Join Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer for a Spring course of Scandi playing for bowed string players and accordionists! (Yes, we know Jonny’s playing the guitar in the picture, but he’s a multi-talented musician!)
You can expect to become acquainted with polskas, schottises, vals, and långdans, and there’ll be an expedition to hunt for that elusive third beat. Workshops will include ensemble playing and some optional technique sessions, mostly focused on Swedish music.
Vicki will be leading the strings and Jonny the accordions, and there’ll be opportunities for the two groups to come together in the evenings. Bring your walking boots as there will be an opportunity to head up the hill behind the house to take in the spring scenery.
This week also coincides with Valborg – the Swedish May Day celebrations so expect some festivities on and around Tuesday 30th April! Anyone who also wants to celebrate May Morning in a decidedly English folkie fashion should rise before dawn on May 1st and head to catch a glimpse of the Minehead Hobby Horse as it makes its way round the town.
Who is it for?
This week is open to bowed string players (e.g. nyckelharpa, fiddle) and accordionists. No previous experience of Scandi playing necessary, and if you’ve done one of Vicki and Jonny’s courses before, this one will cover new material so you’re very welcome to return.
String players – you should be working at an intermediate level or higher.
Accordionists – there will be two tiers of tuition, so if you consider yourself to be an ‘improver’ (rather than a beginner), or more advanced, you are welcome.
You don’t need to be able to read music (though it might help) and although the courses will be taught by ear, there will be sheet music for those who need it.
Learning will be guided in big and small groups, with the opportunity for some one-to-one teaching by request, and all the sessions will build on your existing skills and techniques, helping you to develop your playing.
Vicki Swan is best known these days for playing and teaching the Swedish nyckelharpa, but started life studying the double bass at the Royal College of Music. Good pedagogy is at the centre of all of Vicki’s courses and she is a fully qualified teacher, with a masters in Education specialising in online instrumental music teaching. She also plays the various types of bagpipes, flute, recorder, piano and nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed-fiddle). On leaving music college, Vicki started down the long path of folk music and was only seen on rare glimpses back in classical orchestras. You’ll now find Vicki inhabiting the troll-ridden forests playing her Swedish bagpipes, bagging tunes for new books. Vicki holds the Zorn Bronze Award for the traditional playing of Swedish bagpipes and runs workshops and teaches the nyckelharpa around the UK.
Jonny Dyer comes from a long line of Church organists, but it was too hard to cuddle a church organ, so he settled on the accordion instead. On the other side of the family are many, many teachers looking down the ancestry tree, probably checking this for accurate use of grammar! Now married to a semi-Swede, he’s embraced Swedish musical culture – it was in the marriage contract small print… Jonny’s musical abilities allow him to see the world in matrix-style music code; you can practically see the music dribbling out of his fingers tips at all times. Notes dribbling out of a passing cowhorn or näverlur can also be expected. Jonny also holds the Zorn Bronze Award for the traditional playing of the Swedish Cowhorn.