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Knowledge Bank
English Folk Dance and Song Society Resource Bank
A free online resource to encourage more people to learn and teach folk related music, dance, drama and other arts has been launched by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)
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The charity has created its Resource Bank – which is freely available to anyone to browse at - to encourage more people to learn about traditional music, dance, drama, other arts and customs.

The Resource Bank's vibrant and accessible guides to music, dance and culture will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about folk. It also includes an extensive range of learning materials, audio and video (for streaming or download) to be used in a range of subjects at different levels for teachers and educators.

The Resource Bank features three main components:

Beginners’ Guides – introductions to folk music, dance, song, drama, costume, customs and collectors

Resources and Teaching Tools – a variety of resource packs, many with audio and video resources,for use in educational, and other informal learning settings.

Jargon Buster
– an easy reference guide for folk related terms and phrases.

The Resource Bank is the lasting legacy project of EFDSS' celebrated project, The Full English, which saw the digitisation of thousands of English folk manuscripts to create the world’s largest free online searchable database from some of the country’s most important folk music collections.

It also inspired a nationwide learning programme that has reached more than 13,000 people through workshops and learning events, including projects with 19 primary, secondary and special needs schools who developed their own projects inspired by material found in The Full English digital archive.

Rachel Elliott, EFDSS Education Director, said: “We create and manage diverse, high quality and imaginative projects working with folk material including music, dance, song, stories and crafts in a range of formal and informal learning settings including primary and secondary schools, with youth and community groups and adult learners.

“The Resource Bank aims to bring all the knowledge and resources that are developed as part of our education programme and to allow anyone anywhere in the world access to it.

“Sharing these resources will help us to safeguard the future of folk arts by stimulating more understanding and participation in traditional folk arts by a new audience and a new generation.”

Rachel added: “The Resource Bank was developed during The Full English. The folk artists and schools involved created such inspiring and innovative projects we knew we had to retain and share that with a wider audience.”

A variety of resource packs are available giving practical examples of how to use folk arts in schools and community settings, with case studies and videos that bring the work to life.

The Resource Bank has already received positive reviews:

The wealth of material available through EFDSS’ Resource Bank is most welcome as both teachers and pupils discover and are inspired by the range and variety of folk traditions from these shores.” Karen Brock, Head of THAMES (Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service)

Bristol Sings/Plays Music was lucky enough to work with EFDSS' The Full English Project and through the talented arrangements of Carolyn Robson, have created a Bristol Folk Song pack that can be used as a cross curricular teaching tool for schools, as well as a set of beautiful Bristol folk song arrangements in their own right to sing and be enjoyed. Folk music IS relevant and hugely accessible for young people of all ages, and EFDSS has created an easy to use, inviting archive for us to celebrate this part of our regional musical heritage, in and outside of the classroom.” Laurie Stewart, Head of Vocal and Instrumental Strategy, Bristol Plays Music

The work allowed the pupils to experience folk dance and music and consider it from an informed viewpoint – giving them a significant advantage because it allowed them to more creatively explore and fuse it with the contemporary styles with which they are more accustomed.” Sally Tyrrell, Head of Dance, Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes

About The Full English

The Full English digital archive, which was developed by EFDSS, is the world’s largest online free searchable database of more than 58,400 items from some of the country’s most important folk music collections – including manuscripts, notes and letters.

It features 19 collections of England’s most important late Victorian and Edwardian folk collectors, which are freely available to browse and search online at project showcasing some of the most important archives in English folk music.

The Full English learning programme took place 2013 – 2014 and involved a series of study days, family, community and professional development events, as well as work with 19 schools who developed new curriculum-based projects inspired by material found in The Full English digital archive.

The Full English is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Folk Music Fund and The Folklore Society.
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