Music Education Futures in the Highlands and Islands, (video archive)

Image Credit: Music Lesson (1975) by Ion Chibzii, wikimedia commons share alike CC licence.

This is a video archive of a live panel discussion on Music Education Futures in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland that took place at 1pm on Friday 18th June 2021. The panel were discussing the future for music education in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and how the community, secondary school and third sector creative learning changed during the pandemic, and what the future might hold for music learners and teachers across the Highlands and Islands.

The panel were:

Fiona Dalgetty (Chief Executive Fèis Rois)

Simon Bradley (Music Lecturer and Programme Leader, UHI)

Lauren Moir (Principal Teacher (Pupil Support/Music) Mallaig High School) 


Simon Bradley

A fiddler and composer, Simon Bradley has worked professionally in several Celtic genres as a performer, recording artist and educator. He has taught on numerous workshops and summer schools in the UK and abroad and has recorded and toured with several bands including Llan de Cubel from Asturias in Northern Spain. Simon’s compositions are widely performed in the traditional music scene and he recently published a book of his tunes Buncrana To Baleshare and accompanying CD Grogarry Lodge, for which he was nominated for BBC MG Alba’s Composer Of The Year 2012.

As composer in residence at local Museum and Arts Centre Taigh Chearsabhagh in March 2012, Simon explored transience in coastal habitation in the Uists. His innovative approach combined visual and musical compositions which were selected to exhibit at London’s Apothecary Gallery earlier this year. Simon launched a new collaboration between Scotland’s foremost award-winning traditional composers, piper Ross Ainslie and accordionist Mairearad Green, which was debuted at the Celtic Connections festival in January 2013. Simon is the founder and creative director of the ‘Albastur Cultural Exchange’ programme which links students, teaching staff and public in the Scottish and Asturian (Northern Spain) locations. The remit is to explore and investigate the two Celtic traditions in these locations and forge strong cultural links between them through research activity, collaborative performance and educational workshops.

Simon is the Programme Leader for MA Music and the Environment and year group leader for the honours BA Applied Music students leading on final performance, composition and research.

Fiona Dalgetty

Fiona is a former Fèis Rois participant who returned home to Ross-shire to take up the post of Chief Executive of Fèis Rois in April 2009. Fiona graduated MA (Hons) Celtic Studies from the University of Edinburgh before going onto build a career in the arts in Scotland. Named in the 2018 BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List, which recognised the top 40 most successful women having an impact on the music we are all listening to, and inducted by the Saltire Society as one of ten Outstanding Women in Scotland in 2019, Fiona has grown Fèis Rois to have an international reach whilst ensuring its roots are very firmly planted in Ross-Shire. She is a fiddle player and, prior to taking up her role at Fèis Rois, Fiona taught for many years for the Scots Music Group in Edinburgh and Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop.

Lauren (Tait) Moir

Lauren Moir (BA Hons, PGDE) is a performer, teacher and tutor from Fort William. She graduated from the RSAMD in 2009 with a BA Hons degree in 1st study piano under the tutelage of Mary MacCarthy and proceeded to a PGDE in Secondary Education (Music) at the University of Strathclyde.

After teaching in several schools across Highland, Lauren has taught in Mallaig High School for 8 years and has found teaching music to be an excellent career path providing exciting opportunities to the youth of West Lochaber. Pupils have performed all over the country and abroad under Lauren’s direction in several capacities including Blas Festival, Celtic Connections, Fèis na Mara and in 2019, a group from Mallaig High visited Chengdu, China showcasing Scottish Music for the Confucius Institute for Scottish Schools. The music department at Mallaig High School is renowned for its high standards of playing, its dedication to Scottish Music and high numbers of students finding success in music performing and composing after leaving school.

Lauren is also a sought after tutor at events across Scotland, such as The Scottish Suzuki Piano Association and many Fèisean events across the country. As a regular performer, Lauren is piano player with the Riska Ceilidh band, an all female line-up from the West Highlands and in sessions regularly across Lochaber. She is also a keen singer in Gàidhlig and English. Lauren now resides in Arisaig with her musical identity based on the music and culture of the West Highlands.

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