2011 English Dance Musicians Course

Daily Schedule

7:00-7:30 Tai - Chi for all
7:45-8:15 Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style
8:15-8:45 Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available
8:30-8:50 Morning Warm-up
9:00-10:30 English Dance Musicians Course
11:00-12:00 Dance Classes
12:00-12:30 Free time: Swimming, Bookstore staffed
12:30 Lunch
2:00-3:15 1st PM Class
3:35-4:45 English Dance Musicians Course
5:00-5:30 Tea
5:30-6:20 Free time: Informal camper readings, Swimming, Bookstore staffed
  Faculty rehearsals
6:30 Dinner
7:45-8:15 Mini Presentations
8:15-10:00 All Camp Dance
10:15-11:00 Special Events

August 13 - 20, 2011

Held during Early Music Week at Pinewoods.

Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our Program Weeks page.

Program Director

Program Description

Are you already playing for English country dancing but stuck on the proverbial plateau? Would you like to improvise with more confidence and passion? This English Dance Musicians Week is geared towards those already enjoying playing for dancers, who would like to further develop their playing, in a friendly, encouraging group. Possible topics include: playing with more rhythmic propulsion and kinetic energy, improvising on melodies and harmonies, playing in different musical styles, playing with more physical fluidly, and finding new musical lines for an ensemble. However, the main focus will be on the growth of each participant’s inner voice, one to enable each musician to confidently give the dancers clear signals about rhythm, tempo, phrasing and dance style, as well as to sing out one’s own joy in the music and dance.

This session is geared toward participants who are already accompanying dancing and can play at a steady dance tempo. During the week, we will break up into smaller groups, which will be encouraged to play for the class. If time permitted, participants may be offered a one-time, private group or solo coaching, and pianists may get some piano-focused session time. As part of the course, participants may find themselves dancing, as well as singing, playing rhythm games and doing other (hopefully fun) activities to connect with the group and develop dance musician “chops” and elan.

-- Jacqueline Schwab, Program Director

This course will be held concurrently with Early Music Week, an exciting new opportunity to be in a musician-focused environment, where others will be working on technique, period style and improvisation. This English Dance Musicians Week is designed and led by Jacqueline Schwab, a founding member of Bare Necessities and an English country dance musician for over 30 years.

The group will meet with Jacqueline for 90 minutes in the morning and in smaller ensembles for the afternoon class. As part of Early Music Week, English Dance Musicians Course participants will have a chance to join one of the three graded, daily English country dance classes, to be reminded of the music from the "user's end". Early Music Week offers a number of options for the rest of the afternoon (including practice time), as well as dancing and concerts in the evenings.


Small group ensembles will work with The Barnes Book of English Country Dance Tunes (both Volumes), available from CDSS and at the camp bookstore.


This course is limited to 12 participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. If it were oversubscribed on March 21, there would be a lottery, with preference given to musicians with experience playing for English country dance. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend Early Music Week, if you did not get a space in the course. For musicians with less experience on their instruments or playing for dancing, let us know if you might be interested in this week, so a workshop may be designed for you for another time. Scholarships are available.