The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has launched its Winter-Spring season of activities at Cecil Sharp House in London including classes, courses and workshops based on traditional English folk arts for children, young people, adults and families.
New activities include:
Other popular activities making a welcome return include:
Cecil Sharp House, England’s national folk arts centre and home of EFDSS, is located between Camden and Primrose Hill within easy reach of public transport. It has step free access to all levels.
“The winter/spring term sees the return of all of our popular classes and events from weekly classes to our activities for children, young people and families.
“We have added one or two new events to offer an even wider choice of activities for people – there is something for everyone, no matter what their musical, dance or singing ability is.”
Rachel Elliott, Education Director
A full list of classes and courses at Cecil Sharp House can be found at our What's On page.
Mondays 12 January | 9 February | 9 March | 13 April, 7 - 10pm
Play folk dance tunes from the British Isles and associated traditions! All instruments and levels welcome. This is most suitable for musicians with some knowledge of written stave notation.
Mondays 19 January | 2, 16 February | 2, 16 March, 7 - 9pm
Explore choral folk song arrangements in a relaxed and friendly environment. These five fortnightly sessions are suitable for singers of all abilities, without the pressure and commitment of public performance. All material is taught by ear.
Tuesdays 6 January to 7 April, 6.30 - 9pm
This mixed level class is based on the popular and lively Cotswold morris tradition, in which dancers perform with handkerchiefs and sticks. Please note: these classes are designed to overlap. This allows beginners to be taught on their own first, and then learn from more experienced dancers in a mixed session from 7 - 8pm.
Wednesdays 7 January to 1 April (no class 18 February), 7 - 9pm
Sing traditional songs from the British Isles and beyond, in a cappella harmony arrangements, by choir leader Sally Davies. For confident singers who can hold a tune and are keen to perform
Thursdays 8 January to 26 March, 7.30 - 10pm
Learn the steps for barn, American contra, English country dances and ceilidhs. Musicians welcome to join the live band. No previous experience needed and no need to bring a partner.
Saturdays 17, 31 January | 14 February | 7, 14, 28 March, times vary
Discover your inner folk! Fun, welcoming and expertly taught workshops at different levels in banjo, accordion, fiddle, song, melodeon and folk ensemble.
Sundays 11 January | 8 February | 15 March | 12 April, 3 - 5pm
Bring the entire family and take part in lively dances from the British Isles in a supportive and fun environment. Dances are specially selected to suit children and adults of all ages, so everyone can take part.
Monday 16 February, 10am - 4pm
Enjoy a week of lively folk dance and learn some traditional English folk songs. This course concludes with participants performing their new skills to family and friends! For children aged 6 - 9 years.
Tuesday 17 February, 10am - 4pm
A great opportunity for 9 - 12 year olds to join our folk music programme! Musicians of all instruments and levels are welcome to come and enjoy playing, singing, dancing and creating fantastic folk music. No previous experience of folk music needed.
Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 February, 10.30 – 4.30pm (6pm on Friday)
For young people aged 12 - 18 years with varied levels of musical experience, from improvers to advanced players. Get Your Folk On! is open to both newcomers to folk as well as dedicated folk enthusiasts. Players of any instrument are welcome.
Monday 16 February, 10.30 – 4.30pm
Join members of Folk Dance Remixed for this creative one-day workshop. Think maypole to ceilidh, house to break dance! Guaranteed to blast away the February blues and have you thoroughly inspired. For young people aged 12 - 18 years. No previous experience of folk dance or hip hop required.
Sunday 18 January, 10.30am to 4.30pm
Internationally published folklorist Steve Roud presents an introductory level day exploring the history of English folk song. The course is aimed at beginners and will not presume any previous experience or knowledge.
Wednesdays 18, 25 February | 4, 11, 18, 25 March, 7 - 9pm
Steve Roud returns to present a course in this popular series exploring the history of English folk song. The course is suitable for those who have previously completed Folk Song in England courses at level 1 or 2.
Sunday 22 February | 10am - 4pm
Explore English folk guitar with Gavin Davenport. You will learn folk song accompaniments, open tuning (CGCGCD) and ways into guitar playing styles from the English tradition. This workshop is suitable for players of intermediate level and above who must be able to play basic chords on the instrument.
Until 31 January, available to view during building opening hours
Inspired by the jealous, lustful and murderous folk song narratives, London-based writer and illustrator Isabel Greenberg presents her interpretation of the cruel and fantastical folk song Two Sisters. Expect to see dioramas, beautiful drawings, prints and original interpretations of this well- known song.
11 February to 30 April 2015, available to view during building opening hours
Flo Brooks presents a new series of paintings and sculpture based on research from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) to uncover some of the vernacular processes, materials and activities associated with 20th century folk practices. The exhibition will focus on transitional activities surrounding the construction of folk costume, dance and prop in the otherwise invisible folds of everyday pursuits.
More info coming soon
Sunday 21 February
The Broadside Day is an annual gathering of people interested in street literature and other forms of printed material from past centuries such as broadsides, chapbooks, songsters and popular engravings.