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At the heart of English folk



Callers Development Day


Cecil Sharp House, London

This development day, presented by EFDSS’ Folk Educators Group and Dance Development programme, is for experienced and aspiring callers who wish to expand and share their knowledge and skills in calling for social folk dance in varied contexts and settings.

Youth Folk Opportunities

There are lots of ways for young people to get involved in folk music through a wide range of organisations in England.

The English Folk Dance and Song Society produces a directory of Youth Folk Opportunities around England. Our PDF directory is produced as part of our National Youth Folk Ensemble programme, which aims to promote, develop and link youth folk music activities across England.

The directory shares a selection of regional and national opportunities for young people who play or are interested in exploring folk and traditional music. These include folk bands, summer schools, competitions, courses, bursaries, and creative learning projects.

Youth Folk Opportunities: cover showing young players
Download the PDF

Youth Folk Map

This map shows some of the current youth folk music activity in England. 

We are keen for this map to keep growing and we want to hear from you! If you run a youth folk music activity in England and would like to add to our data, please fill in this questionnaire



The Museum of English Rural Life

January/February 2018 for 12 months  

Jackie Oates and Pete Flood have each been awarded bursaries to be Musicians in Residence at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading.

Her delicate balance between then and now, respect and reinvention, tradition and otherness has made Jackie Oates a name synonymous with the thrillingly rude health of English folk music in the 21st century. Jackie Oates grew up surrounded by the music she plays. She started her career as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. She went on to win the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Horizon prize in 2009 and took home the award for Best Traditional Track on the same night. Jackie has surprised and beguiled critics and fans with each album, and is currently working on her seventh studio release, to be launched during early 2018. As a teacher, Jackie regularly runs choirs and music groups for young people both in her home town and across the country.

Pete Flood is a drummer, composer, teacher and botanist. A graduate of Goldsmith’s College, he has written for television, radio, theatre, dance and opera and appears on numerous albums in genres including Japanese folk music and Algerian rai. From 2004 to 2016 he was the drummer for folk behemoth Bellowhead, writing many of their arrangements. He also played percussion for Tim Van Eyken, Lisa Knapp, Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, Belshazzar’s Feast and Faustus, and worked in a rich variety of collaborative projects with the Renga Ensemble of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra. He’s released two albums of experimental music based on his rural roots, and adapted a series of bawdy broadside ballads for the Bristol Old Vic production of The Life and Times of Fanny Hill. Other collaborations include Oysterband, Emily Portman, Sam Lee and Nathaniel Mann. He teaches percussion at Leeds College of Music and Kingston University.

The Museum of English Rural Life is owned and managed by the University of Reading. It uses its diverse and surprising collection to explore how the skills and experiences of farmers and craftspeople, past and present, can help shape our lives now and into the future.



EDS sample articles

EDS, the magazine of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, is the world’s oldest magazine for folk music and dance.

First published in 1936, EDS is essential reading for anyone with a passion for folk arts.

National Maritime Museum

January 2018 for 12 months

Aimee Leonard and Joe Danks have each been awarded bursaries to be Musicians in Residence at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

Aimée Leonard, a singer and bodhran player from Orkney, has been performing and teaching folk music for more than thirty years. She was a member of the group Anam, touring and performing at folk festivals worldwide. In Orkney she founded the Song Shop Choir, promoted folksong in schools, and co-led the Big Orkney Song Project. Now living in London, Aimée is a coach in voice and singing for Newcastle and London South Bank Universities, runs two folk choirs, and works for EFDSS as a folk educator and workshop leader.

Joe Danks is a percussionist, songwriter and community musician from Nottingham, now based in Deptford. Joe has performed across the UK, Ireland and Europe, and his education work has seen him work with EFDSS, Kings College London and Trinity Laban Conservatoire. He also acts as director of Pulse Arts CIC, a Music In Healthcare organisation with projects at major hospitals including Great Ormond Street. In recent years Joe has been gaining recognition as a bodhrán player, chiefly with his band Ranagri. This will be Joe's first artistic residency.

The National Maritime Museum is the world’s largest maritime museum and tells the story of the seafaring past through its vast and varied collections. Its historic buildings, along with the Queen’s House, Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory form part of Royal Museums Greenwich, a unique collection of attractions which works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people.