Audiences and Expectations

Oct 26, 2017

I was invited to King's College, London as part of their colloquium series yesterday and, as the talk introduced my research in a fairly succinct way, I thought it might be useful to share here so you can get a broad overview of what I do and how I go about it.  Some of the key findings are on the slides, but obviously I used a lot of words too, and some videos (which I will post in another post soon)....  It would be great to go into more depth about anything you find interesting through the comments below - go on, post your thoughts and let’s thrash it out - I'm up for a discussion.

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  • Fay Hield

    To kick us off, I should say a huge thank you to all the staff and students at king's who made me so welcome and provided thoughtful and interesting questions and discussion during and after the talk. It was a pleasure to meet you and discuss your work too.

    Some topics that came up in the discussion which we could continue here were:
    Definitions - of 'folk' and 'English' - how would you define them?
    Openness and accessibility of the folk scene - are they really keen for anyone to join - particular groups discussed were LGBT and non-white.
    Is it really that different - aren't all musical genres difficult to access if you don't know how?

    And anything else you want to talk to me, and each other about...


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  • Fay Hield

    Maddalena Feliciello:
    Possibly, one barrier to access is the National Curriculum and SATS, Local oral traditions in song seem to have little place in secular and multi-cultural primary school assemblies. This is not a "bad thing" yet space could be made for an historical sense of place through folk song and rhyme. There is a huge and several generational gap. :) x

  • Helen Mann-Ray

    Sessions are welcoming but are often not accessible to new folk musicians, it’s hard to keep up. Teaching for musicians seems to focus on new young players or experienced older players making it hard for inexperienced older players to get help.

  • Paul Mansfield

    The Benefits and Barriers slide struck a few chords; I might try it out on some local club organisers for their thoughts.

    Taking Helen's point above, I have some experience of an English tunes workshop in Leicestershire that is used as a 'feeder' activity for a public session in the same pub later that evening. Still not for absolute beginners but it is 'lower entry level' than a normal session. I suspect there is a lack of people offering that kind of thing, unfortunately.

    • Paul Mansfield

      ...perhaps I should have acknowledged the existence of on-line learning opportunities here. I am not sure what evidence there is about their effectiveness.

  • Helen Mann-Ray

    I’ve been reading “Music with the under fives” by Susan Young and found links between my work and my interest in Folk:
    “I noticed that staff new to the daycare gradually picked up the usual repertoire of songs by listening to the established staff and learning by direct imitation. This kind of nursery music culture and the aural learning methods which are part of it, are commonly the way that repertoire is acquired.” Page 60