Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the web site of Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd, the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. 2019 marks our nineteenth year of operation, and nineteen busy and exciting years they have been.

The Centre was established at Plockton High School in May 2000 with funding from the Scottish Executive's Education Department, with assistance from the Highland Council. In 2007 the Council took over responsibility for the funding, and we’re very proud of the fact that all student places continue to be fully funded, and that we continue to recruit students from all over Scotland.

All of our students follow the same basic curricular package of two individual lessons, four hours of groupwork and four hours of supervised practice per week, plus 13 Music Weekends placed throughout the year which focus on performance skills, technology, history and context, media skills, and other ancillary skills which are so important for the modern professional musician. We have a busy performing schedule, including two week-long tours each year, and we make a CD every year.

When our students reach S6, their time in the Music School is increased by means of a flexible package of SQA qualifications which lets them tailor the balance between their musical and academic commitments to suit their own forward planning. We offer National Progression Awards in Performing and Sound Production, a National 5 in Skills For Work – Creative Industries, and a small suite of optional units covering general musicianship skills.

All of our leavers are well equipped for further study in music, or indeed a career in music if that’s what they want. But it’s important to know that we don’t consider ourselves merely a hothouse for professional musicians. Many of our leavers have followed other career paths, but what’s important to us is that they take their music with them wherever they go in life. After all, that’s how any tradition survives and thrives.

I hope you enjoy your visit to our site and that it might inspire you to come and see us in the flesh!

All the best,

Dougie Pincock, Director NCETM

"Successful learners, effective contributors, confident individuals, responsible citizens – we produce all those. One of the things that makes me proudest is not just the musicians that we turn out of here, but the people.”

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