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Christina Stewart

What I've Been Doing

I really do feel that traditional song should, whenever possible, be presented in some way that reflects the overall traditions of which it forms part.

By that, I mean there's a lot more to these songs than just the melody, lyrics and style.  Songs, stories, dances, etc all go hand in hand.  It's a shame to dislocate them.

In practice, this means that when I teach waulking songs, I get out the tweed and teach some waulking basics; when I introduce puirt to children, I start with the rhythms and work up, finally getting them to dance while singing; when I'm teaching playground games, I like to get the participants out into the playground; when I introduce a song, I like the audience to know what the story that goes with it is.

Adults in my classes will often be offered different versions of one song and asked to look at why the differences are there.

If you look at some of the projects I've been busy with, you'll notice this theme running through them - providing a resource of lullabies to parents of newborns in kist o dreams, bringing dandling songs into parent and toddler groups in Learning with Lullabies, and the way I teach in schools and groups.