Pete Coe 2

We were delighted to arrange for Pete to work with Pupils at Easton Community Primary School when he was performing in the area.

Without much previous fanfare, the folk musician Pete Coe came to Easton Community Primary School in the village of Easton on a Friday morning early in January. Much to the delight of the surprised children, he arrived carrying all sorts of mysterious looking music cases and soon unpacked them and began workshops with the children, ages 5-11, throughout the day. He taught the youngest children several songs to sing, ably accompanying them on a variety of traditional acoustic instruments including harmonium, banjo, guitar and accordion.
The next, slightly older group he taught other songs and a traditional dance, also encouraging them to write their own words to the verses. Towards the end of the day the year 5/6 pupils were enthralled to hear all sorts of things, including some Elizabethan history through the traditional "Mouse and Frog" song, culminating in the cheeky American riff of "Here Comes Sally Through the Alley", to which they learned a kind of country line dance, executed with great enthusiasm by all.

Pete exhibited boundless knowledge about traditional instruments and songs, and didn't seem at all phased by occasional wayward behaviour which he put an end to with firm good humour. He continued to pull more unusual instruments, big and small, out of his cases, which made them seem almost magical.

Pete is an excellent storyteller, singer and teacher and any school which has a chance to have him visit for a day will be very lucky. It is important for our young people to have many opportunities to see that music is made, not by electronic devices, but by and for people, and that we can all do it, not just the few "celebrities" anointed by the major record companies!!

Many thanks to the Everyman Folk Club, Big Music Nights and Suffolk Folk for help with the funding of this extraordinary day for the children.

Barbara Ann Spencer, Easton Primary School - 03.04.06