Nicky's Notes


Kilmarnock String Day

Walking into Kilmarnock’s Great Hall to 250 young children tapping, clapping, singing and stomping out complicated Kodaly rhythms nearly had me in tears. And the day continued just as it started. North, East and South Ayrshire councils combined forces to celebrate string playing throughout the county in a day filled with workshops small and large. Bob Cairns, a wonderful violin teacher I have known for many many years, showcased extreme determination, patience and perseverance in pulling off the day and in the planning – coordinating with my complicated diary isn’t easy. Thank you, Bob! And also many heartfelt thanks to Karen Powell, who ran the day so brilliantly.

The endless enthusiasm and focus from every single one of the children filled me with hope and pride. Energy and fervour were in abundance, but so was an intense desire to improve, to ask questions, to really learn, and to repeat and repeat till things got better. These children were serious about making the most of the day. I will never forget it.

But perhaps the real heroes of the day were all the fantastic teachers and music tutors. The general level of playing was testament to their obvious consistent hard work, but equally the positive, uplifting, focused yet relaxed atmosphere they achieved throughout the afternoon was a joy to see and taught me a lot.

I was also heartened to see so many representatives from the various councils present and eagerly paying attention to all the activity. This is not a given, and didn’t go unnoticed. Thank you to all of you.

Please join me in extending a huge thank you to –

Alan Friel – Music Service Manager
Emma Tomlinson – violin teacher
Gary Patterson – violin teacher
Josip Petrac – cello teacher
Ellen Martin – cello teacher
Jeannie Hendry – double bass teacher
Mae Murray – Music Service Co-ordinator
Bob Cairns – violin teacher
Geisla Hans – violin teacher
Nicola Connell – violin teacher
Ronan Watson – viola teacher
Oliver Costar – cello teacher
Shonagh Stevenson – PT Instrumental Services
Nicola Connell – violin teacher
Emma Allingham – violin teacher
Shelagh McKail – viola teacher
Elsbeth Macloed – viola teacher
David O’Connell – cello teacher
Amanda James – violin teacher
Julie Carrie-Youth Music Initiative Co-ordinator

Thank you also to The Ayrshire Music Festival, where I participated aged 8 and 9 and have many fond memories, for their very generous support and initiation of the day.’

Photographs copyright: Mike Scott


© Mike Scott

© Mike Scott