The Educational Objectives of the European Blues Association
To advance the education of the general public in the history and appreciation of African American music and culture by:
- the protection and preservation of an archive of material related to the music of peoples of African descent, including African American music and culture in general and Blues in particular; to make this accessible for the public benefit in a resource centre.
- the presentation of public recitals and lectures featuring African American music
The EBA has developed an educational programme for children, young people and adults that seeks to encourage participation and engage interest in all aspects of African American music and culture.
We believe that participation through performance can be one of the key factors in the development and maintenance of a life-long enthusiasm for music making. This in turn, can lead to the desire for deeper understanding of the cultural history and context that formed the music. To further our objectives we:
- Offer a teaching, lecture and seminar programme for schools, community groups, colleges and universities
- Provide resource materials for student use
- Work in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire to encourage and supervise academic research on relevant topics
Participation through performance
Tuition Workshops and informal sessions
Half or full day workshops are regularly organised in our Resource and Activity Centre. We will also be hosting regular informal music-making sessions.
The John Jackson Youth Fund
Following John Jackson's personal funding of a young student at Blues Week 2000, the Blues Week Class of 2001 established a fund to enable young people to attend tuition events and promote our educational activities. The scholarships were named after John Jackson as a mark of respect for a much-loved teacher.
Since 2002, the scholarship provided the opportunity for students between the ages of 14 and 21 to attend workshops for tuition in guitar, harmonica, blues piano/keyboards, vocals and benefit from spending time with enthusiastic adult participants and internationally respected musicians. Many of our scholarship youngsters (including Dani Wilde and Abie Budgen) have gone on to be respected performers on the current European and British music scene.
If you would like to make a contribution to the fund, send your donation to the address on our 'Contacts' page, clearly marked for the John Jackson Scholarship Fund (cheques payable to the European Blues Association).
From the beginning, the EBA has been engaged in educational activities with local primary and secondary schools within Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Hampshire and Herefordshire and in other areas of the UK. These have usually taken the form of seminar/workshops showing the relationship of African American culture to popular music since 1900. Led by performer Michael Roach, the programme have proved very popular with a wide range of pupils. While the presentations are currently designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum of England and Wales, they can be tailored to the individual institution’s needs.
Since its inception, the EBA has organised and participated in a wide range of national and international conferences. We presented a conference on 'Blues Media' as part of the 2002 Gloucester International Blues Festival and co-hosted the University of Gloucestershire School of Humanities successful 2004 international conference on the theme: 'Overseas blues - European Perspectives on Black Music’. The EBA co-hosted the 'Celebration of the Richard Wright Centennial' at the University of Gloucestershire in 2008 and participated in the conference 'Transatlantic Routes of American Roots' at the University of Worcester in 2009.
The EBA is involved in educational activities at various musical events, offering talks, panels and presentations, recently for example at the Upton Blues Festival and the Stamford Guitar Festival 2010.