Helping get the next wave of musical talent on track

School children from Woodfarm High School and Williamwood High School attended the inaugural 'Masters of Music' workshop at SWG3.
School children from Woodfarm High School and Williamwood High School attended the inaugural 'Masters of Music' workshop at SWG3.

Two of Scotland’s leading lights in dance music are throwing their musical prowess behind Scotland’s education system by launching a new campaign.

Music advocates Stephen Kirkwood and Steven Galloni, the brains behind the campaign, have delivered music-related workshops to more than 30,000 school children across Scotland since launching their not-for-profit company, SKapades, in 2015.

To kick-off their latest campaign – focused specifically on DJ skills – the duo held the inaugural ‘Masters of Music’ session in Glasgow’s SWG3 which was attended by pupils from Woodfarm High School and Williamwood High School.

Stephen Kirkwood, co-founder of SKapades, said: “More than ever, people are recognising DJ decks as a musical instrument – alongside the piano, violin or guitar, but worryingly all forms of music are under threat in Scotland’s schools.

“We hope this campaign brings fresh awareness to this crisis – and it is a crisis – and gives school children, from all walks of life, increased access to music.”

Steven Galloni added: “From Calvin Harris to Hudson Mohawke, Scotland is a hot-bed of talent when it comes to dance music, but most of those coming through the ranks talk about learning the required skills while holed up in their bedrooms.

“We want to change that; learning production and DJ skills should be made available to everyone as part of music classes in school.

“It shouldn’t be something that’s hard to access, but rather a choice for young people interested in music making.”

In addition to free workshops, the campaign will also see the duo host a Pod Cast designed especially for young children interested in music making, covering topics such as – ‘how to break into music’, ‘top tips for becoming a DJ’ and ‘required skills to make it as a music producer’.

Dougal Perman, executive chairman of the Scottish Music Industry Association, said: “Our members, my colleagues and I are deeply concerned about the current plight of Scottish instrumental music education.

“So I’m delighted to learn about the valuable work being done by Stephen Kirkwood and Steven Galloni through their inspiring Masters of Music project.

“Despite the best efforts of many local authorities, if access to learning to play music is restricted then less people can be included and, very sadly, economic privilege can determine who gets to benefit from the numerous benefits offered by musical education.”