Welcome to Chris McShane for new Ukulele Course

Stay at the beautiful location at La Moreau. It is a small hamlet in the heart of the French countryside, only a 20 minute drive from the historic towns of Saintes and Cognac and less than an hour from the coast. Enjoy the music workshop as well as combining a holiday with good food and good company.

Chris formally worked for Barnsley Music Service as Curriculum Development Officer for Guitar, Keyboard, Vocal studies and Music ICT and is now a freelance musician and instrumental teacher. In recent years, Chris has been active in promoting and teaching the ukulele. This teaching has ranged from full classes of 30 children in schools to groups of seniors in retirement homes. Chris also runs workshops at festivals and summer schools. He also runs a monthly ukulele club which is in its fourth year with over 60 members attending. Chris is also the musical director of the Uke Power festival.

Whether you are in a group, a couple or a single traveller – all are welcome to come and stay with us on a full board basis in splendid surroundings whilst learning new skills, making new friends and enjoying time to relax.

Visit the Ukulele Course page to find out more about his course on 7-13 July 2019.

Singing Workshop Holiday

singing workshopThere are just a few places left on our Singing Workshop Holiday with Chris Rowbury   15-21 September.

Chris Rowbury is one of the most popular singing tutors in the Uk with sell out workshops. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend the week with Chris singing but also enjoying a fantastic holiday in rural France.

During the week you will learn songs from a wide range of traditions across the globe. There willbe two seesions of two hours eachday leaving plenty of time to swim, walk or generally chill out.

  • Lean to get the best out of your voice
  • get feedback on your singing
  • work on your breathing
  • extend your vocal range
  • improve your harmony singing
  • explore different vocal qualities

The fee for the week is just £575- this covers 20 hours of tuition, accommodation, full board- 2 course lunches and 4 course evening meals and tranfer to and from the airport making it one of the best value workshops around.

check out the website page for full détails http://www.creativevacances.com/our-courses/singing-workshop-holiday/


Cognac Blues Festival dates

The dates for the Cognac Blues Festival have been announced as  2-7 July 2013.

These dates coincide with our Fingertsyle Guitar Workshop  (30 June – 6 July) with renown guitarist Peppino D’Agostino. Last year we all went in a couple  of times to the AgostinoFestival and enjoyed some great music in the sunshine. There is no doubt that we will go in again on the Wednesday afternoon which is free time.

Not all the acts have been announced but some of the headliners are Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite, Beth Hart and Sinead O’Connor.

We have been going to the Cognac Blues Festival for the last 10 years and so it is always a great pleasure when it coincides with a workshop and we can take the students in to enjoy some live music . Yet another good reason to book on our Fingerstyle Workshop with Peppino D’Agostino.

Jazz and Saxophone Workshops In France


A great opportunity to spend a week playing and learning the saxophone in the sun in South West France

Andy Scott will be running, for the fourth consecutive year, his very successful DSC02497Saxophone Workshop 5-11 May here at Creative Vacances. Andy has a great reputation as a composer, musician and educator,  Don’t miss this chance to spend a relaxed week working with Andy, culminating in a public concert on the last night.


Sunflowers and WeatherOur Jazz Workshop with Mike Hall, 26 May-1 Juneis one of our most popular workshops. Mikes’ workshop will have a full rhythm section- no backing tracks here! All instruments are welcome The majority are saxophones and it makes for a wonderful opportunity to spend a week working in a band, playing and learning jazz techniques and improvisation .

Our workshops are small- maximum of 15 people giving the opportunity for individual attention and a chance to really explore and extend playing your saxophone.

With limited places it is advisable to book early.

Check out our website for full details: www.creativevacances.com


Fiddle Course now full!

We are delighted that Joe and Kevs Fiddle and Guitar folk workshop is now full. We do operate a waiting list so if you are interested in 2013 please get in touch via the the contact page on the site.

10 good reasons to be here!

Need a good reason to have a great holiday…
…here are 10 why a Creative Vacances Music Holiday ticks all the boxes

1, Expert tuition

Our tutors are experts in their fields, They are all great musicians but also have ability and flexibilty to inspire and teach learners of all levels. There is no doubt that you will go home a better player than when you arrived, Whether you are a beginner , or a more experienced player the tutors will make sure that you get the maximum out of the week,
The atmosphere is always relaxed and there is no pressure to perform, you can go at your own pace , The emphasis is on having a great time,

2.A chance to play with other musicians

Many of the people who come on our music holidays have never played with anyone before , It is a wonderful opportunity and great fun to be able to make music with other people.
We have courses that are aimed at playing in groups and others where it is more individual with time to play and jam with other members in the group

3,Convivial Company,

People come on a Creative Vacances Music Holiday to have a great time- they want to play their instruments but also enjoy eating, drinking and chatting, People come from all over the world – so its always fascinating at meal times .Most people come on their own so you don’t have to worry that you will be surrounded by couples, although non participating partners are welcome and always enjoy themselves,

4.Fabulous Holiday Experience

Over 50% of our customers re book so they must have enjoyed themselves! A Creative Vacances holiday is a unique combination of music and fun- with great food and plenty of wine

5.Value for money

Everything is included in the price – accommodation, 20 hours expert tuition, and full board, Most people don’t spend a penny ( or euro) once they are here, We are certain that you won’t find a better value music holiday,

6 Sunshine

The Charente Maritime is blessed with a micro climate that means we get approximately the same number of hours of sunshine as the Cote D’Azure, We can’t guarantee the sunshine of course ! But the chances are that you will be able to relax in the sunshine during your week here,

7, Good Food

Two course lunches and four course evening meals, included in the price, All of the food is home cooked using products from the garden whenever possible, The meals are in a mediteranean style with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and whatever fish looks good in the market that week, We pride ourselves in making the menu as interesting as possible and change the whole menu each year so that people coming back the next year can have a treat !

8.French Wine

You will be in France so there has to plenty of wine !! We serve a local rosé at lunchtime, a white with the starter in the evening and then copious amounts of red !!

9, Great Surroundings

Creative Vacances is based in a little hamlet surrounded by sunflowers and vines, Our house is in over 3 acres of grounds so there is plenty of space and not many neighbours to complain about the noise coming from the music room, People arrive stressed from the hassle of England but quickly un wind, You can relax in the garden, or if the water is warm enough have a swim in our 10×5 metre swimming pool,


And if all that isn’t enough we have a micro brewery 5 minutes walk away – Brasserie de Bercloux, Unsuprisingly this is very popular with all the groups who usually pop up there at least once after an afternoon session, They speak English and have a very interesting array of beers and love to meet our musicians who always enthuisiastically drink as much as they can !!!

Am I good enough? and other FAQ's

Am I good enough?

This is everyones biggest worry, There will definitely be people of all standards on the holiday but the tutors are experts and will make sure that you go home a better player whatever your level, Most of the course pages have a video link- have a look and see what people have been up to other years.

Am I too young/too old?

The age range is 17-70 ( up ’till now) , Everyone who comes wants to play music and have a good time -it doesn’t matter what age you are to do this!

How do I get to you?

Many people drive so they can bring more than one instrument, La Rochelle airport is just over an hour away and is serviced by all the budget airlines from the regional airports, The transfer from the airport is included in the price.

Is it a hassle to bring an instrument on the plane?

People come with fiddles, saxophones, guitars, mandolins etc etc, Some airlines charge extra for carrying an instrument- you need to check, Make sure you have a hard case and carefully bubble wrap your instrument inside the case.

Can I have a single room?

We have room for 9 people on site in shared bedrooms, The single accommodation is usually off site- a short walk away, The single rooms are limited and so need to be booked early, There is a supplement.

Whats included in the price?

20 hours of tuition, accommodation, full board including wine and aperitifs, Transfer to and from La Rochelle airport is also included.

Diet problems- I don’t eat dairy products, Is that ok?

We can cater for vegetarians easily and make every effort to accomodate food dislikes, If you have a serious allergy which involves cooking completely different food, and buying in special ingredients then there is a small supplement.

Can my partner come and not participate?

No problem, We often have non participating partners, and people often say when they arrive that they wish they had brought their partners.

Will my non participating partner be bored?

We have never known anyone say they have been bored ! People do a variety of things, One person spent the week writing a book, another learnt her lines for an am/dram production she was in ,another spent the week taking photos, Sitting by the pool with a good book is the favorite! Its good walking and cycling around here and the historic towns of Saintes and Cognac are a short drive. The music sessions last for about 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon so there isn’t a lot of time to get bored,People enjoy the socialibility of the meal times,and of course listening to the great music coming out of the music room.

Is the course ever cancelled?

We need a minimum of 4 people to run a course, We have never had to cancel a course, We do recommend that you take out holiday cancellation insurance in the unlikely event that your holiday is cancelled.

Can I swim?

The pool is not heated but does have a thermal cover, It is usually swimable between the end of May and the end of September unless you are very hardy.

Can I arrive early?

Yes, if your flight comes in on a Saturday then we will pick you up and you have family meals with us until Sunday evening when the course starts, There is a charge for this, You can also come a week early( or stay an extra week) if you would like an extended holiday, Our cottages are for rent at a very competetive rate.

When do I need to arrive and when does it finish?

We ask that people arrive after 3 on Sunday afternoon in time for supper at 7,30pm, The tuition starts on Monday morning at 10am,
You leave on Saturday morning.

Is there anywhere interesting to visit?

There are the historic towns of Saintes and Cognac 20 minutes away, Both towns are fascinating . Royan on the coast is a 40 minute drive,
Closer to home is a micro brwery in the village, Well worth a visit!

What is the tree on your front drive?

Its a fabulous tree, with lilac wysteria type flowers before the huge leaves appear. The seed pods look like fruit and next years flowers are fluffy seeds that appear in the summer before it flowers the following autumn! No wonder it catches people eye. It is called a Royal Paulownia or Empress Tree..