Gael Music is a youth led arts and heritage organisation that develops and celebrates folk and traditional music with communities across the UK.
Gael Music is a youth-led arts and cultural organisation that celebrates the particular strengths in music and culture of 0-5% (S)IMD and rural communities’ whilst nurturing children and young people’s talent and creativity. We provide instrument loans and free weekly specialist tuition to 128 children and young people from 15 communities spanning Barrow in Furness to Argyll & Bute. Our unique approach combines first-access and more focused instrumental tuition with historical and modern music technology. Engaging online communities and young people with their local traditional arts in the form of tunes and songs that are also used as source material for the creation of innovative new youth-led works.
We have an established track record of traditional arts activities that are unique to the 4 areas of the UK in which we operate and have delivered long-term benefits to 15 disadvantaged communities where participating young people regularly showcase their own research via local public performances.
2014/15 PRS For Music Foundation Biennial Award – ‘New World Drovers’ Commonwealth Commissioned Work
2016 Sook and Blaw - Wax Cylinder Scottish Melodeon project with English Folk Song and Dance Society
2017/18 Scotland’s National Museum of Rural Life and National Foundation for Youth Music: Cumbric language project in Cumbria and Southern Scotland.
Last year we delivered 159 separate activities, directly involving 1,892 young people. We also staged 42 public performances of new music involving young people and local volunteers on both sides of the Scottish border based on locally sourced music that’s relevant to where our beneficiaries are living and growing up.
Here's an example of a West Dunbartonshire Tune from our digital archive based on research carried out by our own participants.
Our Folk Academies at National Museum of Scottish Rural Life in East Kilbride and Carlisle Music Centre
Children and young people representing all parts of South Lanarkshire and Cumbria are leading these new folk music academies and ensembles dedicated to the collection, learning and sharing of traditional music that exist in the region.
If you'd like more information on our Culture Together initiative or join our youth steering group set up to lead this project please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Arts and Music Hubs
Before moving to Scotland in 2012 we formed part of a strategic board that set up the governance model for an English Music Education Hub. Involving key partners from the bid and staff liaison from Arts Council England in the wake of Darren Henley’s influential report into the existing schools music offer.
Songs of the Scottish Enlightenment
More recently we developed a working partnership with The School of Scottish Studies at Edindurgh University on a new project Songs of the Scottish Enlightenment that to create new work with young people based on the ideas of David Hume.
In September this year we worked in partnership with Royal Conservatoire Scotland and Creative Scotland on a new recording project transcribing and reproducing early 20th century wax cylinder recordings from the sound archive at Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies. As part of the work we delivered a master class to RCS BA and MA students before making the written parts freely available via the RCS website.
Our creative team delivered workshops in English and Scottish schools and through a new partnership with the Highlands and Islands Touring network, we staged additional community led performances of the work on Skye, Luing, Jura and Knoydart that were a highlight for us this year.
We design interactive learning materials for The Clarke Tin Whistle Company based on a first access delivery model from and are often required to produce remote recordings as part of our work in schools. With online, distance and blended learning resources and activities due to be extended by us in 2015 we’re optimistic about the future and keen to invest our energies in new initiatives that grow online communities of practice and help high school pupils to progress onto performing and production arts higher education.
Our Folk Academy Ensemble performing live in 2013
Our PRS for Music New Music Bienial award New World Drovers was performed in London's South Bank Centre and Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall this summer as part of Culture 2014 and was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.