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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 01:36 GMT
Hi-tech scheme to promote music
The Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Students around Scotland will be brought closer to the SSO
Virtual music masterclasses are being offered to children across Scotland in a pioneering move by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The scheme, which covers Barra, Islay, Dumfries, Lewis and Orkney, combines state-of-the-art video conferencing technology and musical expertise.

It will offer know-how to pupils as young as seven from the SSO's base at Glasgow City Halls.

The National Youth Choir of Scotland will also use the system for auditions.

The primary school masterclasses will be led by three of the orchestra's woodwind players and will include interactive music exercises and activities that can be developed between lessons.

We place great value on every child having direct access to live music and musicians
Jennifer Martin

Masterclasses will also be available to secondary school pupils studying music at Standard Grade, Higher or Advanced Higher level, who will be offered one-to-one tuition with virtuoso principal players.

Schools involved include Castlebay School on Barra, Bowmore Primary in Islay, Papdale Primary on Orkney, St Teresa's Primary, Dumfries, the Nicholson Institute in Stornoway, Islay High School and Kirkwall Grammar on Orkney.

Jennifer Martin, the BBC SSO's learning manager, said "We place great value on every child having direct access to live music and musicians.

"Video conferencing will bring the BBC SSO and its resources to communities who do not have the opportunity to learn from, and work with, orchestral musicians on a regular basis."

Students will also benefit from one-to-one tuition with musicians prior to orchestra visits, following up their virtual masterclasses with face-to-face lessons.

As well as building closer relations with schools, the technology can be used for the SSO to connect to other international institutions, giving opportunities for the BBC to video conference colleges and schools during concert tours.

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