VSS 2021 Events

Welcome to the NEFS Virtual Summer School 2021!

Thank you for signing up as a VSS Pass Holder or Sponsor. We are looking forward to an exciting weekend of live workshops and in-depth video tutorials, informal chats with the tutors, sessions and a concert.

Please find below a link to the Video Tutorials page, the Zoom call details for the weekend, and the timetable with links to the Resources for each Live Workshop and Session.

Video Tutorials

Visit this page for links to all of the video tutorials created for this year’s Virtual Summer School.

Zoom Call Recordings

The individual Zoom Call Recordings were available for one month after the Virtual Summer School ended, for catch-up purposes. If you missed out and there is something particular you want to catch up with, please use the Contact Form to get in touch.

Live Timetable

Timetable (pdf) – to download if you’d like to save it or print it.


19:20Log in and Zoom check
19:30 – 21:00Play Along Session in Harmony (with Stewart)
Notation of tunes with harmony and chord suggestions is provided in advance, along with audio files. Tunes will
be played steadily.


09:40Welcome and Zoom check
09:45 – 10:00Physical Warm Up 1
A seated warm-up designed for fiddle players by a physiotherapist, to get us ready for a day’s playing.
10:00 – 10:45Fiddle Practice 1 – with Stewart
Get warmed up for the workshops and learn techniques for effective practice.
11:00 – 12:15Live Workshop – Level 1 with Stewart
Staple repertoire of fiddlers for around four hundred years, this superb and versatile tune just sticks in the head
– a proper ear worm!
12:15Lunch Break
13:30 – 14:45Live Workshop – Level 3 with Grace
Sheffield Fair
A joyful 3/2 hornpipe – learn the tune in phrases, try out 3/2 grooves and experiment with them in the tune and
as an accompaniment idea.
15:00 – 15:45Tutor Event 1
“What’s in a Tune?”
Stylistic approaches to popular tunes.
A chance to hear examples of interpretations of a couple of tunes from the tutors,
with a discussion on the process of developing their way of playing it.
16:00 – 16:30Day 1 Tune Questions
A chance to ask any questions you have about the tunes you have learned today.
16:45 – 17:30Big Tune – Live Workshop with Stewart
Go through the Big Tune in person with Stewart. Full and detailed teaching is available in the form of a Video Tutorial.
17:30Dinner Break
19:30 – 21:10VSS 2021 Concert
The recorded concert will be premiered on YouTube at 7.30 pm.


09:40Call open for Zoom check
09:45 – 10:00Physical Warm Up 2
10:00 – 10:45Fiddle Practice 2 – with Stewart
11:00 – 12:15Live Workshop – Level 2 with Kevin
Mrs Robertson of Alexandria
Is this the perfect Strathspey for fiddle players?
13:30 – 14:45Live Workshop – Level 4 with Melissa
Miss Lyall’s Strathspey
The secret to strathspey bowing.
15:00 – 15:45Tutor Event 2
Panel discussion
Questions submitted for discussion by the tutors, on playing the fiddle, tunes and techniques.
16:00 – 16:30Day 2 Tune Questions
Another chance to ask any questions that have come up about the tunes you have learned.
17:00 – 18:30VSS 2021 Session
A choice of tunes led by the tutors, including the Big Tune. Tune names and notation are provided on the web page.
18:30Close – thank you for being a part of our NEFS VSS 2021

VSS Big Tune

Learn our Big Tune! Use the video tutorial along with the notation to learn the Big Tune in advance. There will also be the chance to attend a live workshop on the tune (Saturday at 16:45) and we will play it together during the Session on Sunday (17:00 – 18:30).

In advanceLearn the Big Tune – notation, audio and a video tutorial are provided in advance
Saturday 16:45 – 17:30Live Workshop – learn the basics of the tune in a short Zoom workshop with Stewart.
Sunday 17:00 – 18:30 VSS 2021 Session – play the tune together.

Every participant has access to everything! The tuition in the Live Workshops will be aimed at the Level stated. You are welcome to attend other workshops, but please remember that the more advanced workshops will move at a faster pace, and may teach tunes in key signatures with more sharps or flats. All the Live Workshops will be recorded and available for one month after the VSS so you can rewatch these to go over any points. The concert will also be available on YouTube for a month.

You can choose to use any Live Workshop slots to access the Video Tutorials instead. There will be six Video Tutorials in total. Four of them will be structured to accommodate all levels of player. The tunes will be in accessible key signatures and will work at a steady pace. There will be more challenge added with bowing, ornamentation and increasing the speed (where appropriate) for more advanced players. Each tutor will provide one of these Video Tutorials, so you have the chance to learn a tune from each of them. There will also be an extra Video Tutorial aimed at Level 1, for those for whom the multi-level videos are a stretch at the moment, and one for Level 4 to extend the more advanced players. All Video Tutorials will be available for six months after the Virtual Summer School.

Zoom Tips (pdf) – get the best out of fiddle workshops on Zoom.