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A few reviews from festivals where I have run workshops.

Workshop Reviews

Whistle & Bodhran Workshops, Glen Innes 2002

Whistle and Bodhran Workshops, Glen Innes 2002

My name is Raelene Watson, I have been the Co-ordinator of the Australian Celtic Festival in Glen Innes for the last six years. This year, we had the pleasure of obtaining the services of Alison Boyd for Bodhran and Tin Whistle workshops. The tent was packed for each workshop and the commendations I received for the excellent job of booking Alison was embarrasing! She was absolutely wonderful and we could have easily run another four workshops. Alison will be definately be booked for 2003!

Her playing is incredible, I have never heard anyone play these instruments with such emotions before, capturing her audience as intently as she did.

Yes, we have already had enquiries regarding workshops for 2003 and I would have no hesitation in recommending Alison for your festival (but not on the first weekend of May!)

If you would like to contact me, please phone 02 67342292 for personal recommendations.

Fleadh Ceol - Mean Fiddler

15th February 2003

Fleadh Ceol (Celtic Festival) - Mean Fiddler 15th February 2003

(extract taken from a full review of the festival in "The Cornstalk")

Our first workshop, learning the Bodhran - an Irish drum, started slowly with everyone banging away to the beats Alison Boyd was trying to teach us. The end of the lesson saw us mastering a couple of jigs and reels - we believed we sounded quite good!

Whilst the drum was fairly easy to get a sound out of, our second workshop with the tin whistle was slightly harder, but patience and a good teacher eventually saw us piping out a couple of great tunes.

Late afternoon found us inside with one of the largest 'sessions' we'd ever seen - the quality of musicians in attendance was mighty. After our Bodhran workshop that morning, we felt confident enough to join in. Frank was rapt after receiving a free beer because he was 'one of the musicians'!

By Frank & Rosslyn Gallagher Manly, NSW

Patonga Festival October 2001


Alison Boyd's Bodhran workshop at Patonga Festival October 2001


I've missed the last two bodhran workshops by Alison Boyd at festivals, so this time I was determined to program the workshop to fit my schedule. I had even bought a bodhran stick and was ready to learn.


After finishing the workshop my only regret was that I didn't have a bodhran to go with my stick. I learnt more in one hour at Alison's workshop then I could have learnt in weeks trying to teach myself.


There were around 17 people at the workshop and it was a really good feeling to hear everyone drumming in time to the music and all pleased with their progress. Even the children were able to learn from Alison and the individual attention and encouragement that she was able to give each person in the group showed only that Alison was committed to passing on her talent so that others can learn.


The workshop not only covered the basics of rhythm patterns but also how to choose a suitable Bodhran and the care of your instrument. Well done Alison, I'm now looking for my Bodhran and looking forward to catching up on some more tips once I have practiced what I learnt.


I would recommend Alison's Bodhran workshop to anyone who wants to know not just how to play a Bodhran, but also how to choose and care for your instrument. In other words, a complete workshop with one of the best.


Marilyn Russell (organiser of Patonga Folk Festival)

Glen Innes, Australian Celtic Festival 2003

To whom it may concern


Alison was well prepared for her workshops in bodhran & tin whistle.
She demonstrated efficient teaching techniques and good organisation.
Alison made a keen assessment of the skills of the skills of participants and gave excellent guidance for people to develop their skills and understanding.

Her enthusiasm created confidence and enjoyment as evidenced by the many people who attended the workshops.

I highly recommend her work.


Merran McLaren, Artist co-ordinator, Australian Celtic Festival 2003, Glen Innes

St Albans Folk Festival 2000
The Alison Boyd Whistle and Bodhran Workshops, St. Albans 2000


"Alison Boyd, I knew to be a fine musician and singer, with a wealth of talent on a stack of instruments, but I was pleased to find her to be a gifted teacher as well.


Both workshops were run, with method, knowledge, warmth and humour. Both workshops were packed, and as we were led progressively through the steps, it occurred to me that here was a teacher. Alison guided us, a bunch of eager pupils, through a journey of discovery, opening the door to us all.


She was not grandstanding, these were not concerts in disguise, these were Workshops. All too often people go to a workshop, and don't even wet their whistles, but in these workshops, Alison didn't just show us a little of what she could do, she showed us what we could do. For that I say thank you, Alison, well done. Thanks also to the good people who saw fit to engage such a teacher."


Ken Robertson. (singer / songwriter) (excerpt taken from the Cornstalk June 2000)

Festivals where I have run workshops include:-


Sydney Folk Festival - 2019

St Albans Folk Festival - 1999 - 2007, 2011-2013
Autumn at the Highland Manor - Parramatta - 2006-2008
St Patricks Day Parade / Celebrations - 2005, 2006
Coastfest - Gosford - 2005
Illawarra folk Festival (Jamberoo) - 2003, 2004
Fleadh Ceol at the Mean Fiddler - 2003, 2004
Parc Menai Celtic Festival - 2003, 2004
Australian Celtic Festival - Glen Innes - 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Celtic Festival Teralba - 2002 / 2003
Uranquinty Folk Festival - 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Umina Beach Folk Festival - 2003, 2004

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