Folkestone, Kent

Meet the Tutors

Kris Drever

Kris Drever originally comes from Hrossey in the Orkney Islands. Over the years, he has taught himself to be a songwriter, guitarist and singer of note (and sometimes many notes). As well as creating award-winning original songs and instrumental pieces with the trio Lau, he has had a fruitful solo career exploring the cracks between classic and modern songwriting and the traditional music that he comes from. 

Drever’s sound is rooted in the earthy and hypnotic rhythms of much older music, but there’s a sophistication to both the lyricism and the instrumentalism which places him skilfully in the present. He has an extensive collection of BBCR2 Folk awards, plus a fistful of Scottish NaTrads awards for everything from best album, best singer and best live act to best original song. He has worked with many excellent musicians, including Jack Bruce, Eddi Reader, Mark Knopfler, Jerry Douglas and Roddy Woomble, and is a member of the beautiful multi-media project Spell Songs: The Lost Words.

Currently, Kris is preparing for a series of Lau events around the UK, writing music for a new solo album and learning some old tunes for reasons he can’t quite explain.

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Findlay Napier

Findlay Napier is Scottish singer-songwriter. He’s also a veteran songwriting tutor, having founded the Glasgow songwriting festival and taught at all the Folkestone events.

If you want to learn to write songs which aren’t about “lurv” and “inner feelings” ; if you want to write songs which have a sense of place or which tell a story, then Findlay is your man.

His breakthrough solo album VIP is packed full of biographical songs about quiet heroes, whose praises have hitherto remained unsung: Heddy Lemarr, George C Parker and a character called Eddie Banjo.

Findlay followed this up with an album full of love songs to a city – Glasgow – peopled with goths and wire-burning vagrants, hanging out at the Blue Lagoon fish bar at Central Station or the Locarno Ballroom.

He’s also made some excellent albums with the Bar Room Mountaineers. Oh, and despite his moody, hirsute photos, he’s a blast to be with!

Supporting Tutor: Neil Bob Herd

Neil is a tutor in songwriting and sound engineering at London College of Music, prior to this he headed up radio and audio training for the BBC’s lauded “Blast” project, working with 13-19 year olds across a range of disciplines including songwriting, music composition, audio drama and sound design. 

Neil is active with Shapeshifter productions in their “Smiling Sessions” project, delivering interactive singing sessions for older people, both in person and online. This work has often involved re-acquainting people with vocal and instrumental skills that they may have considered lost due to illness or simply the passage of time. 

Neil is a firm believer that everyone has music in them and considers that finding this music is one of the most gratifying, satisfying and uplifting aspects of his musical life.

Past Tutors

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Michele Stodart

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Blair Dunlop

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Sophia Stutchbury

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Boo Hewerdine

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Dave Hook

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Neil Bob Herd

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Kathryn Williams

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Nina Clark

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Ila Sebastian

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Jack Pound

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Rachel Sermanni

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