Folk music and art workshops


Example: Oakenhoof Folk Arts marching banner and music project

The brief was to produce a large marching banner for Oakenhoof Folk Arts in Littleborough reflecting the activities of the group, engaging local people in the design including workshops with primary school children and elsewhere; and in doing this to increase awareness of folk dance, music and traditions in the area.

Project recording of 8-year-olds singing Black Nan of Littleborough:

Over the course of several sessions I showed old photographs of traditions from the area, including rush cart, pace egg plays, morris dancing, seasonal parades and costumes and explored with the students what they could see. I played tunes on penny whistle, fiddle and mandolin each time and encouraged the students to try the instruments, and dance in a line to get the feeling of a folk dance. I brought in traditional clogs for them to see. They practised singing ‘Black Nan of Littleborough’, a song I wrote celebrating good teaching based on a historical character and they performed this for the whole school at assembly.

Based on what they had learned they then drew designs for the marching banner using a template , and drew figures to make up a rush cart procession. To capture the learning experience I recorded them singing the song along with some acappella songs which they wrote themselves, and painted the full-sized marching banner inspired by their designs. This is now used by the Oakenhoof group when performing in public, for example at the big Pride Manchester march, where the group won the ‘best walking entry’ award.

To discuss folk music and art workshops for your school, please get in touch.