Working/Learning carnival: the latest session

Ceol agus craic.The Irish word seisiún means a casual gathering where people play (mostly traditional) music.  Sessions are often instrumental, but there are singing sessions and mixed sessions.

As The Field Guide to the Irish Music Session says, it’s a way to celebrate a common interest together in a relaxed, informal setting.  You don’t fret about what’s the right thing to do–you pick it up along the way.

Sessions are at least as much for the musicians as for anyone who happens to drop in to listen. Which is as good a way as any to think about this edition of the Working/Learning blog carnival:

  • Karyn Romeis starts with “a bit of a rambling romp” (her words): Learning?  Work? Her own passion for learning is such that she doesn’t think it should be separate from her job, and even prompted her to form her own consultancy.
  • Manish Mohan has taken up a new instrument and shows what he knows in Twitter, Twitter Everywhere…
  • The anthem of Ireland is Amhrán na bhFiann (The Soldier’s Song)—martial, but less thoughful than  Richard Nantel‘s post, Dinner Conversation Turns to War.  In part he’s examining a dilemma: preparing people thoroughly to build skills they may never have to use.
  • Clark Quinn’s post fits right into the spirit of a session: Do What You Love, Love What You Do.  One thing he examines is the question of what makes learning fun, and therefore someone you want to do.  He’s not talking about rubber chickens or noisemakers.
  • Jane Bozarth builds on a 24-year tradition: a group of people who are determined to “stamp out bad training.”  In asking Wherefore Passion?, she’s looking at what makes people passionate about their profession.
  • Shanta Rohse is aware that you don’t read sheet music during a session.  Digital Literacy: Reading Signs along the Way is her exploration of what skills learners need if they want to join in successfully.  Workplaces should take note: if you don’t encourage engagement, people may go elsewhere to engage.
  • Cammy Bean has a great title for her contribution: Learning to Work, Working to Learn.  She’s got a rare break between urgent projects and is using the time to see what she can see.  There’s tinkering, inspiration, revisiting, documenting–she’s busier than when she’s busy.
  • Joan Vinall-Cox‘s A Little Learning Is… looks at the path she’s followed thanks to “little learnings” over time.  Colleagues, like the other musicians in a session, help us learn more and see how much more we can learn.
  • Ken Carroll considers early-career epiphanies leading to An Enduring Insight.  Not “what are the structures of the English language,” for example, but how can we help people learn a language?
  • Tradition is an important part of a session, as is the renewal of the tradition in today’s world.  Dave Lee joins the carnival with My Grandfather’s Advice, where he looks at how his own career has developed in no small part because of that advice.
  • Sessions aren’t supposed to be complicated, but they benefit from skill (which can include the mastery of complexity — like  Davy Spillane on the uilleann pipes).  My own post, Analyzing Tasks with Paradigming, gives examples of techniques I’ve used to make complexity…well, if not less complex, then easier to grasp.

CC-licensed photo of a seisiún at O’Neill’s in Manhattan by JimmyOKelly.

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