New Adds to Online Folk Festival

Added new tracks from the following artists:

Rebecca Loebe

Julie Gold

Billy Crockett

Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra

Online Folk Festival has moved again

Listen now at


Let’s have Music – Children and Music

By Sue Barrett

“To Pacific Cascade Records’ northwest USA country and western, pop, some classical and film work, I added children’s albums in about 1969 because I saw how quickly and pleasurably children learn using music as the basic. I was quite fascinated and remained so.

Some of the artists were sheer magic in action. Others wrote such truly “kids’ view” material. The principal challenge was translating the charismatic effect of an artist via recording.

Putting it all together was a very rewarding personal experience which seemed to fill some pretty big gaps for parents and teachers. I had the fortunate opportunity to observe, and make available to others, programs which taught children all sorts of subjects and aided in healthful personal development in a thoroughly enjoyable, effective way through music coupled, at times, with activity and dance.” 

(Joan Lowe, Pacific Cascade Records, Oregon, USA)

It was a tiny, one-teacher primary school in rural Australia – just a single classroom, plus a bicycle shed and pony paddock.

And, like many young Australians, the pupils would gather around the radio for music lessons, courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s schools programs.

Over many years, those ABC music programs (including Singing and Listening and Let’s Have Music) introduced young listeners to folk songs from Italy, Chile, Korea and Africa; songs with Indigenous Australian lyrics (including Ted Egan’s ‘Arnhem Land Lullaby’); poetry (Henry Lawson/Banjo Paterson) set to music; songs using classical music (from Schubert, Mozart, Brahms, Offenbach); contemporary and topical songs from Flanders & Swann, Woody Guthrie, Melanie Safka, Ray Parker Junior, Shel Silverstein, John Shortis, Carole King, Shane Howard and Malvina Reynolds; and modern religious songs and carols from Sydney Carter (‘Lord of the Dance’) and John Wheeler & William G James (‘Carol of the Birds’ and ‘Christmas Day’).

Now LEVITY BEET (New Zealand) and AL START (England) tell FolkBlog about making music with, and for, children, in today’s world…
Continue reading Let’s have Music – Children and Music

Festival Christmas is back on the air

For all your Yuletide music needs from Aimee Mann to Zydeco Crayz.

Listen Here

Online Folk Festival is Back on the Air

After a brief interruption, the station is back as FolkFest Radio on Radionomy.

Celtapalooza is back!

Online Folk Festival’s freeform salute to all things Celtic is back on the air.

Listen here

Festival Radio’s New Home

Everything old is new again. Festival Radio is once again Online Folk Festival. With the closing of Live365, the station has moved to To listen, click the player to the right, or visit

Festival Radio Playlist 11-27-2015

Full playlist after the break

Continue reading Festival Radio Playlist 11-27-2015

Festival Christmas is back on the air

For your holiday pleasure, Festival Christmas is back on the air with freeform holiday goodness.

Listen here.

Connections – Musicians and their Instruments

Editor’s Note – The following article is presented courtesy of its author, Sue Barrett. All publishing rights remain solely hers.

Connections – Musicians and Their Instruments

By Sue Barrett

What exactly is an orchestra? A famous conductor was once asked that question. After a great deal of thought, he replied, “It’s a collection of people scraping, blowing and banging things all at once.” Oddly enough, the conductor was quite right.

(Introduction to The Instruments of the Orchestra (45 rpm), narrated by Joseph Cooper, with the Sinfonia of London)

Growing up in Australia, generations of children learnt about music through the Australian Broadcasting Commission, including ABC radio’s school broadcasts.

In 1969, for example, the Singing and Listening program (for senior primary grades) included ‘Maranoa Lullaby’ (Australian Aboriginal song), ‘Ma Bella Bimba’ (Italian folk song), ‘Little David’ (African American spiritual) and Mozart’s ‘The Birdcatcher’. Whilst the Let’s Have Music program (for grades three and four) included the Yiddish song ‘A Fiddler’, Paul Yarrow and Leonard Lipton’s ‘Puff (The Magic Dragon)’, ‘Tingalayo’ (a calypso song from the West Indies), Tom Paxton’s ‘The Marvellous Toy’ (“It went ‘zip’ when it moved, and ‘bop’ when it stopped, And whirr when it stood still”) and the ‘Skye Boat Song’ (by Annie MacLeod and Sir Harold Boulton).

In 1972, Singing and Listening included ‘Tortillas’ (Chilean folksong), Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘With Catlike Tread’ (from The Pirates of Penzance), the Canadian song ‘Land of the Silver Birch’ and Henry Lawson’s ‘The Drover’ (set to an Irish tune). And Let’s Have Music included Woodie Guthrie’s ‘So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You’, the Arabic folk song ‘Tafta Hindi’, Lennon and McCartney’s ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the Kentucky mountain song, ‘The Old Maid’.

Now FolkBlog explores musical instruments, music making and introducing children to music with Ruth Hazleton (an Australian singer, guitarist, clawhammer banjo player and folklorist), Kara Square (an American singer/songwriter, videographer, composer and ukulele player), Liz Frencham (an Australian double bass player, singer and songwriter) and Rachel Hair (a Scottish harpist, composer and music teacher).

Continue reading Connections – Musicians and their Instruments