The Living Memory Association

Edinburgh's Reminiscence Project • Established 1986

Interview & Recording Skills Training

Acquiring Interview & Recording skills is particularly useful for groups conducting a local community or history project. Collecting eye-witness accounts of social change can be an important contribution to future generations.

We look at the technical aspects of recording as well as putting people at ease and covering consent and confidentiality and transcription options.
We believe the process of gathering memories is as important as the memories themselves. The focus should be on the person as an individual and on his or her needs, rather than simply a gathering-in of memories. It's not just the act of remembering but also an act of communicating and sharing. The quality of the interaction is the important thing.
The training will be tailored to suit the needs of the group.

The training consists of sessions on the following topics:

  • Reminiscence Icebreaker: in pairs using photographs to stimulate memories
  • Discussing the benefits of oral history and reminiscence
  • Hands-on Interviewing Session - in pairs
  • Role Play drama of an interview followed by a discussion of interview technique
  • Spoof recording of an interview to highlight types of questions
  • Consent and Copyright
  • Using memorabilia to trigger memories
  • Topics to cover for your project
  • Listening Exercise: extract from an actual interview played on CD
  • Transcription: looking at aids to help with transcription
  • End products: Life Story Books, Websites, Exhibitions

A booklet of training notes is provided. We use Olympus Digital Voice Recorders.

Practical information

This training is intended for groups that may have received funding to embark on a project which involves gathering in people's memories. We offer a customised training session to suit the type of project and the participants. We would normally cover topics such as, interview technique, using digital equipment, copyright & confidentiality, transcription and a look at possible end products.


Contact us to book an Interview & Recording skills training session.


The session lasts for 3 hours and costs £295 for up to 10 people.