Laurel Swift 

Musician, Composer, Dancer, Project Maker

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Fiddle Retreat with Laurel Swift

12-14 November 2021

The Chellington Centre, Bedfordshire

There are 6 bunkrooms sleeping 1,2,3,4 or 5, situated in the old aisles of the church off the main hall. Each bunkroom has leaded windows to the gardens with opaque glass and black out blinds. The rooms are separated by 4m high thick oak wall panels topped with opaque glass partition nearly ceiling-high for privacy between rooms. Each of the single bunk beds are crafted around the original features of the stone work, and have their own light, shelf and clothing peg. There are 6 additional non-bunk beds.


(If you would prefer to stay at a local B&B please do! However, please note that the price of the retreat remains at £170 as the total number of students we can accomdodate in class remains the same.)


All meals from Friday tea through to Sunday lunch are provided, plus hot drinks, fruit and snacks anytime. We will cook as a group, which is an important part of the retreat experience! Everyone is expected to participate in either preparing or washing up one meal. Food will be basic but wholesome and tasty, and we're able to cater for most allergies, etc. Feel free to discuss any concerns.

£170 for the full weekend  

including all meals and dormitory accommodation

(bunk-beds in single-sex rooms).

There are local B&Bs if you prefer (although we recommend the full immersive experience!)


£110 concessions* 

- please see further information for details of our concessions policy.


£50 deposit** now to reserve your place, with full payment due one month prior to the event.


Use the Paypal link to book your place!

If you’d like to avoid charges, you can pay by BACS or cheque, CLICK HERE!


(Please note that Paypal's handling charge is 3.5% which will be displayed as a postage cost.)

* We are offering concessions in order to make this event as accessible as possible. The concession price is intended for people on low income for whatever reason - low pension, student loans, or un/low-waged. Please use your discretion! We don't want to exclude anyone from the retreat, but equally would ask you to pay the full price if you are able to.


** The remainder of the payment must be paid by BAC or by cheque no later than one month before event date. If the payment is late, the deposit and the reserved place will be lost. If you are having any problems with the final payment and would like to discuss please email [email protected]


Friday – Arrival from 4:30pm onwards. Hot meal around 7:30pm, and available throughout the evening for later arrivals. Introduction to the weekend and informal playing.  


Saturday Morning – An optional morning walk, then get stuck into the first tune and start exploring the musical options available including variations and stylitsic detail. Group exercises on rhythm and harmony that will help improve your listening, playing and confidence.


Saturday Afternoon – More tunes, new exercises in small groups, allowing you to try out the skills we’ve been exploring in the morning. Plus optional intensive class on accompaniment skills, and opportunities to explore the local area on foot or read a good book and relax.


Saturday Night – Time to play tunes and relax! Dinner, drinks, maybe board games, definitely more tunes. There’ll be music, there’ll be laughter, the rest is up to you!


Sunday Morning – Another tune, more tips and techniques and group playing and a round up of everything we’ve done.  


We leave the hostel at midday*.  If you’re in no rush to get home, there are plenty more walks in the area,  why not visit Harrold Odell Country Park or Marston Vale Wetlands Nature Reserve!


*TBC We may be able to stay until after lunch, watch this space!

A unique weekend for fiddle players to focus on the details that turn a stream of notes into bouncing, driving fiddle tunes! 


We'll learn some great tunes, we'll look at the details that bring them to life, and the options available to make them your own.


We'll play in small and large groups, learn what the fiddle can play in addition to the tune and just generally enjoy making live music together! Aimed at intermediate + advanced players but all welcome! Please get in touch if you'd like to come and want to know a bit more about level.

This is a weekend of workshops and music-making alongside homecooked food, informal sessions, and (optional) country walks.


The retreat is a great way to improve technique, find inspiration, learn new tunes, make new friends and celebrate the spring in music and laughter.


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