Folkworks Youth Summer School 2017

Durham School

For ages 14 - 20

We have a limited number of spaces remaining on our Folkworks Summer Schools, please contact the team at to check availability.

Tutors: Ian Stephenson (Director), Hannah James, Catriona Price, Alexandra Wade. Chris Wood, Andy May, Greg Russell.

Concertina tutor supported by the International Concertina Association
Northumbrian Pipes tutor supported by Northumbrian Pipers’ Society

Folkworks Youth Summer School is a legendary week of folk music tuition and fun. The week is full of inspiration, repertoire building, sessions, songs, dancing, and friendships. The accommodation is Durham School halls of residence with our skilled and experienced pastoral staff onsite 24 hours a day.

“I surprised myself by doing things I never thought I could through the help and support of the tutors.”


Briefing Pack
Big Tunes: Morpeth Lasses and The Bonnie Pit Laddie
Enrolment Pack
Tutor Biographies
Bursary Application Form (Word / PDF)

There are two slots of workshops to choose from, both of which contain Instrumental Tuition and Band Tuition. For the first year ever we are introducing more flexible class choices, so if you want to be in two bands – you can! (and if you would like to learn two instruments, you can!). On top of this there are some ‘options’ classes where you decide during the week which session you’d like to go to (these change each year but may include clog dancing, chorus songs, rapper dance).

“It is a brilliant opportunity to play and learn new tunes and meet new people.”

Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, ‘Pass it On – The Tradition in Your Hands’ we are able to offer new activities. Participants will have the opportunity to explore more of the amazing stories and traditions behind the music and have taster sessions on traditional instruments. For the first time ever we are able to offer a dedicated
class for Clog dancers, suitable for Beginners – Advanced clog dancers (please note clogs are available for hire, enquire for more information).

“I improve more in this one week than I do in the rest of the year.”

There is the opportunity to perform to your fellow students, to listen to the world class tutors in a tutors’ concert, a ceilidh and more. There is a session that runs late in to the evening, allowing you to play together informally. Many well known folk musicians attended our summer school in their youth and many come back to teach with us, including our Director Ian Stephenson.

Slot 1
Fiddle (Intermediate/Advanced)
Northumbrian Band
Band with Song
English Concertina (Supported by the International Concertina Association)

Slot 2
Fiddle (Improving Beginner/Intermediate)
Northumbrian Pipes
Irish Band
Tunes from the World

“Youth summer school is like a date with a dementor only there are lots of them..all your tunes and ideas sucked from your body swallowed up and digested and STILL THEY WANT MORE. I love working with that amount of energy and bouncing of ideas. Totally exhausting and fabulously rewarding.” Jo Freya, Folk Musician

“The Folkworks Youth Summer School was a real formative experience and I had some of the most inspiring musical moments of my life there. Being immersed in music with like-minded people my own age, in a relaxed learning environment with a variety of amazing tutors, was invaluable. Sessions, ceilidhs, workshops, concerts, friendships…and the roller-toaster! I’m very proud to have been a summer schools participant and tutor; it’s had a big influence on my playing and teaching.” Sarah Hayes: Youth Summer School Participant, Tutor

How to book

Step 1 – Payment
Click the ‘book tickets’ box on the top right hand side and follow the instructions to make your payment. You will then receive a confirmation email with your order number.

Step 2 – Enrolment
Complete the enrolment form at the bottom of this page and click the ‘submit’ box. A confirmation message will appear at the bottom of the page indicating that we have received your form.

Tickets can also be purchased from Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661.


  • Residential Full Board £430 (Concessions £390)
  • Non Residential (inc. Lunch and dinner) £325 (Concessions £280)

Youth and Junior concessions only for participants who have an older sibling attending at full price.

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Supported by the International Concertina Association and the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society

Part of What's On in July and August

This Summer at Sage Gateshead sees SummerTyne Americana Festival return along with events for all the family and outstanding exclusive shows from Mercury Rev and Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Bootleg Beatles with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

More Season Events

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