Emily Wood - Folk & Science [S.1, EP.5]

Emily talks about her research at McMaster University and contrasts learning folk music traditions with music education.

Emily Wood - Folk & Science [S.1, EP.5]

On the Rhythm Changes Podcast, Emily Wood talks about her research with the Auditory Development Lab at McMaster University and contrasts learning folk music traditions with music education.

We talked about

  • Being a grad student in a non-musician field with a musical culture
  • Growing up in fiddle groups like the Coast String Fiddlers and going to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival
  • Fiddle music instruction compared with other music instruction, like a high school band
  • The brain’s role in musicianship in conjunction with the body
  • How music activates your motor system
  • A case for teaching music much earlier to young children
  • A stronger benefit-based argument for music education (better than, “it increases students’ grades”)
  • A digression on my own learning timeline and how it had almost no music until high school
  • Refusing to worry about nature vs. nurture
  • Emily’s takes on some North Shore Celtic Ensemble observations I’ve had about teaching new tunes to students
  • What to look for in a well-prepared and comfortable performing youth group (looking at each other, moving around, & more)
  • How a good fiddle teacher always takes a particular amount of time between call-and-response teaching melodies by ear
  • Why teachers need to watch how much information they give at a time, looking to not overload students’ working memory
  • The lack Emily perceives of academic research on folk music teaching
  • Body sway: how musicians communicate by moving
  • Mental practice: without your instrument or when you’re injured
  • Why almost everybody can carry a tune
  • Emily’s own music and jazz school experience
  • The threat of falling out of love with music when you have high personal standards of perfection
  • Coming home to jam with Kirin Lamb, Jennifer Mauel, Jocelyn Pettit, and other folk music friends
  • Emily’s next steps as a musician