Traditional Music Summer Camp Scottish Borders / Scotland


Welcome to our 7th Annual Music Summer Camp held at Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, which runs from Monday 13th – Friday 17th August 2018.

Music Summer School Location

Eventbrite - 7th Annual Merlin Traditional Summer Music Camp

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2018 Residential Music Summer Camp Info.

Our 7th Annual Music Summer Camp is to be held in the beautiful Scottish Borders at the fabulous  location of Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. Our Traditional Music Summer camp runs from Monday 13th – Friday 17th August 2018 inclusive and classes will be taught in the magnificent house and grounds of Abbotsford House, the Historic House where Walter Scott wrote many of his novels. The location is easily accessible by rail to Tweedbank and a great variety of accommodation is available in the nearby towns of Melrose and Galashiels.

Accommodation – Hope Scott Wing & Heriot Watt Campus

We are excited to be offering a residential music summer camp with a luxury accommodation package on location for 2018 with residence being available in the beautiful Hope Scott Wing.


Heriot Watt

We are delighted to also offer accommodation for participant and non-participants of the Summer camp at the Heriot Watt Campus. The Heriot Watt Campus is located nearby to the Abbotsford House and is approximately a 10 minute walk away. We have a number of double and single rooms available either on a B&B basis or room only. There are also a limited number of 5 bed flats available which are ideal for groups.
You can find more information on these rooms by clicking Register on Eventbrite and looking at the ticket descriptions.


More Info

Adults and children/kids alike and all instruments are welcome including Fiddle, Voice, Guitars, Piano, Accordion, Drums/percussion (give us a call if you are not sure) for 5 days of great music, sessions, food and the opportunity to learn from some of Scotland’s finest musicians.

You will be learning and playing tunes, improving your technique and invited to come up with arrangement ideas. Teaching will be mainly in mixed instrument classes but with regular break out sessions for back line, melody players and voices.


As a general guide to levels, you will probably get more out of the experience if you are not a complete beginner. In the registration form we have three levels for you to choose from;

Improving Beginner: You’ve been playing for a short time but can feel your way around the instrument and can play a few tunes or chords.

Intermediate: You’ve been playing for a couple of years and know a dozen or so tunes or can play a few by ear although not necessarily up to speed. Or you can accompany songs or tunes from chord charts given to you.

Intermediate/Advanced: You’ve been playing for longer, can play tunes more or less up to speed or accompany songs and tunes by ear. Can sight read tab or notation quite well.
It would help us plan classes if you can choose what you think is the closest match to your current level.

Teaching Material

We use a combination of guitar and other tabs, chord charts, notation and learning by ear to teach tunes and arrangements. It also helps if you can bring a recording device and a music stand.

The Summer camp is an intensive experience that is as much about creating a healthy participative and sharing musical community as it is about developing instrument skills and so the evening activities are an important part of the week that should be regarded as part of the experience. There will be a Tutor Concert, Talent Show, Community BBQ, Singaround plus much more.

On the Friday participants will have the opportunity to share the material we’ve been working on with friends and family.


The Summer Camp is led by our Music Director Iain Fraser who will be offering classes in fiddle and along with  Ian Lowthian, teaching mixed instrument groups. Singers Kathy Stewart  and Ed Miller will be offering classes in Border Ballads, Traditional Scots Song and Vocal Harmonies. Andy Gray will be teaching Guitar and Ian Lowthian will also be offering Accordion Classes.

Registration & Cost

Booking is now open for our 7th Annual Music Summer Camp. Click below to register.

Eventbrite - 7th Annual Merlin Traditional Summer Music Camp

Course Only Tickets:
Adult – £285
Under 16 – £250

Abbotsford accommodation is available from £60 per night with alternative accommodation available at the Heriot Watt Campus from £40 per night.
For more information on the accommodation please click the Register Now button where you can see the options and pricing for all available accommodation and course options.

Refund Policy
Refunds are available for course only up until 20th April 2018. Please contact Bridget on

Directions to Abbotsford
Due to major roadworks taking place during the Merlin Summer Camp there will be a diversion in place. Galafoot Bridge will be closed to traffic approaching from Galashiels/Selkirk. The B6360 will be one way for the duration of works. With this in mind all traffic coming from this direction will need to use the diversion (please note: diversion will be signposted by the local council).
Participants will have been provided with directions relevant to their residential/parking arrangement.
Please see below for directions/maps:

Divert Map Visitors

Divert Map HSW