Working in Schools

Email - derek@derekgifford.co.uk


Derek Gifford is an experienced teacher and folk musician offering themed music lessons to primary and secondary schools. 

Derek moved to Lancashire to train as a teacher in 1970. He taught children with special educational needs for over 25 years - with music as a substantial part of his curricular activities. His final post before he took early retirement was as Deputy Head of a special school in Merseyside. 

Since 2001 he has been a guitar tutor and Board member of Folkus, the folk arts organisation of the North-West, during which time he has developed guitar courses for beginner and intermediate standard players of all ages.  

Since retiring from full-time teaching, Derek has worked with classes in primary and secondary schools, teaching multi-cultural folk song and specialising in calypso and antipodean songs. He has also developed themed sessions and class-based performances including: 

Songs Around the World - an imaginary trip on a sailing ship to the Caribbean and Australia with geographical and social history references. 

Sea Songs - action based working songs and shanties from the days of sail with historical references. 

Australia - Australian songs from Cobber Gifford (complete with Australian attire) with geographical and historical references. 

English Traditional and Contemporary Folk Songs - songs to encourage the children to sing along, with materials for follow up by class teachers. 

Beginners Folk Style Guitar - Individual or small group tuition for a maximum of ten learners, building on Derek’s Folkus experience. 

Derek has designed bespoke sessions for May Day and bird watching events (as an enthusiastic birder! - see the Birding section!) and is happy to discuss your specific requirements with you.