Folk School

Wednesday 15 & Thursday 16
January 2020

2 days – $85  |  1 day $55 | 1 session $25

For further information, please contact Ann Lehmann

The 2020 Folk School will be held on the Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th January preceding the Illawarra Folk Festival and incorporates approximately 40 workshops.

The Folk School aims to increase awareness of folk music traditions and provide opportunities for musicians of all ages to build on their skills & open new musical doors.

The workshops are held in the Northern Illawarra Uniting Church, corner of Point Street & Princes Highway, Bulli (across the road from the Illawarra Folk Festival site).

Information about 2020 Folk School Scholarships – CLOSING 30 November 2019.

The Festival campsite will be available from Wednesday 9am for Folk School attendees.

As well as the workshops, participants are encouraged to take part in the following events:


 The parade and festival choir performance is on Sunday evening. Rehearsals at the Folk School and during the festival. (Festival Pass required)


The Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra is a new gathering of young folk musicians and singers (15-30 yrs) from across Australia meeting to learn, teach each other and perform traditional and contemporary folk songs and tunes from Australia and beyond.  Through a tapestry of workshops, sessions and performances, Folkaphonic will provide opportunities for young musicians to learn a variety of musical styles in a space dedicated to development, friendship, inspiration and sharing.




2020 Folk School program to be uploaded in November 2019.

2019 Illawarra Folk Festival School (completed)

Wed 16 January 2019

Folk School New Hall Folk School Chill Out Room Folk School Old Hall
9am Beginners Ukulele Workshop – The Swingaleles Klezmer doynes and forshpils improv – Ilana (London Klezmer Quartet) Scales for Folkies – Emma Nixon
10am Blues Ukulele – rUKEas Spoken Word Soapbox Skills – Gabrielle Journey Jones Irish Bohdran – John Spillane
11am Ukulele Percussion – Niq Reefman Scottish Jigs – Learn to lilt your jigs – Emma Nixon Songwriting 101 – Suzette Herft
Midday African Drumming – Beatmeisters ‘Lucky Dip’ kids band mentoring with Rita Woolhouse (outside foyer) The Magic Round-A-Bout Rounds – Nicole Murray
1pm Klezmer Rhythms and Grooves – Ilana (London Klezmer Quartet) Busking Workshop – Earn your living through busking – The String Family ‘Behind the Songs’ – Invaluable tips to inspire songwriters – Jodi Martin
2pm Kids Beginner Strings Workshop – Anna & Jordan Scottish Airs – Ornaments and bowing tips for slow airs – Emma Nixon A cappella Singing for Beginners – Sally Forth
3pm Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra – Emma Nixon Autoharp – Beginner and Intermediate – Denis McKay The Storyteller Within – Heart to Heart Storytelling
4pm Hoot Band: New Orleans brass band music & instrumental improvisation ‘Lucky Dip’ kids band mentoring with Rita Woolhouse (outside foyer) Chinese Dragon Dance Workshop (outside foyer)


Thurs 17 January 2019

Folk School New Hall Folk School Chill Out Room Folk School Old Hall
9am Klezmer Orchestra for all Instruments – Ilana (London Klezmer Quartet) Appalachian Fiddle Workshop – Narrownecks Tetun Songs from East Timor – Solidarity Choir
10am DADGAD Guitar Tuning for Songwriters – The Thomsons Scottish Fiddle Workshop – Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club Introduction to Irish Music on the Tin Whistle – Sophie & Fiachra
11am The Black Art of Accordion Repair & Tuning – Peter Anderson Clawhammer Banjo – Narrownecks Clog Dancing – Dance shoes not required – Coral Reid
Midday Arabic Drumming – Beatmeisters Quebecoise Fiddle Workshop – Sophie & Fiachra (outside foyer) Songs of the World – Miriam Lieberman
1pm Egyptian Dance Baladi – Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance English Fiddle Tuners (beginner/ intermediate) – Coral Reid An Introduction to Persian Music – The Kohesia Ensemble
2pm Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra – Emma Nixon Getting Started as a Songwriter – Ralph Graham A cappella Songs from Around the World – Sing Gong Go
3pm Tunes from Spain, Portugal & France – The Last Aurochs An Introduction to Fiddle-Singing (for confident fiddle players) – Coral Reid Balkan/Gypsy beat boxing – Hello Tut Tut
4pm Orkeztal World – Music from the world (all instruments) – Orkeztar Lizmore Playing the Didjeridu – Graeme Clark Harmony Workshops – Winter Wilson