Trac Cymru is aiming to ensure that the Welsh folk traditions are felt as the beating heart of the nation, playing an active part in supporting social development in local community life. We are keen to demonstrate the positive impact that engagement with traditional music can make on individual personal progression.
Our charity is passionate about demonstrating and evidencing the inherent power that traditional music possesses to support social cohesion, particularly in its intergenerational exchange of knowledge and culture, and we are aiming to help more young people to develop active connections to this heritage that help to alleviate some of the disadvantages of their individual circumstances.
There is an enormous amount of evidence that participation in the arts helps to develop confidence and self-esteem, including a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing in 2017. In addition to this, many recent published studies have demonstrated that people living in low-income areas are much less likely to have opportunities to engage in music-making.
In one previous project called Plant Penderyn, Trac Cymru worked in collaboration with the Merthyr Tydfil youth service to enable young people aged between 11 to 17 within three youth centres in the county borough to work with a team of traditional musicians on a series of workshops and events. The young people explored a range of musical skills as well as sound recording and technical skills. Evaluation during the project collected powerful evidence that the majority of those taking part had increased their overall confidence and afterwards felt more empowered to try out other new activities.
One of the participants commented: “I have never done anything musical before. I have learnt to play new instruments and learnt about the recording process. I didn’t do it before because I couldn’t play an instrument – it has improved my confidence.”
You can watch the video about the Plant Penderyn project here 👇
Our plans to celebrate the milestone 21st anniversary of Trac Cymru in 2021 were put on hold thanks to the coronavirus, but we have continued with our mission to support even more people to benefit from our amazing national music. Please support us by sharing these stories with your friends and colleagues, and join us in posting your own happy memories about Welsh folk music on social media #TRAC21, and you can help us fund our work by making a donation today.