Orientation 2018


This term I embarked on the journey of my second ever O Term project, being that I missed all of fall semester last year while I was studying in Maine. My project deals with the cultural connotations and background of the banjo, an instrument typically found in American music. The process involved lots of research and following threads from one piece of information to the next. I didn’t know where it would take me when I started. I simply wanted to know more about the background of the instrument I had just spent $100 on. The most challenging parts of this project were finding time to practice, knowing when to stop researching, and figuring out what my final project would be. However, it was also rewarding to discover that there was much more interesting and controversial history associated with the banjo than I had previously imagined. Through the project I came upon a fair amount of surprising cultural commentary. I spent lots of time writing, practicing, recording, and editing both the words and music for the podcast in order to best share the information I had learned with my audience. I hope that people begin to consider the origins of common things, and recognise that while it may be easier to disregard racism as a thing of the past, it is still present and growing in ways we may not realise. 

If I were to continue this project or do something similar in the future, I would make the introduction more concise and I would incorporate music more throughout the podcast. I would also likely have more developed abilities on the instrument, and maybe I would include an interview or a soundbite of another banjo player as well. However I think the the initial podcast was well served as being short and easy to follow.

Stuff You Should Know About The Banjo Podcast

Transcript & Research Notes