CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel

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In the week 4 readings, our course convenor David Jones introduced the group to the CLEM approach to learning and teaching. CLEM refers to Community, Literature, Examples and Model. In my position ‘as a learner’ trying to pick up a new Irish tune, these four components are intended to help me think more deeply about this process of learning. I will outline my thoughts, experiences and understanding against each of these components in the following posts, starting with….

  1. Community.

I have spent the last couple of weeks scouring the online world (part of my ‘seek’ stage, as outlined in my personal knowledge management routine) using range of tools and strategies to identify useful learning communities that I could be part of to assist with meeting my learning goal.

I will discuss broadly three types of communities that I have discovered:

  1. The twitter/Blog communities – broad range of individuals and groups providing links and information on happenings in the Irish music world, as well as details about where to find a teacher or session in your location e.g.

I have started following a bunch of these (for example: here, here and here), however have found that while these communities are fairly active, with lots of general information on Irish music and regular updates, it has not been particularly useful for me trying to learn to play certain Irish tunes online.

  1. The Session online forum – This online community has a range of useful features to support a learner of Irish tunes, including – swathes of sheet music, recordings, and discussions on all a broad range of topics. I signed up for the site and have been loving the discussion board. So many of the questions I had about learning music by ear and on fiddle technique have already been asked by other learners, and I have found the responses my other members of the community to have been really valuable. I was also able to listen to some basic midi files of a range of different versions of ‘In the Tap Room’ to give me some ideas of different variations I could play. A great resource!clarejoinsthesession
  2. You Tube – By far the best online community I have discovered for learning Irish music is You Tube. I just typed in name of the tune I wanted to play into the search and was able to easily find a range of videos of people playing the tune, from beginners through to accomplished players, and recordings of the great players of our time. I subscribed to a number of different channels of Irish musicians and this has been, by far, the most useful resource. I have been listening to the videos over and over, and watching the player’s technique, and then using this knowledge to try and play the tune.

In line with the idea of ‘sharing’ my knowledge and making my learning experience public – as I have discussed in previous posts – I have decided to create my own YouTube channel, to start documenting my learning of the tune ‘In the Tap Room’. Check out my new videos here.

my you tube channel

More to come on this soon…

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6 thoughts on “CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel

  1. Interesting to hear about YouTube being of most use in terms of community. I wonder whether there are principles you can take from this for your “as teacher” role? What makes YouTube a better community and how could you learn from that “as teacher”?

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