3 reasons why folk music could be your new favourite hobby

Any hobby can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends with common interests – but the folk scene has a particular emphasis on community.

You’ll find all sorts of people at traditional music gigs, but the average folkie tends to be over 50. Concert-goers often see each other regularly at gigs – though the real social glue that keeps the folk and traditional music community together is the sessions.

A folk session is a gathering, usually (but not always) hosted in a pub, where anyone is welcome to come along and play music. While solo performances are allowed (and often strongly encouraged by appreciative regulars), a traditional music session largely involves everyone playing tunes together, off the cuff.

Venues will often hire one or more professional musicians to ‘lead’ the session – but that just means they’re there to facilitate and encourage everyone, and to make sure there’s at least someone confident enough to keep the tunes coming in case people are feeling a bit too shy to start their own.

Sessions aren’t just for playing musicians, though – anyone is welcome to come along and listen to the music, whether they want to listen for a while before deciding whether to play, or just enjoy the tunes.

Traditional music sessions are usually open to anyone, but it’s normal to feel a bit nervous about the prospect of attending your first one – especially if you want to join in with the music.

However, you might find it reassuring to hear that newbies frequently post on folk forums and groups, asking for advice on ‘session etiquette’ – and time and again the response given is the same. They’re told: don’t worry too much, and just treat it like any other social event.

If you do want to join in with the music, then, as with any social gathering, it’s always worth just politely asking if you can join in. But, keep in mind that everyone joining in with a session is there to share and listen to beautiful music – and the regulars will always want to help you feel welcome and included.

So if you’re thinking of attending a session, but are feeling a bit anxious, it’s worth pushing past your fears and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Chances are, you won’t regret it!

You might want to have a watch of this YouTube video to see what a traditional folk session can look and sound like.

Author: wpadmin

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