Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Reminder of Whittaker Library Holiday Opening Hours

Library Spring Break opening hours

Monday - Friday, 9.00am- 5.00pm
Easter Monday, 21st April, 9.00am- 5.00pm
Normal service continues from Tuesday 22nd April (9.00 - 20.30 pm.)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Reflective Journals, Learning Journals


Has your tutor suggested keeping a reflective journal?  Or they might have called it a 'learning journal'?

Have they suggested looking at the documentation that other Masters students have submitted in previous years?

Here in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Whittaker Library can help!  Take a look in our catalogue - we've done the searching for you here.

If you're not on campus today, don't worry - we have e-books which may also be useful to you, eg:-

  • Reflective Practices in Arts Education (2006) click here.
  • Jennifer Moon - Learning Journals (2006) click here.
Here's a direct link to our catalogue if you'd like to try searching further keywords.  Happy hunting!  


  • We close at 5 pm today (Friday 28th March) and are only open on weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 pm during the vacation. 
  • We're not open in the evenings or at weekends during this period. 
  • Normal hours resume on Tuesday 22nd April (9.00 - 20.30 pm.) 

Forming Good Habits (Practising, Revising, Fitness, Meditation)

 James Clear - Forming Good Habits

Here's a useful link if you're trying to discipline yourself to get some work done, get fit - or anything else you know would be good for you!  (Never mind New Year's Resolutions - sure you can have Second Quarter of the New Year's Resolutions too!)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

International Academy of Music, Nice (France) July-August 2014

The Whittaker Library received another summer course announcement this morning - to Nice, in the South of France.

July 21 to August 18, 2014 at the Conservatoire Pierre Cochereau, with accomodation on campus.

  • Masterclasses
  • Teacher and Student Concerts
  • International Music Competition
French website:-
English website:-

Monday, 24 March 2014

Or an Opera Conference at home? Oxford Brookes ...

Whittaker was asked to tell you about Oberto, Oxford Brookes University's opera research unit.

There's a conference in September that might interest opera researchers ... in Oxford, UK.

Passports at the Ready! Summer Music Courses in Weimar, Germany and Lyon, France

The Whittaker Library has received more brochures about summer schools in Europe.  Is your passport up-to-date and ready?!

Today, we share with you:- 
  • Weimar Bach Academy, 5-16  August 2014 (Focusing on Bach cantatas, as the German course title indicates: Weimarer Bachkantaten-Akademie)
  • Weimar Masterclasses, 18 July - 2 August 2014
  • Lyon Academie de Fourviere - International Academy of Music, 26 July - 7 August 2014: Strings, Voice, Piano, Accompaniment, Improvisation, Chamber music, Piano Jazz
We'll pop the brochures in our own internal mail to the heads of appropriate departments at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Handling Criticism, by Liz Bennet

Whether you write, perform or do some other form of creative art, criticism goes with the territory.  

Education professor Pat Thomson authors a blog, Patter, and today she has invited guest blogger Dr Liz Bennet to write about accepting feedback:-

learning to accept reviewer feedback as a gift

by Dr Liz Bennet, University of Huddersfield

Guardian Culture Professionals Network - UK Plays Going Global

Here's an interesting read for our actors and producers, published by the Guardian Culture Professionals Network (Thursday, 20th March 2014):-

Britain is brilliant at exporting plays, but what does it mean to go global?

Monday, 17 March 2014

5th Swiss National Singing Competition - register by 30 April 2014

Concours Suisse Ernst Haefliger, Bern

18 - 24 August 2014

Applicants should register by 30 April 2014.  More details on the competition website:- 

Israeli Composer Tsippi Fleischer presents recordings to Whittaker Library

The Whittaker Library is very pleased to accept the gift of a number of Tsippi Fleischer's recordings for addition to our stock.

To find out more about this eminent Israeli composer, visit her website:-
To explore Tsippi's recorded repertoire, check the Whittaker Library catalogue, here.

Exam time? Effective Learning and Study Skills

Here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, we have an Effective Learning service - you can find out about it at the Academic Support office (Mahara link).

However, there's more help in the Whittaker Library, too.  We have loads of books about improving your study skills.  If you're in a flat spin about impending deadlines or exams, maybe a couple of hours with one of our books might just help you stop twirling and start to refocus!

St Magnus Festival - DEADLINE!

Writers, Conductors, Composers!

Had you planned on attending a course at the St Magnus Festival?  

"Deadline for Course applications is TODAY! Last minute applications by email please

The Royal Ballet says, Happy St Patrick's Day

A tweet from the Royal Ballet says it all!  (Gorgeous photo)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Georg Frideric Handel and his Web Presence

People have spent whole careers studying Handel's music, and there are many resources available for today's musicians.  Today we'll share just a few websites for starters! 

In association with The Handel Institute, Handel scholar David Vickers established the  website.  (The Whittaker Library has two of Vickers' books - you can find them here.)

Meanwhile, The Foundling Museum in London has an excellent website, introducing the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, and all the exhibitions and activities at the museum.

Jürgen Kloss  shares with us an excellent site hosted by the Händel-Haus in Halle, where there's loads of useful information, supplemented by a generous helping of digitized scores.  The very first one Karen looked at was a score published by London's own prolific eighteenth century music publisher, John Walsh.  Plenty to look at there, then.

Looking at the history of the long-defunct Vauxhall Gardens, now a long-distant memory,  provides valuable context for social music in Handel's times; the Vauxhall Gardens website was established in support of David Coke and Alan Borg's book on Vauxhall Gardens' history.  Not a Handel website, but fascinating for all the detail of contemporary musicians and concerts.

Why Handel? Why today?  No particular reason - just some nice websites that Karen came across!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Robert Burns - Holy Willie's Prayer and the Glenriddell Manuscripts

Some highly significant manuscripts of Robert Burns, the Glenriddell Manuscripts, are on display in the National Library of Scotland until the end of March 2014.  They contain 'Holy Willie's Prayer', amongst letters and other items.  Read their fascinating story - it might make you want to visit the exhibition!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

BBC Radio 2's Cecil Sharp Collection

True, we are the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  But Cecil Sharp was one of England's foremost folklorists, and founded the English Folk Song and Dance Society - his approach to folk music was influential upon many of his peers in the early twentieth century, so it must be of interest to folklorists everywhere - it's part of the history of song collecting.

Radio 2 wants listeners' submissions of their recordings of music that Cecil Sharp collected.  So if a Cecil Sharp specimen is now part of your repertoire, that's what Radio 2 wants to hear about.  Read more here.

Influential Research

We found a posting about making your research more influential - it could be described as the researcher's "How to Win Friends and Influence People".  Since you can never extend the reach of your research too far, you might like to take a look at this article by Professor Mark Reed from the Sustainable Learning Project at Birmingham City University:-

"Six Practical Ways to Make Your Research More Influential"

Friday, 7 March 2014

International Women's Day (8 March 2014) with Routledge

We heard that publishers Routledge are celebrating International Women's Day by offering free access to a selection of journals. Read on ... 

'Saturday 8th March marks International Women's Day. In celebration, Routledge have put together a free to access collection of articles from a wide range of journals.'

Historically Informed Music Performance

If you can't find the right books in the library catalogue, how do you improve your chances?

Try these special Whittaker Library searches:-

Sometimes you're just using terms that are so specific, so narrow, that you're actually reducing your chances of finding books on that subject.  Eg, unless a book has the words, 'historically informed' in its title or somewhere in the book description, then the search engine won't be able to retrieve them. So by changing the terms you're looking for, or making them just a bit more general, you improve your chances.

Don't forget the categories down the side of the page, enabling you to choose a format (book, drama book, music book, audio-visual, etc) or a range of subject headings that have been attached to the items retrieved.  Clicking on one of these subject-headings works the same as Amazon's "If you like this, then you may also like ..." suggestions.

We've got the knowledge - just come and ask!

The Bigger Picture

Karen has been talking to Scottish Music Degree students about historic Scottish song collections, aesthetics and the compilers' motivations for publishing their collections.

It's not so much a question of how these particular  books got onto these specific library shelves, but more looking at how the work of these compilers survives today.

Songbooks are essentially collections of stories set to music.  Take a look and see what you find!  

Karen's powerpoint and bibliography are uploaded to Mahara on the Library Guides pages for student readers.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Mieko Kanno collaborates with Sam Hayden - compositions for E-Violin

A few weeks ago, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland held a lunchtime concert by our Head of Strings, Dr. Mieko Kanno.  Mieko's specialism is in the exploration, commissioning and promotion of avant-garde violin music.

Now you can also read an article by Mieko and composer Sam Hayden.  Staff and student readers of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Whittaker Library can either read the article online, or borrow the hard copy of Contemporary Music Review Vol.32 Part 5 (2013), which contains selected papers from the 2012 Symposium for Performance of Electronic and Experimental Composition (SPEEC2012).

Towards Musical Interaction: Sam Hayden's Compositions for E-Violin and Computer
Sam Hayden and Mieko Kanno

Contemporary Music Review 32(5), 2013, pp. 485-498

Mieko spoke to the Scottish Chapter of the RMA (Royal Musical Association on Wednesday 5th March,  at the University of Glasgow: 'Critical Path Analysis: How To Learn a Piece of Music as Quickly and Efficiently as Possible'

Anthony J. Cirone, Percussionist

Percussionist Anthony J. Cirone's website not only lists his compositions and instructional
publications, but also offers useful audio-files.  Since the Whittaker Library does hold some of Cirone's percussion music, we thought we'd share these extra resources here.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Traditional Music Repertoire - A Question!

Are you a trad musician?  Here's a question for you:-

What goes through your mind as you choose tunes?

It's not a trick question - I'm just curious to know what kind of thing you're looking for, and what you're thinking about.

For example, if you're looking for songs, my trad muso friends tell me they're looking for poignant tales, strong women, difficult subject matter.  A good story, 'stark visual imagery' and strong emotions.  Even murder!

So that tells me the theme of the song is very important to you - which makes sense, especially if you're planning the programme for a gig. 

Looking for old dialect words in songs can help you work out where they might have originated, if the book itself doesn't give anything away.  (That's a helpful hint from one of our contacts!)

What about fiddle tunes?  Obviously the tunes are all-important,but I guess also a quirky title, maybe one that suggests the song's origins, might also catch your attention.  What about the key, or other features? 

If you're browsing a pile of song or tune-books, do you approach new or older collections differently?  What are you thinking about when you look at an early 20th century book? 19th century collection?  An 18th century one?  I'm going to be talking to our trad Scottish musicians about historic songbooks this week, and I'm really keen to know what people look for.  I can tell you what goes through my mind, but I'm starting from a slightly different place, so it would be informative to know how other people approach the books I've come to love so much.

 Tweet me @karenmca if you'd like to share your approach to repertoire selection.

Thank you!