FluteFling | Scottish Flute Weekend 2018: 20th-22nd April

The 5th annual FluteFling will take place in Edinburgh, 20th-22nd April 2018, joined by whistles for the very first time.

A day of workshops focusing on flute and whistle playing within Scottish traditional music will be held on Saturday 21st April at The Edinburgh Methodist Church Halls in central Edinburgh. With three tutors sharing their expertise and enthusiasm, this inspiring all-day workshop for flutes, whistle, and low whistles focusing on Scottish traditional music is not to be missed.

This year we are delighted to announce Niall Kenny as one of our tutors. One of the most influential traditional flute players in Scotland, Niall was our guest speaker in 2017 and has performed in many settings. Originally from Edinburgh, now resident in Lanarkshire, Niall’s compositions have been recorded and played by many, from competition pipe bands to The Tannahill Weavers and Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. Also a fine singer, Niall appears in the acclaimed The Complete Robert Burns series. This is a very rare opportunity to learn from one of the finest musicians in the country.

Niall joins returning FluteFling tutors Sharon Creasey (Boehm system flute, Dumbarton) and Kenny Hadden (simple system flute, Aberdeen).

Additionally, a special guest speaker is to be announced and there will be free open sessions over this sociable and friendly weekend that has become an important part of the year for many.

We look forward to welcoming returning friends and meeting new ones. We’re going for a curry on Saturday too and you’re welcome to join us. Just let us know as you purchase your ticket so we can reserve you a seat.


Advance tickets are £40/ £50 and tickets on the door will be £45/ £55, so make sure you book in advance for a better deal. Spaces are limited to 40.

Tickets from Brown Paper Tickets.


Who is the workshop for? Do I need to play a wooden flute to attend?

The workshop is for people interested in playing traditional Scottish music on the flute, whistle or low whistle. 

It is open to Boehm system (metal, classical) musicians and those playing simple system wooden flutes (keyed or unkeyed) alike. This is a great opportunity to explore and develop your flute playing in the context of Scottish traditional music, whichever instrument type you play.

Topics for all musicians include:

  • different playing styles and approaches
  • repertoire
  • technique
  • breathing, phrasing and tone improvement
  • history

What about whistles? What sort should I have and is it a “come and try” type event?

Whistles and low whistles alike should be in the key of D. (Sometimes these are called soprano and tenor whistles.) It would be best if your whistle is tuneable too, but not essential. Ideally you should already have been playing the whistle for 2 years and will have mastered scales and breathing while playing tunes and beginning to build up your repertoire. If in doubt, get in touch.

Unfortunately, the event is not suitable for complete beginners. If in doubt, contact us first or sign up to the FluteFling newsletter to hear about beginner whistle events in the Edinburgh area.

I play the flute already, how do I know if I have the right amount of playing experience for the workshops?

There will also be space for Beginner flute players with up to 2 years experience as well as Impovers (with more than 2 years experience) and more Experienced players.

This is just a rough guide and there will be some flexibility in forming the classes. The tutors will support you in your music and make sure you have what you need in terms of developing your playing. If in doubt, please get in touch.

Scottish music on the flute? What’s that about anyway?

Not many people realise that the flute was once as popular an instrument in Scotland as the fiddle. Many of the older collections of Scottish music were published with the flute in mind. The popularity waned for reasons that are not clear but in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest. Flutes blend well with other traditional instruments in the Scottish music scene and have a natural affinity with whistles and the increasingly popular low whistles. FluteFling weekends are an opportunity for people to become part of the revival.

I learned flute at school but haven’t played traditional music on the flute before. Is this for me?

Absolutely! We welcome people returning to the flute after a break and will help with repertoire and technique so that you can play more comfortably with other traditional musicians.

I already play traditional flute/ whistle. Is there something for me?

The experienced tutors will share their knowledge and help you think further about your music, tone, phrasing and technique. People are often inspired at these events and take something away that they want to work on.

What about sheet music?

Traditional music relies on developing a good ear. Our tutors will help you to develop those skills through teaching by ear. But not everyone will be used to this, so don’t panic if this seems daunting as we also have the music written out for you and will email it in advance.

So who usually attends?

The weekend brings musicians of different backgrounds and locations together and has led to friendships and people from around Scotland and beyond connecting up. Some are picking up their instrument after a break, others much more involved in their local scenes. We’ve had flute players from the Isle of Arran, Argyll, the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Lancashire, Sweden and the USA. We hope you can come and join us.

Are the sessions open to other instruments? Do I have to have a ticket?

The sessions are open to the public and any instruments are welcome to join, although it helps if you enjoy flute and whistle music!

How can I get tickets?

Tickets cost £40/ £50 in advance (£45/ £55 on the door) and are on sale now from Brown Paper Tickets.

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