Diary and Bookings

Welcome to the Diary and Bookings page. You can discover more about my approach under workshops, and if you’d like to ask any questions or find out more, please get in touch.

Growing Harmony, Scottish Borders

The Growing Harmony long weekend is back! This time we're really excited to have Bongani Magatyana from South Africa who will be teaching South African choral music - his own folk inspired compositions. And from the USA, Brendan Taaffe whose beautiful shape note compositions are sung throughout the UK community choir world.

Once again we'll build a weekend of community, laughter, song and dancing. Sleeping accommodation at Wiston Lodge is mostly in shared rooms (people wanting a little more privacy often opt to camp or stay in a local B & B and come as a day visitor) but the welcome is warm!


The residential fee for the weekend includes accommodation, food and tutoring - see below for accommodation costs per type. Camping rate includes site pitch, food and tutoring.  £100 deposit to be paid on registration to secure your place.  You will be contacted separately following your registration and deposit payment with detail of how to pay the balance, which must be paid by 23rd July 2018.  Payment of balance can be phased if requested and agreed with the organisers.
Full day rate (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) £70 and Monday day rate £50 includes tutoring, lunch and drinks to be paid in full on registration.
Breakfast and dinner for day participants by arrangement with the organisers.

Single room in house - £420
Shared room in house (2 beds per room) - £380
Shared room in house (4 or 5 beds per room) - £310
Shared room in timber cabin (2 rooms each with 2 beds per room) - £310
Camping - £290

Approximate timings for the weekend will be:-
Arrivals Thursday evening from 4pm onwards with dinner at 7pm - followed by short sing and introductions at 8.30pm - 9.30pm.
Breakfasts from 7.30am - 9am.
Evening meals at 6.30pm
All other timings to be confirmed at the start of the weekend.
Fee and deposit refunded less £15 admin charge if cancellation received before 22nd April 2018.
Fee less £100 deposit refunded if cancellation received after 22nd May 2018.
Fee less £100 deposit refunded by negotiation if place is filled and cancellation is after 22nd June 2018.
Full payment must be received by 23rd July 2018.


Price: £50.00

Date: August 23, 2018

Available Spaces: 0


Delighted to be leading this workshop in Carmarthen hosted by Maya Waldman. I'll be teaching new material written over the past year and looking forward to singing with you all in Wales. The workshop will be at Carmarthen Learning Centre, Furnace Road, SA31 1EU (behind the library) and will cost £25 for an early bird ticket until 5th September and £30 thereafter. There will be a shared lunch - do your best Carmarthon!

Please note that bookings are not taken through this site but with Maya on 07870 633 193/ 01994 419 147 singingforeveryone@gmail.com

Price: £0.00

Date: September 22, 2018

Available Spaces: Unlimited

Canon Frome Court, Ledbury, Herefordshire

I've been leading workshops at this lovely venue for almost as long  as I've been teaching. We sing in The Hall - a fantastic space that was originally built as a music room in 1914. Since then its been used for everything from Banqueting to Ballroom - there's a sprung floor if you fancy having a dance! And there's always a warm welcome from the folk who live at Canon Frome Court – the £40 ticket price includes a wonderful lunch, teas/coffee and CAKE! Please note that bookings are not through this website.   You can buy a ticket here eventbrite 

If you need more information phone 01531 670 540 or email events@canonfromecourt.org.uk

Price: £0.00

Date: September 23, 2018

Writing for Voices: Song-Writing Intensive, Powys, Wales

Last year's course was so successful we've decided to do it again! The long weekend will begin with dinner on Thursday evening and end with breakfast on Monday morning leaving us 3 clear days to immerse ourselves in deep creativity. A deposit of £100 will secure your place. This is returnable (minus £20 admin fee) until 1st August and thereafter by negotiation if your place is filled by someone else.

4pm Thursday 18th Oct - 10am Monday 22nd

Between them Helen Chadwick and Alison Burns have a wealth of experience of creating profound and beautiful songs from simplest of ideas: for theatre, installations, choirs and solo performance.

In this intensive workshop Ali and Helen will share ways in to lyric, melody and harmony writing and show how create and craft songs for choirs, harmony singing or solo performers. Each day the group will spend time exploring different components of song in a supportive, fun and productive environment

The workshop is for those who want to write songs for voices in harmony and who would like the space and support to do that with others. Some may already be songwriters, some may be new to composing. No ability to read or write music is necessary, as we will be working primarily by ear. The ability to sing one voice to a part is helpful but not essential. Please bring something to capture your idea with e.g. a smart phone, minidisc or notebook and pen.

The workshop will be held at the beautiful and remote venue Hill Cottage Retreat Centre, located in the marches of mid-Wales, near Knighton in Powys. Set in ten acres of land it includes an independent market garden, young orchard and woodland, natural swimming pond, gardens for contemplation and wildflower pastures bordered by a meandering brook.

The accommodation is made up of Scandinavian style cabins with a choice of sharing a twin room (£380 per person) or single room (£450 per person). There is also an option to join in as a non-residential participant (£280 per person – this price includes all meals) If you would like to negotiate a working place price, please talk to us!  To book a place please send a deposit of £100. This is refundable minus £20 for admin until 1st August and thereafter by negotiation. The balance must be paid by 30th September 2018. NB THIS COURSE IS NOW FULL. However, if you'd like to have your name on the waiting list in case someone drops out, or to add your name to a list of people who will get early publicity and priority booking on the next songwriting weekend, please email info@aliburns.co.uk

Price: £450.00

Date: October 18, 2018

Available Spaces: Unlimited

Drumnadrochit, Highlands

This promises to be a brilliant day - a hall with great acoustics; lovely Highland singers; shared lunch; tea, coffee and cake; co-teaching with Jennie Fisk; new songs! Really looking forward to being back in Drumnadrochit, tucked on the edge of Loch Ness. The kettle will be on from 10am and the workshop will start at 10.30. We're planning on having a pot-luck lunch so please bring something to share. There's an early bird price of £25 running until 31st October, thereafter it's £30. You can book here or phone Morven on 07920 131148 to reserve a place. See you there!

Price: £30.00

Date: November 24, 2018

Available Spaces: Unlimited


Delighted to be invited back to Cambridge again! Jennie Fisk will be joining me for this day-long workshop at Castle Street Methodist Church, Castle Street, Cambridge, CB3 0AH The day will be from 10.30 to 4pm and will cost £30. Please note that enquiries and bookings should be made with Sue on sue.durham@ntlworld.com




Price: £0.00

Date: March 2, 2019

Swaffham, Norfolk

I'm always on the lookout for great places to sing in and the last time I was here – back in 2016 – I thought it was just about the perfect space for a singing workshop. It's light and airy; has great acoustics; opens out onto a little courtyard where you can eat lunch on a sunny day; looks out onto Swaffham's Campingland - a green space with mature trees; has a nice kitchen; easy parking. So I'm delighted to be back here. We'll be teaching my songs but this time I'll have Jennie Fisk with me. Jennie started co-teaching with me in March 2018 and it just felt like we'd been working together all our lives. She's a great singer and a very clear teacher and it's just a delight to work with her. So come along: bring some singing friends and something for a shared lunch! The kettle will be on from 10am and we'll aim to start at 10.30. There's an early-bird price of £25 if you book before 15th Dec 2018. Thereafter it will cost £30.


Price: £30.00

Date: March 3, 2019

Available Spaces: Unlimited

Edinburgh - hold the date

Details to come nearer the time but I'm hoping to replicate the lovely weekend we had in Edinburgh earlier this year. The beautiful Columcille Centre is booked again and Hannah is going to treat us to her fabulous lunches again!

Price: £0.00

Date: March 16, 2019

New Hampshire, USA

I can't wait for this Turtle Dove residential week at Halleluja Fam in New Hampshire next summer. The week is organised by Brendan Taaffe and the teaching team will be Brendan, myself and the wonderful John Mark Harrison. Bookings will open on 1st October through the Brendan's Turtle Dove site.

Places will be limited to 25 so early booking is recommended

Price: £0.00

Date: July 5, 2019