FOLK3D – Folk Arts Animating Schools and Communities

FOLK3D create exciting and innovative Folk Arts Programmes with schools and communities. We work with people of all ages and abilities across the UK to connect with local and national culture, tradition and heritage. FOLK3D is a Collaborative of Artists formed in 2011, with skills in Dance, Music, Song, Drama, visual Arts and Crafts, Early Years, Family Learning, Education, creating enjoyable, quality events. FOLK3D comprises Sarah Matthews, Sara Rose, Mo Bradshaw, and Jan Reynolds.

Our specialisms:

Social: Ceilidh and barn dancing. Calling for social dance.

Ceilidh dancing in Derby city centre 2 - blurred

Morris:  Cotswold, North West and Border
Sword: Rapper and Long Sword.
Step: American Appalachian, French Canadian, Irish step and English clog.

Other: Maypole, Molly, Contemporary / traditional mix.

Creation of new dances



Instrumental: Traditional fiddle, violin, viola, strings ensembles, tin whistle, melodeon, concertina, guitar and percussion including bodhran and spoons. Individual lessons, group and whole class work.  Ceilidh band (school only or community and school)
Song: Traditional songs. Voice work, group and class work and whole school singing.
Creation of new songs and music.
Harmony creation and arrangement.

Stories and Plays:

Mumming and guising
Puppetry and Mask work
Creation of new stories and plays

Arts and Crafts:

Well dressing, puppets, masks, printing and simple weaving techniques
Creating local celebrations, festivals, clubs and events

Working in Educational Settings:

FOLK 3D Team presenting the project in school assembly - sans Oli

Early years, primary, secondary and adult.
Special educational needs and family learning.
Literacy, Cross Curricula, Wider Opportunities.
Arts Award Explore, Discover, bronze and silver.
Understanding of accredited learning (e.g. NVQ, OCN)
Working in Health Care Settings
Children and adults with physical and learning disabilities
Eldery care settings

General support for planning and delivery, promotion and publicity, management and coordination.

FOLK3D Aims:

Through traditional dance, music, song, craft and drama we aim to:

  • connect children, young people and adults with their local and national culture
  • work in partnership with cultural organisations (e.g. libraries, museums, arts centres), Music Hubs, schools, community groups, local authorities and other relevant partners
  • generate opportunities for people in one community and people from different communities to meet, share time, learn and create together
  • offer informal accessible learning opportunities for soft and hard skills
  • offer opportunities to take part in traditional arts and to create new
  • inspire children, young people and adults to play key roles in organising their own activities and activity for others
  • to increase the opportunities for and knowledge of  artists

Aspirations through traditional dance, music, song, craft and drama to support individuals and communities to improve:

  • self-confidence and self esteem
  • community cohesion
  • access to local positive activities
  • aspirations
  • well-being and fitness
  • employment skills
  • access to informal learning
  • access to intergenerational activity and learning

We offer a wide range of activities, so do feel free to contact us directly with any ideas you might have Email: and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Here are some of the packages we have arranged so far:

Bespoke Projects:

We aim to create projects to meet your specific aims and objectives, designed particularly for your community, group or school.

Examples could include:
Community ceilidh
Celebration event including local participation and professional artists
Bringing communities together
Use of a community space in a new way
Organising a celebration of a special occasion
Supporting health and wellbeing through community activities
Development of local history programmes
One off taster workshops – see our range of skills offered – However, if what you are looking for is not there we probably know someone who can help you.

Live Performances:
We can arrange live performances of Folk Music, Song and Dance in your school or community space.

Achieving Arts Award:
Arts Awards inspire young people to grow their arts and leadership skills. They are creative, valuable and accessible. We can support individuals or groups to work towards:

Explore, Discover, Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

FOLK 3D‘s Jan Reynolds is an Arts Award Advisor at bronze and silver level. For more information:

Instrumental and other tuition designed to support the National Plan for Music.

Cross curricular projects for example exploring the work of Joseph Wright (please see our projects page for more info), Morris and Maths; Local History and Local Identity.

Extending the dance offer:

We can with your school to design a programme of support. We are dedicated to enabling children and young people to explore, discover, learn, create and share Folk Arts.

FOLK 3D Community Ceilidh Project:

This can have several starting points and develop in many ways. Think of it as a pick and mix. It can create a social event, where people of all ages and backgrounds come together and enjoy easy, fun, physical activity; enjoy live music, short performances and displays by local people; meet, chat and take part. Extended activities listed below can help to support curriculum and other school priorities and agendas.

The aim is for the school to hold a ceilidh in their local venue, which involves local people and Folk Arts professionals.

The Ceilidh forms the central focus point. Initially the FOLK 3D professional band and caller would lead the event. The ceilidh can be used as an opportunity to involve families and the wider community. A school may wish to only run a ceilidh as a social event however, the Wider Programme offers a great opportunity to get pupil, parents and staff involved and would be run through a series of ‘workshop’ sessions. All can be for just pupils or parents/carers/families and pupils. Workshop sessions can take place during school’s curriculum time or as an out of school activity.

The Wider Programme includes:
The formation of a community ceilidh band that plays for one or more dances during the ceilidh.  This is a great way to play music and get an immediate, positive response. To see people enjoying dancing to your sound is such a rewarding and motivating experience.
Instrumentalists can be at all levels and singing bands are possible. In fact, anything is possible!
Callers and new dance creators! For those that want to learn how to ‘call’ a dance or perhaps make up new dances. New callers can try out their skills in the ceilidh and new dances get an outing too!
Dance display teams: One or more! Rapper Sword, Morris dance, Clog Dance, Maypole; The School Mummers and story tellers: traditional and new plays and stories; Choir and song spots: traditional and new songs and arrangements.

The ceilidh provides an ideal space in which to perform. It is informal, supportive and those watching will have had an active recent experience of dance and music so really appreciate what they see. The display teams and groups can of course perform elsewhere for example the school fete and local events, the local care home, or wider afield taking part in festivals and competitions.

Performers may choose to perform existing traditional material or create new work.

Marketing team, Front of House, Sound Technicians. Opportunities to work as individuals or part of a team to gain really valuable hands on work experience and be actively involved in project management. Creating posters, sending press releases, talking on local radio, designing tickets, managing and staffing front of house etc.


FOLK 3D are often engaged to arrange workshops at events (Derby Folk Festival, Shepley Spring Festival, GoldsQUAD etc). This may be tuition in an area of expertise from within the FOLK 3D team (see FOLK 3D team skills page), if not, we know many great teachers with a wide range of crafts, dance, music, and song skills that we can engage on your behalf.

In 2012, a one hour workshop with young people aged 13-14 produced this fabulous performance! Morris Dancing Daleks invaded the FOLK3D Folk in the Foyer event on Sunday afternoon at Derby Folk Festival 2012 – even made it big in the NME news!  Delivered by Jan and Mo from FOLK3D with costumes courtesy of Milford Maids of the Mill Morris:



“…..absolutely brilliant, thank you so much.  The children got a huge amount out of it and they were buzzing about it all day – I lost count of how many times I had to sing ‘John Kanaka’ throughout the day and I noticed the kids practising the morris dancing and clog dancing at playtime! They loved it!”

“I just wanted to say thank you again for your wonderful assembly on Friday!  The children (and staff!) absolutely loved it and learnt a huge amount too.  The children were buzzing about it for the rest of the day – I was on duty at playtime and there were so many of them practicing the morris dancing and clog dancing on the playground!”

“They also loved learning about and hearing the instruments you brought with you – they don’t often get the chance to listen to live music, especially folk music.”

“I wasn’t sure how appropriate it was going to be for the younger children but I’m so glad we included them as they got just as much out of it as the older ones and your manner with them was fantastic.”

“It really was a brilliant experience for the whole school.  Thank you again and we hope you will return soon!”

“Thank you so much for visiting our school. It was a great for our children to have the opportunity to hear live folk music. The children benefited from hearing the reasons behind the music , hearing it and relating it to the dance. The experience gave them a clearer understanding of folk and traditional music and an enjoyment for this style of music. It was also nice for the children who are learning an instrument to see them being played professionally.  When I got back to my class they were buzzing with excitement and chanting the song.”


‘I enjoyed the dancing and learning new dances and it was nice we could interact with other people.’

‘I really enjoyed doing the dancing whilst singing and it made me think about the jobs after.’

‘I loved the clogging!’

‘I enjoyed singing and Morris dancing. The clogging was fantastic.’


“Just a huge thank-you for this week-there has been a wonderful atmosphere in school and so many positive comments from staff and families. You have all been brilliant. It has been a privilege having you all this week. Thank you for bringing such passion and energy. You’re brilliant.”                                      (Headteacher)

“….really enjoyed the week and especially the things that they encountered that were new to them.  Most of my class had never heard folk music before.”

“This project gave me the opportunity to explore the paintings of Joseph Wright alongside the children through the use of music, song, dance and visual arts, and I now I have a new-found understanding and appreciation for the paintings.”                  (Sarah Matthews, Singer and Fiddler for Folk-3D)


“We all loved it and would like to do it again.”
(Project Coordinator QUAD)

Keep in touch with new events and message us on Facebook.

Email: and we will get back to you as soon as we can.