We had students take part we wouldn't have expected to get themselves involved. It also tied in nicely to our curriculum - Year 7 and 8 have both covered World folk music this year. It was also excellent for students to experience music from their heritage/culture - the sea shanty from Mersea was particularly great as it ties to the seaside Maldon environment!
Secondary Music Teacher, Maldon
The teaching was absolutely on target and at the right level. The children enjoyed the experience from beginning to end!
Year 4 Teacher, Saffron Walden
In 2016, Essex Music Education Hub (EMEH) approached EFDSS to create and deliver a singing project to bring together primary and secondary schools in the rural region of Uttlesford, with the aim of supporting their vocal strategy and increasing awareness of local cultural heritage.
Folk educators Aimée Leonard and Nick Hart delivered assemblies and classroom workshops in six schools in and around Saffron Walden. They taught songs from the area – about highwaymen, body snatchers, King Arthur and adventures at sea – to students ranging from Year 1 to Year 9. A sharing event was hosted by the beautiful venue, Saffron Hall.
The response to the project was so positive that EMEH commissioned EFDSS a second time, this time to deliver a larger scale project in the areas of coastal Essex. During the academic year 2017- –18, Aimée and Nick, joined by Maz O’Connor and David Delarre, visited eighteen 18 primary, secondary and SEN/D (Special Educational Needs and Disability) schools across the coastal regions of Malden, Rayleigh, Clacton-on-Sea and Canvey Island. They sourced a rich repertoire of coastal songs – songs about pirates and warships, fishermen and ‘cod-banging’ – and the students were proud to learn songs that and been sung in Essex for hundreds of years.
Two resources have been created from this project and are available to download for free from our award-winning Resource Bank:
Essex Folk Song Discovery
Essex Folk Song Discovery: Coastal Songs