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At the heart of English folk
Event participants dancing

Museum of English Rural Life to host Folk Education Development Day

The Museum of English Rural Life is set to play host to the next Folk Education Development Day on 20 November, an action-packed day of presentations, practical sessions and discussions with a special opportunity to find out more about links between folk arts and the museum sector.

The Reading-based museum is a partner on our Musicians in Museums programme, which will be a strong focus for the event. Speakers will include Phillippa Heath, Learning and Engagement Manager, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) with Jackie Oates, musician in residence; Jayne Young, Education Officer, National Coal Mining Museum for England; Joanna Salter, Senior Manager for Participation, National Maritime Museum with Aimée Leonard and Joe Danks, musicians in residence.

What is a Folk Education Development Day?

Folk Education Development Days are typically attended by 30–40 people; a mixture of people working in folk arts education and related sectors such as music, dance, arts, heritage and education. They are designed to be thought-provoking, informative and enjoyable, and to encourage knowledge-sharing, discussion and networking.

Also presenting on the day will be Ollie Douglas, Curator of MERL Collections, and Phillippa Heath talking about intangible cultural heritage in MERL’s collections and the wider museum landscape. Rhi Smith, University of Reading’s Director of UMASCS Academic Learning and Engagement, will speak about heritage and creativity and her perspective within the higher education sector.

There will be an update from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) with Sarah Jones, Programme Manager of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, and Rachel Elliott, Education Director, on EFDSS’ Education work across the country. Finally, there will be a reflection on the place of folk music in the secondary music curriculum with Sarah and Rachel joined by local music teacher Charles Allison, who is a graduate of the University of Reading’s PGCE Secondary Education (Music).

There will be the opportunity for networking and sharing of ideas.

Folk Education Development Day

Tuesday 20 November, 10am–5pm

University of Rural Life, University of Reading, RG1 5EX

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National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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