Master Classes

2019 Master Class Series Now Open

We are very excited about our 2019 classes as they bring together some of the cream of our folk community to share their skills and talents with you. As well as being fine musicians all are experienced teachers and an opportunity to connect with these outstanding exponents of their craft is not to be missed.

Master Class Presenters – 2019

Nuala Kennedy | Flute / Tin Whistle

Nuala grew up playing traditional Irish music in Dundalk, Co. Louth and spent many years living and playing music in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is also strongly influenced by the music of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In this workshop, she will explore some of the repertoire from these three places, looking at a variety of tune types including marches and strathspeys. Students will play in a range of keys. Written music is not provided but students are free to notate, and are encouraged to bring a recording device.

Gerry O’Connor | Fiddle

Class will include showing and explaining some Typical Bowing Patterns in Irish Music specific to the playing of Dance music. This class is offered to students of an intermediate level of fiddle playing. Some experience in learning by ear would be an advantage; a positive approach to attempting to learn by watching and listening is essential.

The bowing and articulation of bow patterns in the playing of jigs and other familiar dance rhythms introduced in the early part of the class will provide the basis for a systematic approach to a generic playing of Irish fiddle music suitable for this level of experience.This will enable the student to identify some repetitive patterns of bowing which, although non specific, will aid the student in understanding the non- random activity of fiddle bow activity in Irish fiddle playing.

Audio and selective video recording is encouraged. The notation of the workshop tunes with some typical bowing motifs indicated will be forwarded by email after the class

The focus in this class will be not just to learn more tunes but to improve the ability to play and enjoy the experience of playing the fiddle.

Eamon O’Leary | Guitar

A journey in Irish guitar playing, this class will focus on right and left hand techniques for the accompaniment of Irish music; we’ll look at various approaches to playing tunes in the instrumental dance tradition as well as ideas for accompanying songs and singers. We’ll also explore some of the alternate tunings popular among guitar players in the Irish tradition. Emphasis will be placed on such topics as rhythm, phrasing, and chord voicings.

Jeremy Kittel | Fiddle – Bridging The Genres

Jeremy is an award-winning American fiddler, violinist and composer. Known for his fluency in traditions such as Celtic, classical, jazz and bluegrass, Kittel is gifted in fusing and revitalising these diverse styles. He has performed around the world at venues almost as diverse as his skills, from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to Bonnaroo and the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland. He was a member of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet for five years and has worked with Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and My Morning Jacket and has also been a guest artist with several symphony orchestras.

This class is offered to intermediate to advanced fiddlers. We’ll dig into some tunes, learned by ear (as in most fiddling traditions), and we’ll explore bowing styles, rhythms, variations and improvisation. Special emphasis will be given to bluegrass, Scottish & Irish ornamentation and stylings.


Please complete the booking order form below to reserve your place in any of our 2019 master classes. Numbers will be strictly limited to give participants the best opportunity to get the most out of these unique and highly informative sessions.


Who Can attend:
Master classes will cater for intermediate to advanced level unless otherwise stated in the class description and the numbers in each class will be limited so you will need to apply and pay early to ensure your place.

Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th April 2019

3 x sessions over 2 days
2 x 9:30am – 12:30pm (Wed & Thurs) + 1 x 1:30 – 3:30pm (Wed) Lunch is included on Wednesday only.

Ainslie Arts Centre, Canberra

$255   OR
$225 (NFF Season Ticket holders)


Jess Henderson, Program Administrator
T: 0418 964 775     E: (ensure you put MASTER CLASS in the subject box)