Ear Academy, Newburgh, Fife, KY14 6DP

Mixed Instrument Workshops

Slow Session

a safe place to experience the joy of playing with others


This first workshop is for folk instruments. You will need to bring an instrument & it's recommended that you've played it for at least 1 year but beginners are welcome as long as you accept you may be playing very simple lines - but you'll still gain from the experience of group playing.

The category ‘folk instrument' is very wide. If you have an instrument you'd like to play folk tunes on, please bring it along.

tutor Dave J Ford

Dave Ford on Fiddle
Ear Academy l leans towards aural music making so half of this workshops music may be chosen, learned & played on the day. If you have a favourite tune you'd like to the others to play, you can suggest it. The other half may be practiced before hand by listening to MP3s of the trax, or by downloading the sheet music from this page.

Hear the Tunes

If you have any problems with the Flash Player link (left) please try clicking on the MP3 files (right)
1. Johnny Cope MP3 (well be playing MUCH slower than this version!)
2. The Music o' Spey MP3 Willie Johnston on Fiddle
3.Sleeping Tune (Gordon Duncan) Here it on Spotify by Anthony Byrne.... Sublime.
Murmichan CD Shooglenifty

The tunes here have been selected – coz they're great! & sound great when played slowly. There maybe differences between the ‘dots' & the MP3. Don't get upset about that. Enjoy one or both versions & we'll have some fun deciding which versions to use. You may be surprised that mixing the versions often works. If you can learn the tune just by listening, you'll be much more in tune with the focus of this workshop, training & playing by ear.

Big Big thank yous to Shooglenifty & The Gary Sutherland Ceilidh Band for allowing us to listen & learn their lovely versions of these great tunes.


Please listen to them as much as you can & enjoy them Don't try to remember every little nuance. We will simplify the interpretations at the class. If you've listened to it lots, you'll be way ahead – even if you didn't pick up your instrument. But do have go if you feel you want to.

One of my favorite quotes was Shooglenify Fiddler Angus Grant who said ‘the notes aren't important, it's the groove'. Don't get too hung up getting every little note right. Someone in the group will undoubtedly get it right, so it's more important that you are able to move past this note, right or not & still be with the group.

If you liked what you heard, you'll probably like the rest of the the albums. Do buy them online.

The Telephone Box CD Garry Sutherland




The dots on this page may help some to get started, but you'll be encouraged to put them away at the class. Music stands won't be provided!

Much of this series of workshops is about pushing yourself out for your comfort zone & shedding the crutch of sheet music. Dave will try hard not to push you into this zone in front of the whole class, but ease you as gently as he can. You'll get points on our comfortzone-omitter if you let yourself go.

Left: Sleeping Tune by Gordon Duncan

This gorgeous slow tune by is a great tune to practice playing harmonies over. Learn it from the dots if you wish, you can then lead the tune… but it's OK to too to learn some lovely simple lines on the day.

Here it on Spotify by Anthony Byrne. Sublime.


mob: 07970 744986
landline: 01337 842434

Weavers Hall, Bank Close, Newburgh
KY14 6EG