HIGHER music pupils will have an extra string to their bow as professional musicians take over the classroom.

Music ensemble Red Note and composer Stephen Deazley will give six professional masterclasses to teenagers at Lourdes Secondary School.

With composition being a major part of the Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, Lourdes students will be gaining valuable experience.

The sessions began this week with Stephen, former director of education for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, meeting with youngsters.

He said: “Teaching composition is hard to do in a classroom setting and not all schools are able to get it right.

“That’s no criticism: music teachers in school settings have other skill sets and not all have been accomplished composers, so having a professional composer in the classroom brings a different energy and a different mentality.

“We maybe have new ways of working and teachers can value that external support.”

Four musicians from Red Note will work alongside Stephen to perform the music composed by the students.

Youngsters will hear their compositions played by highly skilled professionals on string and woodwind instruments.

Stephen added: “Sometimes the ideas are very simple but you put it in the hands of a very good player who can give an intuitive, expressive, articulated performance.”

Debbie MacVicar, Faculty Head of Performing Arts, invited Red Note to her school after hearing about the project’s success earlier this year in Shawlands Academy.

She said: “Stephen was able to open their eyes a little bit.

“The kids think, ‘That’s something I can’t do,’ and an opportunity like this shows them they can.

“Red Note is not only for the students but also for teaching staff to be able to be exposed to a different method of teaching.

“Composing is the hardest thing for pupils when they don’t have the capacity to play the instruments they are composing for so this will give them the chance to see what the instruments are capable of and also get immediate feedback on what their music sounds like.

“It’s breaking down the barriers for them, building their confidence

“It’s really going to get their creative juices flowing. For me, to see in five weeks what they produce is very exciting.”

Cerys Hogg, from Crookston, sings and plays ukulele.

This year the 17-year-old is studying for her Advanced Higher music but is thinking of applying for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for next year.

Cerys said: “Many of the students would rather being doing practical work but it’s one of these things we are told we have to do and it’s difficult and hard.

“It is definitely a really exciting opportunity that’s ahead of us, having the musicians coming in.

“I have always been fascinated by the cello, I find it quite intriguing, so to know that someone will be playing my music on the cello is exciting.”

Shiloh Wakazadi, from Pollok, is studying music and music technology at Higher.

The 16-year-old sings bass and plays the glockenspiel.

He added: “The first session was very interesting, especially to hear a composer talking to us about his own work.

“Composing isn’t something everybody is good at so the extra support is really valuable.

“Stephen showed us some great examples of people who are composers in musical genres we might not have thought of before.

“I have been using Garage Band for my compositions so to have professional musicians play our work will be great.”

The New Music Makers project will end with a final performance on November 20.

Stephen said: “After hearing their music played by the professionals you see everybody grow about two feet taller.

“It’s like freeze-dried creativity getting water poured on it and coming alive.”