Pete Castle
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PETE CASTLE is a qualified teacher and taught for 10 years before becoming a folk musician/storyteller.

He has continued to work in schools throughout most of his career and in that time has visited just about every type of educational establishment there is from infants to comprehensives, from specialist music schools to schools where pupils have special educational needs.


As a full time artist Pete is always available and willing to travel anywhere.


Pete is very versatile and enjoys trying new things and putting together inputs on specific subjects so if you have an idea suggest it and he’ll see whether he can do it. But here are some tried and tested favourites:

FOLK SONG &/OR STORYTELLING PERFORMANCES: - the obvious choice for a short visit (and probably one aspect of a longer one.) It can concentrate on song or story or be a mixture of the two.  It is suitable for any age group and large or small audiences.

A GENERAL INTRO. TO FOLK MUSIC AND/OR STORYTELLING: Starting as a performance but with more 'instructive' introductions this will gradually involve the students in participation, questioning and so on. Again for any age group. It could develop into a more serious workshop with the students writing songs or playing music if there is time. It can also involve dance.

Pete has the ability and the songs to get everyone singing even if they are shy at first.

Pete’s song repertoire is mainly English but he can often include material from other countries and traditions. He once did a workshop on Chinese folk songs!

SONGWRITING: Pete has enabled very many  groups of children and young people to write songs on a huge range of  themes. Many of them are incredibly good and none have failed entirely (yet!) It's something they really enjoy and is a very worthwhile experience. Quite what is possible depends on the age of the participants, the time available &c. but it could go on to include performance or recording of the finished songs.

Storytelling with children with special needs
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STORYTELLING: Pete's repertoire of stories is based on trad. tales from England but includes stories from Europe and other parts of the world.  His repertoire for younger children includes favourites from Africa and the Caribbean.

Although the N.C. concentrates on written literacy the ability to speak fluently and to follow a story orally is obviously linked. Pete is often invited into schools as part of Book Week or for Literacy inputs. Oral storytelling can be a key to opening books and reading.

DANCE: Although he's not a great dancer it's impossible to be involved in the folk scene and not pick up a bit of dance. Pete has a selection of dances and games which children of all ages find enjoyable and which don't necessarily need the boys and girls to hold hands! Ideally this option would need another musician although he can do a limited amount alone. (Pete has regular collaborators.)

Folk Dance - Fun For All
Folk Dance - Fun for All
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FOLK DRAMA: Mummers Plays, the Derby Ram play linking music and drama.

HISTORY/GEOGRAPHY BASED INPUTS: -  Using a mixture of live music and recordings plus stories Pete can offer an input which brings places or times to life - some are obviously more suitable than others. Ask.


Pete often goes into individual schools on a one-off basis just for an afternoon or a day but he has also been involved with more 'organised' schemes.
For many years now he has worked on the Bards Ballads & Beyond scheme in schools around Ashford in Kent. At first his partner was Bing Lyle and now it is Keith Kendrick. They offer a variety of events based on folk song and music, storytelling and dance.
For several years he was resident at Stories in the Park at Wicksteed Park in Northants and for two years was an Artist in Residence in Shropshire schools.
In 2004 Pete was one of four artists who put together Children of the Mills with several schools in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.
Pete has also tutored many adult groups: early on for the WEA, later he was folk music tutor for Millfield Village of Education for several years and, more recently, for the Workers Music Association Summer School for 6 years.

Pete has all the necessary CRB clearances and Public Liability Insurance

Pete and other artists who work in schools can be found on the web site

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