Musicport have been working hard in Whitby to develop a project based around folk music that can allow all young people to engage in group music making. Folk seemed like an obvious genre to choose – there is such a rich local folk heritage. Training has been ongoing in partnership with Whitby Community Choir to develop a shared methodology and to explore repertoire that can be readily adapted to use for the ‘Young Folk Clubs’ that we are working towards setting up in September.
The project was launched on the 26th of July at Botton Village Steiner School with a splendid Folk Summer School, which included sessions by Emily Crossland (fiddle), David Swann (guitar and ukulele) and Rebecca Gross (voice), teaching folk songs to a group of young people who had never participated in this kind of thing before. The children were amazing – our young leader Violet Gross shadowed Emily Crossland and led the fiddles in a brilliant performance in a showcase concert the same evening. It was fantastic to hear children who had never picked up a violin saying that they wanted to have lessons – and they made a lovely sound with double-stopped open strings!
Our next step will be to encourage young people to explore traditional songs for themselves. We will be using the new digital archive that EFDSS (The English Folk Dance and Song Society) have developed as part of The Full English project.
If you are in Whitby and the surrounding area and you would like to be involved in the project it’s not too late – we will be finalising the rest of our programme in early September.