Folk Ensemble Week 2023

6-10 February 2023

Minehead YHA,

Minehead, Somerset

 A relaxed week playing beautiful music

All instruments welcome.

Meals and dormitory accommodation included.

Plus optional walks, informal sessions, tutor concert & chill out time!

An ensemble focused week to get the most out of playing together. We’ll learn some lush tunes, learn and create parts that support and enhance the tunes.

We’ll play in small and large groups to make arrangements that bring out the best in the ensembles we have. We will work with a mixture of by ear and from notation – you’re welcome to stick to just one or the other. Written & audio parts circulated in advance for those who want them.   

We’ll spend the week immersing ourselves in harmony, parts, rhythm, active listening and the myriad of ways to get the most out of playing folk music with other people.

We’ll hone our skills that help us simultaneously listen AND play! We’ll look at how to create harmony lines yourself whether spontaneously or not.

Players of all instruments are welcome, this weekend is not suitable for beginners, however if you’re new to ensemble playing or folk music you’re very welcome. Please get in touch if you’re uncertain whether you fit the description! if it’s sounds fun, it’s probably for you!

Practical Details


All meals from Monday tea through to Friday breakfast are provided. 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 or two meals.

Hot drinks, cold drinks, fruit and snacks available anytime!

Food will be vegetarian and basic but wholesome and tasty, and we’re able to cater for most allergies, etc. Last year were suprised and delighted at the tasty variety of meals!

Feel free to discuss any concerns before or after booking.


Minehead YHA is a large and well-kept country house. Spread across 2 floors it’s a cosy place.

There are 3 sole occupancy rooms (first come, first served!) and 5 shared dormitories. No-one will need to share a bunk bed!

Showers and toilets are spread throughout the house and all rooms have a basin.

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


Minehead hostel is nestled in the hills above Minehead, Surrey. It’s a large house in attractive grounds and up an enchanting driveway overlooked by rocky outcrops and ferns .

The postcode is TA 24 6EW.

Nearest Stations: Boxhilll and Westhumble Station, Dorking Stations.

There are fantastic walks from the grounds, down into Minehead and up onto the hills.


* We 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 BACS or by cheque one month before event date. If the payment is late, the deposit and the reserved place could be lost. If you are having any problems with the final payment and would like to discuss please get in touch.


£250 for the full weekend  including all meals and dormitory accommodation

£290 for the full weekend  including all meals and sole occupancy room

£180 Concessions* 

– Please see further information for details of our concessions policy.

– If this is still to much please get in touch. I’m willing to trade some help for part payment!

£75 deposit** now to reserve your place, with full payment due one month prior to the event.