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. 

On to school workshop number three, this time down to Abingdon where we were hosted by Kingfisher School, and a lively group of Year 4 pupils joined us from Botley Primary School. This was the day that had been snowed off previously, so we are very grateful to the staff for their flexibility and willingness to reschedule the session.

As usual, the children were fascinated by all the instruments, and in particular had a lot of fun making sounds that reminded them of the sea - using instruments, their bodies, and their voices. We made our sea sounds during the song Fine Sailing, as it's about someone who is sent off to sea away from their girlfriend. We also had a lot of fun learning Daddy Fox - a song about a naughty fox who steals ducks and geese from the farmer and takes them home for his family. Everyone was particularly excited to learn that there is a Makaton sign for 'throwing a duck over your shoulder with its legs dangling down'!

We finished off the day with a bit of ceilidh dancing, and a mass folk-jam!