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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Dazbo Folk Music Degrees - Discuss (Nicely!) (78* d) Folk Music Degrees - Discuss (Nicely!) 11 Oct 06

Prompted in part by the repeat showing of Kathryn Tickell's TV programme last night and coming across a tape I made of a BBC Radio 3 documentary from about 3 years ago that included a section on students and Folk Degree in Newcastle I thought I'd start a discussion on the whole thing. (Also in part by a burning desire to wrap a baseball bat around one of the student's head).

As I see it some of the possible benefits are:
A higher profile for folk music,
Any degree level education is a good thing in and of itself,
Exposure to other traditions
Meeting and learning from the "masters" of their trade
How to be a professional musician

Some of the possible pit falls:
Many of the students ending up with the same or similar style
Losing individual traditions in favour of a mish-mash of traditions
Production of an elite group of musicians vs the rest
Concentration on the technical aspets to the detriment of the music
A 'right way' and a 'wrong way' to do the music.

Other points:
Is there enough interest to keep or increase the number of courses available or will the course(s) disappear in a few years?
Is there a danger of creating 'Academic Folk' that's different from (or is it to?) 'The People's Folk'?
Can a folk degree be as academically rigorous as a normal, classical say, music say
Are all musical instruments treated equally (piano accordion/one row melodeon;classical flute/tin whistle) or is their a bias towards the 'classical' instruments and away from the simple?

What do you think?

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