Q. Are the class rooms upstairs at Harlaw Academy?
Most of the classrooms we use at Harlaw Academy are on the ground floor. There is a ramp to access the main entrance door. There are two rooms which are up a few steps. Our refreshment service is on the first floor. There is a lift from the ground floor to the first floor. The stairs at Harlaw now have bannisters.
If you have difficulty with stairs, please tell us when you enrol and we will do our best to ensure that your class does not involve going up stairs.
Q. Can my carer come? I need assistance to attend an event/class.
If¬†you have mobility/sight or other problems and you would like an adult carer to come with you, then it should be discussed with the tutor. If the tutor anticipates no problems in the class or with the other class members, then a carer may attend the class at no charge.
The carer may be encouraged to join in and/or to volunteer to help during the evening.
Q. How far will I have to walk/carry my equipment?
Some of the rooms we use at Harlaw Academy are some way away from the entrance door and its ramp. If you have a heavy instrument (e.g. accordion, clarsach), you should use a trolley/wheels if you can. We will try to ensure that classes where there are heavy intruments are close to the door, but we have to balance a number of things (size of class, noise between classes, participants with disabilities etc.).
If you have difficulty walking/carrying your instrument, please tell us when you enrol and we will do our best to ensure that your class is as close to the entrance door as possible.
Q. Is there disabled parking at Harlaw Academy?
Q. Can I swap classes?
If you find that you are too advanced for the class you have enrolled in, or if the class is more advanced than you expected, and you would prefer to change to a different level or a different class, we will do our best to accommodate this request if it is in the first few weeks, provided there is space in the class and the tutor is agreeable to someone joining at the point in time you ask to move.
It might also be that we would ask you to switch classes if it was felt you were at a different level from other members of the class.
Q. Can the tutor change the day or venue?
The tutor may suggest a different day e.g. to ensure that you have a full term of classes before the end of term concert or other event, or may suggest a different venue to give you a different type of experience (e.g. a performance, or a house ceilidh, or access to different equipment).
This will happen only if all the members of the class have been consulted and agree (e.g. there are arrangements made for transport etc) . You do not have to agree, but the tutor is making the suggestion to give you a better or different experience and we do hope you can agree.
The tutor has to have your agreement and then endorsement from SC&T before the event by completing a form.†
Q. Guide to ability levels
For participants in music classes and workshops - guidance on ability levels
Participants do not need to be expert to join the music classes.
Music classes are conducted mainly by ear. Written music is generally provided as an aide.
Complete beginners level.
A basic entry level, suitable for the less experienced. Participants need not be very competent at their instrument, but should not be complete beginners unless otherwise indicated.
Complete beginners are acceptable only in the September enrolment in the following classes:
For fiddle 1 classes participants are expected to be able to play simple tunes and know the scales of G, D and A.
For guitar 1 classes participants should be capable of playing first position major and minor chords in G, D and A.
For traditional song 1 the pace of learning is slow with emphasis on technique.
An intermediate level course for those who have some skill already and want to improve.
For all instrument classes participants should already be able to play or accompany, at a moderate pace, a selection of tunes. Singers should have some repertoire and be prepared to sing solo and in harmony. Tuition will be at a faster pace than level 1.
For instrumental classes, participants are expected to be competent at their instrument and confident of playing at least some pieces at performance speed. Tuition will be at a faster pace and with emphasis on building repertoire as well as technique.
If participants are in doubt about a class, or want to know more, they should be encouraged to call and ask.
Classes are encouraged to mix - so the fiddlers, singers and whistlers get some guitar accompaniment and the ceilidh dancers get some real live music to dance to.
Participants assess themselves in the first instance and enrol on the course that they think best suits their ability.
The tutor is ultimately responsible for assessment of participants in their particular class.
Participants who find themselves in a class of an inappropriate level may ask to transfer to a more suitable level.
This should be arranged and agreed with:
The tutor may also suggest to a participant that they should consider moving to a class level more appropriate to their ability if the tutor considers the class inappropriate to the participantís ability.
The tutorís decision is final.
Q. How will I know if a class is cancelled?
The tutor or SC&T will do their best to let you know if a class has to be cancelled.
If we can a note will be put at the top of the home page, and if you have access to the internet, it would be appreciated if you could check this prior to setting off for your class.
It the school is closed, a message will also be put on the SC&T answering machine if we can - but often we are given very little notice by the City Council if the school is closed.
Q. Why is there a tea break?
Q. Can children enrol?
The classes are for adults from 16 to 106+.
Exceptionally children (under 16s)† may be admitted to classes. This is at the discretion of the tutor who will take into account the ability and maturity of the child and how a child in the class may impact on the adult participants.
If the tutor is willing to accept a child, then the parent or guardian must write a letter to the headteacher of their school saying that s/he would like her/his child to attend a SC&T (eg. fidddle) class and ask that they give their agreement to this by countersigning the letter.†This is because children are not normally allowed to attend evening classes but can do so when the subject is not provided or available at the school and attendance will not impact on the child's school work.
Q. Can I get a refund?
NO. If you no longer can or want to attend a class, a refund is only possible in exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illness or injury) at the discretion of the Board of SC&T.
We will help you change to a different class if that is possible. However the class you enrolled in, and the classes programme as a whole, depends on the class fees that have been paid and refunds are normally NOT given.
Q. Starting late - do I pay less?
If you know you will miss the first few weeks of a term, then please enrol in advance (otherwise the class may not run) and you must pay the full fee.†
The tutor will help you join in at the later stage by giving you support and copies of the earlier material.
Q. What are the fees?
Q. What concession rates can I claim?
Rate 1 for those on pensions and full-time students - this is the medium fee.† This is also the rate for school children. (See "Can children enrol?" )
People on enhanced benefits (eg highest incapacity benefit) or receiving supplements to their earned income are considered as similar to those on pensions.
Rate 2 for those on basic benefits including unemployment benefits - this is the lowest fee.†††
Proof of status must be produced.
Q. When are the enrolment evenings?
Enrolment takes place at Harlaw Academy from 7 - 9 pm
Enrolment for First Term is normally a Tuesday and Wednesday the week before the start of term.
Second Term there may be†no separate enrolment day (not enough time between start of the year and the Easter holidays).
For the Third Term enrolment is normally a Tuesday or Wednesday the week before the start of term.
Q. Will my class run?
For a class to run, we need a minimum number of participants for two reasons:
We do encourage enrolment in advance, so that people know as early as possible if a class will run.† If there are low numbers before the term starts, the class will still run the first week of term, but then the participants and tutor may be told that the class will not continue.
Whenever possible we would then encourage participants to transfer to another suitable class. If that is not possible, then a refund for the whole term will be given.
SO PLEASE ENROL IN ADVANCE, AND ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME!
Q. Do SC&T run Gaelic classes?
Q. How can I become a friend of SC&T?
A new form will be available online shortly. In the meantime please contact us for more information.
You can also use the form contained within the Autumn 2008 classes leaflet.
Q. How can I donate to SC&T?
Q. Where is Harlaw Academy?
Harlaw Academy is in Aberdeen. It is on the left hand side (south side) of Albyn Place heading West from Union Street - a short walk from the junction with Holburn Street.†It is between St. Margaret's School for Girls and Albyn BMI Hospital.
The number 23 bus runs along Albyn Place - but only every 30 minutes in the evening - there are more buses to the west end of Union Street a short walk away.
There is limited parking in the grounds and on-street parking on Albyn Place opposite (on the north side) the school.† It would be considerate to leave the school grounds parking for those with heavy instruments e.g.† clarsach, cello and accordion, and for those with limited mobility.
The post code is AB10 1RG if you want to use an internet search to look at a map.†
Q. What hearing protection is advised?
The results of using good protection not only help prevent hearing loss in later life, but give a far better playing experience.
Foam plugs and the type only muffle sound, whereas good ear defense lowers volume, but preserves the sound quality.
For pipers this is akin to having a volume control on the pipes in enclosed or restricted areas.
The main benefit is that the chanter and drones are heard in exact balance and timbre, but reducing the damaging decibels of extreme volume.
There are of course very expensive ear defense systems that a musician can buy costing hundreds of pounds.
At a Aberdeenshire Council IMS in-service day last year a representative from the national hearing protection organisation advised that one if the best ear defense systems in the lower price bracket is the
ER-20ô Universal Protectors
At sub £15.00 these are truly these best I have used and make playing at home a real pleasure.
hearingprotection.co.uk is the national organisation for hearing protection
****Amazon have them now (August 2009) †for £7.99 online****
Whether you playing in small or large areas excess sound vibrations can spoil the playing experience.
Whether itís at home in the bedroom or in the school hall using correct and suitable ear defense is a good idea for all pipers.
For only a few pounds thatís a great investment for years of enjoyable playing and keeping your hearing in good health.
If youíd like more information on hearing protection for musicians please go:
Joint Manager & Senior Instructor
Aberdeenshire YMI/TRAD-ARR Pipe & Drum Programme
Q. Would using the Alexander Technique assist me as a musician?
The Alexander Technique has a long history of helping instrumentalists and singers to perform with less stress and likelihood of injury. Musicians have always had to face the challenge of performing the same complex muscular actions over and over again.
By helping musicians improve the quality of the physical movements involved in playing an instrument or singing, the Alexander Technique also helps improve the quality of the music itself. A violinist's stiff shoulders and arms will get in the way of a pleasing sound; a singer's tight neck or jaw will cause the voice to become less resonant. By helping musicians release undue tension in their bodies, the Alexander Technique makes possible a performance which is more fluid and lively, less tense and rigid.
For more information and links go to:
Q. Are photos and audio recordings made at events on behalf of SC&T?
Board members, staff and volunteers may take photos and make recordings of workshops, concerts and other events. These are used as a record of the event (to provide to the funders or find support for future events) and to share with participants.
Selections of photos may be put on the SC&T website and recordings may be made available for download.†
If you object to a recording being made, please make this known to the person doing the recording and/or to a member of the SC&T board or staff.†
If a video recording is being made, then a notice or notices will be displayed about the recording.
Q. Can I record in a class or workshop?
Q. Can I take a video recording of a class or workshop?
Q. Can I take photos in class or in a workshop?
Q. Can I upload photographs?
Q. Does SC&T allow others to make recordings at SC&T events?
We have allowed recordings eg. a ceilidh as a background to a student project. When this happens we agree the process with the group and also ensure that information about what is happening is available to those attending the event.
Q. How are photos of SC&T events used?
Photos of SC&T events are used as described in the other questions and answers, and a selection may also be used in the SC&T newsletter and or publicity material (including leaflets and banners).†The images of young people under 16 will not be used so that they can be identified without their and their parent's/guardian's consent.
Q. What about copyright and Public Performance Rights?
It is important the the copyright of tune-/song-/writers and publishers is respected. Guidance can be given on specific issues. Individual copies for research and learning can normally be made. Copyright in photos on the SC&T website remain with SC&T and the photographer and acknowledgement should be given when using them privately - they must not be used commercially without permission in advance.
More information about copyright, and in particular creating licences, can be found on the creative commons web site.
Q. Do SC&T tutors get paid?
Q. How do I become a tutor?
You should give us information about:
If you have ideas of what you would like to present, then an outline lesson plan or description of what and how you would teach would be welcome.
At some point we would like to meet with you and see you play, dance or other.
Q. What if I do not attend a SC&T training workshop?
We strongly urge you to attend a Tutor Training Workshop. If you already have had experience elsewhere (in formal education or through the Feis or Scots Music Group in Edinburgh, for example) then do please contact us and let us know who we can speak to about your skills and experience.
You should give us information about:
Q. What if I've never taught before, can I get training?
SC&T offers tutors and potential tutors the opportunity to participate in Tutor training workshops. These provide an opportunity for new tutors to become familiar with teaching practices (and challenges), as well as allowing all tutors to come together and share experiences.
We intend to organise some Tutor training each year. More information will be posted on the web site - or anyone interested can get their name on the mailing list by emailing email@example.com
Q. What is it like being a SC&T tutor?
We'll let a few quotes form our tutors answer that one:
"For my first class as a tutor, the class has been great! We learned from each other!"
"Wonderful! I really enjoyed my first term!"
"I love it! Everyone is so encouraging and enthusiastic - administration, students and tutors alike."
Q. What is the time commitment?
In our evening class programme the classes run from 7 to 9 pm once a week. There are three terms to the SC&T year - the September and January terms run for 10 weeks. The April term is 6 weeks. Tutors and students are encouraged to participate in sessions after classes. We also expect our tutors to assist with taster events and enrolment evenings.
The tutors may also provide agreed suitable substitute tutors when they are unable to make a commitment to all the weeks required.
Q. Who are the tutors at SCaT?
SCaT draws its tutors from members of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire community.
They range from full-time professional musicians and formal education teachers to those with a very different "day job" or none.
Our tutors are enthusiastic about their art form and have a common commitment to teaching and appreciating Scottish culture and traditions (even if they have grown up in a different culture themselves).