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Moseley Folk Festival 2010 - workshops

MarqueeBanjo | Harmonica | Rapper dancing | Ukulele | Whistle | Dancing 

Moseley Village (Bulls Head): Songwriting | Band arranging | Song 


1pm to 2pm - Clawhammer banjo, with Dan Walsh
Dan Walsh's unique approach to clawhammer banjo has earned him much acclaim from Maverick and FRoots magazines, the banjo newsletter and even Hayseed Dixie's Don Wayne Reno who described him as the best banjo player in the UK. Although he has explored countless different styles including folk, funk, bluegrass, jazz, Latin and Arabic, it is all rooted in old-time clawhammer frailing.

This workshop is an introduction to clawhammer style banjo, a banjo style that lends itself well to both solo and ensemble playing. Beginners will be taken from the beginning but it will also be useful to more advanced players in honing their techniques and being introduced to new ways to approach their playing. If you play the 5-string banjo, bring it along. Otherwise you can just listen!

Dan Walsh
Dan Walsh

2pm to 3pm - Harmonica, with Will Pound 
Will Pound is one of the best harmonica players in the UK and arguably the world, with the ability to cover a wide range of genres from Folk, Jazz, Blues and Pop to Rock, Bluegrass, Arabic and many more. He combines mindblowing technique with a natural feel for music, and is in demand as a session musician, workshop leader and harmonica teacher.

Will's workshop will cover improvisation and gaining good technique within different styles of folk music. He says: "This workshop is about learning to improvise and also covers different music styles from English Folk, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Blues, Jazz and Eastern European. I will also go over some techniques I use quite a lot." Both Chromatic and Diatonic Harmonicas are OK for the workshop. If you don't have one, you'll be able to buy one at the beginning of the workshop.

Will Pound
Will Pound

5:30 to 6:30 - Rapper Dancing, with Ryknild Rabble 
The rapper dance is a fast traditional English dance from the mining villages of the North-East and involves five people connected by short, two-handled, flexible swords (called rappers) forming a chain. Without breaking this chain the dancers weave in and out of one another twisting the swords to form locks and breastplates, sometimes jumping or even somersaulting over the swords. This is an opportunity to learn the Beadnall Dance, originally performed by five fishermen in the small village of Beadnall on Christmas Day each year. The dance will be displayed beforehand around the festival site and in Moseley alehouses, along with one or two dances unique to Ryknild Rabble. This workshop is suitable for anyone.


1pm to 2pm - Ukulele with the Second City Ukulele Players Association (SCUPA)
Have you ever played a Ukulele? Have you ever wished you could play a musical instrument, but never had the time? Well, wish no longer. The Guinness Book of Records describes the Ukulele as the easiest instrument in the world to learn – and here’s your chance to find out if that’s true! With a team from Birmingham’s premier ukulele club SCUPA on hand to offer expert tuition, you can be strumming along on a loaned ukulele in record time. As performing members of the local ukulele band, Second City Strummers, they know what they’re talking about when it comes to playing this diminutive but dynamic little Hawaiian instrument. You will be taught how to hold a uke, how to strum it to get the best sound and how to shape the first few chords that will send you on your way to music-making heaven! This 45 minute workshop aims to take you from a standing start to a rousing finish, playing and singing several songs in the warm glow of musical accomplishment. Remember: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got four strings!” Instruments will be lent, or you can bring your own.

2:00 to 3:00 - Penny whistle for beginners, with Belinda Hutchings

Whistle a Happy Tune!

Learn basic fingering and a tune (or 2) by ear on a penny whistle, the most portable of musical instruments! Whistles provided. Minimum age 9

Belinda Hutchings plays for ceilidh dancing and at Irish sessions in Birmingham.  She teaches whistle at the Irish Centre in Birmingham. 

Belinda Hutchings
Belinda Hutchings

5:30 to 6:30 - Dancing, with Cut A Shine
Preserving, promoting, reinterpreting, and propagating traditional folk music and dance, Cut a Shine is a troupe of very talented and passionate musicians, dancers and singers. They make folk dancing accessible and enjoyable for people who may never have experienced it before, and for many who have too. Encompassing all genres of UK, Irish and American dance, while individually being faithful to each form, they perform at all manner of dances, from local community halls to large festivals, and of course the old barn too. Suitable for anyone who wants to have a good time!


11:00 to 12:30 - Songwriting, with Alasdair Roberts
While producing several albums with Appendix Out, Alasdair became fascinated by more traditional works and immersed himself in the balladry of the British Isles. His next record Too Long In This Condition features ten traditional songs, but he is currently working on new non-traditional song material which draws on traditional material in various ways, as his previous self-written songs have done.

This workshop will be a practical session on songwriting, based on Alasdair's own songwriting processes and practices, and those of the participants. Suitable for anyone

Alasdair Roberts
photo:Jean-Marc Luneau



11:00 to 12:30 - Arranging traditional tunes, with Elfynn
Louisa Davies-Foley and Pete Churchill from Elfynn share their approach to arranging traditional tunes for performance. They'll teach a simple tune and then look at ways of making it more interesting, exploring rhythms, chords, instrumentation and harmony. Suitable for all instruments including percussion. Elfynn will also be appearing in the Bohemian Jukebox tent on the Sunday evening. Suitable for all musicians - bring your instruments along!
photo: Adrian Burrows

3:00 to 4:30 - Song workshop, with Bella Hardy 
Bella Hardy is widely held as one of the finest young talents in the UK today. In July 2008 she was invited to perform at the Albert Hall as part of the first ever Folk Prom. She was given the privileged but daunting task of opening the event with a set of unaccompanied traditional songs and met the challenge with remarkable composure, winning over a host of new admirers.

In this song workshop for all singers she will be doing a mixture of warm ups and easy songs, harmony and group singing, and some masterclass singing at the end - for that bit if anyone wants to bring along a song to sing to her/the group and have feedback on, they should come and see her at the beginning of the class.