Working with young musicians

Bass concert at the Feis Eige

I get so much joy from working with young musicians!

Fun, inspiration, insight into music and the many ‘reminders’ of the positive role that music can play in people’s lives are encapsulated in a good lesson or workshop. Teaching recharges my own batteries, and my commitment to music and to passing on the skills I’ve been lucky enough to have given to me, by the teachers and players who inspired me along the way. I’ve been fortunate to spend the last 15 years working with lots of young musicians, through samba workshops, strings tutoring (e.g. Tinderbox Orchestra) and singing.

One of the highlights of last year, since moving to Eigg, was being involved in the Feis – a youth music course for young people that specialises in traditional music. This was very much breaking new ground for Feis Eige, who would usually focus on ‘trad’ instruments – button box, fiddle, guitar and gaelic song. Seven young people learned bass over three days, culminating in a concert where they performed a trad tune, in two parts, along with some more modern numbers, Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’, and ‘There Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”, by Bill Withers – with the audience joining in on the vocal line – a memorable moment!

Both the young people and the audience enjoyed it so much, I am hopeful that Feis Eige will be able to include the instrument in the future, now that the young folk have got a taste for the bass!

And I love how bass players come in all shapes and sizes, as seen above!