Lyre Association of North America

Lyre 2015 Pedagogy Conference

Lyre 2015 Pedagogy Conference

This week’s Lyre 2015 update will focus on our Third International Lyre Pedagogy Conference.  During informal lunchtime meetings at Lyre 2006 in Northern Ireland, many lyre teachers expressed a strong desire to create a forum for teachers of the lyre where experience and methodology could be shared and deepened, and where it might be possible to establish personal relationships with other colleagues involved with lyre pedagogy.  Anna Prokovnick Cooper and Sarah Boyd, organizers of Lyre 2006, along with Channa Seidenberg and Sheila Johns from the US, heard this call as a mandate, and we began working toward such a future possibility even before we departed from Belfast!  The result was our first-ever Lyre Pedagogy Conference in Sweden in 2009, attended by over 40 teachers and other interested lyrists.  Teachers from a number of countries shared with the full group their personal pedagogical experience, and we agreed enthusiastically to do more of this kind of work together.  In 2012 in Überlingen, Germany, a similarly large group assembled to take up this work once again.  For this Second Lyre Pedagogy Conference, we held breakout sessions distinguished by various types of lyre teaching, surrounding these focus sessions with full group singing, improvising, and meaningful dialogue.

 This summer, for Lyre 2015, we are pleased to report that so far we have 33 teachers and friends registered for our Third International Pedagogy Conference, and we are hoping and expecting to be joined by others!  We will begin on Saturday evening, August 1st, with registration beginning at 4:30 pm, supper at 6:00 pm, and a 7:30 pm opening session where we will meet each other as well as sing and play together.  For our full day on Sunday, following a brief opening, all participants will have the opportunity to choose 2 of 6 areas of lyre teaching focus as shown below – one from the three Youth Groups, and one from the three Adult Groups:

 ·         Kinder Harp/Early Childhood

·         Lower School Age

·         Adolescents 

·         Beginning Adults

·         Intermediate Adults

·         Older Adults/Special Needs Adults

During the morning hours on Sunday, the groups will focus on approach and teaching methodology for the various ages and stages.  Following our lunch break, the same groups will deepen their focus on the application of teaching methods to include repertoire and practical matters.  On Sunday evening, we will come together in the full group to share conclusions and repertoire from the three Youth Groups.   

On Monday morning, we will share together what came out of the three Adult Groups, concluding with directed conversation of the whole group, which may well extend into our final lunch together!  There will then be time for a nice afternoon break before the opening of our Main Conference that night. 

We are eager to take our pedagogy focus to another level for Lyre 2015 and are confident that the widespread experience and enthusiasm of this special gathering of teachers will create a rich and inspiring event for all who attend!  If you have not already registered, please consider joining us, and if you know of anyone who would be interested in understanding more about learning to play the lyre, this unique gathering will have something for everyone who loves the lyre and wishes to see it develop and thrive in the world! 

To complement the music we will share informally at our Pedagogy Conference, don’t forget our official lyre music store that will be up and running during our Main Conference, carrying volumes of music from many countries!  Please see the following note from Music Sales coordinator, Samantha Embrey. 

Sheila Johns, May 30, 2015