Highly Strung Event Timetable 2017
Highly Strung Event Timetable 2018
Folk Feet Tuesday
 and Thursday Dance Mornings
It's Your Ceili Friday Dance Party

Irish Set Dance


Book a Barn Dance  Ceili  Band


Group Lessons
One to one lessons
Irish Tunes Index

Highly Strung Play Lists

Hibernia Sets of Tunes

Monday Morning Beginners Group
Monday  evening Groups
Tuesday evening Irish Group 
Wed evening
How to get to Yew Tree Cottage
Photo Gallery
Group Lessons - for any melody instrument- all abilities

Contact Jill:   jillyelliot@gmail.com or ring 01275 847909 or 07515 904 707

Group Learning  - click here for the full timetable

Group lessons are designed to enable players of similar ability to learn new tunes and play together with others in a relaxed, comfortable and jovial environment.  The first Highly Strung group took place 20 years ago and over the years the type and number of groups has developed - and with increasing skill and experience, the group members now play for dancing and at community events on a weekly basis.

 No need to read music as playing by ear is encouraged

(however...... it's there if you really want it!!)

We have a break during the evening for refreshments and chat! 

Lots of support, encouragement and fun!

By attending each week your repertoire is magically extended, your playing improves without you realising!

You will be able to find a group to suit you - all abilities, all ages and any melody instrument suitable for group playing.  We welcome guitarists and ukulele players at all events and Wednesday evening group from 8.30pm.

Daytime Groups


Monday mornings weekly

beginners group 9.45am - 11.15am

(time can extend to 12 noon)

(Yew Tree Cottage BS20 7RH)




An ideal way to start the week!  Aimed at those fairly new to their instruments and learning traditional music.  Current group members play mandolin, violin, melodeon, recorder, fiddle and whistle.   10 per person.  We learn the tunes for the Highly Strung repertoire so you can be included in the band as soon as you wish.

"Can I be the first to say that your group classes are great!!  I started the fiddle from scratch 2 years ago and I have loved every minute of it.  I like the fact that in the group classes you can learn at your own pace, without feeling that you've fallen behind.  Most of all, the group sessions are a good laugh!"

John - IT & Telecoms

Tuesday mornings weekly 9.30am - 11.30am

Play for Dance 

 (Folk Hall Portishead, BS20 6PR )


Ideal practice and great fun for group members in playing for dancing.  It is free of charge to all musicians who can access the tunes we play by visiting the Highly Strung Playlists page and Tunes A-Z Index Page.  The Folk Hall has public wi-fi access so you can bring a tablet and access the tunes easily in order to read the music. Click on this link to find out more about Folk Feet

Sat. Morning fortnightly - 10.00am - 12.45pm

(Hibernia Centre Bristol, St. Andrews, BS11 9EN)

Learn Irish tunes in various groups with different teachers.

Evening Groups 

No need to pre-book, turn up as and when you can. The format for the evening groups will generally include a play through/revision of the previous week's tunes, learning a new tune, and also playing a selection of tunes that are chosen by group members at the time.  The actual format will depend on who turns up to each group on a particular night so there is a good deal of variety, and you will meet different people most weeks.

2nd and 4th Mondays every month

Beginners Group/Private lessons 4pm-6pm 

(The Star, Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7AE)  

Fee depends on length of group and number attending. Must be pre-booked.

"From my point of view I think the best thing about the fiddle groups, apart from learning a wealth of tunes, is the chance to play with other people, which is a skill in itself and which improves your playing as well as being fun.  I also found the supportive and encouraging atmosphere very important as a complete beginner with no knowledge of traditional music. 


Catherine - Librarian

2nd and 4th Mondays every month

Music Group - 6pm-7.30pm

(The Star, Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7AE)  

10 per person.  We learn the tunes for the Highly Strung repertoire so you can be included in the band when you wish.  No need to pre-book.

Tuesday 7.30pm -9.30pm weekly

Traditional Irish Music Group

(Yew Tree Cottage BS20 7RH)

Always taught by ear.  Please bring recording device as most of the tunes taught and played in this group are not submitted on this website.  Over the years with an increasing amount of data available on line, it may be possible to access a version of most of the tunes covered.  

10 per person - no pre-booking at all

The group session is lubricated by a nice cuppa to start with and has a very happy atmosphere. 'Bum notes' are referred to as 'improvisation' or 'harmonising'!"

 Bob Bailey - Music Shop Proprietor - aged fairly mature (in years)

Bob has been coming to the groups since day 1!!  We were honoured to celebrate a significant birthday in 2015 with his close family.  

Wednesday evenings weekly

Highly Strung Music Club

Beginners  6.30pm-7.30pm

(Yew Tree Cottage BS20 7RH)

Complete beginners group.  Other more experienced musicians also attend and it is understood that the pace will be inclusive for any beginners in the group.  No pre-booking - 10 per person

Wednesday evenings weekly

Highly Strung Music Club

For All 7.30-9.30pm 

(Yew Tree Cottage BS20 7RH)

We  focus on learning and playing tunes for barn dances some traditional song melodies.  Beginners can stay and try to join in or listen and this group will go at the pace of the majority of musicians attending on a particular evening!  Often a new tune is learned followed by a round the table session with each member choosing a tune they wish to play.   Lots of fun! No pre-booking - 10 per person

Each group has a dedicated web page on this website with a term's dates to view.  On this page you will also see tunes learned in the past.  Click on the link in the green column with yellow text on the left that corresponds with the group you play in.  

All groups suitable for most melody instruments - and accompanists are welcome to play on Wednesday evenings from 8.30-9.30 

Click here for more photos

Barn Dance, Country Dance, fetes, festivals and fundraising

All  players are  encouraged to play at the weekly and monthly events which include Folk Feet - a weekly Dance group at the Folk Hall on Tuesday mornings 9.30am - 11.30am, the bi- monthly barn dance - It's Your Ceili, held in Bristol, plus playing regularly at Tyntesfield National Trust Property near the cafe or at the produce market, and other local events.  The Highly Strung Band of which you are automatically a member (!!) also has several other bookings every year - click here for details.

Contact Jill:   jillyelliot@gmail.com or ring 01275 847909 or 07515 904 707