Eighteen musicians, including ten young emerging music tutors from across Scotland, will be employed in a project which aims to re-establish traditional music opportunities for young people after the last 18 months in which such activities have been seriously curtailed.
With support from Creative Scotland and other funders, Gaelic arts organisation, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, has launched ‘Treòir’, a new and exciting project for 2021 which allows local Fèisean (Gaelic arts tuition festivals, mainly for young people) across Scotland to host a musician-in-residence and mentored musician for six months. Treòir, meaning guide; direction; energy, has been adopted by nine Fèisean and was designed to offer secure employment to freelance traditional musicians whose livelihoods have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic whilst also providing mentoring and training for less experienced tutors. The project will also offer traditional music learning opportunities for young people, particularly in remote or rural areas and areas of socioeconomic deprivation.
Eight professional musicians will work with ten young musicians to support them with their teaching skills whilst sharing their knowledge and experience, helping to build their confidence in a teaching setting. The musicians-in-residence will also establish a programme of music classes or workshops in the area in which their Fèis is based, visiting nurseries, parent and toddler groups, schools and youth groups to teach traditional and Gaelic music. The Early Years sector, which has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic with regards to music and Gaelic education and delivery, will be a main focus for the project.
During the residency, some of the musicians-in-residence may also research and collect local tunes, songs and stories which will result in a teaching resource that can be used by current and future Fèis participants.
Arthur Cormack, Chief Executive, Fèisean nan Gàidheal said: “Throughout the Covid pandemic we have been looking for creative ways in which to offer longer-term employment to artists. We were delighted to secure a grant from Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Targeted Fund which, along with funding from Fèisean nan Gàidheal itself, enabled us to develop a programme of musicians-in-residence attached to nine Fèisean across Scotland, two of which are working collaboratively. In addition to the employment the programme offers, the aim is to enable some of the Fèisean to restart their activities and provide additional music-making opportunities for young people.”
Fèisean involved in the project are: Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich and Fèis Taigh Dhonnchaidh (Isle of Lewis); Fèis Bharraigh (Isle of Barra); Fèis an Earraich (Isle of Skye); Fèis Spè (Badenoch & Strathspey); Fèis nan Garbh Chrìochan (West Lochaber); Fèis Fhoirt (Stirling, Falkirk & Clackmannanshire); Fèis an Tairbeirt (Tarbert, Argyll) and Fèis Phàislig (Paisley).
Creative Scotland’s Siobhan Anderson added: “Thanks to funding from the Scottish Government, schemes such as this play a vital role in building infrastructure by creating employment opportunities for musicians while at the same time creating long-term musical opportunities for children and young people post-pandemic.”
If you would like any further information about Treòir or the local Fèisean involved, please contact Nicola Simpson, Senior Development Officer, Fèisean nan Gàidheal – firstname.lastname@example.org.