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Traditional music

Traditional Music

For 11-18 year olds

Traditional Music students have lessons, classes and group work. Recognising the traditions of Traditional Music, much of the teaching will be delivered aurally but students will also learn by means of notation.

All Traditional Music students undertake

  • 1:1 lesson in a principal study (any instrument including voice)
  • Musicianship class
  • Traditional ensemble
  • Choir

In addition, they have the option to study:

  • 1:1 lesson in a subsidiary study (any instrument including voice)
  • Additional classes and ensembles of other genres – see our classical page for a list of these

Through our musicianship class, students will develop the skills and understanding necessary for young traditional musicians. It will cover pitch and rhythm, sight-reading, structure, composition and harmony, standard western notation and the instrumentation specific to traditional music in Scotland. Students can work towards the fully accredited Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams offered by the Royal Conservatoire (see below) as well as the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Traditional Music Group Activities

There are two traditional music groups that provide the opportunity for students to play in a group whilst developing learning by ear, arranging, harmony writing and improvising, in addition to performance and presentation skills. These groups are open to all Junior Conservatoire students, whether or not they are studying on the traditional course. In addition, traditional students can join the orchestras. Regular opportunities are available to perform at events both inside and outwith the Conservatoire. Frequent workshops are held with established visiting musicians who are able to offer different ideas and approaches to group work, singing and improvisation.

Scottish Traditional Music Graded Exams

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offers its own validated programme of graded exams in Scottish traditional music for learners of all ages. Our programme promotes traditional Scottish performance skills and the best of traditional repertoire, offering syllabuses up to Grade 5 for fiddle, accordion and Scottish harp, devised and examined by specialists in these disciplines. The collections for harp, fiddle and accordion are out now on general release and available from For more information on the exams, go to (please note that if page does not load, press Control + F5).

– Our validated programme of graded exams in Scottish traditional music is for learners of all ages
– Syllabuses up to Grade 5 for fiddle, accordion and Scottish harp, devised and examined by specialists in Scottish traditional music
– Ungraded performance assessments

We plan to develop new syllabuses and increase our current repertoire up to Grade 8.

Teachers: we can give your pupils independent feedback on their playing.

Students: you can take a Standard Grade or National Qualification exam conducted by an experienced and insightful performer in your own discipline.

Adult learners: receive specialist feedback to sharpen your skills.

For more information please email

Traditional Music Graded Exams Repertoire Publications

We publish collections of exams repertoire with Taigh na Teud. These diverse graded tunes are both traditional and recently composed tunes in the traditional Scottish idiom.

Collections for harp, fiddle and accordion are on general release and available on Taigh na Teud’s website You can also download music files from Listening to the tunes makes it easy to choose a new tune to learn or to choose your repertoire for an exam.