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Why we do things differently at Igloo..

February 3, 2014

Comments from the organisers of Open Mic 2nd Feb 2014.jpgIn about 2006 I dreamed up this idea for how to do things differently when teaching music.

I have always loved music and started having music lessons at the age of 5. I passed my exams nicely and got all the solos at school etc.. however I found that I didn’t actually know how to do the things I really wanted to do.

Fox Hat Music - Open Mic 2nd Feb 2014.jpg

My singing teacher was fantastic and I had fabulous instruction giving me wonderful technical knowledge and skill. But I wanted to write my own songs, I wanted to accompany myself, I wanted to start a band and perform in public, I wanted to record an album, I wanted to be on Top Of The Pops (alas that never happened and won’t now) and get my music played on the radio, and I wanted to perform at open mics and jam nights, and I wanted to do it without being terrified because I was out of the school environment I knew so well. Sadly my music exams and ability to hit a top A effortlessly were irrelevant to all of that.

Hayley and Mark - Open Mic 2nd Feb 2014.jpg

I was in bands and groups and choirs all through school and college and started to play guitar to accompany myself a bit, but inevitably people went away to university, school friends drifted apart and I found it difficult to meet people to do music with who weren’t
1) massively fickle and unreliable
2) thwarted with personal problems and using music as a comfort
3) drunks
4) lazy
5) expecting me to commit to them exclusively (as someone with extremely eclectic taste it would have been hard to find one project that serves all my needs – it still is!).

James and Carolyn - Open Mic 2nd Feb 2014.jpg

Teaching music eventually found me, and I fell in love with it. But much to my dismay I very quickly I noticed that the same problems were occurring in my students that I had experienced. They wanted to do things outside the classroom – which I actively encouraged – but always came to me to solve the problem of how to meet people, how to get there, what to do as well as what to perform. I had been a lonely singing student as none of my closest friends really understood my burning desire to do it. None of my students knew each other either, and were struggling to meet people, despite the fact that they all came to my house and all were learning to overcome the same obstacles. (This partly is due to the belief that ‘private lessons are best’ – yes they are – for some things, but not everything..)

James and Cha - Open Mic 2nd Feb 2014.jpgThe moral of the story is, that when Igloo was formed, I wanted to create solutions for the problems I experienced as a student. I wanted to build a community of like-minded people, with a positive attitude to music, that would have the freedom to partner on various projects without making a massive commitment to each other, and collectively have the necessary skills to do what they wanted to do. And happily we have been gigging and performing as a group pretty much ever since, with me filling in the necessary gaps.
However, last night was an historic day when the first bunch of iglooers trotted off to a local open mic night and played pretty much all night together without me. A very proud moment for the Igloo and proof that our system works.


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