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Hamish’s Universal Scottish Flute & Whistle Course

START: 19 August 2020
END: 21 August 2020
COST: £110
Above: Hamish Napier
Above: Hamish Napier

The course consists of nine classes over three days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) with three online classes each day at 16.00-17.00 / 17.30-18.30 / 19.30-20.30, all delivered via Zoom.  Where possible classes will be limited to 16 students.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig are excited to have award-winning and multi-instrumentalist folk musician Hamish Napier return to their Short Course Programme for summer 2020.

Please note: Hamish’s Universal course at the beginning of July for beginner/intermediate players sold out quickly.

The course is open to both flute and whistle players and will encourage students to develop a happy relationship with their instrument.  Hamish will encourage discussions on practice approaches and materials, performance confidence, ornamentation and articulation, intonation, tone, breathing technique and choosing good breathing places in tunes.  There will also be some ‘need to know’ theory: rhythm games and four ‘need-to-know’ folk scales (and how to get them sounding free-flowing and effortless on your instrument).  The workshops will also prioritise popular Scottish folk session repertoire that fits beautifully on flute and whistle. 

The course will be taught mostly by ear, with supplementary sheet music and info handouts given each day.  Boehm system flute players are also welcome!

Hamish was taught composition, music theory and wooden flute at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and at music schools and festivals all over the world. He currently performs with his own trio, and with Duncan Chisholm, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson. He also plays in a dare-devil folk duo called Nae Plans with innovate Scottish fiddler Adam Sutherland, involving completely unplanned, off-the-cuff performances.  

He has been nominated for over a dozen Scots Trad Music Awards, including those for best album, composer, live act, best folk band and music tutor of the year. He was recently awarded Session Musician of the Year, having appeared on over forty Scottish folk albums with leading Scottish musicians such as: Duncan Chisholm, Mairi MacInnes, Karen Matheson, Donald Shaw, Treacherous Orchestra, Eddi Reader and Martyn Bennett.  He has now settled back home in the Highlands to write music and develop music courses.

Hamish Napier grew up in Grantown-on-Spey in the Scottish Highlands and moved to Glasgow for sixteen years to immerse himself in its vibrant music scene and gain a degree in music from Strathclyde University. He also took up a year’s scholarship to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, USA. 

Hamish’s first 3 albums have all received 5-star reviews, and have been album of the week on several BBC radio stations.


★★★★★ “Scintillating…brilliantly vivid”  The Scotsman, about The River

★★★★★ “A beautifully constructed, evocative and distinctive album…a splendid and rare treat.” 

SONGLiNES Magazine, about The Woods


★★★★★ “Napier has the composer’s gift of painting a picture with sound, more evocative that an artist. Superb.” FATEA magazine, about The Railway

“Truly epic in scale…a folk tune cycle of immense beauty, successfully melding together the music, folklore, native languages and natural environment “ 
FATEA Magazine, about The Woods

“…Huge in both scale and vision…a mind-blowing creation”
Irish Music Magazine, about The Woods

“…one of Scotland’s busiest and most multi-faceted folk musicians…”  Sunday Herald

“Napier is one of the finest musicians in Scotland….his music is invigorating, passionate and steeped in tradition.” TMSA, Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland

“An excellent flute player.”  The Guardian

Click on the link to Hamish’s YouTube channel below to take a look at some of his work –

Click on the links below and take a look at some of Hamish’s work –

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