Transforming Communities

Traditional Tunes for Tiny People

After being awarded funding from Creative Scotland Youth Music Initiative, Live Music Now Scotland was delighted to be able to develop ‘Traditional Tunes for Tiny People’.  


The project, which first piloted in 2011, exposes babies and infants to traditional Scottish songs and instrumental music from the very beginnings of their lives, encouraging and supporting parents and carers to sing to them at home, and has already proved a great success with babies, toddlers and their parents and carers.

The original pilot saw two Scottish traditional groups (fiddle, piano and voice duo, Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller, and Rua Macmillan and Suzanne Houston, on fiddle and piano) introducing very young audiences to music, with specialist training support from Dee Isaacs, a music performer, university lecturer and early years specialist.

The funding enabled the project to grow, and involve more musicians and more pre-school groups, including young children with special educational needs, the length and breadth of the country. Five groups of musicians became involved, including Glasgow folk trio Aonach Mor; traditional fiddle and piano duo, Kristan Harvey and Tina Rees; and Scottish song duo, Robyn Stapleton and Claire Hastings.

The Traditional Tunes for Tiny People project saw the musicians going into special schools and early years centres across Scotland, and leading a series of six linked participatory performances with the children and their carers. Rowdy Rascals, Glasgow; Daisy Drop-In Centre, West Lothian; Craigmarloch Special School, Inverclyde, Orkney Young Mums and Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh alll took part in the project over several months, culminating in a final music session and ceilidh party to bring the project to a close.

“The project was a great success,” says project coordinator and Live Music Now Scotland assistant director, Daniella Keenan. “Using props and percussion, the musicians were able to tailor their performance to make it accessible to the children. They were given training on how to make it age and ability appropriate, and we’re pleased that they we were able to involve six more trainees (Gráinne Brady, Ainsley Hamill, Alistair Paterson, Andrew Waite, Seth Tinsley and Sarah MacNeil) attending the performances, participating and also observing.”


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