2020 Workshops

The Festival runs a number of workshops for ticket holders to learn from guests and others.

Scroll down for information on this year’s music and dance workshops.

Music workshops:

Good Time Jamming with Gumboot Tango

An inclusive play-a-sing-along to a selection of classic Kiwi tunes. Seriously good home grown fun – bring your voices and instruments for a cheerful and foot-tappin’ session drawn from the Kiwi songbook.

Songwriters’ Forum

Sadie & Jay, Grawlixes and Colette Rivers all have a solid body of original work. They will work through some of their learnings and techniques…. Each coming from different backgrounds and approaches.

Themes may draw on

  • Collaboration – how to maximise each other’s strengths when writing songs in a partnership,
  • Learnings from individual and collective writing drawn from multiple albums and many different projects – exploring a variety of aspects to writing, recording & performing.
Accordion and/or Piano Accompaniment with Cindy Muggeridge and Kate Marshall

How to accompany yourself on piano or accordion when singing: Cindy Muggeridge and Kate Marshall are both experienced accompanists as well as fantastic lead instrument players. They will demonstrate how to use these instruments with skill and subtlety to add variety and character to your songs.

Learning Irregular Session Tunes with Entrada

Tessa and Jonathan (of Entrada) combine a unique blend of music for violin, guitar and mandolin. From their roots in the Celtic and American traditions influenced by pathways from Jonathan’s background in early music, they can present ideas to help in figuring out ways to approach tunes that dont fit with standard session tune patterns.

How to be a Kitchen Table Community Band with The Flukes

This workshop will be an all comers sing-along – bring your uke or just your voice.
The Flukes will tell their story of coming together and the key ingredients needed to keep a weekly community group afloat, and continuing to enjoy and challenge themselves, including mixing it up with different parts and instruments. Join in and have some fun.

Bodies, Beats and Folk Cajon with Donald James and Wayne Morris

A folk rhythm workshop for all ages
Come and join Donald and Wayne for an hour of percussive education and entertainment. Beginning with the oldest percussion instrument (your body), moving through found object rhythms to playing folk percussion instruments including the washboard and cajon. Donald and Wayne – with support from Barry and the Crumpets – will take you on a percussive journey of discovery. Please bring a found percussive object (any everyday object that can make a sound) and a percussion instrument if you are able. All ages welcome.

Blues Guitar with Darren Watson

As well as being a celebrated player and songwriter, Darren Watson is one of Wellington’s established teachers of blues guitar. In this workshop he will talk about and demonstrate some of the key techniques. His material will be aimed at intermediate to advanced players who already have a good basic understanding of guitar.

Industry Forum for Gigging Musos – open discussion with Colette Rivers

Colette Rivers will lead an industry forum as a meet up for musicians and performers at the festival. An opportunity for players to talk to each other – to share what they do, and struggle with, to get gigs, exposure etc.

Youth and beginner workshops:

Song Sessions for Beginners with Karen Jones

These sessions will be led by Karen Jones to enable our young folk to learn some songs, and about singing. Participants can do one or both sessions. This will be a fun and flexible session – content may vary depending on who turns up.

Slow Tunes for Beginners with Megan Ward

These sessions will be led by Megan Ward to enable our young folk and other beginners to learn tunes. Megan’s main instrument is violin but the session will not be limited to fiddle players. Participants can do one or both sessions.

Bodies, Beats and Folk Cajon with Donald James and Wayne Morris

Donald and Wayne – with support from Barry and the Crumpets – will take you on a percussive journey of discovery. Please bring a found percussive object (any everyday object that can make a sound) and a percussion instrument if you are able. All ages welcome.

Dance workshops:

Unless otherwise noted, dances are suitable for all levels of experience and age.

Lindy Hop with Sibby Dillon

Sibby Dillon ( Siobhan Moroney) has been attending folk festivals since before she was born. A musician and singer and accomplished dancer across Irish, Jazz Ballet, Tap and more recently Swing, teaching and performing with Dunedin’s Swing Riot. Siobhan will take you through the fundamentals of solo Vintage Swing allowing you to shine on the dance floor whenever you get inspired to leave your seat. Slippery shoes quite useful.

Irish Step Dancing with Helen and Roger Stonehouse

Riverdance for everyone! Irish step dancing is the traditional solo dancing of Ireland. Helen Stonehouse will be teaching some reel steps. We will learn a basic dance and turn it into a bit of a show piece. This class will cater mainly for beginners, but experienced dancers are welcome to join in and learn a new step. No Irish dancing experience needed for this, just some soft shoes or bare feet and a bit of energy! Suitable for age 8 to adult. Music will be provided by Roger on melodeon.

Dancing to Odd Rhythms with Mehana

All dancers will be familiar with 4/4 and 3/4 time. Several will know about 6/8 and 2/4, but what about the less regular time signatures such as 7/8 and 9/8 that appear in Eastern European dance music? Mehana will give you a practical introduction.

Advanced Ceilidh Dance with Bernadette Berry

Bernadette Berry (Moroney) has a broad pallet of dance styles from Irish and Scottish, American Square and Contra dance as well as partner social dancing and has been teaching one of these styles and calling barn dances for over thirty years. There are many wonderful dances that have been written that are too difficult for social barndances and need time to learn the moves. Best not to wear slippery shoes.

Irish Set Dancing with Helen Stonehouse

Set dances are the extremely fun traditional social dances of Ireland. Experienced teacher Helen Stonehouse will guide you through the Ardgroom set, from County Cork, which is danced to lively polkas Suitable for beginners and experienced alike, all ages welcome from the age of 10 upwards. Smooth soled shoes recommended. The thrill of the dance, the joy of the music, the fun of the ceili.

Morris with Britannic Bedlam

Britannic Bedlam Morris have been keeping the fine tradition of morris dancing alive on the streets of Wellington (OK, and in the pubs) since about 1852 (give or take a hundred years or so). Dancing in the Cotswold style, their tradition is drawn principally from Headington with some singing dances from Adderbury and a number of their own devising.