Free online training for all Gaelic and traditional arts tutors

Fèisean nan Gàidheal

Gaelic arts organisation, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, is running a free tutor training day next month with sessions focusing on health & wellbeing, how Covid-19 might be affecting freelance artists, Gaelic drama, using Gaelic in the classroom, expanding resources and working with young people with additional needs.

The training day, which will also kick-off Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s year of celebrating links to other Celtic Goidelic nations through Colmcille1500, a Bòrd na Gàidhlig initiative commemorating the 1500th year since the birth of St Columba, is open to all Fèis and Fèisgoil tutors, as well as prospective tutors, will take place on Saturday 6th March via Zoom. There will be a varied selection of topics covered by experienced arts tutors and experts, with a choice of sessions being delivered in Gaelic and English. These include:

  • Mental Health & wellbeing for tutors with Dr Rachel Allan, focusing on self-help resources, how Covid-19 is impacting artists and the specific difficulties faced during the pandemic of freelance artists who are also parents of young children (one session delivered in English and one in Gaelic).
  • Gaelic drama with Dougie Beck, focusing on incorporating Gaelic into drama sessions when not all children have the language (delivered in Gaelic).
  • A fun language session with Gaelic singer and BBC Scotland weather presenter, Joy Dunlop, teaching Gaelic phrases to use in lessons (delivered in English, with Gaelic content).
  •  Discussion with Karl MacRae surrounding working with young people with additional needs, particularly those with physical disabilities. The discussion will include ideas and suggestions on improving communication, breaking down barriers and different ways to include all ability levels in music making (delivered in English).
  • Dualchas – Lisa Macdonald will share songs, stories and anecdotes from the tradition suitable for use across the art forms in a Fèis or Fèisgoil setting (one session delivered in English and one in Gaelic).
  • Colmcille – Colm O’Rua will explore the opportunities in the links between Celtic nations through Colmcille1500, introducing musical examples common in both Scottish and Irish traditions (delivered in English but with Irish and Scottish Gaelic content).

Dr Rachel Allan said: “It has never been more important to reflect on our mental health. By coming together, sharing experiences, and getting new perspectives, we can recognise areas where we might need support, and make some positive changes.”

Nicola Simpson, Fèisean nan Gàidheal Senior Development Officer, commented: “So much has changed for freelance tutors and artists during the pandemic. Mindful of this, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is keen to provide a varied programme of support to inspire tutors and their students and also to make sure the health and wellbeing of all those who work in the sector is front and centre this year.”

For details of the full training timetable and for further information about the sessions or to book your place, please visit  If you have any questions, please contact Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager,