This work explores the relationship between rehearsal and performance and looks at those instances that can be named new sites and new occasions for learning. Photographs document the visual impact of these sites of performance, pinpointing moments where learning, dialogue and reflection take place. The contrast between indoor and outdoor performances is highlighted and the differences in the identities and behaviour of audiences during these are evident.
During the film recording of a performance of community brass band, Cleator Moor Brass, there are two identified details of interest. The conductor uses a series of cards to communicate the numbers and order of the hymns played. This non-verbal pedagogy informs clearly and acts as a learning tool during the performance, a code the band have learnt to inform the overall performance. The second is the act of sharing that takes place around the music stand during outdoor performances. Band members carry pegs to be used during changes in weather, these tether the sheet music and are an intervention, a small gesture, which reflects the strength of collective support within the band. During the performance we see the interaction of the band in setting up and clear away following the fulfilment of the engagement. In between the two points there are planned and unplanned instances where the band pause, resting between pieces. During these moments there is time for planned reflection, part of the overall events and unplanned instances of exchange. These moments form a repertoire for collective occasions for learning.
The banner show depicts an example of a new site for learning and is presented using methods that reflect the travelling nature of the band. The band travel to these sites in the same way a travelling fairground arrives at the selected site then setting up a show, a performance. The banner is also changeable and can be used to display a record of indoor and outdoor intervention of making together. As with banners that formed the backdrop for fairground rides, this banner can be unfurled and set up to share those new moments of performance. Once these have been shared the banner can be rolled up and packed away until there is something further to share.
Where the banner proclaims the identity of a community then the brass band uniform informs the audience the identity of the band. Research into the band members’ dual identities informs work on those aspects of personal learning journeys that take place during practise and performance. The dialogue of band members and their reflections on what they take form being a member are presented in a band coat. The coat is decorated with image and text communicating the idea that during practise and performance there are numerous openings for new occasions for learning.
Di McGhee's Blog
New Occasions for Learning