Music Workshops in Dundee Schools

Dundee Chamber Music has been sponsoring music workshops in Dundee schools since 2002.

Every year one or two of our ensembles visit a local secondary school to give the pupils a workshop in some of the aspects of playing a musical instrument and enjoying classical music. This can take the form of coaching individuals or small groups of pupils who have advanced beyond the beginners’ stage, or can be aimed at developing the ability to listen to and enjoy classical music. The aim of the workshop is agreed between the musicians and the school beforehand.

In season 2014-2015 a workshop was given by Alison Green, bassoonist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under the auspices of SCO Connect, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's Creative Learning Department working in partnership with Dundee Instrumental Service. On that occasion, instead of pupils from just one school being involved, wind players from a number of Dundee schools were guided not only on some aspects of playing a wind instrument but in ways of projecting oneself in front of an audience.

Alison Green taking the workshop in Feb 2015
Alison Green of the SCO Wind Soloists showing how it's done

Whatever the format, our artists have always regarded these workshops as important opportunities to enthuse school-age children in classical music. Meeting professional musicians shows the pupils what reward and real pleasure can be obtained from playing an instrument, both privately and socially as in an orchestra. For all pupils, even those who have never lifted an instrument, the control, the precision and the volume of sound produced by a small group of professional musicians can be a revelation.

So important do many performers regard this educational role that most ensembles, and soloists, have designed workshops specifically for schools. The schools are also very enthusiastic: over the last decade all but two secondary schools in Dundee as well as some in Angus have accepted one or more of our music workshops, and these occasions have proved popular with pupils and appreciated by the music staff of the schools.

The future of these workshops looks even brighter following Dundee City Council’s recent decision to abolish music tuition charges. At present one in eight city pupils is learning to play an instrument. With Dundee Education Department playing such a major role by providing free music lessons, it is to be hoped that Dundee’s pupils of today will become tomorrow’s enthusiastic music-lovers and performers.

School Workshops held since the 2002 - 2003 season




Nov. 2002Grove AcademyDouglas Boyd (oboe) & Susan Tomes (pno)
Jan. 2003Dundee HighFlorilegium (flute, violin & cello)
Nov. 2003Monifieth HighPavao String Quartet
Feb. 2004Lawside AcademyAcademia Wind Quintet of Prague
Nov. 2004Morgan Academy, Baldragon AcademyDante String Quartet
Jan. 2005Carnoustie HighSt Petersburg String Quartet
Jan. 2006St Saviour’s HighOlivier Ensemble (clarinet, cello & piano)
Mar. 2006St John’s HighEmperor String Quartet
Jan. 2007Harris Academy, Grove AcademyCarducci String Quartet
Jan. 2008Menzieshill HighRoyal String Quartet
Feb. 2009Baldragon AcademyLondon Concertante (wind members)
Nov. 2009Morgan AcademySarah Francis (oboe) & Tagore String Trio
Feb. 2010Carnoustie HighCarducci String Quartet
Dec. 2010St Paul’s AcademySolstice String Quartet
Mar. 2011St John’s AcademyAtrium String Quartet
Dec. 2011Grove Academy, Harris AcademyPure Brass
Jan. 2013Monifieth High, Dundee HighNavarra String Quartet
Feb. 2014St Paul’s Academy, Menzieshill HighDoric String Quartet
Feb. 2015Dundee Council Music Education Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Wind Soloists (Alison Green, Bassoonist)
Dec. 2016Grove AcademyMaxwell Quartet

Financial Support

Dundee Chamber Music is most grateful to the Leng Charitable Trust which financed our workshops until 2008. The William Leng Fund and Enterprise Music Scotland have also given us generous support from time to time. The workshop held in February 2015 was financed by SCO Connect and Dundee City Council.