The Trad Academy was started in 2012 to give people a friendly introduction into playing traditional and folk music. As folk musicians working in London we were really excited by the massive resurgence of interest in folk music in all its forms and wanted to give people the opportunity to learn about what we love best: playing traditional folk music for dances, for pub sessions and just for the joy of playing it.
We began by running mixed instrument tunes classes. The emphasis has always been on playing together and learning tunes by ear wherever possible to get straight to the music and the results are great. The tunes class have now completed four terms together and sound brilliant, plus they all have an ever expanding repertoire of shared tunes which they play with great gusto and conviction. It’s also so much more fun than learning all by yourself.
After the success of the on going course we recruited Jo Bowis in to share her skills in flatfoot dancing and there’s now loads more people banging their feet on pieces of wood all over London. Brilliant.
We’ve also started organising more specialist one off classes in areas such as old time fiddle, Swedish Gammeldansmusik (first ever workshop in the UK!), accompanying tunes in creative ways, Scottish Country Dancing, English step dancing, bones playing and Sea Shanties. The sea shanty workshop was so popular we’re now home to a resident shanty choir (taught by Pete Truin).
In almost all our courses we teach by ear which helps develop musicality and give people the real skills people need to make music together and we’ve had great results.
We believe that with the right help everyone has the ability to enjoy playing great music together.