Upcoming workshops in and around Oxfordshire.

Moonrakers Folk Orchestra 2024

Moonrakers Folk Orchestra Workshops, 2024


Moonrakers each year run a series of Folk Orchestra workshops across the country. They are for intermediate instrumentalists who wish to develop skills in arranging and playing folk tunes and songs in an ensemble. Jon Bennett (guitar, ukulele, bouzouki, whistles), Jacqui Johnson (cello, fiddle, keyboard) and Becki Luff (harp, keyboard) have many years’ experience conducting workshops at Benslow Music, Halsway Manor and at festivals. They work through a number of tunes and songs, inviting you to suggest arrangement ideas yourself. Music (with chords, countermelody and bass) will be sent out in advance along with a video of each tune played at medium pace for those who learn by ear. Above all, it’s a rare opportunity to play with a multi-instrumental and welcoming group.  For more information, go to and If you want to discuss any aspect of the courses, call 01865 769206 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mon 26th Feb - Fri 1st Mar     Halsway Manor, TAUNTON, Somerset, TA4 4BD.   A three day (4 nights) residential Folk Orchestra Workshop run by Jon & Jacqui. All instruments welcome; intermediate standard (no absolute beginners). Music and videos sent in advance. Limited to 20. Book early because it's always sold out!  Any questions, call 01865 769206.

17th - 19th May   Songwriting & Composition weekend workshop, Benslow Music, HITCHIN. A new course , run by Jon. It will provide you with the skills necessary to compose your own lyrics and melody and give you an opportunity to play with other musicians. Suitable for intermediate/advanced players of any instrument, though as a songwriter you may be a beginner.  Further information at  01462 459446.

24th -26th May  Ukulele Weekend, Halsway Manor, TAUNTON, Somerset, TA4 4BD.   A residential weekend workshop, with tutors Jon Bennett, Sam Muir and Phil Doleman. Our annual foray into the wonderful world of ukuleles! It gets sold out very quickly, so book early. 

21st - 23rd June    Folk Orchestra, Benslow Music, HITCHIN.  The first of our annual residential weekend workshops at Benslow Music.  Book early!  01462 459446.

13th July  Folk Orchestra day event at The Corn Exchange,  FARINGDON,  Oxfordshire, SN7 7JA.  10am - 4pm. Details forthcoming.

13th - 15th September  Folk Orchestra, Benslow Music, HITCHIN.  The second of our annual residential weekend workshops at Benslow Music.  Book early!  01462 459446.

Sun 13th  October  Folk Orchestra Day Workshop, Yellow Arch Studios, SHEFFIELD , S3 8BX.  10:00 to 16:00. Cafe available, shops nearby. Music with video sent two weeks in advance for those who book. £40  (£50 including the evening concert). Tickets/information:  call 01865 769206  or 07914 79 5823 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

25th - 27th October  Intermediate/Advanced ukulele fingerstyle course at  BENSLOW MUSIC , run by Jon Bennett. Solo & ensemble arrangements, chord theory and chord-melody playing. Residential weekend. Book early! ​  01462 459446

15-17 November   Folk Orchestra residential course, Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster, MINEHEAD, Somerset,  TA24 6SF.  Arriving Friday evening, then two full days of multi-instrumental group arrangements, playing and tuition for intermediate players. Limited to 20 participants.  Two nights full board + the course : £320-£350 depending on accommodation.  Day visitors £160 (incl. lunch/dinner/lunch). Bookings/enquiries : 01643  821425.

Oxford Music Services - Youth Folk Group Taster Afternoon

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Oxford Music Services  are very excited to announce our FIRST EVER youth folk group taster afternoon!

A taster afternoon for young people (in school years 6-11) to have the opportunity to learn a folk tune and a song together by ear, and explore ways to arrange those pieces to create something new and exciting. Participants will need to be able to play/sing simple melodies, chords or rhythms on any instrument or voice.

To find out more about the youth folk group taster afternoon, and to keep updated with our other exciting folk music plans, why not join our folk music mailing list:


From time to time groups or organisations hold one-off workshops that are open to everyone - details will be uploaded here as we have them.

Follow the links below for more detailed information on regularly occuring workshops and courses.

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