Summer Workshop Series

In light of 2020’s change of plans, our usual summer programming will look a bit different though we hope no less engaging and informative. For 6 weeks, throughout July and August, Gaelic College staff and guest instructors will host language, music, dance, and weaving workshops for those at an intermediate or above skill level. Classes will be offered online (via Zoom), and for some disciplines (fiddle, piping, step dance and piano accompaniment), to a limited amount of students on-site. All provincial guidelines will be maintained on-site, so numbers are limited – first come, first serve. Students are encouraged to register for the 6 week series but may do individual classes as desired. All are required to register at least 2 days prior to class. And be sure to make plans to stick around (or come early) for our daily lunchtime ceilidh!  To learn more on our upcoming Summer Weaving Workshop series, click here.

  • Piping: On-site and Online
  • Highland Dance: Online only
  • Step Dance: On-site and Online
  • Gaelic 1: Online only
  • Gaelic 2: Online only
  • Fiddle: On-site and Online
  • Piano Accompaniment: On-site and Online

Mondays: 10:30am-12pm

  • July 6, 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10
  • All ages | Intermediate +
  • On-site and online
  • Kenneth MacKenzie

Piping workshops are designed for advanced beginners / intermediate players. Each week will focus on a different tune, and over the course of the six weeks, we will construct a typical medley that you can use to play for dancers, for other people, or your own personal enjoyment. You will be guided through several tune types, with a focus on musicality and developing consistent fingering. Students should have an understanding of gracing and fundamentals, and be able to play several tunes from memory.  

Mondays: 1pm-2:30pm

The Highland Dance workshops are designed for Intermediate / Premier level dancers. Each workshop will focus on a different dance with careful attention to technique and presentation. Dances that will be covered include the Fling, Sword, Seann Triubhas, Strathspey and Highland Reel, and Irish Jig. Dancers will learn a variety of strengthening exercises as well as a short piece of choreography.


Tuesdays: 10:30am-12pm

Students will work on new steps over the six weeks, which they can incorporate into a “routine” of their own. Emphasis will be spent on developing good timing and ensuring that beats are not missed. Instructors will change from week to week, providing students with insight into different styles and subtleties. Students should be able to comfortably dance 5-10 steps already, preferably in different types. (strathspey, reel, jig)  

Wednesdays: Gaelic 1 - 10:30am-12pm | Gaelic 2 - 1pm-2:30pm

Gaelic 1

This program is intended for complete beginners. It will introduce students to basic Gaelic vocabulary, useful phrases (e.g. greetings, asking where people are from and questions relating to activities), and the Gàidhlig aig Baile style of instruction. As part of the course, participants will learn about Gaelic learning resources available around the world, online and offline. Prerequisite: No prior knowledge of Gaelic language is required.

Gaelic 2

This course is for students who have started learning Gaelic or have some experience with it. Students in this level will build vocabulary and confidence, in an immersion setting as much as possible. Students will develop their understanding of prepositions/prepositional pronouns such as in, at, from, etc. through active, engaged learning. As part of the course, participants will learn about Gaelic learning resources available around the world, online and offline. Prerequisite: Familiarity with everyday vocabulary and basic phrases.


Thursdays: 10:30am-12pm

Fiddle workshops are designed for advanced beginners / intermediate players and above. Students will work on a medley of popular Cape Breton tunes from slow to fast with a different instructor each week. Teaching will be by ear with music given at the end in order to focus on ornamentation, bowing, rhythm and style. Recordings of the tunes will be available beforehand and of the class afterwards. Players should be able to play tunes by memory at a slow-moderate pace.

Mondays: 10:30am-12pm

Students will work on refining basic rhythms and further developing the fundamental playing techniques for Cape Breton piano accompaniment, including more syncopated rhythms. Over the six weeks, students will work through a popular Cape Breton medley with rotating instructors each week, providing them with an improved ability to accompany live players. Players should be at least intermediate with a working knowledge of basic chords and able to build basic chord patterns and rhythms.

On-Site Cost:

  • $120/full discipline
  • $25/per class

Online Cost:

  • $100/full discipline
  • $20/per class

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