Where are they now? with Grace Smith

We catch up with folk musician and Gold Arts Award alum Grace Smith about her new music duo, life as a music tutor and the Monster Ceilidh Band

Where are they now? with Grace Smith

Hi Grace! Tell us about your creative work at the moment. 

I am working as a musician and music tutor and involved in lots of exciting projects, including making new music in a duo with Sam Partridge and setting up and leading clog dancing workshops near Manchester. 

Last year, I wrote new compositions and arrangements inspired by North Yorkshire folk traditions for an English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) Seed Funding Bursary project. I’m also looking forward to playing at festivals over summer with Monster Ceilidh Band and in the duo! 

Check out my website to see what else I’m up to: www.gracesmithmusic.co.uk 

What are the highlights of your arts career to date?

One of my favourite things about working in the arts is that I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to travel and perform across the UK and abroad. Trips, including China, Germany and France, have been such great experiences and so much fun; it’s great to meet other musicians across the world!

Another highlight of my arts career so far has been teaching for Folkworks Junior Summer School a couple of years ago. This is where I first got involved in folk music so it was so fantastic to return as a tutor. 

What do you hope to be doing in five years time?

In 5 years time, I hope to still be making music and helping others get involved in music too! I hope to do more recording in the next few years. I’d also like to be involved in lots of projects which help young musicians learn and play folk music, as well as continuing to learn and play more music myself! 

Which level of Arts Award did you do, and how did you use it to develop your creativity or skills?

I completed my Gold Arts Award. It was a great experience! My arts development section was a project where I collaborated with two jazz musicians and created material for an EP, and my leadership section involved me leading music and dance workshops for students who completed Explore Arts Award themselves too.

Both projects challenged me to take a leading role, creatively and logistically, and I have definitely used and developed these leadership skills in my career since then. I actually led music workshops last year for another arts organisation where the participants completed their Arts Awards, so it’s great to still be involved. Thank you to the Juice Festival team in Newcastle/Gateshead for giving me the opportunity to achieve my Arts Award- you were very inspiring and supportive! 

What advice would you give to young people doing Arts Award who want to follow in your footsteps?

I would definitely recommend getting involved in Arts Award and working towards an Arts Award qualification. It’s a great way to learn new skills, be inspired by a range of art forms and build your confidence as a creative practitioner.

As for advice for other young people doing Arts Award; try to be organised with your timescale, listen and learn from the experience of your Arts Award advisor, and enjoy being creative! 

Website: www.gracesmithmusic.co.uk   
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GraceSmithMusic 
Twitter: @GSmithMusic
Instagram: @gracesmithmusic
The music created for my Arts Award project: https://projectmeraki.bandcamp.com/releases

If you have completed an Arts Award and would like to be profiled too, join our Arts Award Alumni and let us know about your experience.


  • Amy Hazell

    On 24 May 2019, 20:33 Amy Hazell commented:

    OMG you are amazing

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