Raine Hamilton

Hi! I'm Raine Hamilton, a singer-songwriter and fiddle player / violinist based in Winnipeg Manitoba. I offer songwriting and fiddle tune writing workshops for kids and adults, in English and in French. I have 18 years experience working with young people, including 5 years working in schools. I believe that music is for everyone, and that we all have something to share. Find my full youth CV here


"Raine is one of the most talented artist teachers I have worked with in my career. She is extremely effective at engaging and instructing her students, while truly inspiring and supporting them to be the best musicians they can be."

- Tanya Derksen, Former Director of Education and Outreach, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

"I would highly recommend this pint-sized dynamo to any presenter.  Ps. She's great with kids.

- Jennifer Ives, AD of Live From the Rock Folk and Blues Festival

"Raine Hamilton wants to help people write and perform songs, and she is very, very good at it."

Cathy Morgan, Facilitator 2016 Live From the Rock Songwriting Workshop

"I appreciated how calm she was and I could tell she loved her job. I also loved how whenever we were riled up we would play a game."

-  Marnie, a grade 5 student in a fiddling workshop

"We would have her back in a heartbeat!" - 7/8 Teacher

"Raine helped students tap into their creative spirits, opening up new ways of thinking about music and the world around them. We were so fortunate to have Raine in our school as a creative muse and inspirational leader. "

- Melanie Clendenan, Music Specialist at Elwick School


Songwriting is for Everyone! (Kids' version)

Requirements: A group of people, interested in participating. No musical background required. 

Songwriting is for everyone, and it can be heaps of fun! In this program, participants explore what they need to say using time-tested writing prompts about their own memories and experiences, because we are all interesting, we are all important, and we all have a story to share. I walk us through a step-by-step process that still leaves room for creative exploration and rule breaking. We can happily explore specific topics or themes, and if we're working in a school environment, we can tie in with curricular links.

I have done songwriting workshops with Kindergarten kids through to adults. With some content tweaks and adjustment to approach, songwriting workshops can work for all ages. Did you see the "Bob the Penguin" video above? It is a great example of an elementary school song. Workshops for adults can involve "from scratch" writing of new work, or workshopping existing songs that participants share. 

Available in English and in French.

Timeline: I've done songwriting workshops as short as 2 hours, and as long as week-long school residencies where I worked with different groups for a period each day. 

Songwriting is for Everyone! (Teens' and Adults' version)

Starting from scratch: We start with a seed - an object, image, story, or idea - and go through a creative process that starts with words and images and leads to music. We look at specific writing details and refinements, as well as musical and harmonic choices. We go deep. We share as we create, we listen and refine. Those who are interested and open to feedback are invited to share existing work.

Writing Fiddle Tunes! (For kids and adults)

Requirements: Participants must be able to play with 1, 2, 3 fingers on the A and E strings or more. Participants must bring their fiddle, or presenter to provide fiddles.

Fiddle tunes are built like puzzles, sentences, and stories. If you are able to play with 1, 2, and 3 fingers on the A and E strings, you have the skills needed to write a question/answer fiddle tune. This field-tested program works well for beginners through to advanced players. We will break down a tune the students know well, looking at A and B sections, Q/A phrases, and the “home” tone, and then we will write our own Q/A style tunes. A performance of completed tunes with guitar is possible but not required.

Timeline: I've done fiddle tune writing workshops as short as 2.5 hours, and as long as week-long school residencies where I worked with a number of groups each day for 5 days. 

Available en français. 


I am a classically trained violinist (B. Mus from University of Manitoba 2008), and I was a private violin teacher for 12 years. I am a Suzuki trained teacher (levels 1, 2, 7), and I am familiar with classical repertoire up to about grade 6 RCM. 

School Concerts

I perform a youth concert set that works well for ages 8 and up. This is a 30, 45, or 60 minute set of stories and songs that focusses on vulnerability; It is deep and open while being entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny. The overall message is that vulnerability is powerful. Young people are so often feeling incredibly vulnerable, and that is often an uncomfortable and frightening place to be. Modelling vulnerability - sharing music and stories in a vulnerable, honest, fearless way - can be so reassuring to kids. It is saying "It's ok. Your vulnerability is not you being weak, it is you growing and learning your strength. And you are so, so strong." I throw some upbeat songs in there, too. Storytelling is a big part of the set, and I introduce levity and humour there. 

School concerts are available solo, duo, trio, and full band, with or without American Sign Language interpretation. The songs are mostly in English, a bilingual set of roughly 50% French songs is available, and stories and introductions can be told en français. 

*Header art by workshop students in Manitoba

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