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Timetables and Tunes 2023
Tuesday 7pm Irish Class
Tunes for Irish Session Tuesday 8.00pm
Wednesday 5.30pm Beginners Class
Wednesday  6.30pm Improvers Class
Tunes for Steady Session Wednesday 8.00pm
A-Z Tunes  Substantial Resource of Recordings and Visual Aids
  Beginners Advice  Help and Tunes
Highly Strung Band Events and Play Lists
Book A Band  Private Barn Dances 
Fundraising and Community Events
Archive Record for Group Classes
Group lessons are now available via zoom with some in person groups 

For details of how to join click here for the home page.

Group Lessons - for any melody instrument- all abilities

All of the following is just here as an archive for interest because much has changed due to Covid 19 and classes are currently online via zoom with some in person classes at Yew Tree Cottage in North Somerset.

Contact Jill:   jillyelliot@gmail.com 07515 904 707

Group Learning 

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 lessons took place over 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 - We always welcome complete beginners on an instrument or those new to playing for dancing or in a band.

 No need to read music as playing by ear is encouraged in most groups

There is a class on Monday evenings designed for readers to understand the dance music genre

We have often have a break during the 2 hour groups 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 get to play in a fun band for dancing and community events even as a beginner.

You will be able to find a group to suit you - all abilities, all ages and any melody instrument suitable for group playing - if in doubt just turn up to any group and see for yourself.  

Daytime Groups


Monday mornings weekly

beginners/intermediate group 9.30am - 11.30am

(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


Play for a Dance Morning

Tuesday mornings weekly 9.30am - 11.30am


11.30am-12.30pm tunes session for the band

 (Folk Hall Portishead, BS20 6PR )


Ideal practice and great fun for group members in playing for dancing.  

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.

"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

Mondays weekly - beginners classes at Falfield Village Hall, GL12 8DH and Learn to Interpret Music Score 

5.00pm-5.30pm and 5.30pm-7.00pm

Complete beginners on fiddle, mandolin and whistle welcome at 5pm.  No need to pre-book.  Learn a new instrument in a fun and relaxed way by learning tunes.  Music readers class from 5.30pm 

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 posted 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 necessary

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... and in September 2020 for another significant milestone !

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 7.30pm-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 

Barn Dance, Country Dance, fetes, festivals and fundraising

All local players are  encouraged to play with The Highly Strung Band 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, various charity barn dances such as our own "It's Your Ceili" and events organised by the Rotary Club, plus fundraising music events for Southmead Hospital, Tyntesfield National Trust Property, St. Peter's Hospice and lots of others including our annual trip to Sidmouth Folk Festival every August.

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