[Elfsea] Learning Experiences that work.

Catrin ferch Maelgwn ladycatrin at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 15:40:11 PST 2009

>>On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 12:37 PM, <Klfrench1023 at aol.com> wrote:
 Mea Culpa!  I didn't know that Lady Catrin was one of ours!  She was
absolutely fabulous, and her performance skills are so incredibly
accomplished for one so young.  Elfsea is lucky indeed to have so many
talented Bards and artisans.

Vivat, Elfsea!!!


My lady, that fault is mine entirely.  I have not been as familiar with my
home barony as I ought in the past few years, owing largely to a schedule
that keeps me from attending evening gatherings during the week.  I mean to
remedy this in the months to come, but please know that you need not
apologize for something that is not your fault!  And thank you so much for
your kind words, both here and at 12th Night.

Regarding learning experiences and Duchess Willow's original post, I agree
that a supportive, encouraging environment is vital to the growth of any
artisan (or fighter, or service volunteer, or any of the multitude of roles
we take on in the Society) -- especially when they are just starting out.  I
can only attest to what I've seen and experienced in the realm of "bardic"
activities, but I imagine this applies to other areas just as well.  Many
times I have heard from young or inexperienced bards that they are
interested in performing, but are afraid to start out because they don't
think their skills, or knowledge, or repertoire is "good enough."  The
relaxed atmospheres of bardic circles like the ones I have had the pleasure
of attending in Elfsea, Loch Ruadh, and elsewhere are a wonderful remedy to
this kind of beginner's anxiety.

There will always be a need for places where a brand-new performer can show
up for the first time, fumble nervously with her guitar, forget the words to
her song, and still be praised for what she did *well* and encouraged to
continue trying.  That was my personal experience, and the beginning of my
life as a bard in the SCA.  For many people, it is only when this kind of
security is established that they can really begin to learn and improve
their craft.  And if they already have a support network of people who
believe their potential is worth investing in, then the resources they need
will be that much more readily available--and they will have that much more
of a chance to excel.  If we treat every new person as a valuable addition
to the group, look at them as someone who might someday be a King, or a
Queen, or a Lion, or a master and teacher of their art... then I think the
support we give to our newcomers takes on a whole new level of importance.

We are fortunate to belong to a group--locally and in the Society as a
whole--that tends to be so nurturing and welcoming to newcomers.  So I
apologize if this ramble was a bit of preaching to the choir, but it's
certainly an interesting topic.

-Catrin ferch Maelgwn
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