Nicky's Notes


Music Education

During the last few weeks I’ve met, heard and played alongside approximately 250 young musicians. We encountered repertoire by Bach, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Britten, Beethoven, Grieg and Janacek. I also had the pleasure of collaborating with over 70 teachers from all over the UK. We’ve played in small formations and very very large ones. We’ve tried […]



Beethoven with the OAE and Marin Alsop at the Southbank Centre

What a night. Thank you so much to the phenomenal Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Marin Alsop and to the Southbank Centre for pulling in a full to capacity crowd and creating an incredible atmosphere. I think Beethoven would have appreciated gusto. I hope 😬



The importance of Sistema Scotland

Sistema Scotland is admired and celebrated by music teachers, charities and organisations worldwide, and with good reason. Their teaching is exemplary, their mission is solid and profound. Their music director Francis Cummings is more serious about developing and delivering high level, yet accessible, music teaching than any one else I have come across, and their accumulated […]



Some Burns for this beautiful, Ayrshire day Ae fond kiss and then we sever Ae fareweel, alas for ever Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee Who shall say that fortune grieves him, While the star of hope she leaves him, Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me, Dark […]



Statement: Edinburgh Music School Closure

It seems that Edinburgh Council has abandoned its plan to close the City of Edinburgh Music School. This is the only acceptable outcome to what was a shocking proposal to begin with. Young musicians need specialised support, and being around likeminded creative minds is extremely important. Being a great musician requires a very unusual level […]



Oasby Music Group

What an uplifting day – hearing all these wonderful, intelligent and focused children playing a great diversity of music at Oasby Music Group led by Laura Gardiner. Laura and I attended many Suzuki workshops and group lessons together back in Scotland when we were kids. She has absorbed all the greatest aspects of that experience […]