The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
 
We embed multimedia content in many of our blog posts, if you have rejected cookies for this website, you may have white spaces where the multimedia content should be. This is due to a recent change of policy by YouTube, Spotify and other platforms. We are in the process of updating all our posts. If you come across white spaces in a blog post, you can open the link in another browser or private browser and approve cookies to access all the content. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. 
 
To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 

Posts tagged “FOLK MUSIC”

Beginner Spoon Playing with Percussionist Jo May: Lesson 2 
 
In this series of five mini-videos, Jo May teaches us how to play the spoons. As a professional percussionist, Jo has access to all sorts of different instruments. But she still enjoys making music with a simple pair of spoons. In fact, she’s even had special pairs of spoons made for her to play. 
 
 
Here at the Music Workshop Company we love to share our knowledge about the history of music. We believe that learning about the rich cultural heritage of the country where we live provides a valuable, direct link to our local communities, and can be an interesting starting point for a journey of musical exploration. 
 
As we hunker down to enjoy winter in the UK as the global pandemic forces ongoing travel restrictions, there seems no better time to meet one of the country’s greatest collectors and advocates of English folk music. 
 
Cecil Sharp was born on November 22nd, 1859. Curiously, November 22nd is also Saint Cecilia’s Day the feast day of St. Cecilia who is known as the patron saint of music and musicians. 
At a time when more families are engaged in home learning, the MWC team wanted to share online resources that might be useful over the coming months. 
 
The resources cover general advice for Home Learning, reading, music, art and languages. 
How the National Youth Folk Ensemble offers opportunities for young musicians. 
 
The National Youth Folk Ensemble was set up in 2016 by the English Folk Dance & Song Society to provide a progression route for talented young folk musicians. Ensemble members experience intensive residential courses where they create new arrangements of folk tunes, guided by inaugural Artistic Director Sam Sweeney and a team of leading folk artists. 
Irish traditional music has existed for centuries, with songs and dance tunes passed on from generation to generation through the oral tradition. This practice of learning ‘by ear’ is still common today. Despite the number of printed tune and songbooks, students of traditional music generally learn tunes by listening to other musicians. 
 
The traditional music that developed in Ireland first arrived with the Celts. Until the last decade or so, scholars dated the ‘arrival’ of Celtic culture in Britain and Ireland to the 6th century BC. However, recent research has given rise to the idea that Celtic culture emerged in Britain and Ireland much earlier – in the Bronze Age – suggesting its spread was the result not of invasion, as previously thought, but of a gradual migration enabled by an extensive network of contacts that existed between the peoples of Britain and Ireland and those of the Atlantic seaboard. 
There is a huge variety of dance associated with English folk music, some of it quite alien to modern culture. Folk music was either written as song or for dancing, and the dances have deep roots in the social history of England, as well as offering an insight into agriculture, industry and cultural diversity. 
 
Our English Folk and Ceilidh workshops at the Music Workshop Company explore the music of England through dance and song. 

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