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Spring Harpa

Friday 12 Apr 4pm — Sunday 14 Apr 4pm, 2024

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


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

£310– single ensuite room
£265– sharing an ensuite room
£265– single non-ensuite room
£210– sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):


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


Stay an additional night on Sunday with Bed and Breakfast for £60

A full-on, fun packed workshop weekend for Nyckel Harpa players – beginners as well as more experienced players of this unusual Swedish folk stringed instrument. Vicki Swan will be leading the weekend, with support from a guest tutor to be confirmed.

The weekend includes the opportunity for complete beginners to meet and play the instrument. Eight spaces are up for grabs for the complete beginner course with a loan instrument provided. Spaces fill up fast so don’t delay!

Plenty will also be on offer for the improver / intermediate level player. Workshops will cover all aspects of playing the nyckelharpa: posture, technique, bowing, Swedish tunes, British tunes, chord playing, ensemble playing (by ear), exercises and Nyckelrythmics!

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at both total beginners, and those with some experience, up to about intermediate level. More advanced players should check out our ‘Nyckelharpa: Next Steps’ week.

The Team

Vicki Swan graduated from the Royal College of Music on double bass, specialising in performance. Well known on the British folk scene she is a full time folk musician performing on nyckelharpa, bagpipes and singing. Being half Swedish the nyckelharpa was a natural choice to add to her armory of instruments and is now leading the development of the nyckelharpa in Great Britain with the UK Nyckelharpa Project and spearheaded the newly formed UK Nyckelharpa Society. In addition to various duo recordings Vicki has recently published the ‘British Session Tunes for Nyckelharpa’, a book of Duets in the Swedish Style and Scandinavian Fiddle Tunes published by Schott. Vicki is a qualified teacher, specialising in instrumental teaching and has a masters in Education (specialising in distance tuition on the Scottish smallpipes) and composes and arranges music for the nyckelharpa and other ensembles. She was a member of the ENCORE (European Nyckelharpa Co-operation – Orchestral Experience, 2013) and a tutor on the International Nyckelharpa Days in Germany in 2014, 2015 and 2020.

David Chadwick: David began his nyckelharpa journey a decade or so ago and has been a visitor to Halsway Manor several times. Taking his core repertoire from Sweden, he enjoys exploring the blurry boundary between baroque and traditional music, connections from Scandinavia to Scotland, spicy fiddle tunes from way up in Norrland and still has a major soft spot for Spelmansglädje!

David has performed widely in the UK, from the St. Magnus International Festival with låtmandola player Marit Fält and solo in Inverness Cathedral, to the Royal Opera House and chamber music with Echor Music. He plays on a traditional 3-row nyckelharpa built by Sören Åhker.

A full-time performer, David holds a position with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (violin!), having previously been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in festivals and concert halls around the world with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Music aside, he takes any opportunity for a horticultural geek-out and to improve his Swedish!

For World Nyckelharpa Day we filmed some Tunes and Chat. Watch the whole video below!