Britain contains a large and highly evolved repertoire of traditional song covering a variety of genres - from ballads and comic songs to work songs and ceremonial songs - as well as a wealth of singing styles. This class aims to introduce these extraordinary traditions through a practical workshop, through the learning and exploration of these songs and listening in to the voice of our cultural ancestors.
This is open to all: songs are learnt by ear without musical notation and field recordings are often used for source material. Lyrics will be available after initially learning a song by, both in the form of handouts and also on the online groupsite, along with sound recordings of all material. We focus on learning a new song by ear each week and then often break into smaller groups to work on specific techniques such as ornamentation, harmony singing and interpretation. We cover techniques applicable to solo singing, but most singing is done in groups. However, there are opportunities for solo singing for those who wish.
For people who have a general interest in learning traditional folk repertoire. This class will accommodate a variety of levels but people should be of a reasonable standard as although we touch on technique, the class largely focuses on repertoire and style. No prior knowledge of folk song is required.
The song class is taught by Hazel Askew.
Hazel Askew is a London based singer, musician and workshop leader. She has worked as a performer on the folk scene for many years, most notably with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated vocal trio Lady Maisery and traditional English folk duo The Askew Sisters, with whom she won Best Female Singer at the 2011 Spiral Earth Awards. Hazel grew up with the folk scene, participating in many youth folk education programmes and now frequently works as a folk educator and workshop leader. She frequently leads projects for EFDSS on adult, youth and schools projects, most recently delivering three of the London based The Full English education projects. She has also led workshops and courses for organisations including Barbican Creative Learning, Folkworks, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Dartington Summer School, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and various festivals around the country.
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