on Zoom at the end of January. We have enjoyed seeing people in-person, but there are also many benefits to online learning, not least the reduction in travel time, cost and pollution, making it accessible to those in other parts of the country, but also providing an environment where you might have the confidence to have a go at things you might not otherwise attempt. Plus you can use the recording of the call to go over things you’d like to spend more time on afterwards, or even access the workshop if you’re not available at the time the call is live!
On Friday 28th January, the relaxed evening play through, suitable for all instruments, will include a couple of new tunes as well as some some old favourites and tunes taught in previous Saturday workshops. Notation will be provided together with a harmony line and chord suggestions. All the tunes will be taken at a steady, inclusive speed and played several times through. There will be recordings of the tunes available in advance for those wishing to familiarise themselves with the material.
On Saturday 29th January there is an opportunity to take part in two Fiddle Workshops, each aimed at a different ability, but with lots of crossover for intermediate players.
Fiddle Workshop 1: Parnell’s March – a Northumbrian version of a lovely Irish tune which was popularised in the North East of England by ’The Shepherds’ (Willie Taylor, Will Atkinson and Joe Hutton). This gives us a chance to look at some articulation and bowing techniques used in the playing of jigs in the Northumbrian tradition.
Fiddle Workshop 2: Tich’s Reel – one of Willie Taylor’s fabulous compositions. He didn’t write many, but the ones he wrote are all good and invaluable additions to the Northumbrian fiddle repertoire.
The workshop in the morning will be accessible to competent beginner players, with some additional ideas to stretch intermediate players. The afternoon workshop will move at a slightly faster pace, whilst still being accessible to intermediate players and there will be techniques to further engage the advanced players.
These workshops are held live on Zoom with notation and audio files provided. Recordings of the calls will be available after the workshop, in the event that you experience technical difficulties or are unable to attend at the time.
All January workshops are £20, attend any two for £35, or all three for £50.
You can book your place by purchasing the workshops from the Shop and the discount will be applied in your basket. If you have any questions, or are unsure as to which workshops are suitable for you, please get in touch using the Contact Form.
Friday 28th Jan, 7.00 – 9.00 pm
Play-along Session in Harmony for Mixed Instruments
This will be a Zoom call open to intermediate players (and above) of any instrument. Notation will be provided in advance for all the tunes, together with suggestions for basic chords and a harmony line but feel free to join in by ear! You can play the tune along with Stewart, play an accompaniment with a bass line, chords or a harmony (your own, or follow the suggestions) or enjoy playing the tune whilst Stewart plays a harmony. If you wish to join in on an instrument with a different range from the fiddle, or with specfic key requirements, please get in touch before booking.
Saturday 29th Nov, 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Fiddle Workshop 1
Aimed at Competent Beginners to Upper Intermediates
Saturday 29th Nov, 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Fiddle Workshop 2
Aimed at Intermediate to Advanced Players
Notation and audio will be provided for both Fiddle Workshops but the tunes will be taught ‘as if by ear’, making sure there is enough break down and repetition of phrases to build the tune up confidently.
The workshops will each include short break to stretch the legs, and rest the ears and eyes. Months of running workshops on Zoom has provided us with the insight required to create a good and enjoyable online learning experience.
If you haven’t attended a music workshop on Zoom before, here is a page of Zoom Workshop Tips to get the most out of your experience. A reliable internet connection, plus headphones or an external speaker are strongly recommended.
Ability Level Guide:
You will be familiar with the basics of the instrument – how to hold the violin and the bow. You will have some rudimentary reading and/or aural skills, be familiar with open strings and the basic finger positions to produce a one octave scale of G, D and A major as well as a two octave scale of G major. You may not have an in depth knowledge of fiddle music, but will aspire to acquire the core beginner folk repertoire.
You will be familiar with basic tune forms (waltzes, jigs, hornpipes, polkas and reels) and will already be able to play simple tunes at a steady tempo in these different styles. Tunes will generally be in keys with signatures of no flats/sharps, 1 sharp or 2 sharps. You might be developing an interest in bowing styles and interpretation of the repertoire.
These workshops are aimed at proficient fiddle players who are comfortable with playing tunes in the common dance forms. You will be aware of ornamentation and bowing patterns and aspire to incorporate them more fully into your playing. Repertoire will include tunes in keys with signatures between one flat and 3 sharps.
These workshops are aimed at those who are familiar with tunes from a wide range of dance forms, including some from outside of the British Isles, and who are able to play them at dance tempo. You will be comfortable in keys of 2 flats to 3 sharps, and familiar with 3 flats and 4 sharps. You will be aware of bowing patterns appropriate to different grooves and able to work comfortably either from notation or by ear, and be able to manage in the other medium.
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