Pedagogies, Practices and the Future of Folk Music in Higher Education

Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 January 2018


The year 2016 marked the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the BA (Scottish Music) at Scotland’s national conservatoire, and the dawn of traditional and folk music’s entry to the performance-based higher education sector in the UK.We celebrated this milestone at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland by taking stock of the significant educational, professional and artistic developments to have taken place since the degree’s first days, re-imagining our degree for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, and re-launching it as the BMus (Traditional Music) and (Traditional Music Piping).

This recent milestone comes at a critical juncture in the development of traditional and folk music in higher education, both in the UK and elsewhere: funding models across much of the UK present challenges to inclusion and participation, but it could be argued that the expectations and aesthetics of today’s emerging traditional musicians present challenges of an even more profound character.

Issues of digitisation, commodification, transitions to and from higher education, increasingly porous boundaries between genres (alongside increasingly fortified national boundaries in Europe and the West), evolving concepts of performance practice and the role of the individual in tradition are all providing fresh contexts, within which fresh approaches to pedagogy and curriculum are needed if folk and traditional music education at the tertiary level, particularly in the performance-based conservatoire context, is to continue to flourish.

The recent 20th anniversary of the BA (Scottish Music) and its transformation, therefore, presents us with a timely opportunity for colleagues across the sector to come together and take stock of the above issues and how they relate to teaching and learning; to share good practices in pedagogy, assessment, inclusion and transition; and to learn from each other.

Please join us at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in partnership with the renowned Celtic Connections Festival and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, in January 2018 for this important conference involving the presentation of papers, participation in knowledge exchange and world-class performances.



The call for papers is now closed. All abstracts have been reviewed and applicants informed of the outcome of their submission.


For further information on conference registration and delegate fees please click here.


If you have any further queries in relation to this conference please contact