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Intarsia: Rhythm & Song Weekend

Friday 19 Jun 4pm — Sunday 21 Jun 5pm, 2020

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


Full board per person (all meals, accommodation, activities):

  • £250 – single ensuite room
  • £215 – sharing an ensuite room
  • £215 – single non-ensuite room
  • £170 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (all meals, and activities):

  • £160

Non Resident (all meals except breakfast, and activities:)

  • £150

Join Sarah Matthews and Jo May for a weekend full of voices and percussiveness!

You’ll get to explore a variety of percussive techniques, instruments, coordination games and more, on very accessible (and sometimes neglected!) instruments including body percussion. Alongside all the rhythms, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn a range of songs with diddling, harmonies, movement/dance, as well as writing your own song. You can choose to focus more on the vocal or percussive side of things, but integrating the two will be the main focus of the weekend.

We’ll be looking at the importance of singing and rhythm to our health and wellbeing, particularly in group music making. And also connecting with the beautiful countryside around Halsway Manor with (weather permitting!) some outdoor sessions and optional singing/percussing at the top of the hill!

There will be an Intarsia performance on the Saturday night, with the opportunity for workshop participants to get involved too.

Bring instruments if you’d like to for evening sessions in the bar.

Who’s it For?

Everyone! The course aims to be inclusive of all levels of experience and ability. Percussion will focus on simple instruments which you might have at home, and vocal songs and harmonies are selected for simplicity and fun. Working together we’ll be able to build things up to add interest and complexity, and create great sounds, but no single person need be a virtuoso!

The Tutors

From diverse backgrounds, Jo May and Sarah Matthews bring voice, violin and viola, tenor guitar, balafon and a whole range of other percussion instruments. The beauty of these wooden instruments blend to create intricate delivery of original and traditional material inspired by English songs, European dance tunes, West African rhythms and more. Jo (Against the Grain, Stepling, Token Women) and Sarah (Cupola, Moirai, Cross o’th Hands) will draw you in with lilting, hypnotic, and entrancing music. You can sway, sing or just soak in the sounds.

Jo May originally trained at the Royal College of Music and began her career working with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. A trip to Sidmouth Folk Festival sparked an enthusiasm for traditional music, which led to her interest in West African and Afro-Cuban music, as well as folk music from Europe and the British Isles. She currently performs with Against the Grain, Stepling, Intarsia, Token Women, as well as for various freelance groups and projects.

Jo is an experienced percussion teacher and workshop leader. She has spent many years working as a peripatetic music teacher in schools; running African Drumming Workshops; and previously running a range of exciting rhythm-based workshops with her group, Tapatak. Jo currently runs Spoons Workshops for all ages, in schools, and for parties, festivals and other events. She teaches a variety of techniques and rhythms on an assortment of spoons, often accompanied by a fiddler or other musician.

Sarah Matthews is a folk musician, singer and teacher. She plays the fiddle, viola, tenor guitar, sings, and dances with Pecsaetan Morris in Sheffield. Her many projects include her duo with Doug Eunson, Cupola trio (with Doug Eunson & Oli Matthews), quartet Cupola: Ward (with Lucy Ward), energetic new dance / ceilidh band DanceCupola, The Lunar Men (with storyteller Maria Whatton), Moirai (with Jo Freya & Mel Biggs) and Intarsia with Jo May.

Book now