Key figures in youth folk music, influential and long-standing organisations and brand new ventures have all given their voice to a mapping survey of youth folk music activity in England. Over 100 projects are included, varying in reach and scope, from county-wide youth folk ensembles, to school ceilidh bands, festivals, holiday courses and one-off workshops.
The full report, Youth Folk Music Activity in England: Findings from a national mapping survey, February – March 2015, summarises the findings from the survey carried out by Sound Connections as part of EFDSS’ current work towards developing a national youth folk music ensemble.
Youth folk music provision in England was audited via an online survey which was shared widely in early 2015. Everyone involved in running youth folk music activities outside of the school curriculum, including those who have run activities in the past or plan to do so in the future, was invited to respond. Respondents come from every region in England and range from individual practitioners to specialist folk organisations, major venues, schools and Music Education Hubs.
With some of the funding now in place from Arts Council England, as part of EFDSS’ National Portfolio Organisation funding agreement 2015 – 2018, work is moving forward to develop the national youth folk music ensemble. The findings from the survey will help EFDSS gain a greater understanding of youth folk music activities across the country and indicate potential partner organisations and complementary activities to support the development of the national ensemble and engagement programme.
“We’re delighted that so many people involved in youth folk music have taken the time to respond to the survey, yielding very helpful data. It’s clear from what they have shared with us that music leaders and organisations across England are dedicated to preserving folk music traditions and sharing the genre with young people. EFDSS now has the opportunity to work with others to build on this existing work and create another step on young people’s folk music journey.” Rachel Elliott, EFDSS Education Director
New Programme Manager
Sarah Jones has recently been appointed as the Programme Manager of the national youth folk music ensemble. Sarah has been working for the past few years with Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning and before that at Bath Festivals and City of London Festival. She is also a folk musician, who grew up playing the fiddle with Northumbrian youth group Southwind and trio XYZ and was a founding member of Folkestra, the youth folk ensemble based at Sage Gateshead.
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