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Use the Folk Process

Your first question might be, “What in the Wide World of Sports is the ‘Folk Process’?” It is the refining of verse and song into a piece that is easily remembered and spoken. It has occurred over time with old English ballads. It also occurs with newer songs and poems.

So, how can you encourage it to happen with your songs or poems? Here are a few thoughts that might get the process started:

  • Pay attention when performing. Are there rough areas in the rhythm? Are there parts that are harder to remember? If so, it might be time for a little revision.
  • Pay attention to your audience and their comments. Are there places they seem to lose focus or not react as expected? After the recitation or concert, are you getting questions or comments about the poem or song? Are these questions or comments actionable either in revising the work or in how you introduce the work? Take appropriate action.
  • Find a friend or peer who might perform the work. Get their comments on it, and see if adjustments are necessary.
It all boils down to getting the work performed and paying attention to what happens to the work and what the audience reaction is. By doing so and making adjustments, you will be able to smooth out your work.

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