TRAD MUSIC AND TOURISM – by David Francis

TMF Director, David Francis, muses on a couple of recent tourism documents. A bit late to this, but towards the end of last year two tourism strategy documents appeared, looking to the future of what many regard as a key industry for Scotland. ‘Tourism’ is a hard term to define because so much of the … Continued

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“APATHETIC, ALWAYS ILL AND MUSICALLY ILLITERATE”: A SINGER’S STRUGGLE – by Hannah Rarity

Throughout my formative musical years I embraced all things singing and turned away from many attempts to learn an instrument or theory via classical tuition methods. As a result I’ve often felt a sense of inadequacy when trying to communicate ideas to musicians I’m working with or have become quite frustrated when writing songs without … Continued

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HOW DO WE DEFINE SUCCESS AS SELF-EMPLOYED MUSICIANS? – by Ailie Robertson

It’s December, Trad Awards season and the time of year where typically people look back on the past year and evaluate it. And it always gets me thinking – how do we define ‘success’ in our industry? As someone who balances an active performing/composing career with teaching up-and-coming musicians at the RCS, I’m frequently asked … Continued

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THE WAR OF ART – by Sarah MacNeil

As I write this on December 12th it’s impossible not to know that it’s Election Day. So many people will be busy casting their vote and hoping for a party to be in power that will change things for the better, as they see it. For some that might mean, ‘getting Brexit done’ for others … Continued

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MAKING A JUMP INTO THE UNKNOWN – by Claire Gullan

Photos of Claire by Paul Jennings. Eek, I’ve been asked to write a blog! What a compliment – but what on earth am I going to write about?? Surely most reading this will be in the same boat – life as a musician? The only advice I could give myself was to write about what … Continued

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STUDYING LANGUAGES THROUGH THE LANGUAGE OF SONG – by Katie Macfarlane

Singing has always been my biggest passion in life and at the forefront of my growth as a human being. Anything that I do, the career choices that I make, always has my desire to sing at its root. In my very early years, I was always, almost subconsciously, exposed to Gaelic song in many … Continued

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GETTING THAT NEW PROJECT GOING – by Graham Rorie

My name is Graham Rorie, I’m a full time self-employed fiddle and mandolin player from Orkney living in Glasgow. I thought I’d focus this blog on how I got past the mental and logistical blocks of setting up a new project. Something I put off for far too long and can’t wait to get started … Continued

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STRIKING THE BALANCE – by Hayley Keenan

Hello there! My name is Hayley Keenan and I am a full-time musician and educator. I am a founding member of folk band ‘Talisk’ and play the fiddle alongside Mohsen Amini (concertina) and Graeme Armstrong (guitar). I am also a member of ‘Jim Jam Ceilidh Band’ and run a folk club in Largs called, ‘Largs … Continued

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INTO THE MUSIC – by Tom Oakes

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with humanity’s desire to place someone based on fairly rudimentary questions: Where are you from? Errm.. What kind of music do you play? Errrrm. What’s your favourite album? Favourite guitarist/flautist? Or my particular favourite (sarcasm intended): Where did you ‘get into’ the music? Almost never implying music … Continued

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NO MORE COASTING – by Patsy Reid

When I was asked to write this piece, I figured I had plenty of time to decide what to write about and also plenty of time to write it, as I was going to be away music-ing without the usual distractions that home offers. But alas no, here I am on deadline day, backstage at … Continued

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