A gratifying moment

A fellow scholar has just alerted me via Twitter, to a favourable comment about my work on William Chappell.  It’s in Steve Roud’s book, Folk Song in England.  I’m heartened that Steve is approving – he’s a highly-regarded expert in his field.



Libraries Reaching Out to Distance Learners

I gave two short talks about my PGCert project, in recent weeks. Firstly, for a day organised by the Scottish Library and Information Council, and then at the IAML (UK and Ireland) Annual Study Weekend 2018, for music librarians.

The short talks (click on the link to see my slides), were entitled “From PGCert to PG Certainty” went down well, and I was asked if I’d share them on the IAML (UK and Ireland) blog.  The posting went live today, so here it is:-

Libraries Reaching out to Distance Learners

This is just a brief summary – I hope to write a longer article in due course, but haven’t yet had time to give it the attention it deserves!

Workshops and Updates

CFSH Workshop poster

My working week is nothing if not varied!  I organised and chaired a research workshop for the Claimed From Stationers’ Hall network yesterday – a great day was had by all! More about the workshop will appear on the CFSH blog in due course.

Today, someone mentioned that the library portal Education page was a bit light on content. Well, this very Teaching Artist website has an extensive bibliography, so I’ve selectively copied some items across.  It afforded the opportunity to update a few weblinks whilst I was at it …

Last Friday, I drew upon lessons learned from my PGCert project, when I talked about helping distance learners get to grips with online resources and referencing software, at the SLIC event, Libraries, Literacies & Learning  (23rd March 2018).  You can see everyone’s powerpoint slides here:-


Archived Storify about Shared Thinking

Because Storify is discontinuing in May 2018, I have archived this thread, that I collated a couple of years ago.  Not as attractive as it was with images in Storify, but at least the story is still preserved!

Shared Thinking: Student Induction Event (mainly as reported by Sue House)

I am myself thinking about student engagement in library-led seminars and tutorials – it’s the focus of my PGCert project. So when I read librarian Sue House’s tweets from a Shared Thinking event at York on Tuesday 5th July, I sat up and looked, because she cites lots of useful info & references.

I hope this doesn’t look like stalking! But Sue posted so much interesting, relevant and useful detail, and I knew I’d lose it all unless the tweets were captured and kept safe. So, for future reference, here are some tweets – beginning and ending with Shared Thinking. Interestingly enough (to me), it appears Shared Thinking originated in Glasgow – where I got my PhD. Clearly, I need to investigate!

Meanwhile, here is my first attempt at taking notes on someone else’s attendance at a conference that I wish I had known about! Online notes – how very “now”! (Incidentally, I have looked up most of Sue’s references so they can be followed up later. That’s my “added value” to this Storify.) Continue reading Archived Storify about Shared Thinking

Pixis and his Hommage to Clementi

johann_peter_pixis_by_august_kneiselDuring the reign of King George IV, Johann Peter Pixis wrote his Hommage a Clementi, a set of piano variations on ‘God Save the King’, op.101.  Published in 1828 by S. Chappell, and also distributed by Henry Lemoine, copies went to all the copyright libraries.  As I’m transcribing each item on the two Advocates’ Library music sales lists, I’m looking to see where copies survived, and it’s rare to trace such near-complete coverage as I did with this piece.   Playing my game of ‘Happy Families’ with the list dated March 8th, 1830, I checked off an almost complete set still extant, in Aberdeen, St Andrews, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and the British Library.  Clearly, variations on ‘God Save the King’ were generally considered worth keeping.  Indeed, St Andrews and Cambridge each hold two copies.  The popularity of the tune is corroborated in a recent book, Taking it to the Bridge: Music as performance, edited by Nicholas Cook and Richard Pettengill, p.114. 

Of course, the Advocates were selling theirs, and who knows what happened to the copy that presumably also went to the University of Edinburgh (aka ‘Edinburgh College’).  As for Sion College – I haven’t started investigating what happened to their music, yet.  I hope to visit my counterparts in Lambeth Palace soon, but my travel plans are a bit up in the air at the moment …

After several hours of transcribing grey, enlarged camera photos, I thought it might be fun to play this apparently desirable score.  It’s lucky I’m visiting Glasgow University Library soon, because a quick search online didn’t turn up a digitised copy.  Admittedly, I didn’t look very hard.  However, I did find a review of the piece in The Harmonicon of 1828, the music magazine which was enormously popular with library users in St Andrews!  Two of Pixis’ sets of variations are reviewed.  Do I really want to bother with something fit only for ‘crazy amateurs of Vienna’,  or nimble-fingered pianists with no judgement?  Maybe the Edinburgh advocates knew something …

Pixis Variations op.101
“Difficult and devoid of interest”


Graduating: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education

Technically, this post finally completes the purpose of the blog.  It began when I started the distance-learning Teaching Artist short course with my own employers, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  And I continued it when I took my studies to the next level for the PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education.

Next week, I graduate with my Postgraduate Certificate, which qualifies me as a teacher and will also make me a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – kind of ironic, for the scholar who in 1984 took refuge in librarianship because she couldn’t imagine herself standing in front of a class.  Ironic too, because my parents were both teachers – and I was sure I would never be one.

1984-5 were pivotal years for me.  I did a Graduate traineeship in a university library, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship, got a Distinction, got a job, then another job, then achieved chartership with my professional association, and conceded that I’d never finish the PhD that I had begun with such hope.  I couldn’t see myself as an academic, had had no opportunities to try, and was assured by everyone that there weren’t any jobs out there anyway.  Then finally burned my boats by abandoning the PhD.  If someone had sat me down and asked why, or tried to persuade me otherwise, would I have listened?  Who knows.

Fast-forward to 2009.  I got a PhD the hard way, part-time, on a different subject which I found totally absorbing.

And fast-forward again to today.  After years of delivering user education in the library, lectures about bibliography and electronic resources and papers about a wide variety of research topics, I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, and next week I’ll have a PGCert as my reminder!

I’m not going to close down this blog, though I may only add to it infrequently.  I’ve read a massive amount of literature about educational matters, and it would be shame to lose all that commentary.  But I’d also like to leave this post with an admonition for those who have followed it:

Don’t say you can’t do something until you’ve tried.  Don’t abandon ambitions because they seem too high.

I have seven years until I can claim my pension – meanwhile, I have a lot of catching up to do!

(If you’ve enjoyed following me on this blog, you might be interested see what I’m up to now – visit ClaimedFromStationersHall.wordpress.com/– it’s the research network that I’ve recently founded, studying British early legal deposit music.)

Did I Mention GIFs?

Buffer kindly shared a useful article yesterday, which might answer the question I wrestled with in my recent PGCert project:-

The Ultimate Guide to GIFs: How to Create Them, When to Use Them and Why They’re Essential for Every Marketer

So, if students request animation and video in our instructional materials, then I could make GIFs from Screencast-o-Matic videos.  This does need a little thought, however, since I’d be producing them as part of my employed work, rather than as a student in my own time at home.  Nonetheless, I feel a little more optimistic having read this article, so I’ll do a bit of exploration back at work!

There’s also a quick videoclip outlining one approach.  I need to investigate three websites!

  • Canva
  • EZGif
  • Giphy.com

Now, don’t laugh, please! I made my first GIF.  It took literally hours, and has no artistic merit.  However, it IS a giphy gif – my firstborn.  I made a gif describing the legal deposit “lifecyle”of early 19th century music.  How arcane is that?!  And I can get it into Twitter as well!


I'm a musicologist disguised as a librarian. I'm qualified in music, librarianship and education. I began this blog when I was studying for my PGCert in Learning & Teaching in Higher Arts Education, and I'm now using it for CPD. I'm a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Midweek I am PI for an AHRC-funded research network @ClaimedStatHall – early legal deposit music. Off-duty I'm hard-wired into my sewing machine!