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Childrens Folk Education in the UK

Alan Day 27 Jan 12 - 11:42 AM
IanC 27 Jan 12 - 11:51 AM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 12 - 12:32 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Jan 12 - 12:53 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jan 12 - 01:09 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 12 - 01:21 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 12 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,SteveG 27 Jan 12 - 01:53 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 12 - 02:05 PM
Alan Day 27 Jan 12 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,SteveG 27 Jan 12 - 05:58 PM
Dave Hunt 27 Jan 12 - 08:15 PM
Dave Hunt 27 Jan 12 - 08:21 PM
Dave Hanson 28 Jan 12 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,SteveG 28 Jan 12 - 05:03 AM
Peter C 28 Jan 12 - 05:28 AM
Alan Day 28 Jan 12 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 28 Jan 12 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,SteveG 28 Jan 12 - 02:47 PM
Alan Day 29 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,eric the viking 29 Jan 12 - 06:44 PM
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Subject: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Alan Day
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:42 AM

I am interested in the promotion of Folk Music for children, This is the future of Folk music and new talent needs to be recognised and developed both at school and in Folk activities. How I saw it was a regional team of Folk artists providing a concert aimed at children, including children put forward by the teachers,this will of course create a further interest by their parents. I was not aware that EFDSS had a programme of this sort but there was sufficient interest in my proposition to at least see if they were running a programme of this sort. I thought it only right and proper to approach them before investigating the situation further.
I contacted EFDSS on
Facebook www.facebook.com/EFDSS/posta/10150488544631861
and they kindly responded by saying that they do in fact run a scheme for Folk Education for schools (They have been asked to include colleges in this)and have received a grant for this work.
I am posting this information because many (including me) was not aware of this activity and that it is possible for you to have your say and join the educational group. The next meeting is to discuss this very point at C#House.
If this is not handled correctly of course it could kill a child's interest in Folk Music for good.
Al


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: IanC
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:51 AM

In the past, singing was an integral part of childrens' education up to the age of 11 in the UK and the children had a common repertoire because of national singing schemes, in particular the BBC series "Singing Together". Unfortunately, the attitude to singing in junior schools is now more haphazard and many music teachers who do teach singing seem to be of the opinion that "we have our own book of songs".

I'm really not too sure how important it is for children to see professional singers of any persuasion. I do think, though, that one of the most important things that can happen from the point of view of traditional; song is that the majority of children should be given a common repertoire basic of songs they can sing themselves.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 12:32 PM

This is the future of Folk music and new talent needs to be recognised and developed both at school and in Folk activities

This is the future of **** ***** and new talent needs to be recognised and developed both at school and in Folk activities

In which **** ***** can be almost any interest or pressure group known to personkind.

In my time in education such groups included The Concrete Association, The White Fish Authority, The Banking and Insurance Industry, Pensions groups, endless 'Green' pressure groups Sporting groups by the dozen, animal welfare groups and so on.

I recieved a number of packs including 'Concrete Across the Curriculum' and 'White Fish Across the Curriculum'. These were education packs with ideas and activities for cherubs 5 - 11 years.

'If this is not handled correctly of course it could kill a child's interest in Folk Music for good.'

Couldn't agree more - a fair number of people who 'learned' country dancing at primary school in the 1950s can be hospitalised by the sound of Speed the Plough on arecord player.

The best way to learn cd , if that's necessary, it to go to a dance with a band, a caller and some friends. As for cherubs learning to sing songs they don't need teaching but in our 'music drenshed' culture they probably wont want to sing folk songs, but I suspect they never did much.

Why would a child want to sing Little Musgrave? Most Folks songs, like banking, insurance and pensions, not to mention concrete and white fish are probably best confronted later in life.

Cheers

L in C#
Didn't one C Sharp have some of these school and folk ideas.


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 12:53 PM

Well, maybe not Little Musgrave. But I still remember delighting in Sweet Nightingale and HoRo My Nut-Brown Maiden.

Like all school subjects, there are those to whom it will appeal and those to whom it will not. But the sure way to fail to arouse the interest of the former group is never to expose them to it.

I never cared greatly for maths; but I don't drop dead at mention of quadratic equations ~~ and I don't believe that those who didn't warm to country dancing at school will find the experience of hearing Speed The Plough in later life terminal, either.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 01:09 PM

Male kids love beheadings and skinning alive. But they are very puritanical about sex. Female kids like princesses with ponies who triumph. But they approve of romantic kissing and fairytale weddings.

Hmm, I see a problem or two coming...


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 01:21 PM

Good points M.

Music in general and singing in particular is a deeply significant part of being human and may well go back further than speach.

Adults and children generally enjoy singing and playing instruments together if chosen wisely by people who know and understand children.

I loathed country dancing as a cherub and as an adult think it is one of the best bits of social fun around. But I do have friends who still loath it and react badly to hearing those great little tunes - much as some of us do to hymn tunes.

I think the point I am trying to make is that when people seek to entrench something in primary schools so that it can pop up later, the point of all education I guess, we have to be certain that it is age appropriate. As a wise man once said to me "The best way to be 5 is to be be 4 properley".

Enough folks songs are available for young cherubs but I am not sure about country dancing. Yes they can do it - they are often better than adults at Ceilidhs, but dancing with daft adults at a Saturday night party is a million times better than school halls anyday.

This coutry has created some of the best popular music of the last 50 odd years without it needing to be embedded as such in primary schools. Generally created by musically iliterate lads and girls of 16 - 22!

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 01:22 PM

I have to say Richard is that a steriotypical wind up or what?

Les


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 01:53 PM

I'll be going into an East yorkshire primary school next Tuesday to sing their local repertoire to them, carefully vetted I might add, but they'll get shipwrecks and farming songs and I always finish with The Barley Mow with actions. Goes down a storm in both primary and secondary, not always with the teachers though funnily enough. Hopefully they'll have a go at joining in with the choruses. They usually do once the ice is broken.


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 02:05 PM

Knock 'em dead Steve!


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Alan Day
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 03:17 PM

Steve is this a private arrangement, like I had ,or are you going through an educational organisation ?
Al


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 05:58 PM

Sort of both really. Strictly speaking it's a private arrangement, but the school got my details from the YG website and any money they offer above petrol will go to YG. We have a lottery bid on the way at the moment and if it comes off one of the projects involves me going into The Yorkshire Waterways Museum and doing the same thing as part of their school visits, for the next 3 years. A few years ago I was doing this at a secondary school as a paid supply teacher, but I often go into primary schools as well.


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 08:15 PM

I do as much as I can in schools - usually primary schools. They love Mummers plays - and I always try to choose one from their local area- or use a 'standard' play and add local interest. Most of my plays have a dozen characters, but I can always add extra peripheral figures. They also like Border Morris - which I have been teaching in schools (and at festivals) for at least 30 years, - and associated costume making. I also do longsword - I have 40 Flamborough swords - the wooden ones (more than enough for a class group) - And the first thing I do is to get them to make a lock - now most of them have never seen a sword lock, so when I tell them all to let go - and lift it in the air they are amazed that it holds together! 'Ooo can we do that again Dave??' so we have a go at that - then get into how to walk - and then figures (usually 1st fig. North Skelton). I also do Social dance - and if we have time get them to write their own dances - and some very good ones they have come up with too. The song side is OK - the lads particularly love shanties - and there are plenty of good chorus songs. Often unexpectedly- ballads go down well too - especially gory ones! or those with a straightforward story
I love the sense of satisfaction they get for having learnt and performed things - whether it be a play, a dance or a song.
Dave Hunt - www.sunshinearts.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 08:21 PM

PS My wife Maggie and I are both members of the Folk Educators Group - new members always welcomed with open arms!

http://www.efdss.org/front/Folk%20Educators%20Group/folk-educators-group/214236

We have had some excellent meetings with great speakers and a chance to network and exchange ideas and perhaps find others with whom one would like to work on specific projects. Dave


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 03:34 AM

Here in West Yorkshire Pete Coe introduces folk into schools regularly and Joe Stead often uses children in performance of his ' Valparaiso Round The Horn ' shanty set, they seem to love it.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 05:03 AM

Dave and Maggie, Hi
Where are you based. Another of our YG projects involves taking sword dance into schools in the villages/towns where they were originally performed. Currently we have Sue Coe, Paul Davenport and Kevin Hall signed up for this, sounds similar to what you are doing.


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Peter C
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 05:28 AM

There is a great opportunity currently for folk organisations to get involved in folk in education. Bids to DfE are being made at present to set up music 'hubs' in counties. Glosfolk is deeply involved in the Gloucestershire bid, as it gives us the opportunity to make sure that folk gets a presence, in amongst the classical, brass band, and 'rock bands for kids' stuff.


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Alan Day
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 09:38 AM

I understand that EFDSS has a lottery grant and funds available for Folk Education in schools.
I did a Xmas talk on concertinas (Junior School 5-7 and 7-10 Years old ) and with the help of Anglo International and a teacher we played excerpts from Concertina Band, Zulu Squashbox music ,Irish Music and a little bit of English and French from me, just to give them an idea how the concertina has developed since it was invented. I took a concertina in bits to show how it works and finished the talk on Twelve days of Christmas. I had twelve groups who all sang their part and got them to stand up when they sang it and sit down after they had sung it. I then said that that was a practice and got them to do it at double the speed. I have never had such a rousing appreciation of a performance.Even the strict headmistress could not control their excitement at the end. Very rewarding and very enjoyable for all concerned.
If a teacher is present Dave, did you have to have clearance for your talk ? I did not ,I wonder what the exact rules are for just a talk or concert.
Thanks for the interesting posts so far.
Al


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 01:24 PM

Alan
The EFDSS is funded by Arts Council England, in part for its education work. I suggest you follow Dave's advice, join the Folk Educators Group, get the education newsletter and ... perhaps even join EFDSS to show support for its work (you get English Dance & Song magazine as well which includes details of education initiatives - Take 6, plans for the Full English, etc).
Derek
(declaration of personal interest - I edit English Dance & Song!)


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 02:47 PM

Hi Alan,
I usually start by introducing my anglo and playing some tunes, followed by various other related instruments briefly before moving on to the songs. Plenty of variety is recommended.


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: Alan Day
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM

Dave and Derek
I am currently negotiating a move to East Anglia and I will join the EFDSS and Education Group when I have my feet under the table there.
Thanks for the invitation
Al


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Subject: RE: Childrens Folk Education in the UK
From: GUEST,eric the viking
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 06:44 PM

Folk music or traditional music is very much alive in Orkney. There is wonderful work by the OTMP (Orkney Traditional Music Project).Every week children and young adults from across Orkney take part. There are the wonderful Wrigley sisters who run "The Reel" in Kirkwall and give lessons. Douglas Montgomery (Saltfishforty and the Chair) teaches fiddle, Seona Dunsmuir another fine fiddle teacher who plays on Ivan Drever(Another Orcadian and Son Kris...Lau etc)recordings..............Orkney is full of talent.It would take a long time to list all the talent down. The curriculum in the schools is full of music and tradition. Loads of lessons. Islands full of young musicians. Children still learn dancing here and there is a ceiledh weekend which atracts young and old. Up here it is very much alive.


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