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We believe we are uniquely skilled to bring music workshops to children and adults. Kate Fletcher is both a musician and a trained Middle School teacher with many years experience of teaching music in school and out. Corwen Broch is an instrument maker and multi-instrumentalist musician who has made many television and radio appearences. We believe in the importance of a positive and hands on approach to music making which encourages participation regardless of ability or confidence.
We run workshops in a variety of topics for both adults and children. Please scroll down or follow the links to the left to find out more and find a workshop suitable for your group. If you think we might be able to help with a workshop or demonstration not listed here please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Note that talks on Pilgrimage are described on the Pilgrimage page.
All workshops are covered by our public liability insurance of £10,000,000 through the Musician's Union. A copy of the insurance certificate is available if necessary.
You book Kate/and or Corwen to come to your home (or another venue you have arranged). With Kate to instruct and provide tools and materials, you and up to 4 friends make a drum each. This will take 2 sessions, at least 12 hours apart to allow time for the skins to soak. Ideally the first session will be an evening and the second will be the next day.
In the first session, you will cut out your drum head and lacing from the skin and prepare the hoop. In the second session, you will lace your drum and make your beater. For more information and costs click here.
Viking Music Workshops at the Ancient Technology Centre We have worked with the Ancient Technology Centre to devise a workshop for visiting parties of scool children, especially those who are staying overnight in the Viking Longhouse.
Our workshop is focused on Viking music, exploring the lifeways of the Norse through their musical culture, story, song and dance. This is very much a hands on workshop, and although we demonstrate and perform different styles of playing and various instruments the emphasis is on allowing the children to try things out and become involved in performance and dance. We explore musical instruments and soundscapes associated with the Hall, including lyre playing and the importance of poetry and story, the Pastoral landscape with its horns, kulning (cow calling) and shepherd flutes, the household with various stringed instruments, the battlefield with battle cries and the small portable instruments, bone flutes and panpipes which were carried and played by Viking traders and travellers. The children will learn the refrain for a ballad and join in singing and dancing a Faroese ring dance. We usually finish, time allowing, with a symbel (pronounced sum-bull), where the bragarfull (promise-cup) is passed around and each person makes a boast (saying something they are proud of achieving) and promises to make an even greater accomplishment in the future.
This workshop is given by two musicians in full costume with authentic instruments and generally lasts around an hour and a half. It is usually conducted in the EarthHouse where there is space for dancing and sitting in the round. This workshop is priced at £150 for the evening. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Historical Music in Schools. Working within the Invaders and Settlers part of the National Curriculum we can bring Saxon or Viking music, story and dance into your school. We come as costumed performers with exciting musical instruments and props. We will create soundscapes, have the children composing a praise poem, dancing a ring-dance or chant the name of Thor as they prepare for battle!
As part of a medieval project we can bring medieval music and dance, exploring the diversity of medieval society through Pilgrim songs, Robin Hood ballads or songs about various trades for example. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Folk Music in Schools. Working within the requirements of the National Curriculum we can bring instruments and demonstrate the various folk music and dance traditions of the United Kingdom and Ireland. We can play all the distinctive instruments of each region and even lead the children in appropriate dances to English Pipe and Tabor, Welsh Crwth, Irish Whistle and Fiddle or Highland bagpipes. Your students will be encouraged to try the various instruments. A scheme of work, worksheets and powerpoint presentations are available as an adjunct to our visit. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Folk Drama in Schools. The traditional English yuletide Mummer's Play with its ancient themes of death and resurrection, hero combat and animal disguise makes a great drama project for the Winter term. We can come with instruments, songs, play scripts, costumes and props and encourage your students to create their own Mummers play or to perform a traditional one. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
We can entertain and educate as costumed performers, either static with our collection of instruments or as a walkabout performance. We can also adapt any of our Educational or Adult workshops for your needs.
Viking or Saxon Musicians. We are possibly unique in presenting our recreation of Viking and Saxon music in costume on authentic instruments. For more information on our recreation of Viking and Saxon Music see our historical music page for more details, or contact us to discuss your requirements.
Medieval Musicians. We'll bring bagpipes, shawms, pipe and tabor, medieval fiddle and more. Add a real flavour of the medieval to your event! See our historical music page for more details, or contact us to discuss your requirements.
Victorian/ 19th Century Music. We can come as Victorian street musicians to your museum, shop opening or Fayre. We play actual Victorian instruments such as Flutina, harmonium, fiddle or parlour guitar. See our historical music page for more details, or contact us to discuss your requirements.
The Wild 'Oss... Our Mast-Beast style hobby horse 'Knobbin' can come to your event with accompanying Groom, Teaser or musicians. He's sure to cause a stir! See our Folk Drama page for more details, or contact us to discuss your requirements.
We offer a variety of adult workshops and talks for camps, fayres, festivals and other events.
Talks If you are looking for entertaining speakers on a folkloric theme we may have the answer. We have given talks and demonstrations to many large groups. We can use multimedia tools such as Powerpoint as well as live demonstrations to bring the subject to life. For talks on the theme of Pilgrimage see our Pilgrimage section.
Seasonal Songs Our ever popular workshop, we'll get you singing seasonal folk songs, rounds, chants and catches. Great fun for everyone and anyone can join in, regardless of musical ability.
Song Writing Write a simple song or chant, and be surprised at your creativity.
Instrument Making Make a bullroarer, blowing horn, mouth bow or even a lyre or shaman drum under our supervision. We can provide all the necessary raw materials and tools for a group of adults or accompanied children.
Circle Dance and Folk Dance Learn some simple circle dances and folk dances from around Europe, and try out dancing and singing at the same time with the ancient Faroese Ring Dance. We will play the music live and can bring PA equipment if necessary.
Folk Drama and Folk Custom Fancy having a go at Mumming, Wassailing, Plough Speeding or Guising? We can bring costumes, props and know how to your event.
Pipe and Tabor The ancient whistle and drum combination of England. We can bring a dozen pipes and drums and introduce this fascinating instrument.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.
We will shortly be setting up a network of choirs across the South of England, with local meetings in different locations across Devon, Somerset, Hampshire, Dorset, and Sussex. This ambitious project aims to build a large group with a common repertoire which can meet up for 'Big Sings' at festivals and camps. Songs will be drawn from British folksong, newly composed chants and world music, and will focus on Nature Imagery, the Wheel of the Year, Animal Powers, Ancient Mythology and the Spirit. Experienced singer, performer and choir leader Kate Fletcher will be focalising the choir. To be informed of developments click here to go to our homepage and either join our mailing list or 'Like' us on Facebook.
We will shortly be setting up a network of drumming groups across the South of England, with local meetings in different locations across Devon, Somerset, Hampshire, Dorset, and Sussex. These groups will meet before or after The Nature Choir in the same venue so the two projects can grow together in a synergistic way. This ambitious project aims to build a group with a common repertoire which can support the Nature Choir and alllow every individual to develop their own unique percussion style. The focus will be on percussion games and improvisation as well as the learning of set rhythmns. Experienced musician, performer and drum circle leader Corwen ap Broch will be focalising the choir. To be informed of developments click here to go to our homepage and either join our mailing list or 'Like' us on Facebook.
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