We had another great half term at Cecil Sharp House last week. We welcomed 70 children and young people into the building from all over London, surrounding counties, and even as far as Lincolnshire and County Durham!
Folk Hop is a new course for 12 - 18 year olds led by artists from Folk Dance Remixed. Fusing hip hop and folk dancing, they created an epic maypole and street dance piece, explored Appalachian clogging and house, and created remixed ceilidh dances. Then they shared it all, not only once with the Fun with Folk team, but then again with their own family and friends.
"This is the funnest thing I’ve ever done!"
A lively group of 6 – 9 year olds learnt ceilidh and molly dancing, and created their own dance which they named ‘peeling the banana!’. They performed them all, as well as a number of singing games and songs in a joint sharing at the end of the day with Folk Hop.
Participants aged 9 – 12 years learnt ‘Bear Dance’ on their instruments, followed by ceilidh and morris dancing. The musical group then made up extra verses to a sea shanty they had learned to play on the day, experimenting rhythmically with spoons. They ended the day with a brilliant sharing for friends and family.
Our three-day course for 12 – 18 year olds focused on instrumental skills, splitting groups into sections of woodwind, guitars, bass and fiddles. The group enjoyed looking at how to join in and play at a session, or sing and harmonise at a singaround; how to arrange and perform a folk tune in different settings - in a dance band, a concert band or accompanying a song. There was plenty of time for working together and developing their own music in small groups, producing creative and fantastic arrangements to perform family and friends.
"Get Your Folk On! courses are a perfect mix of fun and education, we always do a really varied selection of songs, which is very fun."
Supported by Youth Music and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Thanks all our fantastic tutors: Deb Chalmers; Ben Moss; Jo May; Laurel Swift; Gavin Davenport; Elle Rees; Tom Newell; Natasha Khamjani and Kerry Fletcher from Folk Dance Remixed with their team of musicians and dancers - Tom Swarman, Linda Game, Lisa Heywood and Giada Nazarri; and our wonderful volunteer assistant tutors Maz O’Connor, Alastair Brown and Elsie D’Souza.
The English Folk Dance and Song Society is delighted to be embarking on the development of a national youth folk music ensemble, with funding from Arts Council England as part of our National Portfolio Organisation funding agreement 2015 – 2018. To help with planning and development for the new ensemble, and associated engagement programme, we are currently working with Sound Connections on an audit of youth folk music provision across England.
Everyone involved in running youth folk music activities outside of the school curriculum - groups, ensembles, bands, courses and projects - in England is warmly invited to complete this online survey.