Alison has been teaching music professionally since 2009, and currently provides lessons in folk fiddle, classical violin and piano to students of all ages in Bristol. Regular lessons take place in Bristol or online. She is also the Musical Director of Brigstowe Village Band, is a tutor for the annual Family Folk Week at Halsway Manor, and runs music and dance workshops for schools and communities across the country.

For more information please visit her teaching websites:

Recent Projects

Brigstowe Village Band

As Musical Director of this well-established community ensemble, Alison writes new arrangements of local folk tunes, and runs monthly rehearsals and occasional skills workshops to help the band improve their playing and performance quality. She also leads workshop days to introduce new repertoire and teach new skills such as playing by ear, music theory and arranging.

Brigstowe Village Band – Banbury Bill (arr. by L. Swift)

Maypole Dancing

Alison leads maypole dance workshops for all ages, at schools, festivals, weddings and other events, including at Towersey Festival, NT Stourhead and – unofficially – she even led a maypole dance on the Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand!

Halsway Manor

Tutor for Family Folk Week at Halsway Manor. All ages and all levels of musical experience, all learning together, all week. Past activities have included: band making, ceilidh dancing, clay sculpting, harmony singing, maypole dancing, sessioning, storytelling, morris dancing, bagpiping, tune writing, broom dancing, tin whistling, boureeing, dance writing, welly wanging, crawling around on the grass bleating, boomwhacking, cocoa drinking, instrument learning, piano noodling, mud wading (unofficial), campfire gathering, scone eating, etc.

Shooting Roots

Tutor for Shooting Roots since 2009, providing music workshops for young people at folk festivals.

First rehearsal of ‘Rolling Down To Old Maui’, by Shooting Roots at Broadstairs Folk Week 2015

Call Me Ceilidh

Project Leader for Cambridgeshire Music’s two-year Ultimate Ceilidh Band project for young people in Cambridgeshire, supported by Youth Music. (2013-2015)

The Dancing Bear & Jenny Nettles, in rehearsal by Call Me Ceilidh – with tutors Alison Rowley and Pete Ord

Tri Folk Project

Lead tutor working with student ensembles in West London, in partnership with the Tri Borough Music Hub and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). (2014)

Nonesuch, performed by the Junior Orchestra – with tutors Alison Rowley and Dave Delarre

Upton-upon-Severn Stick Dance, performed by the Senior Orchestra – with tutors Alison Rowley and Dave Delarre

Morris Monday Project

Lead tutor for a collaboration between EFDSS and the Camden Music Hub, introducing folk music to Camden Training Orchestra by playing a simplified movement of Alison’s Morris Monday fantasia and two related morris dance tunes. (2013-2014)

Highland Mary, performed at LSO St Luke’s

Cuckoo’s Nest, performed at LSO St Luke’s

Rainbow Music Adult Bands

Ran the Rainbow Music Folk Band and Ukulele Band, giving adults in South Essex the opportunity to learn a new instrument or genre and rehearse, arrange and perform music in a large ensemble. (2012-14)

With A Little Help From My Friends, performed by Rainbow Music Ukulele Band

The ukulele band in concert, April 2013. Photograph by Les Ganudler.

Whole Class Ukulele Teacher

Taught Ukulele from scratch to whole classes of Year Five students over seven sessions, working towards a short concert for their families.

Excerpts from Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Singing In The Rain, Banana Boat Song, Stay With Me, Proud Mary, In The Jungle