Frequently Asked Questions

Registration And Pre-Workshop

Signing up late??!   Good news! You can sign up, until Thursday, January 13th, by NOON!  We do require that you pay by Paypal or Zelle.  No checks at this late time, please.

I’ve sent in my registration but I am wondering if I’ve been accepted¦
This year, due to the larger capacity of our Zoom workshop, we aren’t anticipating a wait list. You will get an automated confirmation immediately upon signing up, and an automated confirmation from either Zelle or Paypal, once you’ve paid.

We will send out periodic emails to those enrolled to keep everyone up to date on workshop plans, and you’ll receive an automated email reply once you’ve signed up, including confirmation of your payment method and amount.

What if I want to pay by check or Zelle? You can still do that!  We appreciate your prompt payment- it makes less work for us. 🙂

*** New this year- you can pay by Zelle, read here for more information.

Please note:  All checks must be postmarked by January 1st- no exceptions. When you’re registering, just make sure you click on the appropriate button, that says “pay by check”. Send your checks to: Bill Boyd, NWSF treasurer, 7728 21st Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117.

What kind of setup do I need to participate in Zoom? There will be a detailed list of best ways to get set up. Bottom line: 1. Use a computer or laptop computer (vs. a tablet, pad of phone). 2. Be able to connect directly in to your router – ethernet cables are the best! 3. Be sure you’ve got the latest version of Zoom on your computer. Much more on this to come. ** We may have an orientation on the Thursday, before the workshop for anyone unfamiliar with Zoom. We’ll send out that information through emails.

What instruments are best suited for this workshop? Fiddle and cello are at the top of the list, but there’s so much more! Due to the virtual component this year, there are many others that might be included: viola, string bass, guitar, mandolin, piano, flutes, recorders and whistles, harp, xylophones, accordions, and yes, even bagpipes!







Can I get sheet music and recordings of the tunes being taught, before the camp begins?  For the workshop, itself, normally, no sheet music is distributed- although sheet music did make a surprise appearance a few times last year. Tunes are taught by ear, in the traditional manner.  We will record the classes on Zoom, and make those available after the workshop on our YouTube channel, but you are welcome to make recordings to help you learn the tunes more thoroughly but remember, as well. After the workshop, a link will be sent to you for the sheet music posted. We will not be sharing the list of tunes that will be taught in advance.

What if I am used to learning music by reading it first?
This will be a new experience for you. If our schedule allows, we will identify fiddle tutors and helpers that will be on hand to offer help learning the tunes in special break out classes. Hang in there and do your best- the more you try to learn tunes by ear, the easier it will become!

I am a beginner fiddle player, will this be too tough for me? Intermediate to advanced players will get the most out of this workshop because of the fast pace, and learning by ear. Keep in mind, we usually learn a several tunes, maybe one slower tune, such as an air, in addition to a march, strathspey, a jig or two, and at least one reel. There will be no pressure to get these tunes perfect for the virtual Sunday play through/concert, so that may be good news!

What other activities might I be able to participate in besides the workshop?This year, we will bring the opportunities to you! There’ll be some incredible interviews with folks you know, and some you don’t know! We will have another “Zoomba” exercise class, maybe a dance class, and of course, our Saturday night ceilidh with a few new surprises up our virtual sleeve! There’ll be something for everyone, we promise. Details will be sent out in emails!

What do we do all day? There will be a variety of activities, and we are working on putting the schedule together for this new online experience. A schedule will be posted.

Session in full swing on Friday before dinner. Classroom B. Led by The Reds.

What is a session? Should I come? There will be a lot of these later in the evening, and perhaps a few impromptu sessions, as well. Virtual sessions are a great way to take a peak at this phenomenal way to share tunes! Don’t worry, no one will ever hear what you’re playing, unless you unmute yourself!

We will have volunteer session leaders – and hopefully a different leader, or two, every thirty minutes. So, each session will have a unique feel to it. You will mute yourself as play along, with all your might, and brilliance!

This year, for our early bird Friday session, we’ll start at our usual time, at 4 pmyou can come in any time, join in… or just hang out. It will continue until about 6.

Sessions will be available after classes and later in eventing. They’re an excellent chance to see other players that are advanced, and what they play, learn tunes by ear, etc. There’s nothing planned about it.

NO MATTER what your playing ability, come join in! All levels welcome! There will be no pressure to lead a set, or even an individual tune!

When is the Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas “concert”? It will be on Sunday, in the afternoon, from the comfort of your own home. Think of it as a final play-through! We are working on the details and will have more information available later. Remember, this is for workshop participants – do not share the link with others. Thank you!

How to contact us: Please write to Marcia Thumma at