We love making music in all sorts of places and we believe that the concert hall is only one of many settings people should be able to experience music in. When we’re invited into new audiences and communities we like to explore the power of music to support our wellbeing and mental health. Through these projects we’ve made wonderful connections with: Maggie’s centre visitors, children and young people, and new arrivals to Scotland including refugees and asylum seekers.
Music and Mindfulness
In partnership with Maggie’s, we’ve developed sessions that promote a different way of listening, including listening more deeply and looking at how mindfulness techniques can help to channel the power of music and alleviate pain and anxiety. The workshops include introductions to tools and practices that can be used long after the event has finished. These audiences and our musicians share an exchange of ideas and experiences that can be deeply moving and are amongst the most rewarding interactions we have witnessed in all our work.
These sessions have visited all eight Maggie’s Centres in Scotland and have since gone on to be more widely enjoyed in other settings including schools, public settings and also with corporate partners.
Our work nurturing the artists of tomorrow is made up of two main strands of activity. The first is our annual collaboration with the string students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Students work alongside our musicians across an intensive week of rehearsal and collaboration. This is a chance for them to explore the string orchestra repertoire and be equipped with the technical, interpretative, and creative skills needed to perform it – culminating in a public performance at the end of the week.
Following the week a number of students are invited to join Scottish Ensemble on tour as our Young Artists. This gives them the opportunity to grow artistically and to understand what life as a professional player is like, taking place in our concert-giving activity as well as our creative learning programme. Established for many years now, this scheme has since seen a number of participants return to play with Scottish Ensemble as professionals.
Unlike language, music has few, if any, barriers to understanding. We are proud to be developing a programme of work that focussed on New Scots. This work aims to connect New Scots with each other, with their community and with Scotland as a whole through musical experiences.
Every year we offer a variety of participatory workshops, interactive concerts and more aimed at students of all ages. Many young people have never had the opportunity to experience live music in any form; even less so classical music. We enjoy the responsibility of making that first impression, demonstrating that live music can be uplifting, inspiring and powerful.
During 2022 we’ll be developing a brand-new theatrical concert experience with our partners Mish Mash productions – keep an eye on our social media and Sounds and Stories section for more news on this as it develops.