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Folk Sing Starter Kit now available from CDSS

GUEST,Julia F 02 Apr 10 - 06:06 PM
GUEST 04 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Julia F 06 Apr 10 - 11:57 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 12:36 AM
Leadfingers 07 Apr 10 - 05:22 AM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 09:57 AM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 10:08 AM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 11:09 AM
Charley Noble 07 Apr 10 - 04:34 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM
Susan of DT 07 Apr 10 - 06:20 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 08:27 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 08:28 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 08:57 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 09:27 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Apr 10 - 09:36 PM
Desert Dancer 08 Apr 10 - 10:50 AM
Leadfingers 08 Apr 10 - 07:34 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Apr 10 - 07:06 PM
Melissa 09 Apr 10 - 07:58 PM
Desert Dancer 12 Apr 10 - 12:50 AM
Soldier boy 12 Apr 10 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Julia F 13 Apr 10 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,melinda 14 Apr 10 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,melinda 14 Apr 10 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Julia F. 15 Apr 10 - 10:13 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Jan 12 - 08:41 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Jan 12 - 08:50 PM
Booklynrose 10 Apr 12 - 11:03 AM
Desert Dancer 10 Apr 12 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,mg 11 Apr 12 - 02:55 AM
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Subject: Group Sing "Starter Kits" for CDSS
From: GUEST,Julia F
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 06:06 PM

Hi there.
Country Dance and Song Society's youth intern is compiling info for a "Starter Kit". The plan is to provide resources on the CDSS website that youths can use to jump start whatever kind of folk singing thing they're interested in.
So as not to reinvent the wheel...can you direct me to previously published articles on informally facilitated group singing? (not performance oriented) What makes it work, different formats, etiquette, trouble shooting, etc.
I know there's a lot of variety out there. I'm personally interested in singing settings that mostly avoid the use of paper and instruments but am hoping to provide general insights for all eventualities.

Feel free to pull up other links in this forum. I'm sure it's been talked about before and I'm sorry I couldn't find the links but my keyword choices can be loony.

FYI It will probably be a while before this stuff appears on the CDSS website and it will probably include links to sound archives, podcasts etc.

thanks
Julia


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: GUEST,Julia F
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:57 PM

Anyone? Please?


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 12:36 AM

Well, it's certainly in here somewhere, Julia, and there's lots of folks with experience who aren't biting right now!

I know there have been more threads (or at least portions of threads) on the topic, but the Forum search is being wonky at the moment. I came up with these using Google on the site, but I'm sure this isn't comprehensive:

Song Circles (this is so old it's lost its opening post from the server scramble a few years ago)

Song Circle Locations (with relevant discussion)

Review: How to Run a Successful Trad(dish) Club (related ideas)

I hope some other folks will chime in!

I searched on:
[starting] / [running] / [how to start] / [how to run]
a
[song circle] / [song session] / [singer's session] / [singaround]

not sure what else to try...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:22 AM

Well UK Catters wont know a lot about the US thing !


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:57 AM

Leadfingers: What??

The question from Julia is: "...can you direct me to previously published articles on informally facilitated group singing? (not performance oriented) What makes it work, different formats, etiquette, trouble shooting, etc."

If we can't find links, I think we need to reinvent wheel, because then we have such a resource here on Mudcat, as well. I think there's certainly plenty of experience on the topic among you UKers that would benefit anyone looking to start a regularly scheduled singing session.

Julia's purpose is to be able to provide helpful resources on the CDSS web site (which, may I say, is doing a great job assembling helpful resources on the dance front, and it's great they're aiming towards doing the same for the "song" portion of their mission). And, those online resources benefit anyone on the web, not just those in North America, wouldn't you think??

Here's a link to their Resources portal, as well as online References.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:08 AM

(I was thinking the "References" link would take you to the publications which have been digitized, but they are in the E-Library under the Publications links. "References" takes you to info on Lifetime Achievement award recipients, which is interesting but probably less relevant to this discussion.)


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:09 AM

I've sent a few PMs out to folks from the Portsmouth, NH, Press Room Shanty sing and the Getaway... will do more later.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 04:34 PM

Julia-

This is not an easy request to respond to in spite of my years of experience attending such gatherings.

What is the range of song styles you're considering, i.e., traditional to contemporary?

Is it strictly singing or may songs be accompanied, or may people lead tunes without singing?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM

Charley - speak from your own experience and opinions... maybe brainstorm, too. She said:

"What makes it work, different formats, etiquette, trouble shooting, etc.

"I know there's a lot of variety out there. I'm personally interested in singing settings that mostly avoid the use of paper and instruments but am hoping to provide general insights for all eventualities."

CDSS's stated aim is "Continuing the traditions. Linking those who love them." Their mission statement is:

MISSION STATEMENT -- OUR PROMISE

The Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), through its resources, programs and enthusiasm, celebrates and preserves traditional English and Anglo-American dance, music and song; promotes their new expression; connects people who enjoy them; and supports communities where they can continue to thrive.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Susan of DT
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:20 PM

Are we talking about the US or UK? I think CDSS is on both sides of the pond. In the US, sings are usually, but not always, in homes. In the UK they tend to be in pubs and other public spaces, probably due to the difference in average house size.

There have been lots of discussions here on go around the circle vs. jump in vs. be called on by the leader; whether to have a topic; and how to get started. Part of the thread search problem is what to call such a happening: sing, sing-around, song circle, hoot, hootenany, session, gathering, music evening, etc.


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:27 PM

CDSS is a North American organization (has in recent memory included Board members from Canada):

The Country Dance and Song Society was founded in 1915 with the help of Englishman Cecil Sharp, a musician who traveled in his own country and in the southern United States collecting folk dances and songs. Four years earlier he had helped found the English Folk Dance Society in London, and we began as a branch of that organization.

In 1940, with a growing interest in the American versions of the English traditions, we changed our name to the Country Dance Society to honor both countries' traditions. Later, "and Song" was added. The Country Dance Society, Inc. was incorporated in New York State in 1940. That corporation was merged with a new Massachusetts corporation, Country Dance and Song Society, Inc., in 1991.


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:28 PM

(There is no longer any formal affiliation between CDSS and EFDSS, but we're friendly!)


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:57 PM

Here are some more threads to be mined for info. They're heavy on the UK perspective, but not purely so. The "folk club" scene often is performance oriented, but there are other more informal/inclusive sorts of gatherings under the umbrella of that term as well. (So it may take work to find what you're looking for!)

Help: Running a Folk Club. (Aug 03)
Starting a folk club (Dec 05)
Starting a Folk Club (Jul 07)
Starting a Folk club (Aug 09)

Another recurring topic, and certainly worth addressing:

Bad Manners at Sessions, Singarounds (Apr 03)
Worst singaround/session rudeness ever? (Aug 06)
Versions of songs, and etiquette (Nov 07)
Musician Rudeness (May 08)
more session rudeness (Jun 08)
Folk Club Manners (Oct 08)

an outside link I came on: Lombardy folk music stuff ("which has lots of hints and tips on floorsinging, running a folk club, breathing, session etiquette and suchlike")

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:27 PM

My own 2 cents:

A topic to look for and consider - the role and challenges of leadership, even in "informal" sessions. It's something that's useful in dealing with the "manners/rudeness" issue, also in ensuring a group is inclusive for those who may be too shy to jump in on their own in a free-form setting.

Over my years of Mudcat reading and attending sessions it seems to me that a large part of what people find to complain about on the topic of music sessions is a result of conflicting expectations, so a challenge for leaders or organizers is to make it clear what the format and content of the session is about. That may be part of the publicity (if any), or up to key participants to share on an individual basis with newcomers or those whose expectations appear to be in conflict.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Starting a singing session
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:36 PM

Another source of lots of Mudcat discussion:

Singing from books: Why?

~ Becky in Tucson

(For those asking, "why is Becky posting so much?":

A number of years back I was on the CDSS Board, but I had to leave sooner than I wanted to and before I could do much to help with what I felt was a certain weakness in the organization's addressing the "Song" part of its mission. I'm so glad this project has been taken on. Posting here, rather than e-mailing Julia individually makes the info available to future 'Catters, too.

Also, I'm always surprised at people's ignorance of CDSS, and I recognize that some folks won't read a thread here until it has more than 10 posts...)


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:50 AM

A description of a specific successful singing session is in the notes from "Songs from the Golden Fleece" on the Musical Traditions magazine (UK) site. I wrote to Rod Stradling because I was trying to relocate that description. He added these comments on the topic:

To which I would add: A singer in these circumstances can say, with justification, "Well, you've heard me sing that better, and you've heard me sing it worse, too. And I'm pretty sure you'll hear me sing it even better still - maybe next time!" And you would know that this is as true for you as it is for them.

Further, if we're talking of tips - treat the session and the songs seriously. We never permit anyone to sing from a book or word sheet ... "If you don't know the song properly, don't insult us with your half-arsed version of it! Go home and do your work properly!"

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:34 PM

Apologies - I Googled CDSS and it seemed to be entirely American - I
obviously did NOT have the brain trurned on properly .


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 07:06 PM

[expletive refrained from -- I am operating on very short sleep today]: it must all be in the thead title. The following thread started yesterday already has 24 posts:

Secrets of a good singaround?

~ Becky in Long Beach for the weekend


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Melissa
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 07:58 PM

I don't have anything useful to post..but I'm reading. Maybe this one is being followed by lurkers instead of hopeful-argumators?


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 12:50 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Soldier boy
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 07:30 PM

Sorry GUEST Julia F but if you are looking for any input or response from the UK side of the pond I don't think you will get much because they won't understand what CDSS refers to.
Also terms like "informally facilitated group singing" will put people off completely and make them think that you are too much of a posh pants to respond to. In the UK we just keep it simple and call it a 'Singaround.'
Desert Dancer got it right when she/he said "..it must all be in the title."
And you pretty much got it spot on in your opening remarks when you said "...my KEYWORD choices can be loony."
Sorry to sound negative or critical but choice of language used and in particular, keywords in your thread title, are very important to generate interest and get your message across.
A little more thought beforehand to get it right should do the trick and you could always start a new thread using a more succinct title and more attention to phraseology in your opening message as suggested above.
Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: GUEST,Julia F
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 07:24 PM

Thanks everyone! Especially the fantastic and fabulous Becky in Tuscon!!

I entirely appreciate Soldier boy's comment about the title. I figured if they did know about CDSS they'd be interested and if they didn't they'd still get the rest but didn't consider the posh pants bit. I figured having an online forum for songs is about as posh as it gets :)
Jokes aside, I think this hits on an important component of the project since the kits are for folks who may not have experience with informal singing settings at all. How can you convey the spirit of social song in a location and setting that excites young people? We're off to a start!!

In case there are any lurkers, part of my hope is to let North American singers know that this is now on the radar for CDSS and that this project is in the works.   Country Dance and Song Society could, with your help, find its inner Song at last!

I'll be checking out all the links in the next two days (gotta do my US taxes now).
Thanks again!
Julia


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: GUEST,melinda
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 12:01 PM

I've belonged to the CDSS off & on over the years, and one time they sent out a survey to which I answered something like "Country Dance & Song Society does a good job with the DANCE part of its title, but not much with the SONG part."
Is this about to change? I like singing more than dancing, and would hope they'd like up to both halfs of their name.


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: GUEST,melinda
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 12:01 PM

Duh. That's LIVE up to both HALVES.


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: GUEST,Julia F.
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 10:13 PM

Well Melinda, I'm not a spokesperson for or employee of CDSS so here's my impression.

It seems to me they are asking how they can support singing in their members' local communities and for CDSS satellite organizations. I thought their web resources would be a great way to start but they also help affiliated groups that need insurance to hold events rent spaces, etc. So things like that are getting off to a start, and I say, if you have other suggestions you should contact CDSS, keeping in mind they have a small office staff etc...

best,
Julia


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 08:41 PM

Julia's Folk Sing Starter Kit is now up at the CDSS web site. She has written a blog post about it there, as well, where you can see a photo of this lovely young singer, as well as some "Singers at the Gloucester Shanty Sing".

The first page for the starter kit says --

Welcome

We believe shared singing is great fun and builds and strengthens community and self expression. We want singing to be a greater part of our daily lives. We hope that this document gives you ideas and resources to help you clearly envision and set up the group singing situation you prefer.
Sections

This guide contains the following sections:

    What Is a Folk Sing? — What this guide covers, what makes group singing fun
    Envisioning Your Event — Questions to ask yourself to get started, event format ideas
    Finding a Venue — Public venues, private venues, accessibility & transportation
    Publicity — How are you going to get the word out?
    How Will Your Sing Work? — Possible structures/procedures, facilitating, group dynamics
    Song Resources — Web sites, sheet music, sound files, books & recordings, podcasts, history

Contributors

Julia Friend and Nicole Singer want to thank these folks for contributing content and suggestions:

Chris Bracken, Ulrike Brauneis, Dennis Cook, Judy Cook, Alan Friend, Rosalie Friend, Chloe Maher, Liz Minler, Rick Mohr, Justin Morrison, Talitha Phillips, Scott Prouty, Ken Schatz, Charmaine Slaven, Natty Smith, Stefan Read, Jenni Voorhees, Heather Wood.
---

Great work, Julia!

~ Becky in Hackettstown


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Subject: RE: Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 08:50 PM

Plus, Mudcat gets a mention on the Song Resources page (under "Organizations and Communities"). :-)

~ Becky in Hackettstown (lately)


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Subject: Folk Sing Starter Kit now available
From: Booklynrose
Date: 10 Apr 12 - 11:03 AM

Look! The Country Dance and Song Society has spruced up its web content by adding a Folk Sing Starter Kit written by Julia Friend and Nicole Singer. It has great suggestions for forming singing communities and events, encouraging new singers, finding venues to sing in, and more. If you want to hear some great old voices check out the resources section, which is full of links to source recordings, podcasts, and other listening.
        There are countless styles of song gatherings and many genres of folk music, and singers often have strong preferences and affinities for a particular format. When thinking about how to make this kit most helpful, Julia and Nicole thought about how we sort out our differing expectations and preferences when we get together to create an event. Clarifying our expectations and communicating with one another helps us create community and awesome singing in spite of our different singing backgrounds. This starter kit necessarily reflects the singing interests of its authors, but it is fundamentally about how you can communicate your vision to create a group sing that reflects your own musical and social interests.
          Access the starter kit at http://www.cdss.org/song.html


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Subject: RE: Folk Sing Starter Kit now available
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 Apr 12 - 12:36 PM

Great review, Booklynrose.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Folk Sing Starter Kit now available from CDSS
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 11 Apr 12 - 02:55 AM

I would say let the organizers decide what they want it to be...a community that can struggle to make pretty music but enjoys themselves, or a group of people who really want the music to be primary..these are two different groups of people and generally are going to be somewhat oppositional although generally polite. The latter group will just drift away if former predominates generally..and it is fine if they do..would be nice to have at least two types of groups and they can go to which one they prefer.

I recommend seveural things:
1. Decide on the book issue right away. I think the best compromise is to use them for yourselves but dont have the whole group using b ooks.
2. A Decide right now about electronic devices..people will bring ipods etc. for words and decide if that bugs you or not.
3. No flourescent lights at least the old strip ones..people look ugly and it makes the music less inspiring. Some darkness is good..poeple can bring their own flashlights if they need to illumimne the book they might have brought.
4. Limit the diameter of the circle..this is a huge insight I had recently...sound of the music is inversely proportional I think to the diameter of the circle. Do not let the size of the room affect the size of the circle...have a good diameter..it will vary with the group, the room acoustics etc..but people should be able to see each other and know they are in a group activity..form additional circles in back of main circle.
5. Just saw a smart guy at singtime in portland have laminated cards that people pickied up when they wanted to sing..avoids the whole thing of zigzagging back and forth as new people come in, getting people in the back etc.
6. have some good leaders and some good strong sopranos who can lead the group. Good music is made by some combination of good followers and good leaders and when people defer to others who are better at leading...some poeple hate this so then they should be in the community group...some people are fine with leading and following roles, which will change with various factors...one day you are the windshield and the next the bug etc.


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