A couple of weeks ago I made my first visit to the Tinto Summer School - in the lovely surroundings of Wiston Lodge - teaching flute and whistle, and mixed instrument group alongside Dave Milligan. It was a totally brilliant week: a funny, inspirational and generous group of young people, great team of staff and tutors, fancy dress ceilidh, the infamous Room Tidy, sessions, assorted confectionery... We finished on the Friday with a sharing concert; you can listen to performances from all the groups here. Thanks to Hands Up For Trad and everyone involved for a great week! I've also been tutoring on the inaugural Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Popular Music Short Course over the past few days, with Phil and Louis from AF and Graeme Smillie (of Olympic Swimmers and The Vaselines fame). We've been working on cover versions and brand new original songs, arrangement and accompaniment, delving into the songwriting process, plus plenty of discussion on career options, life as a musician, recording, show production and the wider music industry. Tomorrow I'm doing a vocal workshop which will hopefully cover some diverse ground and get everyone singing (and I'm going to sneak a Joe Heaney recording in too...)
Then in August it's back to join the team on the Folkworks Junior Summer School. This'll be my third year in a row and it's always a joy. My fellow tutors this year are Jim Molyneux, Ruth Ball, David Wood and Miranda Rutter. There are still places left at the Youth Summer School: do not delay!