Folk Arts Oxford aims to promote folk and traditional dance, music and song in the Oxfordshire region. In particular we are interested in improving access for those who might face barriers to participation in the arts.

Through our funded project work: children in Headington have learned about local lad William Kimber, and the musical legacy he has left; a new band called Iris has been formed, who accompany all their songs with Makaton signing; children from mainstream and special schools in Oxfordshire have the chance to create music together, and perform on the main stage at Folk Weekend: Oxford.

Alongside our own projects and events, FAO works collaboratively with other local organisations, forging links and creating opportunities for folk artists to work in education and community projects, as well as showcase their talent in local events. 

Two mainstream pupils playing a shruti box to a boy lying on a bedToday we were working with children from the primary site of Springfield School, and nearby mainstream primary Stanton Harcourt School. We had a lovely time with these younger pupils, who were all very interested in each other, if a little bit shy! We spent a lot of time exploring different instruments, seeing how they made noise, and trying out all the different sounds they could make. The children from Springfield particularly enjoyed the different vibrations made by instruments such as the shruti-box (see picture) and the harp.

Next we learned our songs: Fine Sailing, an ancient 'break up' song, and The Good Man - a slightly silly song about a man who comes home and sees things that aren't there. You can hear our performance of The Good Man in the video below. In the afternoon we learned a ballad about Robin Hood, telling the story of how a man called Arthur joined his gang. We had a lot of fun with body and vocal percussion during this song!