Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Dumfries House partnership © Martin Shields

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Dumfries House partnership

Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire KA18 2NJ, Scotland


The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland works with Dumfries House to deliver performing arts education opportunities to young people in Ayrshire.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Dumfries House partnership is committed to building strong artistic foundations for the people and communities of Scotland.

About the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Dumfries House partnership

Currently, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offers strings and modern ballet programmes at Dumfries House, giving young people the opportunity to access high-quality, specialist tuition in the beautiful surroundings of this 18th century Palladian mansion, set in a 2,000-acre estate.

Dumfries House is one of Scotland’s architectural jewels and was saved from closure by HRH the Prince of Wales (known in Scotland as the Duke of Rothesay) in 2007 to become a centre of education and regeneration, offering training opportunities to the local community in engineering, art and hospitality.

With Dumfries House wishing to add performing arts to its growing portfolio, a partnership with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was formed in 2016 through HRH the Prince of Wales, who is patron of both institutions.

Header photo: Young string players at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Dumfries House partnership © Martin Shields

Posted In  Multi-arts and  Vocal/instrumental learning/teaching


Achieve Your Greatness (AYG)

London, UK

  • The Big Lottery Fund
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation
  • PRS Foundation
  • William Wates Memorial Trust
  • The BRIT Trust
  • Arts Council England
  • Santander Foundation
  • The Ashley Family Foundation

  • 'I haven’t witnessed this type of project before and that’s why this is exciting to me. This is what I wish our education system had time to do – to ask young people, who are you and how can you be great?' - Pia Furtado, The Philippa Project
  • 'Before AYG she never said anything in class. Now she always puts her hand up in class and contributes 100%.' - Tara Van Gastel, Head of Drama, Plumstead Manor

  • 'He says he loves it so so much. The project makes him more confident of himself to be able to face lots of people and [an] audience.' - AYG 2016 Parent

  • 'I have learned that failing on your first try doesn’t necessarily mean that that is your only chance and that you failed that try. There will always be more chances for you to try again.' - AYG Participant, Plumstead Manor

  • 'I enjoyed that the experience was outside my comfort zone. I've also taken techniques that I will utilise in my classroom… building softer skills – confidence, risk taking, interacting with others, feeling safe to do all of this – is important.' - Dan, Special Educational Needs Teacher (SEN), AYG CPD Training, Corelli College

  • 'I love doing it and it is something that I want to do alongside my artistic work. It’s a necessary part of what we do, how the art lives out and what we learn from each other.' - Tara Siddall, actor, poet and singer and one of our workshop leaders for AYG

The overall aim of the programme is to develop participants' artistic and transferable skills which fall under the Foundation's 5Cs:

  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking


Achieve Your Greatness (AYG) is the Abram Wilson Foundation‘s multi-arts education programme for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It targets schools in deprived areas and works with teachers to identify students who are at risk of bullying or exclusion, lacking in confidence, struggling to find their place at school and are not engaging in the arts at school.

AYG aims to address the de-prioritisation of arts subjects in schools, funding cuts that restrict access to the arts for those from underprivileged backgrounds, and a decline in the teaching of soft skills as part of the curriculum. AYG is particularly interested in working with young people who are from diverse backgrounds, are eligible for Free School Meals or have Special Educational Needs.

Programme participants access high-quality, professionally trained artists who deliver music workshops combining theatre, dance and creative writing.

Posted In  Multi-arts

John McCusker, Musicians in Museums

Musicians in Museums

National Maritime Museum, London, United Kingdom

Staff members of the National Coal Mining Museum on Bryony Griffith and Andy Seward's residency:

  • “I must admit I enjoyed singing much more than I expected. I was surprised how quickly we all picked up the music and lyrics. I felt good that I had been asked to be part of the group. I realise also that I like folk songs and their portrayal of life years ago.”

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Bryony and Andy.  It’s been great fun learning our coal mining songs and being able to perform them at the Museum’s 30th anniversary celebration, as well as contribute to the Radio Ballad.  It has been great to spend time with colleagues (both staff and volunteers) outside of our ‘day jobs’ and I think the experience has brought us closer together as a team too.  I would love it if the Caphouse singers could continue into the future, perhaps getting more colleagues and visitors involved.  I think that music is a really great way to encourage more people to connect with the coal mining heritage and its stories.”

  • To offer a creative opportunity for a professional musician working in the English folk idiom (song/instrumental) to draw upon the collection(s) and themes of the museum to inspire a new piece of music;
  • For the artist to develop their communication skills through leading workshops with eg young people, schools, adult groups, which will illuminate their creative practice and process and providing a different way to present the museum’s collections.
  • To bring together tangible and intangible heritage through the creation of a new musical work and associated education projects and develop new audiences for both.

Yorkshire and Humberside



Musicians in Museums explores the tangible and intangible heritage of England to offer folk music artists an exciting creative and learning opportunity.

The English Folk Dance and Song Society in partnership with the National Coal Mining Museum for England, the National Maritime Museum, and the Museum of English Rural Life, and funded by Help Musicians, are offering a creative opportunity for folk musicians to become artists-in-residence at one of the aforementioned museums over a 12 month period.

Musicians in Museums is aimed at folk music artists working in the English folk idiom with a strong knowledge of traditional English music material (songs/tunes), proven creative excellence that draws upon English traditional material, and with proven teaching skills.

One artist per museum will be appointed and offered a bursary of £5,000 to provide funding for:

  • research and creative time over a year’s period including an agreed number of contact days with the host museum;
  • devise and deliver 10 days of learning programme;
  • devised and write learning materials to accompany the learning programme to be used be used by EFDSS and the host museum;
  • create 15-20 minutes of new music (song and/or instrumental)
  • 1 public performance  at the end of the residency at the host museum. A further performance at Cecil Sharp House may also be arranged; an additional performance fee would be paid for this.

There is also a travel/accommodation allowance of £500.

The museum may arrange with the artist, and pay for directly, additional teaching days within reason.

The Artist will work with the museum over a period of 12 months, spending sufficient time with the museum staff and collections to fully understand the materials and themes of the host museum. The exact schedule for the year is flexible and aims to enable artists to continue to undertake a level of other work e.g. touring, recording etc, but a commitment to this project is crucial. The Artist will be supported by the Artists Development Team at EFDSS and is also encouraged to use the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (EFDSS’s Library) for research (in person/online).

Posted In  Multi-arts and  Training/CPD