Guest workshops

Many of our guests offer workshops to provide festival attendees with an opportunity to learn a new skill or technique.  This year we have a particularly eclectic collection.

Festival choir – Jojo Smith

Singing with soul and passion requires us to sing with conviction that is thoughtful singing. In the workshops our focus will be connecting with our breath and connecting with the lyrics. The musical styles will be soulful and bluesy and I can’t wait to sing with you 🌸Jojo

Vamping the Blues – Neil Finlay

Vamping the Blues is a jam session/workshop for anyone who likes to play guitar. Song charts will be distributed and different techniques and approaches to acoustic blues will be discussed.  From there you can play along, picking your own comfort level, or extend yourself into something new.

So grab a guitar, come along, and let’s play some blues, have some fun and pick up a few ideas along the way.

Putting on the Style – The Remarkables

This workshop by The Remarkables talks about the ways each of its members tackles the different types of songs in the band’s repertoire.

At the session we will answer questions such as, “What does a bluegrass banjo player think when confronted with a Chicago blues song and asked to come up with something appropriate?” or when the band takes on a jazz tune, “Is the old-time-blues guitar player going to try and fake his way through a C#maj7-5, again?” (The answer is, “Yes, probably”.)

So come along and bring a few questions with you to add to the mix for this workshop that talks about a band whose members happily put each other well outside their comfort zones.

Accordiana – Jonathan Larrson

Jonathan Larsson, accordionist of Goodland Trio, is a diverse musician who’s experienced in many different genres such as Scandinavian folk, klezmer, balkan, reggae and much more.

Welcome to this workshop for accordion players where Jonathan will share his thoughts and ideas of how to play this magnificent instrument and teach tunes.

Scandinavian traditions – The Goodland Trio

The workshop will focus on tunes from Scandinavia, both on the tunes as well as how to accompany them. Goodland Trio will guide you in how to find the characteristic style of the music.

All instruments are welcome – melody players as well as chord players!

All the music will be taught by ear.

PA skills for acoustic musicians – Davy Stuart

Ever wondered how to get the best out of that PA for that voice/guitar/mandolin/fiddle/whistle etc?

Here’s your chance to find out from someone who’s been at both ends of the lead, as a musician and soundman.  Equally useful for occasional performers or even seasoned pros… PS bring your voices/instruments – we’ll be using a PA to demonstrate.

Workshop: Performing on the Musical Saw – with John Egenes

Forever alone on the backroads of a musical Lost Highway, John Egenes reveals the lost art of playing the musical saw. Making music with sharp tools is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are beyond measure.

You may bring your own handsaw (not necessary). If you have a bass or cello bow that you don’t mind destroying, bring that as well.

Women: Add to your feminine allure and mystique by creating ethereal, otherworldly resonances and tones.  Men: A surefire way to attract women!

Waiata – with WAI.TAI

Nau mai, haere mai! Come join us for an hour and learn a special, original waiata with WAI.TAI. Find out when and where you might use it later, and explore the delicate nuances of the deeper interpretation of the lyrics. Bring a pen and paper.

Beginners’ penny whistle – with Tim from Free and Frank

Self taught on the shores of Vanuatu 30 years ago, Tim Thorpe’s penny whistle workshop is aimed at those at the start of the journey. No genre off-limits, this beginner’s workshop focuses on the basics. BYO whistle – preferably “D”.

A limited number of D whistles will be available for sale at $20 each (cash).

Bluegrass fiddle – Krissy Jackson

Fiddle workshop in the bluegrass tradition.

Using both trad tunes and improvisation techniques following the bluegrass traditions. Intermediate players of all ages welcome.

Songwriting and guitar – Frank Burkitt

Covering the process of creating music and lyrics and what works best for different songwriters, as well as covering some basic guitar skills such as picking, rhythm and alternate tunings. Any age and any ability welcome.

Have you got a story to tell? – with Adriann Smith

Like to be a story teller but don’t know how to start?  Adriann will take you through some easy ways of building up a story and give you some tips on delivering it to an audience.

Adriann is an experienced performer. She has been a storyteller for Radio Zealand’s ‘Story time’ an actor, theatre director and voice coach.

All you need to bring is yourself and something to sit on as the workshop will be conducted at ground level.  Come in with an idea and come out with a story. It’s that simple.

Playing without pain – with Liz Merton

Liz Merton is a seasoned musician and performer, with 20 years’ experience in teaching and education. She is also a qualified Alexander Technique teacher.

This workshop will focus on tips and tricks for playing without pain and discomfort. She hopes to draw out the collective wisdom from discussions and practical application. If you have ideas/knowledge/expertise on this topic, please come and share.

Tramping songs – with Peter Berry

Generally sung in the back of the tramping club truck going to and coming home from the ranges, Peter will be concentrating specifically on the New Zealand songs about tramping – think No more double bunking, No boots at all, A fast pair of skis and In the Waikamaka.  Song sheets will be available.

Making a music video – with Bill Morris

Having a video for your song is very important these days if you want people to find it online. This workshop is a run through of the basics of making a music video and a demonstration of how anyone can make one, on even a tiny budget. We’ll look at ways to make your low-budget music video look more professional, including shooting techniques and editing.

The Sound of Her Guitar – film screening

The inspiring story of how New Zealand musician Donna Dean broke a familial cycle of domestic abuse and addiction to become of the country’s best songwriters.  A film about forgiveness, resilience, the redemptive power of music and the importance of following your heart.