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Popular Music Summer School

Summer Schools for young people

Introduction

This summer school gives you the opportunity to develop your musical skills and versatility within the vast range of genres and styles of popular music. During the week you will develop and apply your solo performance skills in an ensemble setting to give you experience of the collaborative nature of writing, arranging and performing popular music.

You will be given the unique opportunity to work with practicing musicians who will share their experience and encourage originality and expression and help you to situate your own original work within different genres and contexts. In previous years guest artists have included Admiral Fallow and Emma Pollock, who willingly revealed some of their creative processes, while other activities have included live performances, rhythm and singing workshops, stagecraft master-classes and site visits to some of the locations that have shaped Glasgow’s iconic music scene.

At the end of the summer school you should feel empowered and more informed about making popular music on your own and progressing into further or higher education.

 

Introduction

This summer school gives you the opportunity to develop your musical skills and versatility within the vast range of genres and styles of popular music. During the week you will develop and apply your solo performance skills in an ensemble setting to give you experience of the collaborative nature of writing, arranging and performing popular music.

You will be given the unique opportunity to work with practicing musicians who will share their experience and encourage originality and expression and help you to situate your own original work within different genres and contexts. In previous years guest artists have included Admiral Fallow and Emma Pollock, who willingly revealed some of their creative processes, while other activities have included live performances, rhythm and singing workshops, stagecraft master-classes and site visits to some of the locations that have shaped Glasgow’s iconic music scene.

At the end of the summer school you should feel empowered and more informed about making popular music on your own and progressing into further or higher education.

 

Course outline

A typical day will consist of one-to-one tuition on your chosen instrument, which will focus on your technique, technical exercises, improvisation, sight-reading and performance of a range of pieces. Your lessons will also help you to develop your theoretical knowledge of your instrument. Your lessons will focus on performance of a range of popular music genres, allowing you to develop skills in a wide range of styles.

You will also attend group performance sessions every day when you will have the opportunity to work with other students to prepare a range of pieces for performance and recording. Your performances will consist of both covers and originals. In your bands, you will have the chance to hone your skills in working with other performers. By the end of the week, you will have gained a good understanding of what is required for the further study of popular music at college, university or conservatoire level. You will also have had the opportunity to perform and record both as a soloist and an ensemble.

Financial support



Agnes Allan Bursary

Agnes Allan was a teacher, passionate about inclusion, and this bursary scheme exists to offer support to students to participate in the performing or production arts.

The Agnes Allan Bursary provides some support to students who may require financial assistance to take part in a short course in dance, drama, music, production or screen.

Anyone who wishes to take part in our Lifelong Learning courses and faces a financial barrier can apply for bursary support to help meet the cost of tuition fees.

How to apply for Agnes Allan Bursary

Your bursary application must be submitted before you apply for a Lifelong Learning course. You will be asked to provide supporting documents with your application.

Please complete the online bursary application form.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact us on 0141 270 8213 or lifelong@rcs.ac.uk and we will be happy to help you. You can also download a FAQs document here: Agnes Allan Bursary FAQs



Staying in Glasgow

Many of our students travel from across the world to join us for an open day, study on a short course or attend a summer school at the Royal Conservatoire.

Residential accommodation for summer school students travelling within the UK or from overseas is available at Liberty House. This is the student accommodation that our full-time students use during term time. Please note that this accommodation is only for students aged 16+.

The modern, self-contained flats are located in the city centre of Glasgow, just ten minutes walk from the Royal Conservatoire. They consist of single en-suite units and have a communal kitchen that you can use to store and prepare food during your stay. You can find more information on their website.

For 2017 summer school students, the prices start at £139.50 for 7 nights (excluding bedding pack). Kitchen packs/items are included as standard for Summer School students. Bedding packs are not provided in the bedrooms, but can be purchased from Liberty House for £30 on application.

Places are strictly limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

If you have any access requirements, Liberty Living are happy to discuss accommodation arrangements to ensure they suit you.

The Conservatoire is not able to make reservations on your behalf. Please contact Liberty Living with any queries on +44 (0)141 248 9949 or libertyhouse-glasgow@libertyliving.co.uk.

If you are having trouble finding accommodation, please contact us directly and we will aim to help you find somewhere to stay.

If you would prefer to stay in hostel, B&B or hotel, click see our list of short term accommodation in Glasgow for a list of alternative accommodation or you can see the Visit Scotland website.

 

Indicative schedule

Indicative Schedule – 2017

Monday 10th July

  • 9.45am: Welcome
  • 10am: Samba drumming
  • 11.30: Lessons/workshops
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2pm: Ensemble workshop
  • 5pm: Finish

Tuesday 11th July

  • 10am: Keyboard workshop
  • 11.30: Lessons/workshops
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2pm: Ensemble workshop
  • 5pm: Finish

Wednesday 12th July

  • 10am: Songwriting workshop
  • 11.30: Songwriting workshop/deconstruction with guest artists
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2pm: Site visit (to a Glasgow venue)
  • 3.45pm: Ensemble workshop
  • 5pm: Finish

Thursday 13th July

  • 10am: Vocal workshop
  • 11.30: Lessons/workshops
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2pm: Ensemble work
  • 5pm: Finish

Friday 14th July

  • 10am: Masterclass with guest artist
  • 11.30: Ensemble rehearsals for sharing
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2pm: Sharing set-up
  • 3.30pm: Sharing
  • 5pm: Finish

Entry requirements

Students will be asked to submit a short recording which best displays their playing level before being accepted by the course leader. We suggest that musicians playing at approximately Grade 5 level (ABRSM or equivalent) would benefit most from this summer school.

Recordings can be uploaded to your online application form as a unlisted YouTube link or mp3. This can be done using your mobile phone, tablet or any hand held recording device. No need to worry about recording quality, it is to access whether this course is best suited to your current level.

Students should come to the course expecting to work hard, be challenged and enjoy contributing to the creative process.

Short course feedback

“The Popular Music course just jumped right out at me, and I was glad to know I didn’t need any classical knowledge. The tutors were fantastic from start to finish, covering all bases from the technical playing of instruments to the social and collaborative aspects inherent to music making. To me, the variety of what was on offer and the feeling about the Conservatoire was the best part, and what I remember the most. The combination of the tutors, space, and the structure of the course was fantastic. I learned a lot from the tutors regarding playing and performance, but what was most important was the confidence it instilled in me to pursue my passion.”

Popular Music summer school participant

 

The popular music summer school which I attended a while back is where I decided that it is what I wanted to pursue, so I thought it would be important to mention to you the positive impact it has had on me, in terms of both experience and inspiration. From working with other likeminded people in our ensembles to having sessions with Admiral Fallow and Emma Pollock, it was an incredibly enjoyable and worthwhile experience that I’m very grateful I was able to have.

Popular Music summer school participant

Guest Artists

We are thrilled to welcome back members of renowned Scottish band Admiral Fallow to teach on the Popular Music summer school 2017.

Further details of our 2017 guest artists will be released soon.

At a glance...

Popular Music 10am - 5pm 20170714 245 Application Deadline: 20170612

Offers

Promotional Offers

We also offer a selection of promotion offers from 25% off the overall tuition cost for current undergraduate/postgraduate students and staff, to 10% off when two summer schools are booked at the same time.

View a full list of promotional offers here. Contact lifelong@rcs.ac.uk to request your code prior to booking a course.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for high school students who are considering studying popular music at college, university or conservatoire in the future.

 

Teaching staff

Lewis Dunsmore

Glasgow born guitarist Lewis Dunsmore took up the guitar at the age of 10 and by age 12 was performing across the country as a member of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble of Great Britain, most notably at the National Centre for Early Music (York), the Adrian Boult Hall (Birmingham) and the Bolivar Hall (London).

Lewis has vast experience as both a classical and electric guitarist. As a classical guitarist he has performed in venues throughout Britain including at the Westbourne Chamber Music Series, as well as performances at significant festivals including the Big Guitar Weekend, Winchester Guitar Festival, World Youth Guitar Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Plug Festival and Glasgow Minimal festival where he played Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint in the presence of the composer. In 2012 he was selected to play the solo guitar part in the world premiere of Paul Mealor’s ‘I am the Gentle Light’ with the National Youth Choir of Scotland which included a short tour and a recording for BBC Television. As an electric guitarist he has been involved in many projects including performing works by Steve Martland and Morten Feldman at the Byre Theatre, St. Andrews and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of the Glasgow Minimal festival, as well as a world premiere of Colin Broom’s Pictures of an Electronic Life with the Red Note Ensemble.

Passionate about Jazz, Lewis has performed in many venues, most notably at the Edinburgh Jazz Bar alongside Portuguese drummer Pedro Segundo. He has extensive experience playing in pit bands for musical theatre including playing for a production of The Addams family in the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. He has also been involved in numerous recording projects, most notably for Scottish Opera and BBC Television.

Phil Hague

Phil Hague divides his time between drumming for Glasgow band Admiral Fallow, playing percussion with Scotland’s orchestras and teaching both individually and in groups. With Admiral Fallow Phil has toured extensively both at home and abroad, sharing stages with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, Frightened Rabbit and Kings of Leon. The band’s second album Tree Bursts In Snow was short listed for the Scottish Album of the Year awards.

Sarah Hayes

Sarah Hayes is a singer, flute and piano player from Northumberland. She moved to Glasgow in 2005, where she leads a varied musical life, performing and teaching across a range of settings. Sarah plays in; three classical chamber ensembles, Northern Lights Wind Quintet, Flutes en Route and Glasgow New Music Expedition; folk groups, Wildings and Alistair Anderson & Northlands; and indie-pop band Admiral Fallow. Admiral Fallow have toured the UK, Europe, USA and Australia, and released three albums to critical acclaim.

Sarah teaches privately for Lomond and Clyde Community Orchestra and New Rhythms for Glasgow, including its community singing initiative, Belt It Oot. She has been a tutor on the Folkworks Junior Summer School, Tinto Summer School, the inaugural Popular Music short course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has worked for the Live Music Now scheme since 2010. She has a keen interest in folk and traditional music, and has been involved in band projects, touring, recording and performance since her early teens. Sarah’s Celtic Connections New Voices commission Woven premiered at the festival in January 2014 and earned a five star review in The Scotsman newspaper. A studio recording of Woven – her first full length LP – is scheduled for release in November 2015.

Graeme Smillie

Graeme Smillie’s musical career has involved extensive worldwide touring and recording, playing bass guitar and keyboards. He has played for Emma Pollock (4AD/Chemikal Underground), The Unwinding Hours (Chemikal Underground), The Vaselines (Sub Pop), A Mote of Dust (Babi Yaga), Karine Polwart (Proper Music), Sons & Daughters (Domino), Idlewild (Cooking Vinyl/Parlophone), Da Fishing Hands (FIMETI), The Fruit Tree Foundation (SMHAFF) and many others, incorporating many broadcast performances on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, BBC Alba, WDR Fernsehen, Rockpalast, Baeblemusic, Pitchfork, KEXP, Spin, Sky Arts and Channel 4.

He has played for a number of projects in the worlds of theatre, film and dance with Sigma Films, National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera, The Marc Brew Company and Random Accomplice. He is also an instrumental tutor, a co-author and tutor for the Get Started in Music programme for the Princes Trust in partnership with Beatroute Arts, and has worked with Chem 19’s YMI funded SoundLab and Demo Fund initiatives for a number of years. He also worked with live music promoter DF Concerts in a production and artist liaison capacity, which involved technical advancing and operational management at T in The Park, Connect Festival and the Edinburgh Festival.

Graeme is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde’s BA Applied Music and has an MLitt in Popular Music Studies from the University of Glasgow. He is currently working towards a PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of St Andrews.