Albyn School recently launched a new four-week music workshop designed to make musical instruments more accessible for younger pupils of all skill levels.
Children normally wait until they are around eight years old to learn to play the flute or clarinet so that their fingers can comfortably cover all the holes in the instrument to create the notes. However, thanks to innovative instruments created by NUVO, Albyn School’s P2 and P3 pupils now have the unique opportunity to experience these instruments three years earlier.
Albyn School teacher Kirsty Duffy, who is the only NUVO ambassador based in Scotland, launched a new music workshop in May to teach children to play Toots and Doods – NUVO’s miniature flutes and clarinets designed to match a young child’s dexterity. The learning goals and outcomes of the workshop are focused on teaching each child the basics of the two instruments and how to play pieces using iconic notation.
Kirsty, a professional oboist, is passionate about making woodwind instruments less daunting for younger players.
“I think these are brilliant instruments,” said the musician who has more than a decade of teaching experience.
“This is a great opportunity for the children at Albyn School to enjoy something that has not been done before. Some of our P3 pupils have tried a recorder but they are too young for full-size flutes and clarinets.
“Using Toots and Doods, they get to have fingers in the correct placement for the keys and they can experience what a proper instrument should feel like. This provides them with an introduction to woodwind instruments that they could not have before, which is really exciting.”
Kirsty, who has played in various orchestras and groups in the north-east, said the first few lessons went “brilliantly”.
“Our children really enjoyed playing the instruments and were enthusiastic to come back again,” she said.
“Everyone managed to make a sound and had the chance to play both instruments which is also fantastic because usually, they only get to choose one.”
Following the workshop – which takes place during class music time – pupils can look forward to performing and showcasing their newly acquired skills to their family members at a special Toots and Doods school performance on 9 June.
Those pupils who are keen to continue to learn can join Toots and Doods groups or solo lessons and continue on to select the full-sized version of the instrument they prefer.
Pupils at Albyn School have many opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of instruments. From August, they will also be able to make use of the School’s brand new soundproofed practice rooms and recording studio.