I am coming towards the end of Module 4 and only the dissertation to complete.
During my time doing this MA, I have grown in confidence. Part of my work for Module 1, I presented at a conference in Cecil Sharp House the history of the dance Morpeth Rant. That was daunting, not only did I work on the development of the dance and pushed its known history back five years or so, members of the audience included a number of respected dance teachers and researchers.
For Module 3, part of my submission was about the development of the English Ceilidh Band. For this I interviewed a number of nationally known performers and record producers. All of these people allowed me to interview them and as far as I am aware, they considered and then answered my questions honestly.
This last Module I have written about he development of the 78rpm record with emphasis upon country dance and made a radio programme. Again I interviewed well-known people for both parts and again, they have been welcoming to me. It is funny, I have been involved with country dance for over 40 years, and when interviewing this time, especially for the radio programme it felt different. I was interviewing as an insider: people think you know more than you do. I was interviewing people from a generation ahead of me and they think I knew all about the people and events they are describing. Of course, I know some of them, but they talk about it in-the-moment, just like it took place yesterday.
My confidence, and especially as an insider interviewer has grown. This has been helped by undertaking projects on this course, such as essay and report writing and structure and having the ability to say ‘I can do this’ and can do it well.
Some of my research took place at the Vaughan William’s Memorial Library a Cecil Sharp House. The Librarian and the staff have been most helpful.