Hasidic Music Workshop
Jul 29 - Aug 2

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 – 6 p.m.

With Christian Dawid & Rabbi Sruli Dresdner

Academic credit for this workshop!

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student at a university or conservatory? If so, you can probably get 1-3 academic credits for taking this workshop, thanks to our new cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. Please send an email to for more details.

The secret to understanding and performing Hasidic music is the knowledge that every Hasidic melody is a nign – an instrumental song. In the Hasidic world, there is really no distinction between a melody that is sung and one that is played on an instrument. In fact, every melody is both sung and played – sung in an instrumental style and played in a vocal style. Every Hasid – including, of course, those who play instruments – is a singer of nigunim: a Hasidic clarinetist or violinist plays the same melodies he has sung all his life. Many Hasidic melodies are also connected to a religious text, which informs the way that particular nign is sung and played.

The Hasidic nign combines a deep spirituality with a passionate energy that mirrors the intensity of Hasidic life. This workshop will immerse the participant in the unique power of the nign. We will begin each day with an intense singing session, exploring a wide range of nigunim, from slow and contemplative to energetic and frenzied. We will examine some of the texts alluded to in the melodies and discuss aspects of the Hasidic lifestyle that contribute to the uniqueness of the nign and its performance.

In the afternoons, we will split into two groups – instrumentalists and singers. Instrumentalists will learn how to form (or be part of) a Hasidic dance band, while singers will focus on authentic and meaningful interpretation. In addition, participants can look forward to discovering numerous Hasidic treasures from Sruli's extensive repertoire.
The workshop is suited for singers of all levels. Instrumentalists, please find some advice regarding musical levels here.

Workshop fee: 345 € Standard / 270 € Reduced / 470 € Sponsor / 145 € under 18.
For information about the Standard, Reduced and Supporter fees >> read about

The evening program that caps each workshop day has much to do with the unique atmosphere of Yiddish Summer Weimar. On some evenings we meet for jam sessions in Weimar's cafés or in the Other Music Academy (OMA), a great opportunity to put into practice what you've been learning during the day and connect with the other participants. On other evenings, we present concerts connected to the workshop topic performed by internationally recognized artists. During the Festival Week (July 27 - August 3), directly following each evening's featured event in the mon ami cultural center, we meet again in the OMA for the Late Night Cabaret, an informal and fun atmosphere for short performances by anyone ready to jump on stage. In Yiddish Summer Weimar, learning, playing and connecting with each other go hand-in-hand.