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music Archives - Morningside School of Music

The Dan Beattie Award

Dan Beattie,Edinburgh,award,music,guitar

Dan Beattie,Edinburgh,award,music,guitarDan Beattie 1986 – 2011

An extraordinarily keen & gifted young musician, Dan Beattie attended Morningside School of Music throughout 2010 in preparation for his studies in Music at Brunel University, London. Dan was one of the most determined and enthusiastic musicians that Morningside School of Music had encountered, and his attitude towards learning was nothing short of inspirational.

Dan played guitar, piano and was also a great vocalist. He later went on to learn the mandolin and ukulele. He had a particular interest in popular music theory and live music performance. Music was his pride and passion.

Dan Beattie Award,Charity,Morningside School of Music,Edinburgh,Aged only 24, Dan and his younger sister Carly, 21, were tragically involved in a fatal air accident while in Florida.

He will be greatly missed by the staff at the music school who grew very fond of Dan and developed friendships with him.

Morningside School of Music will continue to remember Dan every year through the ‘Dan Beattie Award for the Dedication to Musical Excellence’ which is presented to the student who shows the same high level of determination & dedication that Dan showed throughout his musical training.

The award is presented annually at the Morningside School of Music Grand Annual Charity Ball, by Dan’s father, Mr Tom Beattie.

The award has been presented to:

2011 - Ruiradh Logan

The first-ever recipient of the Dan Beattie Award for Dedication to Musical Excellence. Ruaridh worked extremely hard at Morningside School of Music, in particular, on drums and guitar, dedicating as much free time as possible to the progression of his musical studies. The staff at Morningside School of Music were extremely proud to see Ruaridh lifting the trophy. Since winning the award, he has gone on to perform at various gigs across the Capital and has continued to progress under the watchful eye of his teacher, David Jeans.

2012 - Gus Harrower

The second winner of the Dan Beattie Memorial Award was the 14-year-old singer, pianist and guitarist, Angus Harrower. The award ceremony was held at the 2012 Morningside School of Music Annual Dinner which raised over £2,000 for the Sick Kids Friend’s Foundation. The award was presented by Dan’s father, Tom. Since winning the award, Gus has gone on to play, compose, produce and promote his way to Scottish music scene stardom. Gus has been on various TV shows, written about in many newspapers and in 2015, was included in Scotland on Sunday ‘one to watch for 2016’ list. In 2016, Gus enrolled at Edinburgh Napier University on the BA Popular Music degree course.

2013 - Nikki Lamont

A multi-instrumentalist, singing, playing the guitar, piano and bass, Nikki impressed everyone with her outstanding songwriting skills and her musical aptitude. Nikki has since gone on to study music and graduated with a BA Music degree from Kingston University in 2018.

2014 - Conal Mooney

Conal ‘Rockstar’ Mooney, as he is affectionately known at the music school, has proved himself to be a very worthy winner of the Dan Beattie Award. As a multi-instrumentalist who can play piano, bass and drums, Conal received a distinction at Grade 8 Rockschool in his guitar exam. We are very proud of Conal due to the determination he holds when it comes to musicianship. in 2017, Conal enrolled at Edinburgh Napier University on the BA Popular Music degree course where he continues to impress with his virtuoso guitar skills.

2015 - Izzy MacLullich

Despite her young age, Izzy is without a doubt one of the most proficient drummers that Morningside School of Music has ever had the pleasure of teaching. At the age of just 12, Izzy was playing through Grade 8 Rockschool Drumming easily, her drum teacher astounded by her incredible aptitude for music. Izzy has gone on to play alongside some of the most famous drummers in the world and even hold her own drum workshops across the UK.

2016 - Beth Peters

Beth's teachers were so impressed by her impressive vocal ability, they insisted that she be nominated as the 2016 winner of the Dan Beattie Award. Her range, vocal technique and stage presence left the audience cheering to hear more at the Morningside School of Music Grand Annual Ball which was held in aid of SAMH. Beth Continues to study voice with us and is performing live every opportunity she gets.

2017 - Summer Xie

Our youngest recipient of the Dan Beattie award to date, Summer Xie, shows ability on the piano that is past young age. Her level of practice and eye for detail in her work impressed all the staff at Morningside School of Music, none more than her piano teacher.

2018 - Katy Martin

We were absolutely blown away by the sheer determination of this year's winner, Katy Martin. A pianist, flautist, composer and vocalist, Katy has be working hard with us for many years whilst still at school.

Music Sector Code of Practice

Code of Practice,Music Industry,ISM,MU,

Code of Practice – Positive Positive Change within the Music Industry


On the 12th of July 2018, Deborah Annetts, CEO of The Incorporated Society of Musicians, and Naomi Pohl, the Assistant General Secretary of the Musicians Union, signed a joint code of practice that will help eradicate bullying, harassment and discrimination in the music sector. The list of principals will aid all employers within the industry to meet their legal requirements and set out a shared vision of promoting and maintaining a positive working culture.

Morningside School of Music has pledged its full support towards the code of practice.


Code of Practice,Music Industry,ISM,MU,

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said:

‘The ISM’s Dignity at work report revealed a culture of discriminatory behaviour, including sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination relating to all protected characteristics across the entire music sector. The respondents, who were mainly self-employed, ‘depping’ musicians (and not covered under the Equality Act 2010), did not report their experiences due to fear of being victimised and ‘blacklisted’, indicates a toxic culture which needs to change.

Following in the footsteps of the British Film Institute and UK Theatre/SOLT, who have both launched vital principles for the film and theatre industries, the ISM and Musicians’ Union have joined forces to launch a set of principles for the music sector. We call on all organisations – whether they are a venue, orchestra, school, recording studio or otherwise, to sign up and support this Code and ensure its implementation within the workspace.’

Naomi Pohl, Assistant General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said:

‘When the #MeToo movement began in late 2017, the MU established a confidential email account for musicians and other individuals working in the music sector to report instances of sexism, sexual harassment and abuse. The many reports we have received have been deeply concerning and range from everyday sexism, which appears rife across the industry, to sexual assault. It is clear to us that the culture of the music and entertainment sectors, as well as drama and music education, need to change radically. To put it bluntly, many workplaces simply aren’t safe for female musicians in particular at the present time.

We know that many employers, venues and educational establishments are keen to work with us and we believe this new Code of Practice will be widely welcomed. While it isn’t the only available Code of Practice, it is unique in our sector because it has been drafted with freelance workers, performers and students in mind. Freelancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse as they may feel they have no rights and nowhere to turn for help. We want to ensure they feel supported at work and that we and their engagers have their safety and well-being as our top priority.’ 

A set of principals to tackle and prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination for all those working in the music sector


These principles aim to eradicate bullying, harassment, discrimination and other forms of inappropriate behaviour within the sector. They will also help employers to meet their legal requirements as well as setting out a shared vision for promoting and maintaining a positive working culture.

All employers, employees, officers, workers, agency workers, trainees, students, tutors, volunteers, trustees and freelancers should adhere to these principles. Everyone is responsible for promoting and maintaining an inclusive workplace which is positive and supportive.

We are committed to promoting and maintaining a diverse and equal working culture


  • We oppose bullying, harassment and discrimination and will not tolerate such behaviour within our own organisation and network.
  • We are committed to playing our part in improving the working culture of the music sector.
  • We are an equal opportunities employer and committed to improving diversity within our own workforce.
  • We value inclusivity, appreciate difference, and welcome learning from others and consider people equal without prejudice of favour. We build relationships based on mutual respect. We will work to give and receive feedback in a constructive way, which we know will improve creativity and productivity.
  • We will take a proactive approach to improve the working culture of our own organisation (e.g. ensuring equal opportunities in any recruitment and selection process, providing flexible working policies and family-friendly contracts).
  • We will encourage appropriate behaviour within our own organisation and in our network.
  • Where we work with individuals under the age of 18, we will ensure that appropriate safeguarding training and advice is provided to our staff and representatives.
  • We will implement and promote appropriate policies, procedures and complaints processes to protect everyone – including the freelances we engage and students we teach.
  • We will respect each other’s dignity, regardless of the seniority of our role in any setting.

When reports are made


  • We understand that it is difficult for individuals who have suffered bullying, harassment or discrimination to speak out. We will respect confidentiality where possible and aim to make the process of reporting clear, straightforward and accessible.
  • Reports of bullying, harassment or discrimination made to us will be taken seriously, handled sensitively, and within the complainant’s safety and wellbeing as our first priority. This will mean providing adequate protection for complainants and, where bullying or discrimination is found to have occurred, taking appropriate action against the perpetrators. We will do all in our power to ensure that individuals who have made complaints or participate in good faith in any investigation do not suffer any form of reprisal or victimisation as a result.
  • Where individuals belong to a trade union or professional association, we will encourage them to seek its advice and support.
  • We will maintain a list of support services for use by those who have suffered harassment bullying or discrimination.
  • Where issues are raised with us that may be of a criminal nature, we will refer the individual concerned to an appropriate support service.


We will ensure that these principals are embedded at the early stages of careers in the music sector and the performing arts, to ensure that a safer, more inclusive working culture becomes the norm.

Napier University’s Popular Music

napier - popular music

My name is Conal Mooney, and I am a first-year guitar student at Edinburgh Napier University Popular Music Course. This small blog is about why I chose the BA (Hons) Popular Music course. I will also mention what it has to offer you as a potential student and what it is like to study music in Edinburgh.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

After finishing my sixth year of high school, I knew I wanted to study music at uni. However, I had no real idea where I wanted to study. I was also unsure of what course path to take; whether to apply for a classical or a popular music degree or to study a music technology degree with no performance aspects at all. I decided I was most interested in a course which had the option of exploring many issues of music. I attended open days at Glasgow, Ayr and Edinburgh and spoke to friends and read student reviews. After my research, I found the BA Pop course at Edinburgh Napier University piqued my interest. Reviews of the course, as well as the vast array of career paths available, stuck out to me.

I visited Napier’s Merchiston campus and was very impressed with the facilities and what the course had to offer. The four-year course has a wealth of areas of study. These include composition, performance and technologies, as well as music therapy and community music projects. The lecturers and tutors are of the highest standard, with sought-after session musicians and accomplished academics making up the music team. Another aspect of the course that particularly attracted me is the option of a year abroad.

Napier University’s Popular Music Course Syllabus

First and second-year offer a focus on music genres, cultures and industries. These are centred around group discussions in lectures as well as analysis of studies and academic works on music. These years also focus heavily on practical music studies and technologies; the former encouraging a strong focus on theory and one-to-one instrument lessons. Instrument/vocal lessons ensure that you’re always seeking to improve your playing skills and help you to apply your learning in compositional tasks.

Music Technologies modules are where Napier’s superb technical facilities are put to use. Lectures in first and second year offer extensive use of digital audio workstations such as ‘ProTools’, ‘Logic Pro X’ and the advanced music notation software ‘Sibelius’. Rehearsal rooms, as well as studios in the uni, are open to students 24/7 for practice and recording use. These rooms are fully equipped with amps, drum kits, keyboards and professional mixing desks and speakers.

Third and Fourth-year modules allow for you to further develop skills in areas that you have strengths in. Modules such as music therapy, music psychology and instrumental/vocal teaching offer an insight into applying music practices in the real world. More advanced technology modules are available, using Ableton for advanced mixing and producing. Additionally, performance modules can be taken right up to fourth-year, as well as the more academic ‘Music in a Globalized World’ and ‘Entrepreneurship in the Music Industries’ laying a foundation for music research projects.

A Lecturer’s View.

In my brief time at Napier, it is clear that both the staff and students are happy and actively engaged with course. There is never a shortage of opportunities for musical exploration and work. Fourth-year student, Corin Anderson (composing, producing and DJing under the name CoriAnder) says,

“I recently accepted the post of Music Technology Lecturer on the Junior Napier Music course. My job is to teach high school students how to use industry-standard software to record, edit and mix music. ” adding, “Edinburgh Napier’s Popular Music course has opened up so many opportunities for me. The past few years have undoubtedly been the best of my life so far”.

My own experience of the course has been fantastic as well. In seven months, the amount that I have learnt with regards to composing, recording and producing music is immeasurable. My guitar playing has come on massively, and my sight reading is improving as the weeks go on. The folk in my year are spot on. We all get along well, and I have made some really good friends. I am looking forward to the rest of this trimester and the years ahead. I’m ready to work hard and keep making music. Hopefully, this blog reflects my honest feeling about the course and shows you that if you want to study music, Edinburgh Napier University is the place to be.

Corin Anderson is a music producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ with a wealth of musical experience. Having written and released five albums and one EP as well as collaborating with other artists on many works, he is nothing short of accomplished. You can follow Corin’s music projects and releases on his website https://musiccoriander.weebly.com.


An interview with Gus Harrower

Gus Harrower Wonder

“Nobody would have to know, your secrets on the radio…”

Gus Harrower,Gus,Harrower,Live,Wembley,London,

Gus’ music career began at primary school when he started piano lessons at a relatively young age. However, he did admit that he “hated learning to begin with. I couldn’t get into it when I started, but I stuck at it”.

Gus continued his interest in music by becoming a student at Morningside School of Music. This is where he began to practice and excel at the piano. He only had praise for the teachers at the music school, saying that “the encouragement from Paul and my piano teacher at the time inspired me with the music I would go onto write”.

He continued, “listening to the music which the tutors advised me to, totally expanded my taste in music and helped with my songwriting”.

Gus’ Musical Influences

Musical influences were a thing Gus was keen to share, citing numerous artists that have shaped his career. He began with his favourite act, American indie folk band Bon Iver.

“Currently, I enjoy listening to Bon Iver. The band are very different from the music I write, however, the lyrics are brilliant and great to listen to”.

He carried on, “I enjoy listening to Billy Joel. He is an excellent pianist and was brilliant in concert when I saw him at Old Trafford”.

However, Gus was keen to point out that it’s not only famous musicians impact his music. He added, “I learn lots from my friends and other musicians around Edinburgh; they don’t have to be a big name to influence my music taste”.


What was very apparent in talking to Gus is that his music taste is very diverse. Other than Billy Joel and Bon Iver, Gus listens to different artists on Spotify and spoke about the last playlist he listened to. “On my artist page on Spotify, you can find a playlist called Ten Tunes. It’s quite varied; there is some Blossoms and Theo Katzman too”.

Music, Work and Studies

While on the topic of Spotify, Gus spoke about his music which features on the platform. He expressed that “Spotify is great for artists, as millions of people can hear our music”.

Gus Harrower

Gus already has some music on the music platform with his album “Where We Were” which is performing well. However, he isn’t content with tha

t. He continued, “the aim, for me, is to get my music on an editorial playlist. These playlists can be another way to get people to listen to my music, so I am hopeful that it could happen soon”.

Gus loves gigging and is part of a very successful wedding band. He said, “I am enjoying playing in the wedding band at the moment. I joined the band last year as a money maker on the side of uni, and we are now booked up every Saturday until November”.

In the band, Gus doesn’t play his music; however, he did mention that he likes playing covers of other musician’s songs. “I do enjoy playing covers, though we have had some strange requests for first songs. The other week we had a wedding and were asked to play the Foo Fighters, which was a change”. He continued, “we were also asked to play Peter Gabriel’s Book of Love which is a more common request.”

Our discussion then moved from music to studies. Gus is currently in his second year of Popular Music at Napier University. “I’m finding the course very enjoyable. The lecturers are great, and I feel I am learning lots of new techniques. That’s also how I fell into the wedding band; through my course”.


The Future

Gus is sure of his immediate future and has got the next couple of years planned out. “Firstly I want to finish my degree and try to fit in as many gigs as possible while I’m still at uni. I am also keen to work on my music over the next few years, as well as play in the wedding band”.

Gus Harrower,Wonder,Gus,Harrower,Edinburgh,Music,Musician,

Further down the line, Gus is undecided about what to do after university. However, he knows he wants to remain in the music industry. “I want to stay involved in music; I know that for sure. I quite fancy moving away from Edinburgh, possibly down to London for a while”.

He admitted that it is challenging to make it as a musician but, he does have a few ideas. “It’s hard to make it in music; however I am hoping to become a songwriter or session player maybe”.

Regardless of the future, Gus Harrower is aiming to get more of his music onto Spotify. In fact, his fantastic new single “Wonder” is available to download now. You can also purchase Wonder on Apple Music.

You can follow Gus on Facebook here: Gus Harrower Facebook

Have You Heard – Canadian Edition

Canadian Flag

Our new series ‘Have you Heard…’ will showcase new or lesser known artists.  If you have any suggestions for artists to feature, please feel free to comment or send us an email!  For the first edition of the series, our Creative Manager, Laura, will highlight some Canadian artists.  Being a Canadian herself, she is uniquely equipped for this job.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of lots of incredible Canadian artists- Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Tragically Hip, The Band, Leonard Cohen but you might not have known these people are Canadian.  I thought I would dig a little deeper into the Canadian music scene to highlight some artists you may or may not have heard of, but ones that I think deserve more attention on this side of the pond.

The Sheepdogs

Fun fact: after winning Rolling Stone’s ‘Choose The Cover’ competition in 2011, they also became the first unsigned band to appear on the cover of the magazine.  This folk-rock band from Saskatchewan is worth a listen.


Great Lake Swimmers

They just released a fantastic new album, A Forest of Arms.  This song is off their 2007 album, Ongiara.


Hannah Georgas

A Vancouver-based artist who has been getting a lot of buzz recently.


Arcade Fire

A band with an impressive array of instruments that they take on tour (viola, accordion, glockenspiel, hurdy-gurdy, to name but a few).  I am confident that many of you know already listen to Arcade Fire- but if you don’t, you should!


City and Colour

This is the alias for Dallas Green, the guitarist of Alexisonfire (another great Canadian band).  Each of his albums goes in a different musical direction, and, he recently did a collaborative album with Pink called You + Me.  City and Colour is my favourite, so here are two songs.



The Strombo Show

This is not a band, but if you are interested in music, especially Canadian music, it is a show you should be listening to.  It is available online here.

Summer Music School

summer school advert


We would like to announce we will be offering music camps at the School this summer!  Practice your instrument, form a band, write some hit songs, rehearse, record a demo, and perform a gig!

For more information, or to book a place, please call us on 0131 447 1117.


1: Monday the 29th June to Friday the 3rd July 2015

2: Monday the 6th July to the Friday the 10th July 2015

3: Monday the 13th July to Friday the 17th July 2015

4: Monday the 3rd August to Friday the 7th August 2015

Age: 7- 16
Time: 10:00- 15:00
Price: £175, including a packed lunch
Location: Morningside School of Music, 138 Comiston Road, Edinburgh


SummerSchool2013A.compressed-page-002These fun, fantastic courses are suitable for any young adult who has an interest in learning guitar, playing piano, working on drums, having singing tuition, mastering the bass or being a composer. The courses are run by music professionals who have a PVG, NSPCC Child Protection training and British Red Cross First Aid training. The tutors include Professor Paul Boyd, who has worked alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry. Paul has also lectured in universities across the country and worked in primary and high school music education for over 17 years.