The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling

Traditional Scottish Fiddle Music

About Jink & Diddle
The Jink and Diddle Experience

Jinkers on the Farm House porch
Jinkers fiddling on the Farm House porch
Jink & Diddle is a total immersion Scottish musical experience!
For summer, the Week 1 session will offer to each participant:
  • 90-minutes of private lesson time over the space of the week
  • the option to request 15 or 30 minute blocks for individuals
  • daily level-based group classes (Monday to Saturday)
  • a 90-minute fiddle rally each evening for all participants (Sunday to Thursday and Saturday)
  • various levels of instruction + accompaniment classes
  • three 2-day theme pods in which an instructor will follow a single thread throughout two consecutive group classes
  • participant self-selection of group classes for every class of each session
  • one 60-minute special topic class daily (Monday to Friday) with two on Saturday
  • the opportunity to learn how to play for dance and how to assemble dance sets 
  • 90-minute dance class daily (Monday to Thursday) at which participants are invited to play, if they will not dance!
  • 60-minute special event each evening
  • the opportunity to dance at or play for a full dance programme.

John Turner, 10-time National Scottish Fiddling Champion
Participants of ALL ages?

The Week 2 session will offer to each participant:

  • 60-minutes of private lesson time over the space of the week
  • the option to request 15 or 30 minute blocks for individuals
  • three 90-minute group classes daily
  • a 60-minute dance class daily at which participants are invited to play, if they will not dance!
  • 60-minute special event each evening
The Weekend session will offer to each participant:
  • a 2x90-minute 2-day theme pod on Friday and Saturday
  • a 90-minute level-based group class on Saturday
  • a 90-minute fiddle rally on Saturday
  • two 60-minute special topic classes on Saturday
  • Friday afternoon fiddle orchestra rehearsal or ball walk-thru
  • Friday evening Lighted Hall Ball
  • Saturday evening ceilidh
The Jink & Diddle experience is not merely repertoire, but a whole approach to the music and style, which cannot be captured on paper.  There is intense exposure to the strathspey, which is unique to Scottish music.  You will absorb new approaches and a new feel for playing in the Scottish style 'by sitting at the feet of a master.'  
            Some say it's not just playing the notes but playing the spaces between the notes.  
            Others say it's like playing by ear from sheet music.

Scottish Country Dance at Jink & Diddle
Scottish Country Dance
The daily special topic and theme pod classes might touch on such subjects as: 
  • bowing technique
  • playing by ear
  • using classical technique for traditional sound
  • history of Scottish Fiddle
  • the fiddle scene in modern Scotland 
  • harmony
  • ornamentation
  • accompaniment 
  • improvisation of accompaniment

Classes in both Scottish Country Dancing and in Playing for SCD provide all Week 1 participants (as well as relatives and friends) with the opportunity to take part in the Lighted Hall Scottish Country Dance Ball on Friday evening. At the end of Week 2, we have a dance followed by a ceilidh on Thursday night.  The Week 1 ceilidh is on Saturday night.

After hours impromptu playing erupts spontaneously - but the only residential building in which that is allowed is the Mission House - as a courtesy to those who need their beauty sleep!  There are ample non-residential playing spaces available, however.

Week 2 is a much less structured experience.  Ye Auld Jink, as we call it, reflects the days when Jink & Diddle was in its infancy and John Turner was the only instructor.  Everything is scaled back accordingly.  The week is much less intense and the number of attendees is limited by the capacity of the Mission House on lower campus, where Jink & Diddle began.  All classes are also scheduled on lower campus, in the Apple Barn, during Week 2.

John Turner 'eating' Scottish fiddle
... EAT, sleep and breathe Scottish fiddle?
Despite the packed schedule during Week 1, it is really up to the individual to set his/her own pace at Jink, no matter which session one attends.  Some people attend the group classes and private lessons, but spend the rest of the time relaxing or exploring the local area.  Others find the Jink & Diddle experience so enthralling that they want to eat, sleep and breathe Scottish fiddle.  Those are the participants who HAVE to attend everything that is offered - and even get upset when multiple classes are offered simultaneously!
Although Jink & Diddle is primarily for fiddlers and violinists, anyone interested in performing Scottish fiddle tunes on viola, cello, flute, recorder, mandolin or other similar melody instrument is welcome to attend. Past years have included viola, flute, cello, cittern, guitar, oboe, accordion, double bass viol, harpsichord, harp ... and the list goes on.
We accept and cater to participants of all ages (under 12 must be accompanied) and all ability levels - from beginners to professional musicians.  Attendees usually devote themselves to a single instrument during classes and practice hours.
The great Scottish fiddlers of the 18th century could read and write music and participants should be prepared to do so too.  Each year we feature the tunes of one eighteenth century composer among our music sources which will include other traditional and contemporary resources. 
Bring your own instrument and music stand.  Be prepared for a lot of sight reading.  It is not unusual for the Jink & Diddle classes to cover 40 or more tunes in a week.  Music downloads will be available in advance from this site to those who register. The Scottish dance music alone - used for the Friday evening Lighted Hall Scottish Country Dance Ball - usually includes more than 40 tunes.  Other sources in past years have included the works of Niel Gow, Daniel Dow, Robert Mackintosh, William Marshall, Capt. Simon Fraser, Robert Petrie and many others.  Participants are welcome to bring their own music to use in private lessons and to share for impromptu playing.  Please bring several copies, if you can, in the latter case!
If you are interested in hearing the sounds of Jink & Diddle, they were captured on the CDs "Hale Be Your Fiddle" and "Highland Summer Storm."

Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain
Mile High Swinging Bridge
Attire is informal to suit the July/August weather in the North Carolina mountains - shorts and Ts work most of the time, but sometimes it gets a bit cooler. There can be dense morning fog which usually lifts by 8 or 9 am but you will want to bring jeans and a fleece at the very least.  Bring your kilt (if you have one) for the ceilidh and ball (ladies, the ball is semi-formal) - but otherwise casual and comfortable is the order of the day.  The hardy might want to bring a swimsuit.  A short hike upward from Bishop Johnson Hall will bring you to a pretty waterfall that calls like a siren to the young - and the young at heart.
Even with three group classes daily plus a private lesson, workshops and dancing, participants at Jink find ample opportunity to play together informally in the Barn or on the porches.  Some will go sightseeing in nearby Boone, Banner Elk or Blowing Rock; or visit the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis; while others will hike in this scenic mountain resort area or even join the tourist trail at Grandfather Mountain and the Mile High Swinging Bridge.

Document Library

DocumentSummer Flyer 2023Traditional Flyer for Summer School 2023
DocumentWinter Flyer 2024Jink in January 2024 information sheet
Week 2
Ceilidh night - and a Scottish Country Dance with a difference!

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