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At the heart of English folk




Our Folkshop stocks teaching resources, books, CDs, DVDs and EFDSS merchandise.

All proceeds from Folkshop sales support EFDSS. Buy from the Folkshop and help support our work.

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Items from the Folkshop


National Youth Folk Ensemble

Professional Development Day

Running a Youth Folk Ensemble

Friday 19 January 2018, 10.30am-4.30pm

Leeds College of Music 

An inspiring day led by the National Youth Folk Ensemble artistic team to share approaches to running youth folk ensembles, reflect on folk music learning methods, and celebrate good practice in youth folk music.

Musicians in Museums

exploring the tangible and intangible heritage of England

EFDSS is partnering with the National Coal Mining Museum for England, the National Maritime Museum and the Museum of English Rural Life to offer folk music artists an exciting creative and learning opportunity.

With funding from Help Musicians, over the next two years we are looking for six excellent artists to be a musician in residence at one of these museums and explore the creative links between the tangible culture and history of the museum collections and artefacts and the intangible culture and history of folk songs and tunes.

The residencies are spread over a 12 month period and each artist will receive a bursary of £5000 to develop a new music work to be performed at the end of the residency and deliver outreach activities to engage people with the museums and with folk music.

The first residency will be with the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, starting in the autumn 2017. The residencies with NMM and MERL are now open and will begin in January 2018.


National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Period - January 2018 for 12 months

Museum of English Rural Life, Reading
Period – January/February 2018 for 12 months  

National Coal Mining Museum for England, Wakefield, Yorkshire
Period - September 2017 for 12 months

Applications have now closed.


Other Opportunities

Would you like to keep up with the very latest artist development news? Give us your details so we can email updates to you 

Past EFDSS Opportunities

Musicians in Museums
Folk Expo
Seed Funding & Creative Bursaries

Other Opportunities

Nurturing Talent - Time to Shine Fund Young Scotland, Scotland
Closing Date: 26th January 2018

New Roots 2018
Closing Date: 31st January 2018

Artists International Development Fund Arts Council
Closing Date: 7th March 2018

Live Music Now Auditions, Wales
9th & 10th April 2018

The Oppenheim John Downes Memorial Trust
Closing Date: 7th October 2018

Writers Producer Fund PRS
Closing Date: Late 2017

International Showcase Fund PRS
Closing Date: Ongoing

Postgraduate Awards Help Musicians UK
Closing Date: Ongoing

Grant for the Arts Arts Council
Closing Date: Ongoing


Theatre Ballads

A project to translate traditional folk ballads into theatre was chosen as the winner of a competitive commissioning process by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) through funding from the PRS for Music Foundation’s Talent Development Partner scheme.

The Theatre Ballads was developed by Horse + Bamboo Theatre and featured singers and musicians Bryony Griffith, Kate Locksley, Ewan McLennan and John Kirkpatrick alongside puppeteer Gretchen Maynard-Hahn.

Producer Esther Ferry-Kennington described the performance as “an evocative new look at visual theatre”, retelling popular ballads with a combination of voices, harmonies, stories, puppets, music and animation.

The show debuted at the home of EFDSS, Cecil Sharp House in London, on March 23 2017 followed by performances at Colston Hall on March 24 and The Met on March 25.

“We are delighted to have won The Commission Award. We aim to create an evocative new look at visual theatre and folk music combining voices, harmonies, stories, puppets, music and animation.

“This is a new style of performance somewhere between an evening at the theatre and a music gig. It will bring theatre to the traditional music audience and traditional music to a theatre audience.

“Folk ballads we have been researching so far include ‘Con Yo' Help us a Bit’, a song about the consequences of the Lancashire mills closing, which is pertinent today, that will be developed into a stop-frame animation and ‘The Female Smuggler’ that could become a suitcase puppet show.”

Esther Ferry-Kennington, Producer, Horse + Bamboo Theatre

The funding programmes come under the umbrella of EFDSS’ Artists’ Development Programme that provides professional development support, both creative and business, to artists at all levels of their career.