Membership & Refunds
Scots Music Group membership is annual, running from 1st August to 31st July, covering the three terms of our class programme.
Membership is £20.00 full price and £15.00 concession (students, pensioners receiving state pension, people receiving benefits, job seekers / unemployed & unwaged (e.g. carer, stay at home parent).
NOTE: Memberships with SMG are only valid until 31st July regardless of the date you purchase, contrary to the advice provided on your account.
It is optional and gives the following benefits:
- Discount on Scots Music Group class fees
- A vote at the Scots Music Group AGM
- Discount on Scots Music Group publications and recordings
- Liability insurance cover while attending Scots Music Group classes
- The satisfaction of supporting Scots Music Group!
- If you are new to SMG Sign up to register with us
- To buy, Sign in – click ‘Membership’ then ‘Enrol’ to purchase
- After purchase Sign in to book classes at the member discount rate
- If you would like to become a member make sure you purchase it before booking classes so that you can access our discount class prices
- Sign up & Sign in here
How to Pay
Online by debit or credit card, via the class booking system (Bookeo), which will take you to PayPal to check out. You don’t need a PayPal account to make a payment online, but if you’ve got one, just log in to PayPal as normal.
By internet banking / bank transfer – please contact the office first for our account details. We will confirm the amount and give you a reference to add to the payment.
By cheque, made out to Scots Music Group, sent to: Scots Music Group, Eric Liddell Community, 15 Morningside Road, EH10 4DP. Please contact us to check the amount due if you’re unsure, and enclose a note of the class and/or membership you require.
By cash – Please contact the office by email or leave a voicemail if you can only pay by cash to arrange a time to visit the office .
Cancellation & Refunds
We aim to take decisions as to whether classes are viable before the start of each term, to ensure that classes can run based on adequate sign-ups to cover tutor and venue costs. Our refund policy is intended to maintain the viability of classes wherever possible when a student cancels a booking.
Standard Class Refunds
If you can no longer attend a class, refunds will be made depending on the time you choose to cancel.
Cancellation at least 7 calendar days before your first class of the term: 75% refund of class fees
Cancellation less than 7 calendar days before your first class of the term: 50% refund of fees
Cancellation any time within the first three weeks of term, from the day your class starts: 25% refund of fees
Cancellation after week 3: No refunds given
If any of these conditions leads to exceptional hardship please get in touch with the office for a confidential review.
Refunds will usually be made via the original payment method, e.g. refunded onto your payment card.
Please note that in the case of SMG cancelling a class, e.g. due to low numbers, venue unavailability or tutor illness, refunds will be given in full.
We will only refund membership fees where class fees are also being refunded in accordance with the terms above, and the percentages quoted will apply to the total amount paid.
When cancelling classes, students may wish to retain their membership for use in future terms, or to support SMG and avail themselves of various membership benefits, discounts and voting privileges.
Where a membership has already been used to gain discounted fees in a previous term, the membership is non-refundable, e.g. if cancelling classes for Term 2, but you have attended classes in Term 1 at a discounted member rate.
Standalone memberships are non-refundable.
Short Course & Workshop refund policy
Short Courses and workshops run according to demand and fees are non-refundable. If that would lead to exceptional hardship for you, then please do get in touch with the office to explain your particular circumstances, which will be treated confidentially.
Ceilidh ticket refunds
Similar to most concert venues, we do not issue refunds for ceilidh tickets. Ceilidhs are also fundraising events for SMG. You can resell tickets yourself for the event, but we are unable to resell tickets on your behalf due to our limited staff resources. Online ceilidh tickets are processed by Yapsody.com on SMG’s behalf.
Do I need to read music to join an SMG class?
Scots Music Group encourages teaching and learning by ear. If you are new to this method of learning, don’t panic! Tutors will teach slowly and will work at a pace suitable to the group. It is highly recommended that you bring a recording device to your class.
Tutors will also share music and songs as the class prefers, for example with photocopies or a cloud storage facility, e.g. Dropbox.
Learning is also supported by a variety of SMG resources produced to promote a common repertoire:
- three Session Tune Books that contain popular tunes you will hear at sessions
- two CDs of the tunes from Session Tune Books 1 and 2
- two Songbooks
These are available to purchase at classes and from the SMG office.
What if the class is too fast or too slow for me?
As long as there are spaces available, it’s possible to transfer your enrolment to a class at a different level. Speak to your tutor on the first week or two to see if they agree that the class level is right for you. All fiddle and guitar classes run on the same night for this purpose, to allow students to settle into a level which suits them. If you do move to a different class, please inform the tutors and the office, so we can add your name to the register and make a space available in the class you are moving from.
Why are all the fiddle classes on the same night?
Most of our single instrument classes are held on the same night to make it easier for you to change to another level if you feel you have enrolled in a class that’s too slow or too fast for you. Speak to your tutor on the first week or two to see if they agree that the class level is right for you. If you do move to a different class, please inform the tutors and the office, so we can add your name to the register and make a space available in the class you are moving from.
I've learnt music classically - which level should I join?
If you are learning to play the fiddle, have a look at the webpages for classes at different levels. Speak to your tutor on the first week or two to see if they agree that the class level is right for you. All fiddle and guitar classes run on the same night for this purpose, to allow students to settle into a level which suits them. If you do move to a different class, please inform the tutors and the office, so we can add your name to the register and make a space available in the class you are moving from.
What instruments can I play in a mixed class?
Any acoustic instruments that can play in a range of keys can be brought along to any of our mixed instrument classes. It is also possible to bring along other instruments such as smallpipes, whistles, moothies, bodhráns etc. For some of the mixed instrument classes, we ask you to specify the instrument(s) you plan to play when you enrol.
If you are unsure, please contact the office for more information.
I want to learn the....why is there no class in it?
Scots Music Group is a small community-based charity. We aim to make traditional music tuition and events as accessible as possible, through providing a wide range of reasonably priced classes and events. In the past we relied on grant funding to run classes in less commonly played instruments. Since we no longer receive this funding, we are self-sustaining and now focus on running classes that are financially viable. If there is a class you would like us to consider running in the future, please contact the office.
What is the easiest instrument to learn?
How easy an instrument is depends on your previous experience. If you are drawn towards playing a particular instrument, you are more likely to be motivated to play regularly and progress with your playing. A good starter instrument for those with little musical experience is ukulele or whistle.
Where can I hire or buy an instrument?
Depending on the instrument required, we can usually suggest places for purchasing or hiring instruments, sometimes with the assistance of our tutors. Some of our tutors are also instrument makers. Contact the office with your query.
How can I learn to play fast?
This will vary depending on what instrument you are learning to play, but here are some general tips:
- To start with, pick easy tunes that you are very familiar with playing.
- If there are bits in the tune that you find tricky to play, practise these until you can play them confidently, before you try speeding the tune up. Some recording devices allow you to vary the speed of playback to help with learning tunes.
- Check whether there are particular areas of technique you need to work on.
- Practise the tune really slowly first, until you are confident you are playing it well.
- Practise playing the tune and staying relaxed.
- Think about how you are phrasing the tune, and be sure you have the key notes.
- Practise playing the tune with a metronome, to learn to keep your playing speed under control. Once you can play a tune well at a certain speed, set the metronome slightly faster and try again.
- Learn more tunes, so you become familiar with different note patterns in tunes.
- Listen to lots of music, to hear what more experienced players are doing with phrasing etc.
I need help to attend a class can I bring someone?
We understand that some students may need practical help in attending classes. Where practical, we are able to allow carers or support volunteers to attend along with a student, but this should be discussed with the office in advance, as we would need to note this on the register (for fire safety) and agree with the class tutor. In addition we would have to check there would be physical space available in the class, as some groups at Gillespie’s school in particular can be limited in size.
Can my son/daughter/baby join me?
Scots Music Group classes are currently for adults aged 18 and over, and we do not permit family members or friends to attend, both out of courtesy to your fellow students and the fact that our insurance covers only registered students and members of SMG. The Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin runs workshops for young people aged 9-18. Family members are welcome however at end-of-term events such as stramashes and student concerts.
Where can I meet other musicians?
Coming along to any of our classes is a great way to start! Alternatively, join one of the many regular pub sessions around Edinburgh.
What is the layout of James Gillespie HS?
All evening classes are held in the Malala Building – click here for the floor plan.
Sangstream meets in the Forum, in the Malala Building on Thursday evenings.
Aerial view of the school grounds below.