We have had a wonderful year so far at NEFS. The online Zoom workshops have been very well attended, and we have been working on our left hand technique, as well as extending our bowing patterns to give us more choices when we play the tunes we love. We have expanded our repertoire of “Live Tunes” – ones that we learn live on Zoom and can then all play together when we meet up. These have been the core of our sessions which end our Saturday in-person workshop days, and have been extremely rewarding, both in terms of improving our technique and learning new tunes, as well as playing together in sessions. Even when Stewart suffered from COVID-19 in June, we were lucky enough to have the amazing Sophy Ball stand in and teach us yet another brilliant tune.

Stewart and Melissa have created some excellent video tutorials for us each block, and these are available to refer back to at any time. Their teaching is extremely clear, informative and easy to play along with, so it is just like being in a workshop, with the added benefit of the rewind function!

NEFS Virtual Summer School 2022 – postponed

Unfortunately, we have decided that the Virtual Summer School will be postponed this year, as it just wasn’t possible to get the organisational side in place in time. Also, the only weekend we had available to run it in the summer was the bank holiday, and many of our regular participants have told us they will be away. So we are making plans to run it again, maybe in the new year. Kevin Lees and Grace Smith are still as keen to work with us as we are with them, so we can look forward to more great workshops in the future.

This autumn, we will be continuing with the same Online and Saturday Workshop model for Blocks 5 and 6, running from September to December. We have some exciting plans in progress for some surprise video tutorials, as well as the possibility of an in-person weekend around our Saturday workshop in December. This would be a weekend of sessions, meals together and time to relax and get to know each other better. There might even be an extra tune workshop on the Sunday morning. Look out for more information if you would be interested in joining us for that.

Many thanks for your support over this past academic year. We hope you enjoy your summer, and any fiddle playing you get at festivals or with friends. If you are interested in extra fiddle teaching, check out Stewart’s website for more Zoom workshops, and some in-person JSArts residential weekends this autumn. We hope you will join us again soon!