Traditional singing – education models. Polish and serbian experiences
22 September 2017

The meeting aimed at starting a discussion about the role, significance and ways of functioning of traditional singing (including its acquisition in the process of learning) in Poland in comparison with the methodologies used in Serbia, where this discipline has been developed for many years. The debate focused on the following questions: 

  • How traditional singing pedagogy works in Poland and Serbia? 
  • What  are formal and informal models in teaching traditional singing?
  • To what extent, if at all, can we speak about “auteur schools”
  • What sort of song repertoire is most commonly taught? 
  • How are the songs taught – what is important in the process: the context (history, origins, functions), technique and style, sense of accomplishment (personal, group, communal)
  • In the process (of learning , experiencing), what is the role of the person the song has been heard from (“the master”)?
  • What is the role of the “teacher”. Who is the “teacher”?
  • To whom is such an educational programme addressed? Who are the “students”?
  • What is the place of traditional singing education and singinging itself in academic discourse? 

These are just a few auxiliary questions the debate touched on. The debate and conclusions were moderated by Weronika Grozdew-Kolacińska from the Institute of Arts of the Polish Academy of Sciences. 

Speakers from Serbia: 

  1. Jelena Jovanović – ethnomusicologst, Serbian Academy of Sciences, theorist and practitioners, runs traditional singing workshops 
  2. Branko Tadić – ethnomusicologist, Mokrancjac Traditional Music School, teacher and practitioners, runs traditional singing workshops 
  3. Sanja Ranković–ethnomusicologist, Mokranjac Traditional Music School, teacher and practitioner, runs traditional singing workshops, fronts Moba singing group. 
  4. Aleksandra Pavićević – anthropologist, Ethnography Institute in Belgrade, researches traditional culture 

Speakers from Poland:

  1. Justyna Piernik – a journalist and reporter at Polish Radio 2, traditional singer, fronts the group “Warszawa Wschodnia”. She has organized and taken part in numerous field researches and socio-artistic projects in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. She researches old performance styles and their transformations, among others in the vocal music of Kujawy. 
  2. Klaudia Niemkiewicz – culture expert, ethnologist, the author of a treatise on adapting rural musical traditions. For over a decade, she studied the song folklore of Kurpie, Lublin, Mazovia, Ukrainian Polesia, Kiev and Poltava regions. She has been practicising traditional singing since 1999. 
  3. Ewa Grochowska – musician, traditional singing teacher, researches musical traditions of Polish villages and vocal styles of Central-East european traditional music. She has developed her own original methodology of teaching and working with traditional singing. She has been honing her skills since 1999. 
  4. Adam Strug – a Polish singer and instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, the founder of the vocal ensemble “Monodia Polska” that performs traditional Polish songs passed down by word of mouth.  He focuses on vocal art. 
  5. Edmund Kuryluk – culture animator, singer, educator, a graduate of doctoral studies in pedagogy. As a singer, he predominantly focuses on the reconstruction of traditional music and performing bel canto. He runs workshops for childten, teens, adults and older people. He leads a male vocal ensemble, a theatre group for teens and various vocal ensembles.  


The Programme is available here:  DOWNLOAD PROGRAMME