Time up for music club
The Saturday Morning Music Club which has been running at the Anderson High School for 20 years held its final session yesterday.
The event was marked with a concert and coffee morning.
Conductor Alan Gifford cited the departure of fellow teacher Feri Bartai and a reduction in the number of pupils as the main reasons for the club’s demise.
He said there were “nane comin through” since individual tuition for pupils ended with brass, piano, fiddle and woodwind teachers leaving the profession and not being replaced.
This means that approximately 250 pupils are missing out on tuition, and the effect of the council cuts to musical education of a few years ago are having an effect.
Whereas in the past the club catered for 50 pupils it has reduced to the 30s and the numbers have been dropping every year since the educational cuts were implemented.
Mr Gifford said it is a shame as the club offered, as well as the music, social interaction among peers and increased confidence and experience in their playing.
He added that, “unlike sport music stays with you all your life”.
Club members have included Schools Music Festival Young Musicians of the Year and Young Fiddlers of the Year.
One of the beneficiaries of the club is Sophie Wishart who as well as benefiting from individual tuition, started playing fiddle before moving on to cello.
She said attending the club had meant playing in her first string group and she then knew what to expect when she played with an orchestra. There was the discipline of practising and playing but there were also funs.
She thought everyone should have the opportunity to take up an instrument within the educational system, and it was “a shame” that the club after all this time was coming to an end. She is hoping to go to Edinburgh University to study music.
Another student Sarah Keay, who also plays cello, has found the club invaluable and has been a member since primary seven.
She was “gutted it’s stopping”, saying it has been an “influence on tonnes of people”.
Sarah thought one-to-one tuition was invaluable as everyone learned at a different rate. She did consider music as a career but has opted to go in for accountancy at Napier University. Music will always be a great interest.
Finally Hannah Adamson, a Young Fiddler of the Year in 2011 and Senior Young Musician of the year in 2013, said the experience of playing together at the Saturday club was very useful when she went on to play in the National Youth Orchestra.
There is still free individual tuition for traditional fiddle, but not for violin. Hannah thought it is more productive to get the “best from both worlds”, the one complementing the other.
She is going on to study bio-medical science but her choice of university was swayed by the fact it had an orchestra she could play in.