Bannerfield Buskers is a project running in Bannerfield, Selkirk.Thank you ‘Creative Scotland’ and ‘Tasgadh’ for funding us for 2016
The aim is to engage primary 5, 6 and 7s in a rhythm based and musical experience in a fun filled after school club. The introduction of the asymmetric week in the Scottish Borders was an ideal opportunity to introduce such an activity. Fiddle and guitar are taught in the traditional Scottish style with frequent musical breaks allowing listening skills to be developed.
The scheme is run under the framework of Selkirk based community group ‘Riddell Fiddles’ which has had some success teaching groups of all ages for over a decade. Led by Sheila Sapkota, a learning support teacher at Selkirk High School, the aim is to reach the young folk whom Riddell Fiddles has previously, for geographical and financial reasons possibly, been unable to access. With close collaboration with the school (one of the teachers from Philiphaugh has joined the group) and performances and certificates of encouragement at the school’s weekly assembly the group encourages parents to stay.
A social and musical experience with performances locally planned and a long term sustainable group experience is the planned end result. Improving self-esteem, confidence and social skills is the order of the day with the music making and the ability to master a difficult instrument only a small part. Young folk who, for various reasons, find the fine motor skills needed for the fiddle a challenge are encouraged to try percussion when concentration goes during a session.
Long term a relationship with the high school is also fostered through the learning support teacher link.
The local Youth Music Initiative scheme have provided instruments. Weir Trust and Enterprise Music Trust have provided enough funding to allow the project its’ first year. SBC have provided additional funding to allow a higher tutor ration. A youth tutor is also working in the scheme and learning new skills (he is an S6 pupil at the high school).
All photos are with parental permission.