Aberdeenshire pupils combine musical talent to write hit song

Traditional music and Gaelic arts organisation Fèis Rois is working in partnership with Live Life Aberdeenshire on an exciting Youth Music Initiative (YMI) project, ‘Traditional Transitions’.

By Dawn Renton
Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:00 am
The schoolchildren have been working with singer-songwriter Iona Fyfe on the new track.
The schoolchildren have been working with singer-songwriter Iona Fyfe on the new track.

As part of the project, 18 classes from 13 schools across Aberdeenshire, are co-writing a new song which will be recorded by folksinger, Iona Fyfe

Iona has been meeting the classes online to share her experiences as a professional singer and encourage pupils to delve into their local heritage.

She said: “I’ve had a lovely time virtually visiting schools in Aberdeenshire and connecting with the pupils. Writing a song is such a healthy, creative outlet and really allows people to express themselves.

"I’m looking forward to seeing what the pupils write!”

The weekly online YMI music sessions are being delivered by a team of five professional musicians, including pianist Jessica Bates, accordionist Will Marshall, harpist Irene Watt and percussionists Dave Martin and Calum McIntyre.

As well as writing song lyrics, the pupils are working with the team discovering ways to recreate sounds using objects within their classrooms and learning how these can be digitally engineered to form part of the track.

Fèis Rois’ Education Manager, Rachael Duff, said: “This term, whilst pupils are transitioning back into schools, and P7 pupils are preparing to move up to Secondary school, this project aims give pupils the opportunity to spread positive messages on the theme of transition to other young people. We also hope to encourage a sense of pride in local culture, language and music, and to have lots of fun in the process!”

A group of young musicians from across Aberdeenshire are meeting after school to work with YMI tutor Irene Watt to help to structure the composition of the song and to record the instrumental parts for the track.

Susan Whyte, Youth Music Initiative Coordinator for Live Life Aberdeenshire, said: “Working with professional musicians and having the opportunity to produce something creative that pupils can be proud of and which connects to their culture is an exciting and inspiring opportunity and I’m really looking forward to hearing the final song.”