Wednesday, September 7, 2016


My name is Dick Glasgow and for the past twenty years, I have taught Traditional Music, both Irish and Scottish, in many Maintained, Controlled and Integrated Schools during the school day, throughout the 
Causeway Coast and Glens of County Antrim.
This Blog is an introduction to my tuition work around some of the 
North Antrim Schools
If, after reading this page, you have any questions on how my tuition could musically benefit the children in your school, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mobile: 07706825666
Telephone: 028 207 51746

My Musical background!

I am a Scotsman whose Great Grandfather played the Fiddle and whose Grandad was a Piper who also played the Fiddle, so I'm happy to say that Traditional Music is in my blood.
I have been playing the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland now for over forty years and in 1995 I launched my own music school, while living in Ballintoy, Co. Antrim and named it the Jim McGill School of Traditional Music, in honour of the Late Jim McGill,
a local man who did so much to encourage local youngsters to play music.

As a Scot, living in North Antrim, I am in the unique position of having a huge amount of experience in both Irish and Scottish music. 
As a former member of Comhaltas, I entered the annual national music competitions and gained a 2nd prize medal at the All Ireland Fleadh.
I was also awarded my T T C T, Traditional Music Teaching Diploma with Comhlatas. 
As a former member of the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra I toured throughout Ulster and Ireland promoting the Scottish music of Northern Ireland. 
Believing wholeheartedly in the cross community benefits of children learning to share and enjoy traditional music I, with my wife Sabine who is a musician too, offer a musical presentation entitled Lyre to Laptop, to schools which demonstrates the history and development of all the traditional instruments of Ulster. 
Using over 50 different musical instruments we give Musical Presentations in authentic period costume, more usually in a cross community context to a mixed group of children from Maintained and Controlled schools. 
Over the past few years, more than thirty schools have made use of this service. 
For a number of years I wrote a weekly column for the Ballymoney Times, Traditional Notes, which promoted all manner of traditional aspects of both Irish and Ulster-Scots culture. 
I also created and organised the Causeway Dulcimer Festival in 2005, which I put on in Bushmills, Co Antrim, and which featured the Hammered Dulcimer
an old instrument Traditional to the Glens of Antrim.
The festival also promoted all the traditional music and instruments of Ulster.
The Spirit of Antrim Trophy,
which I won at the Northern Lights Festal 
in Ballycastle in 1997
for my work in teaching Traditional Music to local children.
Collecting my Traditional Music Teaching Diploma 
at Comhaltas HQ, in Dublin.

My Teaching Methods!

My methods don't involve the dreaded 'Ear Test' and the usual practice of singling out children who the teacher might feel are musical, but rather and when possible, I prefer to offer musical tuition to anyone who is interested, that way no child feels rejected, or worse, feels that they are not musical. 
I don't demand that children be musically gifted, I just like them to be interested, keen and enthusiastic, and to that end, I do my best to make their weekly lesson fun, that way I find they look forward to it, and are more likely to practice, and stick at it.  
I don't put pressure on my students to sit tests or exams, I reckon they have enough of those in school already, so the only incentive I use is the opportunity to play in front of their own class, or the whole school, usually at the end of term, with informal concerts. The thought of playing in front of their peers usually brings about the necessary levels of practise to see real improvement, but in a fun way.
As well as providing individual tuition, in small groups, for those wishing to learn to play Fiddle, Tin Whistle or Bodhran I also take whole classes for Tin Whistle tuition, from P4 upwards. 
I find the Tin Whistle to be the ideal instrument to learn, for those taking their first steps into the wonderful world of Traditional Music. As well as being cheap, it is also one of the easiest instruments to learn to play, so students very quickly learn to play a few simple tunes, in fact they can play tunes from the very first lesson.

Incidentally, for the local musicians in Ulster, traditional music has always been a mix of both Scottish and Irish Tunes, with each sharing tunes from the other's tradition, so it seems very natural for me to be giving children an appreciation of both musical traditions.
The cross community aspect of my work is very important to me and I teach daily, on a number of instruments, in local Primary Schools of all denominations. 

I also provide Traditional Music Tuition in the evenings for adults.
Giving a talk on the Development of Musical Instruments,
with some of my more unusual instruments.
Performing with some of my young Fiddle players,
at my school's annual concert in Ballycastle.
Playing on stage at an open air concert with a group of my students,
as part of the very successful Northern Lights Festal, in Ballycastle.
Playing at an open air event in Campbeltown, Argyll,
with some of my students, as part of their annual Folk Festival.
Busking with some of the students from my Music School in Ballycastle,
which we did for charity each year at the Lammas Fair.
Students from my Music School,
performing at a function in the Marine Hotel, Ballycastle.
Performing at the Annual Concert in Ballycastle,
which I put on each year to give my students an opportunity
to show just how much they'd learned during the year.
My Fiddle students in the Ballymoney School of Music.
My adult Fiddle and Tin Whistle students and I,
performing a few of our favourite tunes for residents of a local Care Home.

My Recordings!

Here are a couple of Cassettes I produced, which, 
as well as featuring a number of well known local Traditional Musicians, 
also featured a number of my more confident students.
* * * * *
To demonstrate that this idea of my promoting the two musical traditions of Ulster is not all just talk, here are some quotes from reviews of CDs I have produced the music for.

'From a Northern Shore'
Traditional Music from the Causeway Coast
by Dick Glasgow

1 “Dick is a Scot and lives in Co. Antrim. He is a man who's happy and contented in two music traditions, and this is reflected in the tunes he has composed.”

Aidan O'Hara

2 "It’s a magnificent CD from the great Scotsman living in Co. Antrim. A wonderful mixture between Irish and Scottish traditions."   
Mich Nielsen
* * * * *

'Whun a' the Kye had Names'
By Charlie Gillen and Ptarmigan

3 "Musically this album is a little treat, & don't be put off by the "Scottish Traditional Music" in the title, the tunes here have a definite Irish accent."  "They also point to the wealth of the musical tradition we share across the two communities."   
Sean Laffey
* * * * *The Bandits were a junior group I formed from some of my more accomplished students in the Ballycastle area. Liz Weir kindly offered her services by adding a couple of lovely stories to the mix & local photographer Kevin McAuley kindy donated a couple of beautiful photographs for the project. 

Cross Community Projects!

It gives me great pleasure when I get the opportunity
to encourage my students to be involved in joint musical adventures with other schools.
* * * * *
'Horizon Project'

I recently carried out a Whistle/Bodhran Workshop for a group of teenage school children.

They were a mixed group from the North and the South 
and afterwards, the organisers sent me a very kind thank you letter:

"On behalf of the team at Horizon, I would like to thank you for your wonderful contribution to our Annual Gathering last weekend, in Ballycastle. All of the students who participated in the Traditional Music were thoroughly inspired by the whole session, and it was so encouraging to see their enthusiasm throughout the day, and indeed their keenness to perform in front of their peers. Music is such a great medium to reach out to young people, and I know those students have been touched by the whole experience."
George Simms
Horizon Co-ordinator, 
The Horizon Project (Ireland) LTD
* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *
Students and I performing as part of a cross community event

in the Diamond, Coleraine.
* * * * *
Cross Community Concert
Myself and the late Mary Mulholland, on Piano, 
plus John Moulden, on Bodhran, 
playing at a cross community concert in Coleraine Town Hall,
with some of my Fiddle Students.

Photo Gallery!

Dick Glasgow on the Fiddle
Playing Banjo on stage as guests of the Thurso Folk Festival, 
on the north coast of Scotland back around 1980
with Mike Whelans (Bodhran) Desi Wilkinson (Flute) and Joe Thoma (Fiddle).
Playing my Anglo Concertina at a concert in Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire, 
with our group The Moving McLeods in 1992 along with
Peter Cunningham, Kenny Hadden, Gillian Scott & Ron Pirrie.
Playing with a young student for a TV Advert by Ballintoy Harbour
Playing on stage with 'Scad the Beggars' 
for the Maritime Festival in Belfast
Playing at the Dalriada Concert at the Folk Festival in Campbeltown
Playing on stage at the Giants Causeway, 
for the Causeway Dulcimer Festival in 2005
Playing my Nyckelharpa in the House of McDonnell, Ballycastle
Playing with Sabine, my wife, 
for an event in the Ulster American Folk Park
Playing with Sabine at the Folk Festival 
in the Ulster American Folk Park
Playing my Hammered Dulcimer 
for a BBC Radio Ulster recording
Playing my Hammered Dulcimer 
in a local Primary School
Fiddling on stage at the Causeway Dulcimer Festival in Bushmills
Playing my English Concertina here for a Wedding Reception,
with Sam Fleming (Northumbrian Pipes) and Riley Piddington (Guitar)
On the set of the movie
'The Boys and Girl from County Clare'
in which I played the Fiddle in the opening scene
* * * * *
A Video of the start of that movie.
* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *


Here are a selection of some videos I am either playing in, 
or have recorded the music for.
Our group Scad the Beggars performing at the Broadisland Gathering in 2016.
Here I was playing Fiddle, English Concertina and Hammered Dulcimer.
* * * * * 
Limerick's Lamentation, played by me on Hammered Dulcimer 
in Carrickfergus Castle.
* * * * * 
Playing Hand me down the Tackle on my Fiddle 
with John Hughes on Uilleann Pipes
at the Causeway Dulcimer Festival in 2005. 
Playing a set of Scottish Tunes on my Hammered Dulcimer.
Promoting the Glens of Antrim with the lovely old melody, the Blue Hills of Antrim,
played here on English Concertina & Hammered Dulcimer.
Playing two Irish Reels on my Mandolin.
Playing two Irish Reels on my Tenor Banjo.
Playing three Northumbrian Tunes on my English Concertina
with my friend Sam Fleming on Northumbrian Pipes.
Playing Two Hornpipes on my Anglo Concertina
Sabine and I playing at Dunluce Castle in period costume.
The tune is Planxty Charles O'Connor.
I am playing my Nyckelharpa and Sabine is playing a Gothic Harp.
Playing two Reels on my Tenor Guitar with friends 
for an edition of Blas Ceoil for BBC Ulster TV.
Recorded in the House of McDonnell, Ballycastle.
A set of Scottish tunes I composed for my friend Maurice Duncan 
and played on Fiddle, Mandolin, Tenor Guitar, Tenor Banjo 
& Swedish Nyckelharpa.
A flavour of the Causeway Dulcimer Festival which I organised 
and produced in Bushmills in 2005.
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