Traditional music and Gaelic arts organisation Fèis Rois has teamed up with Live Life Aberdeenshire on a Youth Music Initiative (YMI) project which will see pupils co-write a song for north-east folk singer Iona Fyfe.
As part of the Traditional Transitions project, 18 classes from 13 schools across Aberdeenshire are in the process of co-writing a new song which will be recorded by award-winning singer 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.
“Being brought up in Aberdeenshire allowed me to be rooted in tradition and the local Doric dialect of Scots.
“Our connection to tradition and language is intrinsic to who we are as people, and I really hope the pupils feel proud of their heritage and their language.
“I’d love to play just a wee part in inspiring the next generation of Scots singers, writers, linguists, activists, poets and academics. 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.
The musicians working on the project are all experienced YMI tutors and include 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 believes that music can play a vital role in promoting positive wellbeing, self-confidence and a feeling of togetherness.
She stated: “This term, while pupils are transitioning back into schools, and P7 pupils are preparing to move up to secondary school, this project aims to 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. They will also be recording the instrumental parts for the track.
Later this month, the schools will be working with filmmaker Graeme Roger to learn how to make a music video.
Susan Whyte, YMI coordinator for Live Life Aberdeenshire, said: “The Traditional Transitions project is an important part of our YMI programme, and this year more than ever, giving young people the chance to come together and create a song is particularly valuable.
“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.”