We work with young people to provide interactive and engaging experiences to ignite and support their interest in folk arts. From grassroots folk dance workshops in schools to professional development for aspiring musicians we offer something for all ages and have access to many experienced and committed artists and tutors.
The Halsway Young Folk music programme is for young people to explore folk arts, experiment, find their own sound and fuse different genres of music. For over ten years it has helped inspire young musicians to study music at a higher level, and to pursue careers as musicians and within related fields.
We usually run 4 residential Halsway Young Folk courses, catering for ages 8 through to 25. In 2021 we are just running the Junior and Intermediate courses for 12-18 year olds. In each course, the participants operate as a company: taking warm ups together, developing technique, learning repertoire and creating contemporary interpretations of traditional material. They live, work and play together, with opportunities for informal jams and social gatherings to enrich their understanding of the folk arts, and to make friends and have fun!
The programme is coordinated by lead tutor Becki Driscoll .
Becki is a musician, singer, composer and educator with many years’ experience. Based in the heart of the West Country she has a deep knowledge on love of our local – and wider – folk traditions.
Becki leads educational projects and workshops for festivals and specialist courses, ranging from beginners fiddle sessions, to mixed-instrument folk orchestras for all ages. She leads the prestigious English Fiddle Weekend at Halsway (together with Nick Wyke), and is an Associate Artist for Wren trust for whom she has led numerous community music projects including the Folk Orchestra of North Devon, the Fiddle Orchestra of Devon, regular music groups with children and young people, and a specialist early years project she developed with Bideford Bay Children’s Centre.
“folk music at its best” – The Living Tradition
Becki is well known for her celebrated musical partnership with Nick Wyke; two of the UK’s finest fiddle-players, together they give a playful and innovative take on English traditional music and song. They first collaborated as a fiddle duo on a busking trip around Spain and Portugal, and in the years since have worked with some of the leading lights of the English folk scene, always pushing the boundaries and developing new and inventive music. The duo’s compositions and interpretations of traditional songs are influenced by a wide range of musical cultures: “We are inspired by the people we meet and the places we’ve been. We like the idea of a global approach to the English tradition.”
“…lovely, inventive playing” – fRoots
We offer four residential opportunities across the year;
For ages 8-12. Everyone welcome, join us for fun with folk. This is a great introduction to playing and learning about folk music working with supportive and experienced artists.
Regular tutor Ford Collier (The Drystones) will be back, alongside Becki Driscoll and Kerrie Seymour.
For ages 12 – 18. You’ll have been on a course with us before or have some previous knowledge of folk. You will work with a team of exciting professional folk musicians to produce a performance piece. Usually this is performed at Sidmouth Folk Week. In 2021 we’ll have an intensive focus within the house to create our own festival feel and an in-house performance at the culmination of the course.
Tutors: Becki Driscoll, Hannah Cumming (Dyer Cummings), Kerrie Seymour
The following are cancelled in 2021 but will resume in 2022:
An introduction to folk for young people aged 12-16. Prior experience – as either a singer or musician – is essential, but it’s ok if you’re new to folk. The week culminates in an informal performance to friends and family.
For ages 16 – 25. You’ll be a competent musician or singer, keen to work at a higher level. You will have access to industry professionals, advice and skills development opportunity. This is the course to do if you have aspirations of being a professional musician or educator.
Keep in touch: Follow the Halsway Young Folk Programme on Facebook @HMYoungFolk