Celtic Connections 2017 Education Programme
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Celtic Connections 2017 Education Programme


More than 11, 000 children from across Scotland will take part in Celtic Connections 2017 Education Programme. 

Free morning concerts for schools by leading Scottish and international musicians, and workshops in schools led by Celtic artists, will give pupils invaluable opportunities to learn about, take part in and enjoy traditional music.


The annual Celtic Connections Education Programme has reached more than 200,000 children across the country since it began in 1998.      

Its work is supported directly by membership fees from the festival’s Celtic Rover patron’s scheme – which gives discounted rates on bookings and exclusive experiences during Celtic Connections 2017.   

Taking place during Celtic Connections 2017, five free morning concerts for schools in the Main Auditorium of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall by bands including Nashville-based Americana stars Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Brazilian flute virtuoso Carlos Malta, Scots Trad Awards winner Siobhan Miller and Canadian Trio Vishtèn will be enjoyed by up to 9,000 children.

In previous years school parties have travelled to Glasgow from throughout Scotland to attend schools concerts, including Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway and Fife. For many of the children this will be their first experience of live music in a professional venue.

Free workshops will also take place in 45 nurseries, primary schools and ASN schools throughout Glasgow. Pupils will have hands on opportunities to try out traditional Celtic instruments such as the fiddle, clarsach and whistle, and learn about and take part in song, storytelling and stepdance from leading local Celtic artists such as Rachel Hair, Joy Dunlop, Celine Donoghue, Mairi Gilfedder, Adam Brown and Rachel Lightbody.

A range of more than 60 public workshops offering chances to learn about Scottish traditional music which are open to all ages and abilities will also take place throughout this year’s festival.

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader, Glasgow City Council said: “The Education Programme is a vital part of every Celtic Connections, when leading musicians from Glasgow and those who travel to the city for the festival perform for and share their skills and knowledge with thousands of school pupils each year. This creates fantastic opportunities to learn about our country’s traditional music – and how music is a common language shared throughout the world that brings countries and cultures together. 

“The Education Programme also helps ensure that traditional music continues to be a vibrant, growing part of our cultural landscape by introducing and encouraging the next generation of musicians and audiences to instruments and songs that have enriched the lives of generations before them, and will continue to do so for many years to come.”  

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland, said: “When I was learning fiddle as a primary school pupil all those years ago, I would have leapt at the chance to take part in something as brilliantly inspiring as Celtic Connections’ Education Programme. There is no better way to nurture the musicians and audiences of the future than to give them an up close and personal experience of the best Scottish and international artists that the festival has to offer. For all we know, someone sitting in the classroom today might well be a folk star of tomorrow.”

Nursery Teacher Margaret MacRobert brought a party from South Park Primary School in East Kilbride to a schools concert at Celtic Connections 2016.  She said: “The concert was wonderful and it was a fabulous experience for the children.  Our little ones were dancing in the aisles from the beginning of the show.  Both acts had a great stage presence and rapport with the audience.” 

From Thursday 19 January to Sunday 5 February 2,100 musicians from across the globe will take part in 300 events at venues throughout Glasgow for Celtic Connections 2017. The festival is supported by Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland, and delivered by Glasgow Life.

To find out more visit: www.celticconnections.com

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