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3 years well spent

GUEST,FloraG 15 Nov 16 - 03:10 AM
Will Fly 15 Nov 16 - 03:24 AM
BobL 15 Nov 16 - 03:52 AM
banjoman 15 Nov 16 - 05:23 AM
Jack Campin 15 Nov 16 - 06:08 AM
FreddyHeadey 15 Nov 16 - 07:17 AM
Richard Mellish 15 Nov 16 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Andy7 15 Nov 16 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 16 Nov 16 - 03:35 AM
Jack Campin 16 Nov 16 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 16 Nov 16 - 11:20 AM
Seamus Kennedy 16 Nov 16 - 12:28 PM
Jack Campin 16 Nov 16 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,FloraG 17 Nov 16 - 08:59 AM
Will Fly 17 Nov 16 - 09:42 AM
Mo the caller 18 Nov 16 - 05:02 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 16 - 05:45 AM
Jack Campin 18 Nov 16 - 06:45 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Nov 16 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,FloraG 19 Nov 16 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 19 Nov 16 - 04:18 PM
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Subject: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 03:10 AM

So - would 3 years doing a degree or 3 years in a musical pub be the better training for a career in folk music? I think the cost might be about the same.
Any views?


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 03:24 AM

I'm not quite with you here. Do you mean 3 years playing in pub sessions, or 3 years working/playing in pubs?

Of course it all depends what a "career" in folk music means. It quite possibly means being a musicologist, teaching the subject in schools, doing research, setting up recordings, producing - and/or playing. I think I'd opt for the degree which, even if it's ostensibly in "folk music", can be adapted for other things and areas of knowledge.

After all, one has to live...


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: BobL
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 03:52 AM

Why not do both? You'll need a break from all that hard work, and a few pub sessions might fit the bill.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: banjoman
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 05:23 AM

Take every opportunity you have to do both. Otherwise, if a choice had to be made then chose the pub. You can learn a lot in sessions on a far wider range of subjects than the limited knowledge needed for a degree. Mind you, not all of us ever had such a choice.
Good to see that the sharp wit is as good as ever Flora


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 06:08 AM

Career folkies tend not to spend much time in pubs these days. So if you're expecting to network with them, forget it.

A degree at the University of Gateshead or the Pan-Galactic Imperial Conservatoire of Scotland would serve you much better.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 07:17 AM

Have you already read Dan Walsh's blog
"...The folk degree has plenty of critics within the folk world, and I'm not saying it's perfect as this blog will continue to explain, but how can anyone argue that a large group of talented young folk enthusiasts all being in the same place, sharing ideas, learning from each other and bringing folk to a city centre is not a good thing..."


www.danwalshbanjo.co.uk/blog/the-folk-degree-a-good-thing


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 08:33 AM

A course in any subject at any reasonably respectable university should be a good experience in itself and a good start for a career, whether in the same field or even in a completely different one. The folk music degree at Newcastle has produced some impressive graduates.

Earning one's living from performing folk music is a challenge and not many achieve it, but some do, and some combine performance with other aspects.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,Andy7
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 10:07 AM

I'd suggest starting out by headlining at Glastonbury, and see where you go from there.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 03:35 AM

Play the odds. Being in the right place at the right time when Mr 10% is looking for new talent isn't an exacting science. He used to look in candle adorned upstairs rooms of pubs, then function rooms of working men's clubs hired out for "roots" concerts.

If it's a career you are talking about, Mr 10% is necessary as talent gets you nowhere. It's telling people you have talent that counts.

Mind you, from a pure musical appreciation along the lines of exploring your talent and hoping people agree, YouTube is a great leveller. There are people, especially younger people who craft wonderful interpretations of traditional ballads who have never had to sit next to a crusty fairisle sweater with sandals and listen to conversations over the best pint I ever had. The music moves on and evolves as ever, the medium is a generational thing.

As far as the academic bits are concerned, I am fascinated with history and provenance of songs and happily bore my audiences with it. I also studied music theory in my youth and have found it useful but not as much as you would think.

My concern over academia is analysing abstract concepts. It sounds nice and stirs emotions or it doesn't. I have a healthy appreciation of classical music but there are a few pieces that leave me cold. Possibly through school, being forced to keep my finger on the correct line of the score whilst the teacher walked around checking us. Totally buggered Mozart's 40th in my head amongst others.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 06:50 AM

As far as the academic bits are concerned, I am fascinated with history and provenance of songs and happily bore my audiences with it. I also studied music theory in my youth and have found it useful but not as much as you would think.

I doubt if either the RCS or Gateshead devotes more than a very small fraction of its teaching time to that sort of thing. Their main aim is to give new performers the practical training they need.

The Elphinstone in Aberdeen is more musicologically oriented, but they're hardly going to set exam questions on the historical background of Little Musgrave.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 11:20 AM

A Folk Degree is essential for anyone starting out on a 'folk' career- see FOLK DEGREE by ED Pickford on YouTube to hear about the consequences of NOT having one for an older folk singer....


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 12:28 PM

The University of Limerick too.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 01:03 PM

Being in the right place at the right time when Mr 10% is looking for new talent isn't an exacting science. He used to look in candle adorned upstairs rooms of pubs, then function rooms of working men's clubs hired out for "roots" concerts.

The "right place" might have been a pub's back room once.   It's Facebook and Soundcloud now.

I very much doubt whether any agent would bother looking in a pub for talent these days.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 08:59 AM

What % of bookings are made without agents?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 09:42 AM

In the case of our ceilidh band - perhaps one a year. All the rest are from our website or from word of mouth.

In the case of my duo work with Wolfie, word of mouth from folk club to folk club, a card handed out here and there, and putting ourselves out to do freebies which often bring in work as a consequence of us being heard. Not an agent in sight here.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 05:02 AM

The Newcastle Degree concert at Whitby festival (students & tutors) is always worth hearing.


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 05:45 AM

"Career"!!!
Used to be a grass roots love of the music when I came in - careers were as rare as rocking-horse shit and payed bookings a perk.
"The times they have a-changed".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 06:45 PM

"Career"!!!
Used to be a grass roots love of the music when I came in - careers were as rare as rocking-horse shit and payed bookings a perk.


I think you're the same generation as

The Corries
The Spinners
The Dubliners
The Clancy Brothers
The Chieftains
Hamish Imlach
Martin Carthy
Jean Redpath
Archie Fisher
Peter Bellamy
Ed Miller
John Kirkpatrick
Richard Thompson
Sandy Denny

all of whom had something approximating a career, no?


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 07:05 PM

""Career"!!!
Used to be a grass roots love of the music when I came in - careers were as rare as rocking-horse shit and payed bookings a perk.
"The times they have a-changed".
"

Jim... you could just as well be describing us punk rock ethos idealists of the late 1970s...

Maybe it's the type of people and our relationship with music & culture that are the same important element..

.. and the chosen mode of music is merely an evolving channel of expression..
which is the only thing that morphs with time.....????

errrmm.. before anyone is tempted to accuse me of being perspicacious and profound.... I've been on the rum tonight whilst the mrs watched children in need....


Any Unis set up a punk rock degree yet...????? 😎


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 04:39 AM

I think its wise for everybody to have a ' portfolio' of income sources these days. Gone are the days of 40 years employment with the same firm and a pension at the end.
Performing folk music could be part of that.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: 3 years well spent
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 04:18 PM

Odd Jack..   If you read the whole of my post, you wouldn't need to quote out of context then say what I was saying anyway. I did state it used to be pubs and I did note the prevalence of YouTube etc.

Nice to see Jim decrying the very people who ensured his hobby was raised to a level of excellence, introducing a more sophisticated and discerning audience to the genre. Careers eh? Ewan MacColl needed an offshore banking arrangement after his commercial success (or Roberta Flack's success as it were). Shhh. Don't destroy his fantasy.

I might consider writing a thesis on the advantages of wearing your trousers up to yer tits when claiming you first heard a song at your mother's knee 😎


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