Why Study Music in Benbecula?


Benbecula has developed an international reputation for the teaching of traditional music and for providing many opportunities for performance and skills development related to the music professions.

Academic provision includes the innovative BA (Hons) Applied Music Degree, HNC Music and the introduction of the new MA Music and the Environment Degree based at Lews Castle College, recognises the institution as delivering first class teaching and learning in one of Scotland’s rich and unique cultural environments.


Focus is on performance and arranging, with several performance opportunities locally and on the surrounding islands and further afield. Classes and workshops are delivered by outstanding teaching staff, complemented by guest lecturers from away.

Over the years the department has developed solid partnership programmes with local community groups such as Ceolas, Taigh Chearsabhagh Arts Centre, festivals and feisean as well as strong links with media and other agencies in the creative industries; meaning that each year we are able to respond to a variety of different opportunities available to us to provide a range of valuable learning experiences; whether it be performance, teaching, recording or film and music.

Uist is well known for its strong Gaelic language community and an ideal and supportive environment to develop your language skills. Gaelic is fundamental to the study of the music from the Outer Hebrides music students are offered free access to selected Gaelic classes up to 5 hours per week. These classes will focus on conversation skills, and on making the most of being in a living Gaelic environment. Examples of learning activities may include a trip to the local museum, potato planting or a beach walk delivered through the Gaelic language.

Uist Music Scholarship

Benbecula music students at Celtic Connections

Features of Music study in Benbecula content

Features of Music study in Benbecula

  • Increase skills and knowledge in traditional music performance, practice, history and theory.
  • Access to top tutors in the traditional music world
  • One on one first study tuition,
  • Various performance opportunities
  • Prepare students for successfully working in the creative industries.
  • Provide quality training in recording techniques and production
  • A solid preparation that can be useful for vocational development or continuing on to further Higher Education courses
  • Regular access to studio facilities

Benbecula alumni include noted professionals: Matheu Watson, James MacKenzie, Angus Nicholson, Naomi Harvey and Lucy MacRae of Lurach.

Programme Leader BA Applied Music: Anna-Wendy Stevenson

Programme Leader HNC Music: Simon Bradley

Lecturers: Iain MacDonald, Paul McCallum

Gaelic: Archie Campbell

Visiting tutors include the internationally renowned: Julie Fowlis, Matheu Watson, Jim Neilson, Mairearad Green, Ross Ainslie, Rick Taylor, Tia Files, Kathleen MacInnes

What people have said content

What people have said

“I would definitely recommend these courses to anyone who wants to learn more about traditional music and Gaelic. It provides many great performance opportunities and a real taste of what being a professional musician is all about! On this course I built a good network of contacts in the industry through meeting a variety of visiting tutors. You couldn't ask for better tutors or a better location”

“In Benbecula I met my future band members with whom I have performed all over Europe and in 2009 we won the prestigious ‘Danny’ Award for our performances”

“My performance level improved hugely, and I was given a comprehensive insight into the creative industries, including the practicalities of making music into a career”

See all Music Courses.

BA Applied Music