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 access to resource materials for student use.
- Work in partnership with Oxford Brookes University to encourage and supervise academic research on relevant topics.
From the beginning, the EBA has been engaged in educational activities with local primary and secondary schools within Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, London 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. 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 Gloucester International Blues Festival and co-hosted the University of Gloucestershire School of Humanities successful 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 and participated in the conference Transatlantic Routes of American Roots at the University of Worcester.
The EBA is involved in educational activities at various musical events, offering talks, panels and presentations. Talks were included in the programme for the Upton Blues Festival, the Gloucester International Blues Festival and the Stamford Guitar Festival. In February 2020, the EBA organised an event at Oxford Brookes University as part of the Think Human Festival called ‘Discovering the blues: Paul Oliver and the blues – an evening of live music and discussion’ with Dr Christian O’Connell, Dr Dai Griffiths, Tom Attah, Brian Ward and Michael Roach.