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Balkan Melody Mastery

Learn great Balkan tunes and how to play them amazingly.

When? Wednesday evenings, 19:00 – 20:30h GMT

Where? Online on ZOOM, limited spaces in-person in Kenton, London HA3

This course will explore authentic Balkan tunes, emphasizing essential techniques for playing with precision and expression. The curriculum is taught via a mixture of by-ear learning and sheet music, allowing participants to delve into dynamic phrasing, articulation, ornamentation, tone, and speed. The course also offers exercises to enhance overall technique and flexibility.


Wednesday evenings, 19:00 – 20:30h GMT

Start on the 17th January 2024.

The course will run weekly throughout the year, expect school holidays. Booking either annually on a 6-weekly direct debit or by booking 5-lesson units (more info below)

Location: Online on zoom – limited in-person spaces in London HA3

Participants: players of melodic instruments from intermediate to advanced.

Fee: £60/£45 concessions for 1 Unit of 5 weeks (half a term).

         Discounts when signing up until the end of the academic year


Booking Page: Click here to read details of payment and sign up for the course.

Read below for extra events, extra discounts and all-inclusive fees.

Watch Information Videos and including small demonstrations.

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Detailed Information

The Balkan region is known for its rich and diverse musical heritage, which has been influenced by various cultures and traditions over the centuries. I am launching this new course to share the finer things about Balkan music. The correct notes can be played by any musician, but how often do I find myself in tears when listening to a great musician who gets it so wrong, simply because they did not have the opportunity to travel, listen, and learn from native masters? Instead, they might have learned it third-hand or from a piece of sheet music. Western classical music notation cannot fully capture the essence of other types of music, and a metronome can stifle the authentic phrasing of asymmetric Balkan rhythms. I am not a native Balkan music master either, but I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to learn from several of them, and engage in endless, wild jam sessions. In this course, I aim to convey not only the right musical feel but also the fervour and passion for this music.

The weekly course primarily targets melodic instruments. Tunes will be taught by ear, initially using the voice (sheet music will be sent out beforehand), and then practiced on the instrument. Special attention will be devoted to phrasing, articulation, and, of course, the typical charisma of Balkan music to give it that truly magical sound. Whilst I am a violinist and will demonstrate and lead with the violin and voice, the course is suitable for any melodic instrument.

The level is aimed at intermediate to advanced players, although ambitious and diligent lower-intermediate players will also do well.

We will briefly cover accompaniment aspects, including chord progressions, rhythm patterns, and techniques. Dedicated workshops for chordal instruments and percussion will be offered as we progress.

The course will run weekly and continuously, with no regular sessions during usual UK school holidays. Booking will be in advance in 5-session units. Each unit can be booked individually, or you can sign up for an annual booking and pay in 6 instalments distributed over the whole year, receiving a 20% discount on the total course fee. For precise dates and a detailed payment plan please visit the BOOKING page.

Information Videos

about the general aims and philosophy of the course

Additional Events

Balkan Academy Jam Session: A music making session, 3 times a year (towards the end of each term), online and in person, where course participants and their friends can play the studied material with a full-on group, including rhythm section and vocals. 

Fee: £9 for course participants, £12 for others - sheet music downloads included Dates to be announced.


Chord Progressions and Accompaniment Special: A special workshop three times a year for guitars, accordions, pianos, bass players, and similar instruments, both online and in person. This workshop delves into the details of chord progressions and accompaniment patterns, including riffs and breaks. It will be co-hosted by an experienced guitarist.

Fee: £9 for course participants, £12 for others. Dates to be announced.

Balkan Percussion Special: A workshop designed for percussionists to study the rhythm patterns and techniques related to the course material. This workshop will be co-hosted by an experienced Balkan percussionist. It is tailored to friends and bandmates of the Balkan Melody Mastery course participants, allowing the pieces to be performed together in your own groups and jam sessions. 

Fee: £9 for course participants, £12 for others. Dates to be announced.

Additional Events
Information Videos
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