Laurel Swift 

Musician, Composer, Dancer, Project Maker

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Folk Ensembles Week - Street, Somerset

7th - 10th March, 2022

Have a fabulous time making lots of music with other lovely people! Enjoy playing together and learn what to play that will bring any ensemble's music to life!


How to build a great groove, how to create and release tension, how to create a harmony, chords or bass line. General ensemble skills, variations and many other ways to bring the music to life!


All players are all welcome, whether new to playing folk, seasoned folkies, or somewhere inbetween.


We will work by ear. In addition, I will bring some extra notated parts for those who can read, and I will send tunes in advance for anyone who wants to get a head start!  


Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss whether the course is suitable for you (if it sounds fun, then it probably is!).


*** Everything is subject to covid being under control and all restrictions remaining lifted! ***

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landscape street
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Monday – Arrival from 5pm onwards. Hot meal around 7:30pm, and available throughout the evening for later arrivals. Introduction to the week and informal playing.  


Tues, Weds, Thurs Morning – Learn tunes and start explore the musical options available. Group exercises on rhythm and harmony that will help improve your listening, playing and confidence. Then answers the big question: how do we turn this stuff in a  beautiful / groovy / interesting sounding ensemble?!


Afternoons – Free time to read a good book and relax or explore the local area on foot.  Then new exercises in small groups, allowing you to try out the skills we’ve been exploring in the morning. Some optional intensive classes.


Tues Night – Dinner, a short concert from Laurel, then it's time to play tunes, drinks, maybe board games!

Wed Night - After dinner it's your turn! All welcome to perform something / do your party piece / simply enjoy!  

Thurs NIght - Last Night Party - There’ll be music, there’ll be laughter, the rest is up to you!


Friday Morning – We leave after breakfast.  If you’re in no rush to get home, there are plenty more walks in the area, or a trip to nearby Glastonbury Tor!


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country street
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Opened in 1931, YHA Street is the oldest YHA hostel still in operation today. The charming Swiss-style chalet is surrounded by delightful National Trust land and there are a variety of walks with great views from the hostel.


Accomodation is in dormitaries, in a mix of bunk and single beds, some people will have to share bunks!


There is a car park adjacent to the hostel for those travelling by car.  Castle Cary is the nearest station and some pickups can be arranged / there is a local bus.



(If you would prefer to stay at a local B&B please do! However, please note that the price of the retreat remains at £165 as we can still only accommodate the same number of students in workshops.)


(If you would prefer to stay at a local B&B please do! However, please note that the price of the retreat remains at £220 as we can still only accommodate the same number of students in workshops.


All meals from Monday dinner through to Friday breakfast will be provided, plus hot drinks, snacks and fruit anytime. We will be cooking as a group, which is an important part of the retreat experience! Everyone will be expected to participate in preparing or washing up two meals. Food will be basic but wholesome and tasty, and we should be able to cater for most allergies, etc. Feel free to discuss any concerns

£220 for the full weekend,

including all meals and dormitory accommodation

(bunk-beds in single-sex rooms).

There are local B&Bs if you prefer.


£160 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.


* I offer 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 laurelswiftfolk@gmail.com


Use the Paypal link to book your Folk Music Retreat at Street.


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.)