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The Dorset Folk Project

The Dorset Folk Project

Spring 2024

During the Spring term we will be rolling out much of The Dorset Folk Project.

Monthly Folk Sessions with Colin and Ruth Thompson at the Chalk and Cheese, an evening with Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson celebrating Nature and Landscape.
Spring time walks with Alastair Simpson.

We will have our Schools performance on 22nd March in Blandford Parish Church, featuring our Fiddles and Whistles pupils, The Rural Village Schools Choir, Storytelling and more!

Keep checking the calendar for events and email the office for bookings and further details.


Fairytales and Legends

Fairytales and Legends

Perfect for Home Schooled children

Wednesdays 9 - 10am

Venue: Dorset Rural Music School

Beginning in late Autumn

£5 weekly, Please express an interest via email

Fly away on a magic carpet!

Come along with your youngster to help them develop their coordination, concentration, counting, confidence, and have lots of fun banging drums, pots and pans!

Afterwards we will wind down with stories told through Emma-Marie Kabanova’s enchanted Violin. These storytelling sessions are guaranteed to ignite imagination whilst also developing listening skills . . . . and what better way than listening to a world class Violinist !! 
Meet Aladdin, Scheherezade, Little Red Riding Hood… This is a treat for young children and their parent/carer to have their first introduction to Classical Music and the spoken word.

Make friends and discover new worlds with stunning soundscapes

Landscape with castle



Beginning late Autumn

Friday mornings, 11am.

Venue: Zoom (provided by DRMS)

5 week course : £40
Please email DRMS office if you are interested .

Zoom group with Emma House to strengthen your breathing and develop your voice, addressing pulmonary conditions and reducing anxiety.

We are so excited that this highly successful and ever popular course, acknowledged by the NHS, will be opening a new door with DRMS.

Sign up for these transformative sessions. This course should surely be a must have for all of us.

Relaxing picture of a woman walking barefoot in the sand

Emma and the Magic Bag

Emma and the Magic Bag

Fridays: 9.30am -10.30am

September: 8, 15, 29

October : 6, 13, 20

Venue: Shroton Village Hall postcode DT11 8QB

6 week sign up: £42. Drop in: £9 per session (concessions available)
Early Years 0 -4 yrs
Cheerful group leader Emma holds up magic bag and smiles

Every child responds to music; it touches every aspect of child development – motor skills (eg marching, dancing, beating a drum), speech development (eg experimenting with new sounds, listening, repeating, pitch, rhythm), social skills (eg sharing, turn taking, eye contact).

Emma runs a group where every child is listened to, and each child’s needs are recognised.

group sessions are as much child-led (to give the children confidence
that their contributions and creativity matter) as led by Emma. This all
sounds very dry, but Emma believes we learn when we’re having fun. Fun
and nonsense are an integral part of the sessions and each child is
encouraged to join in at their own pace. Group experiences were a normal
part of pre-school life pre-lockdown. Now, more than ever, the group
experience is vital and a wonderful way to prepare children for Primary
School. All welcome.

Facebook Emma and the Magic Bag for videos and to see what nonsense she does!


Samba in Shroton

Samba in Shroton

Tuesdays : 6pm - 7pm

November : 7, 14, 21, 28

December : 5, 12

Venue: Shroton Village Hall DT11 8QB

Adults: £30 for 6 x weeks, under 18s: £12 for 6 weeks
Please email DRMS office for payment plans

Join our thriving Samba group for all ages and abilities in Shroton village hall!

Samba is a fantastic opportunity to develop coordination, hone your concentration and challenge your brain! (also excellent for muscle toning 🙂 This vibrant group continues to grow in popularity and is a great hit with families . . .
fun, healthy and at times hilarious, we (literally) climb mountains to perform and have a good time.

You really should give this a go!


Sing for Pleasure

Sing for Pleasure

Mondays during term time : 6pm - 7.30pm

Autumn term first session : 4th September

Venue: Dorset Rural Music School

£5 on the door including tea and biscuits.

Directed by our Singing Teacher, Felicity Goodman, our fabulous Sing for Pleasure choir enjoys a varied repertoire, from Early Music through to Musical Theatre.

No need to read music, absolutely everyone warmly welcomed.

Choir singing in church

Choral Day Courses

Choral Day Courses at the Dorset Rural Music School

Spring course date coming soon.

10.30am - 4.30pm

£20 including tea and biscuits

Following the success of our first Choral Day of the new school year, we will be announcing our Spring Term date very soon . . . .
watch this space!

Our Choral Days will be led by Dr. Richard Hall with Chris Dowie joining us for the afternoon as pianist/organist.

10.30am – 1pm: Morning note learning in the Dorset Rural Music School


2pm – 3.30pm : Afternoon session in the Methodist church opposite the school.


4pm : Run through performance for friends, family and visitors.

Open music book

Baroque Academy

Baroque Academy

Everything you never knew you needed to know about music between 1600 -1750 ish

Lecture Series

Baroque Academy will recommence in January 2024

11.00am - 12.30. tea and coffee provided.

Six week course on Wednesdays

£60. Pay as you go: £15.

Venue: Dorset Rural Music school

Our Autumn term series of lectures will focus on Italian Baroque, with a special Christmas themed session to close the term.
Following an ‘Edutainment’ model, each episode aims to be a fascinating yet digestible exploration of the innovative, inspiring and occasionally bonkers world of Baroque music. 

Told with a mixture of sincerity and humour by music historian and professional Baroque Violinist, Emma-Marie Kabanova, we will examine musical ideas from the Baroque period, putting the music into its social, political and artistic context. Listeners will learn about the lives and music of the composers that helped define the style of the era. We will discover the musical instruments and compositional quirks of the period that will help them aurally to identify Baroque music.

Each episode will feature lively discussions, plenty of musical excerpts and live performance. The lectures are suitable for all, with or without musical experience or prior knowledge of Baroque music.

Woman holding violin stands alone in hall

Our Soloist

Formerly based in Moscow, Russia, Emma-Marie was a guest principal with the Moscow Baroque Soloists, performed with Opera Omnia early opera company, and was the Artistic Director of Globus Music Baroque Ensemble, where she created interdisciplinary projects with singers and dancers from the Bolshoi Theatre and other major theatres in Moscow.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Emma-Marie returned to the UK where she she has been working as a freelance violinist. Recent concerts include a charity concert of unaccompanied music to support musicians in Kyiv, a performance of Baroque and Folk Music from the family archive of Thomas Hardy, with Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson, and the UK Premiere of ‘Violin Psalms,’ four new works for unaccompanied violin inspired by JS Bach, at Cambridge University.


Traditional Folk Tunes

Traditional Folk Tunes from Dorset and Beyond

Folk Session

New Autumn term date to be confirmed shortly.

Venue: Dorset Rural Music School.

Donations welcome for this free event

Book with the DRMS office:

Join Tim and Colin for this first workshop that draws on the repertoires of Benjamin Rose and the Hardy Family, with other traditional tunes from outside Dorset.
If you can read a melody line of music, please join us! any portable acoustic instrument is welcome for this gathering, music will be supplied.

Two folk musicians, one with fiddle, look at open book