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Dr Liz Doherty

A fiddle player, Dr Liz Doherty has 25 years of experience in higher education, where she has played a pioneering role in developing traditional music as a viable discipline nationally and internationally. She has developed imaginative experiential learning opportunities for students at Ulster University and is regarded as a role model among colleagues.
Ulster University
Job Title
Lecturer in Traditional Music

Liz is a Lecturer in Traditional Music at Ulster University. With 25 years’ experience in higher education she has played a pioneering role in developing traditional music as a viable discipline, not only in the UK and Ireland but internationally.

She is widely recognised as a role model for colleagues who have adopted her pedagogical practices. Due to her work as the sole FTE in the subject area, traditional music is now thriving at Ulster University, entrenched in the curriculum at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

As a fiddle player and academic, Liz occupied a unique position in HE when she took up her first post (at University College, Cork). She has contributed significantly to the transformation of the landscape and, consequently, dozens of institutions globally now include traditional music in their curricula.

Drawing on her experience and network as a professional fiddle player she has created imaginative experiential learning opportunities for students e.g. performances at festivals internationally, collaborative recording projects and mentorships with professional artists.

Through the Traditional Music Learning Community at Ulster she works in partnership with students, who voted her ‘Inspirational Teacher of the Year’ in 2017. She has contributed to the resource base for both Irish and Canadian traditional music studies. Pedagogical resources she developed have transformed the practice of traditional music students e.g. supports for preventing performance-related injuries.

Liz continues to break new ground in terms of developing traditional music studies in higher education. She has recently launched the first accredited traditional music teacher training programme, TAP: Traditional Arts Pedagogy and will continue to promote this in order to professionalise what has previously been an unprofessionalised sector. She has also developed the TradLABB as a paradigm for (i) mapping the lifelong learning journey of the traditional musician and (ii) developing reflective practice. This has the potential to be a transformative tool for traditional music, where practice, historically, is based on tacit knowledge and unspoken community consensus.

Above all, Liz will continue to work to ensure that traditional music continues to flourish as a discipline within HE, and that traditional music students continue to shine.

Advance HE recognises there are different views and approaches to teaching and learning, as such we encourage sharing of practice, without advocating or prescribing specific approaches. NTF and CATE awards recognise teaching excellence in a particular context. The profiles featured are self-submitted by award winners.