Guildhall Young Artists Online Folk and Traditional Music

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Close up of a guitar

Key information:

Course dates:
Tuesday evenings
Course times:
Art form:
£320 per term
Level of study:
Short Courses & Summer Schools, Workshops & Saturday Centres (under 18)
Mode of study:
Contact details:

About Folk

About Folk and Traditional Music

Have you ever wondered what love songs might have sounded like in the 13th century? Have you ever seen rapper sword dancing from the mining villages of the North East of England or the centuries-old Abbots Bromley Horn Dance? Have you ever heard a slip jig from Ireland, a strathspey from Scotland, microtonal halling from Norway, improvised doina from Romania or podorythmie from Quebec?

This class is a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the traditional music of the British Isles and beyond. As well as developing a body of repertoire from a diverse range of musical traditions, participants will compose new material and study the social and cultural context of traditional music, and how it shapes our cultural identities in the 21st century.

Who is it for?

Anyone aged 11–18 who would like to develop and compose their own folk songs and learn about the history and traditions of folk music. You will develop your aural skills and deepen your understanding of musical structure.

What can I expect? 

Expect to be brought together as a community in this class whilst you listen to and learn a variety of tunes from different times and places.  

At the end of the three terms, you will be able to analyse and define different folk genres and will feel confident with creating your own folk melodies.  

Course Outline

Term one
The tutor will provide participants with a diverse body of repertoire, and supporting resources. Most learning will take place by ear, but notation can be provided. By the end of the first term you will have analysed the structure of and be able to perform several tunes and songs from different cultures.

Term two
You will learn about stylistics, harmony, extemporisation and accompaniment, and you will feel confident interpreting traditional music from a variety of sources,and making tunes and songs your own.

Term three
You will bring everything you have learned together in your own collaborative composition, working with other members of the group.  

Please note that class content could be subject to change.

About the Course Tutor

Dave Malkin is a composer, guitarist and producer working predominantly in music for television and film. Recent credits include orchestration of Alexander Parson’s scores for documentaries The Man Who Stole The Scream (Sky Documentaries) and BAFTA-nominated Black Power (BBC), performed by London Contemporary Orchestra.

As a guitarist he has featured on soundtracks including Grayson’s Art Club (Channel 4) and upcoming feature Silent Roar, scored by Hannah Peel.

He has over 10 years’ experience as a folk tutor and has strong connections with Cecil Sharp House.
Alongside John Dipper and his 14-string viola d’amore he is one half of Dipper Malkin, reimagining the traditional music of England. Their debut album was included in The Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Albums of 2017’ and they have performed extensively across the UK.
“John Dipper’s duets with the guitarist Dave Malkin are perfectly judged, the latter’s occasional unassuming vocals adding just the right measure of grit. Exquisite…”
– The Sunday Times

Do I need anything?

  • An email address
  • A reliable internet connection
  • A computer/laptop/tablet with a microphone and a camera
  • Your browser fully updated to be able to use the most recent version of Zoom (if using an Apple device we recommend installing an alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla)
  • A notepad and a pen/pencil

Please ensure you are able to work in a well-lit and quiet environment so that your tutor is able to fully assess your work and performance.

Course information

Please see information about our course fees, term dates, absences and notice period below. 

Sign up to our online Folk and Traditional Music Class

Please complete our online enquiry form
A girl wearing a brown t-shirt with shoulder length brown hair sings open mouthed. A boy plays the tambourine in the background.

Benefit from Guildhall Young Artists membership

As a member of GYA Online, you can expect exclusive opportunities, performances and workshops, including competitions, invites to concerts and gigs and performances from students at Guildhall School.