Museum of English Rural Life does a folk song and dance about it

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Reading high school students will don their virtual clogs for a walk on a May morning with the Museum of English Rural Life.

The museum is involved in a new educational project aimed at digitizing archival collections of folk dances, songs and customs.

It will work with local high schools to create a learning program in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).

The project aims to preserve and promote folk arts.

The Redlands Road Museum will partner with EFDSS on Full English Extra combining folk arts and museum education to provide a new learning experience for schools.

They will work with Reading High Schools, focusing on rural and agricultural themes drawn from the museum’s collection and the redevelopment of its galleries.

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The Full English Extra builds on the success of EFDSS’s flagship project, The Full English, which has created the world’s largest digital archive of folk songs, dances, tunes and customs and a national learning program that has affected more than 15,500 people.

Katy Spicer, Executive Director of EFDSS, said: “The Full English Extra will allow us to exhibit these important dance and lined collections to a wider audience. The launch of The Full English archive was a milestone in digital archives and we know from its continued popularity that people are keen to learn more about folk culture.

“We are very pleased to be working with the Museum of English Rural Life to develop an individual program that will allow us to inspire a new generation about traditional folk music and dance.”

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Phillippa Heath, Audience Development Project Manager at the Museum of English Rural Life, said: “We are delighted to be a partner of the Full English Extra project.

“The project comes at a time when we are redeveloping the museum and re-exhibiting our collections for a new generation to engage with rural heritage.

“We are particularly excited to partner with EFDSS and high schools on this project to find out how popular culture can enhance the appreciation and understanding of our collections, not just for high school learners,” but for our many other audiences. “

The Full English Extra, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will run from this month to March of next year.

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