My name is Eilis and I’ve been working as a trainee with Givin’ it Laldie since the start of September. In this short space of time, I’ve been able to see just how valuable the work the organisation does is – and it has been so rewarding to be part of that work, both within the sessions and behind the scenes.

My background is as a brass player, and this remains at the heart of my identity as a musician. I was 11 when I was given the chance to learn to play the baritone horn (think baby tuba!), and since then music has played a central role in my life. It is a real privilege to now be able to work with young people at that early stage of their own musical development, knowing that for many of them these learning opportunities will become lifelong passions.

I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2021 with a degree in music where I specialised in euphonium performance; today, I keep my playing up with Croy Silver Band. Although playing a brass instrument was my first foray into music, I also enjoy singing, playing guitar and piano, writing music and writing about music!

Since joining the team at Givin’ it Laldie, I have really enjoyed getting stuck in with the various aspects of running a successful community music organisation. In my first month, I have worked primarily with TuneRoom which has been a fast paced and fun-filled session to get involved in. My very first day with Laldie also happened to be the very first day of TuneRoom for the new school year which meant that I was in the same position as a lot of the new young participants coming through the door. Over the subsequent weeks It’s been incredible to see those same young people begin to articulate their musical interests and share more of their personalities. A particular highlight for me was their approval of my song selections of  Paramore and My Chemical Romance choices for ‘Bop or Flop’, our quickfire game exploring music genres and music taste.
More recently I have had the opportunity to begin supporting the adult group music sessions, and it’s been interesting to see how these run differently from the youth sessions. It was lovely to join in with both the Sing for Life and Strum for Life sessions in my first week and getting to hear firsthand from the participants about what the sessions mean to them. My Laldie colleagues have all been incredibly supportive over my first few weeks in post, and I’ve really enjoyed working alongside them on the various youth and adult projects we run.

Over the next wee while, I’m looking forward to seeing what our TuneRoom participants come up with as they begin working on their creative projects and seeing our adult groups perform in the Winter Warmer. Working with Givin’ it Laldie so far has been the most incredible experience – I can’t wait to see what’s next!