31 March 2017
Kirsty is one of our furthest travelled students, often making the 500 mile round trip from Caithness to Glasgow to attend the Junior Conservatoire of Music, which she receives as part of her place on Transitions 20/40. Although she has only just turned 12, Kirsty is already highly skilled in both classical and traditional music and has a long list of accolades to her name. Earlier this year she won the advanced fiddle section at the Inverness Music Festival and then competed in the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs’ annual festival where she won the Under-12 fiddle section and the Under-16 march/strathspey/reel section, before going on to become the Overall Junior Fiddle Champion. We asked her about her time so far as a T20/40 student:
T20/40 Route? Music
Route specialism? Classical violin
What made you apply for Transitions 20/40? To access high quality teaching and learning and amazing opportunities for performance.
The best thing about Transitions 20/40 is…? It has enabled me to meet like-minded young people and to flourish in the exciting and nourishing environment of the Junior Conservatoire. I am able to receive tuition in musicianship, singing, violin, orchestra and traditional music. I would not be able to have such an all round musical education if it was not for the Transition 20/40 programme and the Junior Conservatoire . The mentoring and support available through Transition 20/40 will help me to make the right choices in future. The financial support has also been invaluable as I live 250 miles away in Caithness and the travel and accommodation costs are considerable. Being part of the Junior Conservatoire has helped me to develop my social and life skills as I have met and played with people from all walks of life. My technical skills in violin have increased a lot and the positive attitude of all the tutors have increased my confidence and encouraged me to reflect on, and improve my performances.
The best thing about Music is…? …that I can be part of a big team in the orchestras. I love learning new repertoire and I have been introduced to lots of new and exciting pieces. I also enjoy the solo performances and receiving feedback so that I can improve my playing.
What have you been learning about recently? Recently I have been part of the Junior Choir at the Gleneagles Gala Performance in the Glasgow City Halls which was an amazing experience and I learned so much about rehearsals and stage performances. I am currently working on violin pieces by Shostakovich, Bach, Brahms and Bruch.
Greatest achievement so far? My greatest achievement so far is winning the Junior Burnsian 2016 competition and becoming the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs 2017 Junior Fiddle Champion.
In 10 years’ time, I will be hopefully be…? I hope to be still enjoying music as much as I do now. I intend to keep all options open for the future and embrace whatever opportunities come along.
My role model is…? Nicola Benedetti.
If I had to eat only one thing for the rest of my life I would eat…? Haggis, neeps and tatties.
If you could be an animal…? I would be a duck!
Favourite book? Harry Potter.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying Music? Go for it because it will be the best thing you will ever do! – You get to meet lots of great people and play in very ‘cool’ places.