MMitD Summer School

Playing Medievally


14-16 September 2021

A residential course at The Jonas Centre in Redmire

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This is the first of what will be a regular series of summer schools taking place around the time of our September festival. The theme of our inaugural summer school is 'Playing Medievally', and it is led by the members of Trouvere, who are familiar figures to anyone who has attended Medieval Music in the Dales.

Summer School FB.jpg


Are you a confident and competent instrumentalist who is interested in medieval music and would like to know how to develop and deliver a more medieval sound? That's the aim of 'Playing Medievally'. It's not for beginners in their instrument, and no specific instrumental tuition will be provided - it's for vocalists or instrumentalists of intermediate level or higher who want a better grasp of medieval music and performance. It's also open to those who are primarily interested in the history but want a better understanding of its music, and it is therefore possible to attend the vocal or instrumental sessions as an observer if preferred.

Our Summer School delivers two days of relatively intensive sessions divided into three Strands:

  • instrumental, led by Paul Leigh

  • vocal, led by Richard de Winter

  • history, led by Gill Page

Participants are encouraged to focus on two of the Strands. It's possible to do Instrumental + Vocal, Instrumental + History, or Vocal + History. All participants are further encouraged to attend at least the first of the history sessions, which sets the context for the medieval repertoire. Both vocalists and instrumentalists will work on specific pieces in some depth, to develop them for performance. Each Strand includes four sessions of 90-120 minutes each. 

Here's a bit more detail about the Strands:


We will examine ways in which medieval music can be recreated on instruments (of any kind), and the various approaches that can be taken. We'll cover the basics of medieval music theory and how that can impact on tuning and inform interpretation and elaboration of the medieval repertoire. We will look at a couple of pieces in some depth and develop them for performance at the Summer School and Festival.



In these workshops we will look at ensemble singing, how to perform in a long-dead language, and how to use the voice to create a more 'medieval' sound, with the ultimate goal of performing a couple of pieces both at the end of the Summer School, and at the end of the Festival itself.


We will look at the historical context for medieval music-making and cover in brief some of the principal musical genres of the period. We'll take a closer look at some sources and develop skills for understanding them. Finally, we will consider issues around historically informed performance.

There is also the opportunity for socialising and informal music-making in the evenings.

Practical Details


The MMitD Summer School takes place at The Jonas Centre, a wonderful holiday and retreat centre run on a charitable basis. It's two miles from Bolton Castle by car, or a half-hour walk over the fields, and is set in beautiful countryside. Our teaching and social sessions take place in the Granary Barn, where there is a large meeting room and two smaller rooms. 

Timings (provisional)

Tuesday 14th September

Arrival from 1pm - a light lunch is available between 1 and 2pm.

2-4.00pm: Session 1: Instrumental A / Vocal A.

This session consists of 2 x hour-long repeated segments, with participants who are doing both the Instrumental and Vocal Strands swapping over halfway. 

4.30-6.00pm: Session 2: History A

8-10pm: Socialising and music-making in the Granary Barn. 

Wednesday 15th September

9.00-10.30am: Session 3: instrumental B / History B

10.30am-12 noon: Session 4: Vocal B / History B

12.00-1.00pm Lunch in the Granary Barn

1.00-2.30pm: Session 5: Vocal C / History C

2.30-4.00pm: Session 6: History C / Instrumental C

4.30-6.00pm: Session 7: instrumental D  

6.00-7.30pm Session 8: Vocal D

8-10pm: Socialising and music-making in the Granary Barn. 

Thursday 16th September

9.30-10.30am: Session 9: Vocal and Instrumental 'Surgery' for specific questions

10.30-11.30am: Session 10: History D 

12 noon-1pm: Discussion and Performances.


The Summer School is ideally residential (although it is possible to stay off site and arrange your own accommodation). Participants can stay in Scandinavian-style log cabins, each of which has two double bedrooms, a bathroom and a living space with a kitchen. There's seating, a television, wifi and pretty much all the creature comforts!

Our residential prices (see below) are based on the use of one bedroom, but sharing the cabin with another individual or couple in the other bedroom. It is possible to book the whole cabin by paying a surcharge.​

We ask you to consider COVID-safety measures when sharing cabins, and basically expect you to be sensible and considerate. Sanitising equipment will be provided for your use. The cabins are of course thoroughly sanitised between bookings.

Food and Drink

Residential bookings include 

  • a basics+breakfast pack in your cabin providing all the basics for self-catered continental breakfasts and for light snacks 

  • a buffet lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday

  • tea, coffee and biscuits for breaks in the day

  • snacks for evening socialising

Non-residential bookings include all the above except the basics+breakfast pack

For dinner on the first and second day you can cater for yourselves in your cabins, or visit one of the many splendid pubs in the area. The Bolton Arms in Redmire is in easy walking distance; booking is recommended.


Residential per person: £320              

Residential per person (Friend of MMitD): £300

Non-residential per person: £220

Non-residential per person (Friend of MMitD): £200

Supplement for single occupancy of room (individual attendee): £25

Supplement for exclusive occupancy of cabin (individual delegate or couple who are both attendees): total £50

Discount on full occupancy of cabin (that's four or five people): -£25 each

Please note: accompanying partners who are not attending the Summer School are welcome to share rooms at no extra cost on the above. Bargain!

examples based on the above

1) single attendee not sharing a cabin: total cost £320 + single supplement + exclusive occupancy supplement = £395 in total

2) single attendee as above but joined by non-attending partner: exactly the same

3) two people, both attending, sharing a room in a cabin but otherwise exclusive use: cost each £320 + exclusive supplement of total £50= £345 each

4) two attendees, each having their own room in a cabin: cost each £320 + £25 single supplement = £345 total each

5) couple, both attendees, sharing a cabin with an individual attendee: couple £320 each, individual £320 + single supplement = total £345

6) two couples, all attendees, sharing a cabin: £320 each less full occupancy discount = £295 each. 

We have a limited number of subsidised places for students/unwaged. The price here is £100 in total and is based on 'dormitory' style accommodation in a cabin - i.e. sharing rooms. We may ask for proof of COVID-negative status. 

A non-refundable deposit is due on booking of £100 (residential) / £50 (non-residential). Booking opens June 1st 2021.

The balance is due 6 weeks before the start of the Summer School (so by 3rd August 2021).


  • Cancellations up to 4 weeks before the start of the Summer School will receive a full refund less the non-refundable deposit 

  • Cancellations between 4 and 2 weeks before the start of the course will receive a 50% refund less the non-refundable deposit

  • Cancellations less than two weeks before the start of the course will receive no refund.

Please note the exceptions to these rules for COVID-19 emergencies, as given below.


  1. A full COVID-19 instructions and advice pack will be available to all Summer School participants.

  2. Sessions take place in well-ventilated rooms at adequate social distancing. Each strand has a top-limit of participants to help with distancing, and all larger gatherings will take place in the meeting room with social distancing observed.

  3. Sanitising stations will be in place and you are strongly encouraged to use these on entry to any room (including your cabin). Staff will maintain a sanitising regime for all shared facilities.

  4. We will follow government guidance on distancing with regard to wind instruments (including the voice): see here.

  5. If you feel unwell or develop symptoms of COVID-19 in the two weeks before the Summer School, please let us know and do not attend the Summer School. 

  6. If you feel unwell or develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate in your bedroom and contact us on the number that will be supplied on arrival.  Put on a face mask and gloves if you have them.  We will get in touch with your emergency contact person to arrange for your care and/or collection.

  7. If your home area enters a 'lockdown' around the period of the Summer School, please do not travel to the Summer School. 

  8. If North Yorkshire enters a 'lockdown' around the period of the Summer School, we will have to cancel the Summer School.

  9. In the cases of (5), (6), (7) and (8) above, where you are not able to attend because of COVID-19 we will offer in the first instance credit against future MMitD events and purchases. 

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