CREATING SACRED FLUTES WITH NIGEL SHAW
WEEKEND RESIDENTIAL FLUTE MASTERCLASSES ON DARTMOOR 2023
THE MAY AND SEPTEMBER WORKSHOPS ARE NOW FULLY BOOKED
PLEASE NOTE: These workshops book up very quickly – please email us if you would like to be on our advanced mailing when the dates become available.
Nigel has been teaching traditional flute making at Lower Merripit Farm, our ancient farmstead located in the heart of Dartmoor, for over 25 years. These workshops have been profound and creatively exciting weekends, during which hundreds of participants have handcrafted their own beautiful flutes using materials carefully sourced from Dartmoor. Nigel makes most of his own instruments for recording and concert performances, and applies those musician ears to helping participants achieve the best tone and tuning for their instrument. The weekend moves at a gentle but steady pace, with individual tutoring, time for finishing details and decoration, learning about playing techniques, different styles of flute and traditions relating to the instruments, as well as enjoying the sanctuary of the farm and participating in a blessing ritual in the ceremonial roundhouse.
ABOUT MAKING A FLUTE
During the many years since Nigel has been creating and teaching traditional wooden flutes, he has developed the original ancient Native American design into a sacred instrument that plays the songs and prayers of these wild and ancient islands. This very special flute workshop offers a choice of several beautifully-grained indigenous woods, all harvested locally on the moors: these may include silver birch, ash, oak, sycamore, red cedar, wild cherry and others. Each wood has a different tone and energy, carrying the song of the land within the character and resonance of its own voice. You will decide what wood to work with when you are here.
The workshop lasts from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Arrival time is from 4pm with supper served at 6pm followed by SESSION 1, a welcoming circle, short opening ritual, a talk about the flutes and some simple preparations for the next day. On Saturday SESSION 2 begins at 9am with initial work on the flute body and sound chamber. After lunchtime SESSION 3 continues with sanding and shaping the flute, as well as playing the first note. After dinner SESSION 4 consists of a sacred flute circle in the cottage group room where participants are able to play music together and learn more about the instruments they are creating. After Sunday breakfast SESSION 5 begins at 9am for tuning the instrument, finishing off and decoration, completing around lunchtime. In the afternoon SESSION 6 consists of a final ceremony for everybody to bless their flutes over the fire in our ancestral roundhouse. The workshop weekend finishes at 5pm.
BOOKING A PLACE
There are only 8 places available for each weekend. The workshop costs £330 with a deposit of £150 to secure your place. All deposits are non-returnable (please see the booking form for our cancellation policy) and your place is not confirmed until you have paid your deposit.
Your fee includes all materials, use of tools, 2 nights meadow camping with full access to kitchen and bathroom facilities, 2 vegetarian evening meals (vegan & gluten free options), 2 self-service breakfasts, hot drinks as required, spring water on tap, sacred flute circle and roundhouse ceremony.
We have four rooms in our guest cottage that may be booked for 2 nights at £55 with shared bathroom or £70 for ensuite double. Local B&B options are also available.
No experience is necessary; all skill levels are welcome but this workshop is not suitable for people under 18. Due to popularity and limited places, early booking is recommended. Please contact us if you have any questions about the weekend.