The TradLABB: A Framework for the Life-long Learning Journey of the Irish Traditional Musician.


  • Liz Doherty Independent Scholar


Irish traditional music, informal learning, deep learning, reflective practice, framework, know, doing, being, becoming, community



This paper proposes a new framework that is intended to enable and encourage the Irish traditional music learner to better understand his/her journey of becoming an Irish traditional musician. The TradLABB maps out the learning process as having, simultaneously, a progressive (horizontal) dimension and a depth (vertical) dimension. ‘Trad’ is an abbreviation of ‘traditional’ and ‘LABB’ is an acronym for Learning-Applying-Being-Becoming, the iterative cycle that has been identified as underpinning the process. The framework has been developed in order to help learners visualise the stretch of the journey involved, and to enable them to situate themselves along the continuum of learning at any given time. It is intended to support learners in taking more ownership of, and responsibility for, their learning, to understand the 4 key elements of the process, and to encourage them towards becoming more reflective practitioners. The TradLABB is also presented as a tool for traditional music educators. It challenges teachers to find imaginative ways to articulate previously tacit methods and approaches and encourages them to explore new and innovative ways of supporting learners at all stages of the journey.


Author Biography

Liz Doherty, Independent Scholar

National Teaching Fellow (2019), PhD, BMus, SFHEA