Workshops

Immersive tuition in the Traditional Arts

Small-group workshops in pipes, fiddle, accordion, whistle and groupwork, let you work on your own musicianship while taking part in the wider Festival.

Tutors will tailor the teaching level to the group but we recommend that workshoppers are at an intermediate level or above – sorry we can’t provide beginners instrumental workshops – take a look at our Come & Try workshops in Scottish step dance & waulking songs instead.

Instrumental Tutors


Don’t see a workshop that you’d like to attend? Tell us!


Come & Try

Two workshops in the wider Traditional Arts – absolute beginners very welcome!

  • Waulking the tweed & Orain Luaidh with Rena Gertz – come & try working a real tweed and learn a waulking song – Sat 30th Apr, 10:30am–12:30pm – Girvan Community Centre (main hall)
  • Come & Try – Scottish Step Dancing with Kae Sakurai – Sun 1st May, 10:30am–12:30pm – Girvan Community Centre (main hall)

Teas & Coffees will be available during the break.

Book for a single workshop with an Individual Workshop Ticket or book for both Come & Try workshops with a Weekend Workshop Ticket.


Master piper Allan MacDonald

Pipes (big & small) and whistles with Allan MacDonald

10:30am–12:30pm — Saturday 30th April & Sunday 1st May
Girvan Community Centre

Master piper & one of Scotland’s key tradition bearers Allan MacDonald will teach some tunes and cover technique applicable to both small pipes and the big pipes. The workshops is also suitable for whistle players.

Teas & Coffees will be available during the break.

Book for both days with a Weekend Workshop Ticket or just a single day with an Individual Workshop Ticket.


MG Alba Music Tutor of the Year Emma Tomlinson

Traditional strings with Emma Tomlinson

12:00noon–2:00pm — Saturday 30th April & Sunday 1st May
The Quay Zone

MG Alba Music Tutor of the Year Emma will teach two workshops over both afternoons of the Festival weekend. A viola player and a fiddler, Emma will cover all aspects of trad string playing and teach some new tunes as well.

Teas & Coffees will be available during the break.

Book for both days with a Weekend Workshop Ticket or just a single day with an Individual Workshop Ticket.


Gifted trad music tutor Nigel Gatherer

Groupwork with Nigel Gatherer

12:30pm–2:30pm — Saturday 30th April & Sunday 1st May
Girvan Community Centre (main hall)

Gifted tutor and mandolinist Nigel will look at groupwork and ensemble playing – all instruments welcome for both days or just one.

Teas & Coffees will be available during the break.

Book for both days with a Weekend Workshop Ticket or just a single day with an Individual Workshop Ticket.


Glasgow's own All Ireland champion accordion player Michael Dudgeon

Accordion & free-reed instruments with Michael Dudgeon

12:30pm–2:30pm — Saturday 30th April & Sunday 1st May
Girvan Community Centre (upstairs room)

Glasgow’s own All Ireland champion accordion player, Michael will cover some tunes and free-reed instruments.

Teas & Coffees will be available during the break.

Book for both days with a Weekend Workshop Ticket or just a single day with an Individual Workshop Ticket.


Singing Workshop

12:30pm–2:30pm — Sunday 1st May
The Westcliffe Hotel

Maggie MacRae, Chris Miles, Kathy Hobkirk and select Festival guests each share a song and speak about why they sing it and why it is important to them.

The singing workshop is included in a regular Weekend Festival Ticket, or with an Individual Workshop – Sunday ticket.


Come & Try – Scottish Step Dancing

10:30am–12:30pm – Sunday 1st May
Girvan Community Centre (main hall)

Come & Try the traditional style of Scottish step dancing with live music! Traditional step dancing is lively, energetic, healthy and above all, great fun.

Starting with warm ups, then some basic steps and combinations of steps, learn an easy dance from Glasgow community step dance group Kelvingrove Dancers’ repertoire.
The music is traditional Scottish jigs, reels and strathspeys.

Please wear comfortable clothes, and shoes with hard leather soles and low heel or trainers.

Book this workshop with an Individual Workshop – Sunday ticket or along with our Waulking Song workshop via a Weekend Workshop Ticket.


Tickets

Your Weekend Workshop Ticket includes:

  • the welcome ceilidh on Friday night – sit in with the band or ask to do a turn!
  • group-learning tuition in workshops with world-class tutors each morning of the Festival weekend
  • a chance to practice your new tunes in 2 gently-paced sessions led by Nigel Gatherer each afternoon – Nigel will try to cover all the tunes from each workshop so you get a chance to do some revision!
  • The Girvan Tunebook

  • access to both evening concerts – The Kist o Riches and The Milestone Concert
  • a PDF booklet of all the tunes & songs covered in the workshops plus a few Girvan favourites
(Loading ticket form…) Purchase tickets from Citizen Ticket.