TUITION & MASTERCLASSES

Learn to play from professional folk musicians

Some of the most amazing folk musicians in the world also offer private virtual one-to-one tuition. We’ve collaborated with a few of the very best teachers and performers to bring a selection to you here.

Please note that any agreement for lessons is an arrangement between teacher and pupil. English Folk Expo is simply acting as a conduit.

Whilst you’re here…

English Folk Expo is a not-for-profit organisation supporting the folk, roots and acoustic music sector. We aren’t taking a cut from any musicians featured here. We welcome donations which will help us continue to support this amazing music:

MEL BIGGS - MELODEON

Mel is a consummate performer, vocalist and accompanist and can be seen on stage as one third of Anglo-European trio Moirai (with Sarah Matthews and Jo Freya), ACE funded projects Morris:Natyam, KOMPOSIT and Kate Flatt’s The Oss & The Ox and playing for the vibrant Harlequin Morris.

Renowned the world over for her perceptive, patient and mindful manner in teaching groups and individuals, Mel is a leading light in the world of melodeon teaching; both on and off-line.

Having been teaching since 2009, Mel has an ever expanding toolkit of techniques at her disposal which she adapts to every new teaching scenario.

You can read more about The Mel Method here

Visit Mel’s website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

POLLY BOLTON - MANDOLIN, 5-STRING BANJO (CLAWHAMMER)

Eastman™ endorsed mandolin player Polly Bolton has been touring internationally in various line ups since her teens. She has performed at festivals including Glastonbury, Shambala, Wilderness and Boomtown Fair and has supported artists including Molly Tuttle, John Smith and LAU. As a composer, Polly has an innovative approach to writing and arranging and is influenced by a wide range of musical styles and instruments from across the globe.

“Polly’s highly original and unexpected tune-writing and a take-no-prisoners right hand makes for killer music. ” Luke Plumb, Shooglenifty.

“She makes the tune come alive. Her playing is fantastic, positive and gutsy.” Simon Mayor.

Polly Bolton has been teaching mandolin and 5-string banjo for several years. As well as her regular one-to-ones, she has students at York St John University, she has run workshops at festivals including Towersey and Costa Del Folk and was recently the guest tutor at Simon Mayor’s Mandolin Retreat at Kenwood Hall in Sheffield.

Visit Polly’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

COHEN BRAITHWAITE-KILCOYNE - ANGLO CONCERTINA, MELODEON

Cohen is a melodeon and concertina player and a singer specializing in English folk music. Cohen is est known for his performances with the trio Granny’s Attic and as a soloist.

Cohen has taught extensively at festivals, workshops, and residencies as well as in a one on one setting. Online lessons are generally offered in one hour sessions, with discounts available for longer lessons or block booking. Using simple tunes as a framework, we will explore a huge range of techniques and ideas, geared towards the students ability and desires. Each lesson will also be followed by a write-up and recordings if desired.

Visit Cohen’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

ALEX CUMMING - PIANO ACCORDION, SINGING, DANCE CALLING

Alex Cumming is a traditional English singer, Accordionist and Dance Caller known for performing with The Teacups, Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley, Bellwether and Solo.

Singing lessons include: Repertoire, breathing, tone and pitch, performance craft, adapting songs and more Accordion lessons include: Right and Left hand techniques, Bellow work, Repertoire, positioning and more. Dance Calling lessons include: Look at timings, figures, best vocal techniques, repertoire, dance composition and more.

Visit Alex’s website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

JAMES DELARRE - FIDDLE

I am a Fiddle player and have worked as a professional musician for 14 years, I work in live bands and groups as well as work as a session musician for various record labels providing anything from string sections to bluegrass fiddle lines, I teach both group workshops and individual private lessons.

Artists I have worked with include Topette!! Eliza Carthy, Mawkin, Jim Moray, Saul Rose, Jim Causley, Lauren Mccormick. I have played on the Jools Holland Hootenanny 2010 with Bellowhead and had television appearances on Peaky Blinders, Ade in Britain and the Mum with Tourettes, my film appearances include Far From the Madding Crowd, Tulip Fever and My Cousin Rachel.

I believe that learning to play an instrument should always be fun and entertaining, perhaps it’s the challenge which is engaging or just taking the time to do something for yourself that is rewarding.
I have taught everything from school classes to festival workshops, sometimes in a country where I don’t speak the language sometimes just down the road from my house.
My lessons are always student led, you the student get to set the goals and the pace of the lessons, with a little help from me. I will teach folk music, country, bluegrass and Abrsms grades too. The aim is to always enjoys playing.

Visit James’ website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly rate: £35 (£25 per half hour)

LUKAS DRINKWATER - GUITAR, BASS GUITAR, DOUBLE BASS, MUSIC THEORY

I’m a multi-instrumentalist, accompanist, producer & composer working on the music scene for 18 years professionally. I’ve toured worldwide, playing folk, jazz and various genres on live TV and radio sessions as well as composing for albums, TV, ads & film. As an accompanist, it’s the ear that does most of the work. I focus on listening as a big part of music playing.

I’m a self-taught musician who studied a jazz degree half-way through my career. I’ve taught beginners to advanced jazz improv, kids & adults, focussing mostly on knowledge of the instrument and ear-playing rather than music notation. Music should be fun and fulfilling, that’s my motto!

Visit Lukas’ website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

DAOIRí FARRELL - BOUZOUKI, SINGING

I am a singer and Bouzouki player from Dublin, Ireland. I have been playing the eight stringed, flat back bouzouki and singing for over ten years and during this time have toured as a solo artist and as a member of various traditional ensembles throughout Europe, America, Canada and Australia.

The Bouzouki is a wonderful instrument to back and arrange both songs and tune sets. I will show you my approach to singing and/or playing bouzouki in a fun and easy way.

Visit Daoirí’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

JO FREYA - SOPRANO SAX, WHISTLES, VOCALS AND REPERTOIRE DEVLOPMENT AND STYLE

I play and sing in many bands including Blowzabella, Narthan and Moirai and with sing as a six piece with author Michael Morpurgo.I have performed in Europe and beyond to large and intimate audiences.

I am known as a motivator with enthusiast with great communication skills, patience and have years of teaching experience and a huge repertoire of material from the Uk and beyond.

Visit Jo’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

ROSS GRANT - FIDDLE

Ross performs in a variety of different ensembles. His most recent work has been with Georgia Lewis, Will Pound’s Through The Seasons and the band Inlay.

Ross has over 10 years experience teaching the violin. He spent eight years working for the world reknowned ‘El sistema’ teaching programme and has run his own English Fiddle Workshop weekend for the last two years.

Visit Ross’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

BRYONY GRIFFITH - FIDDLE, SINGING

Bryony is a highly accomplished fiddler and distinctive singer with a broad repertoire of traditional English and Yorkshire dance tunes and songs. Bryony’s skills encompass solo performance, duo and band work, and extensive experience of playing for folk dancing.

With over 20 years’ experience researching folk material and devising innovative ways of presenting it in performance and education with children, young people and adults, Bryony’s down-to-earth, relaxed style of teaching is much in demand by festival and project organisers throughout the UK and Europe. She is also a Senior Lecturer on the Folk degree course at Leeds College of Music.

Visit Bryony’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

PHILLIP HENRY - GUITAR/FINGERSTYLE, HARMONICA, DOBRO/SLIDE GUITARS

I’ve played all over the world, from Japan to South Africa, in various line ups, from the Gigspanner Big Band to my duo Edgelarks, and solo. I won the BBC Folk Award for Best Duo with Edgelarks in 2014.

I have more than fifteen years teaching experience, both one to one lessons and in running workshops and masterclasses. I favour a friendly, laid back approach to teaching, but am focused on giving you the skills to analyse your own playing, so that you can continue to develop your abilities beyond our lessons.

Visit Phillip’s website

Current BDS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

ANGHARAD JENKINS - FIDDLE

Angharad is a founding member of the celebrated Welsh folk group Calan, who have toured extensively around the UK, Europe and North America. She also plays with with DnA and the Welsh ‘supergroup’ Pendevig.

Angharad is an experienced violin/fiddle teacher. She applies the principles that she learnt through her own classical music training, to traditional music repertoire. She can advise on bowing, tone, ornamentation etc.

Visit Angharad’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

ROBIN JONES - MANDOLIN, TENOR BANJO, IRISH BOUZOUKI

I have been playing fretted instruments including the mandolin, tenor banjo and Irish bouzouki for the last 15 years. I currently play mandolin and tenor banjo in The Trials of Cato. I also sing and write songs for the band. We were recently described as ‘one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times’ by BBC 2’s Mark Radcliffe and won the ‘Best Album’ category in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

As an instrumentalist I primarily focus on the Celtic style, although I can also offer instruction in other styles such as bluegrass and klezmer. I am even partial to a bit of blues rock and middle eastern music and love incorporating this into my mandolin playing!

Visit Robin’s website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

LADY NADE - SINGING & SONGWRITING

Highly experienced Music Tutor specialising in Singing and Songwriting. Music facilitator by day, chanteuse by night. Award winning songwriter, and a diploma qualified vocal coach and music leader who has a keen sense of fun. Patient, approachable and versatile, I have performed in countless locations, from underground bars to festival fields, concert venues to European cities. I offer a safe, encouraging learning environment where there is always clear, open communication and a great balance between focused pursuit of musical goals and having lots of fun!

Vocal lessons include: – Understanding exactly how your voice works – Finding your own unique sound – Gaining more power range and tone – Singing theory, breathing and vocal technique – Live Performance Coaching (Confidence, Stage presence)

Songwriting lessons include: – Learning how to write a song from scratch – Learning how to create inspirational lyrics – Experiencing how to write a song without an instrument – Song Analysis

Visit Lady Nade’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

ROBERT LANE - GUITAR, SONGWRITING

Robert Lane is a musician, songwriter, actor, guitar tutor and workshop leader based in the UK. He released Only a Flight Away in April 2018, his third record following his self-titled debut album and his 2016 extended EP Ends and Starts. As an actor he works in theatre and film and is a founding member of short form comedy improvisation group The Improlectuals.

I have years of experience teaching students of all ages and experiences. I’m happy to cater lessons towards students, whether they are a beginner wanting to try out the guitar, a more experienced player who wants to fill the gaps in their knowledge or an advanced player looking for some new ideas. Lessons can cover music theory, sight reading, rock school grades, songwriting and improvisation.

Visit Robert’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

KEVIN LEES - FIDDLE

Kevin has over 23 years experience of playing the fiddle and he loves all types of Celtic and Scandinavian tunes and traditions.

I currently teach all levels and abilities – beginner to expert – I like to hear what the student is inspired by and go from there!

Visit Kevin’s website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

FERNANDO MACHADO - GUITAR (ACOUSTIC & ELECTRIC), UKULELE

Fernando Machado is a songwriter, composer, teacher and workshop leader. Holding a MMus Leadership from the Guildhall School of Music, Fernando’s experience ranges from Brazilian music, free improvisation and collaborations in theatre, dance and visual art.

Fernando has 20 years of experience in teaching all ages. Over the last 10 years, he has taught guitar privately and for music hubs in London and Sussex.
As a teacher, Fernando has always been fascinated by innovative ways of music making and the effects it can have on people and their communities.

Visit Fernando’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

LEO MACKENZIE - CELLO, SINGER-SONGWRITER TECHNIQUES FOR STRING PLAYERS

Previously vocalist and cellist for the folk trio Kadia, and now a member of duo The Last Inklings, I have been performing acoustic music on stage and in classical settings for 15 years, from live music festivals to orchestra concerts.

A full time musician, my time is split between studio work, touring and teaching. I’ve taught music in schools for the last 5 years, specialising in contemporary styles, from singer-songwriter skills to improvisation in a jazz context.

Visit Leo’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

SAM PARTRIDGE - FLUTE, WHISTLE, ENGLISH CONCERTINA

Since studying on the folk degree at Newcastle university, Sam has performed across the UK and abroad in various line-ups. Sam is most often seen playing in the instrumental 6 piece Pons Aelius.

Sam has a holistic and encouraging teaching style with a broad range of experience. Sam is the current Artistic Director for the National Youth Folk Ensemble, he also provides flute tuition for the Newcastle University Folk Degree alongside his regular private 1-on-1 tuition.

Visit Sam’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

SAM PIRT - PIANO ACCORDION


I have played the accordion since the age of 12.  I play in bands 422 and The Hut People.
I am mainly self taught but I have learnt from many professional players at Folkworks Summers Schools.
I have many years teaching at Burwell Bash, Folkworks Junior, Youth & Adult Summer Schools. I also teach many regular students.
I am able to use music or teach by ear.

Visit Sam’s website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

PHOEBE REES - FIDDLE

Phoebe Rees is a fiddle/viola player and singer from Oswestry. She is influenced by a wide range of styles, with a background in traditional Scottish fiddle and classical viola playing.

Phoebe’s work as a teacher and workshop leader is extensive. She has experience of teaching beginners through to advanced levels, all ages. Combining technique and musical style in her lessons, she offers a flexible approach to learning the fiddle and viola.

Visit Phoebe’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

ANNA RHEINGANS - FIDDLE

Anna Rheingans is a fiddle player and singer from Derbyshire, currently based in Toulouse, France. She is best known as half of award-winning duo The Rheingans Sisters.

As well as teaching traditional tunes, I will demonstrate the important rhythmic and tonal elements that characterise certain repertoires and create their ‘cadanse’ or danceability. All levels of experience welcome.

Visit Anna’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

ROWAN RHEINGANS - FIDDLE, VIOLA

Rowan is a twice BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning fiddle player, banjoist, songwriter and theatre maker. She is part of acclaimed bands Lady Maisery and The Rheingans Sisters as well as performing solo.

Rowan teaches by ear and takes a student centred approach to her lessons, meeting students at whatever level they are at and supporting them towards achieving personal goals and interests. Rowan’s main aim is to inspire you to want to play! Using mostly Scandinavian and British traditional repertoire, expect to learn some beautiful tunes while exploring the fiddle in all it’s colours: tone, intonation, groove, danceability, bowing, phrasing, developing personal style and much more…

Rowan uses Zoom or Skype to teach 60 minute lessons and a discount is available for block bookings of 4 or 6 lessons. The price for each lesson includes a practice/re-cap video which is sent to you directly after your lesson, including all the main things (tune, technique, ideas) you’ll need to work on. Rowan is also happy to give email feedback to a maximum of one practice video which you can send inbetween your lessons, to keep you motivated and to pick up some extra tips!

Visit Rowan’s website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £40

GRACE SMITH - FIDDLE, VIOLA, CLOG DANCING

Grace has performed at festivals and venues across Europe with ‘Monster Ceilidh Band’. She’s currently working on new music with Sam Partridge and Bevan Morris as ‘The Grace Smith Trio’.

Grace in an experienced teacher and has taught for organisations including Folkworks, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company and North East Fiddle School. She teaches all ages and ability levels.

Visit Grace’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

IAN STEPHENSON - GUITAR, C#/D AND D/G MELODEON, DOUBLE BASS

I’m a performer mostly know as a guitarist in bands like Kan, Baltic Crossing & 422

22 yrs experience as tutor/director for Folkworks summer schools, guest lecturer and instrumental, ensembles and composition teacher at Newcastle University for 14 years

Visit Ian’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £45

SAM SWEENEY - FIDDLE

Nominated four times, and winner in 2015, of Musician Of The Year BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam is a veteran of the mighty Bellowhead, former and inaugural artistic director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret and “one of the defining English fiddle players of his generation” (Mark Radcliffe) at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music.

Sam is an experienced workshop leader and one-to-one teacher in English music, having directed the National Youth Folk Ensemble for three years, taught on the English Acoustic Collective Summer School for eight years, Folkworks Summer Schools and co-directed the Soundpost Fiddle Weekend.

Visit Sam’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £40

DAN WALSH - 5-STRING BANJO (CLAWHAMMER)

Dan Walsh is a banjo player, guitarist and singer and performs solo and as a member of the Urban Folk Quartet. He tours regularly worldwide in both guises and has been nominated for Musician of the Year at the BBC Folk Awards.

Dan has taught banjo for over ten years at all levels including at universities and American banjo camps. Lessons are fun, focused and tailored to every individual student.

Initially, lessons tend to be heavily focused on the right hand to build up a sound clawhammer technique then gradually moving through rhythmic variation, left hand slurs and on into arrangement and improvisation.

Visit Dan’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

MICHAEL WALSH - WOODEN FLUTE, TIN WHISTLE, LOW WHISTLE

A Mancunian singer and flute player specialising in Irish and Asturian traditional music. I launched my album Quarehawk at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2019.

I use a coaching style of learning. Helping you to develop confidence in your abilities. I have taught individuals and groups from beginner to University and masterclass level.

Visit Michael’s website

Current DBS Check: Yes

Hourly Rate: £35

TOMOS WILLIAMS - DADGAD GUITAR

I am a guitarist and songwriter in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning band The Trials of Cato. I play principally in DADGAD tuning on both acoustic and electric guitar.

DADGAD is an extremely rewarding alternate tuning that can conjure unique sounds beyond the Celtic music it is typically associated with. Most importantly, it is a lot of fun to play in!

I can help with rhythmic song and tune accompaniment, flatpicking/tune playing (including Celtic, bluegrass and Balkan tunes), or just introduce you to DADGAD for the first time. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss how I can help.

Visit Tomos’ website

Current DBS Check: No

Hourly Rate: £35

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