Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Huddled around the fire pit, a crowd of around fifty people sat silently, motionless in the dark. In front of us a storyteller was mid tale: a tale of a Bear King, with castles, golden scissors and a wicked Hag. There were mountains and rivers, endless lost woodlands, of course, and a journey. A journey of discovery.


Her voice was lilting: a special storytelling tempo and rhythm, which she periodically reinforced by tapping gently on a tabor. On occasion, her lilting speech gave into full song. And we sat for an hour as the story unfolded, captivated not by images and effects, music or animation, but rather by the spirit of the story itself.

I understand the neurology: the rhythmic lilting tone is a mechanism of memory, our brains seek routine and structure and, by accommodating this in the story, we can recite long passages by heart. But…

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