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The "Folk Trad Orality Method" in Higher Education and elsewhere?: New Curriculum Design
Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Folk Music.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0200-3144
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

      In some other genres, such as within Western classical music, education on higher level has a long history and there is a strong pedagogic and methodological tradition of formal music education since several hundred years.

  Within folk & traditional music, we don’t have that long a history within a higher education system, but what we do have is a long history of informal music education outside of the higher education context with oral teaching methods, learning by ear, primarily based on tacit knowledge and mimicry.

  At the folk music department at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm we have since the start of folk music educations in 1979 developed teaching methods and subjects into a curriculum which take its starting point from the central qualities of orally transmitted music. We call this concept “Folk Trad Orality Method” which amongst other things implies when it comes to teaching: interactivity, a close linkage between performance and theory, imitation/mimicry, holistic, improvisation, interdisciplinary, orality as important aspects of the method. A fundamental starting point for folk music can be expressed as: There is no original - only variants. Tradition implies change and continuity and tradition requires competence. There are no strong boundaries between function and art.  And most of all: The individual interpretation is what is aimed for, the musician is in focus, not the music as an object. Meaning that we educate “creative interpreters” that are both musicians, interpreters, arrangers, composer – all at the same time.

  As teachers we facilitate the learning of the tradition based on our competence which in most cases starts from our own tacit knowledge on how to play, sing, dance and our experience in meeting with the tradition coupled with an analytical perspective on the practice. Thus, the conceptual ground for the music we play and teach is still the same even if the platform or the context is different in the higher education.

  But this Folk Trad Orality Method concept is sometimes questioned by e.g. teachers from other genres, and by ethnomusicologist, and also by students! – Giving the argument that if you learn by ear and by imitation as a central method, is it really possible to develop an individual expression, become a profiled musician?

  How can this conflict be addressed? What are the challenges in using these methods? Research shows that it might be the opposite around, that the oral transmission methods actually created a strong nudging in the right direction when it comes to creating individual “creative interpreter” from a holistic perspective. One could argue that the Folk Trad Orality Method in fact holds a lot of opportunities also outside of the folk & trad music context? What are the possibilities inherent in this method? How can this be developed also outside of the folk music context? This presentation addresses and problematize the usefulness of the Folk Trad Orality Method both inside and outside of the higher music education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
new curriculum, oral tradition, folk music
National Category
Music Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kmh:diva-3314OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kmh-3314DiVA, id: diva2:1378858
Conference
AEC Pop and Jazz Platform in Trondheim, Norway, 2019
Available from: 2019-12-15 Created: 2019-12-15 Last updated: 2019-12-15

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