Celtic Connections firmly believes in encouraging Scottish children to enjoy their cultural heritage, which is why one of the key aspects of the festival is the hugely successful award winning Education Programme. This comprises a set of children’s workshops, concerts and tutorials dedicated to nurturing an awareness of traditional Scottish music.
Throughout the festival, pupils and teachers are given the opportunity to attend one of the free concerts for schools at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. These feature performances by professional Celtic, traditional and world music artists, allowing many children to enjoy their first experience of live music.
Since 1999 over 190,000 children from all over Scotland (including pupils from over 70% of schools in Glasgow) have benefited from the Education Programme. In addition to the concerts, a series of taster workshops are run in schools, with professional celtic musicians introducing a variety of traditional means of expression to children, including Scots song, storytelling, Scots and Irish stepdance, and instrumental tuition featuring Celtic instruments, tin whistle, bodhran, fiddle and clarsach. These run throughout the festival in January, and continue throughout the year, ensuring the continued development of awareness of Scottish tradition in schools.
These workshops are delivered free of charge, and are completely inclusive, involving young people with special needs and those who have English as a second language.