Discover the story of Scottish pop music as we take you on a musical journey from the 1950s to the present day.

Level: S4-6
Cost: £10 per pupil (Adult go free, pupils must be accompanied by an adult at all times)
Length of workshop: 10:15–15:00 (90 mins exhibition visit, 90 mins walking tour, 60 mins St Cecilia’s visit)
(check your booking for timings and arrive at the museum at least 15 minutes before the start of your workshop)
Dates available:

Wed 12, Thu 13, Wed 19 & Thu 20 Sep

Wed 3, Thu 4, Wed 10 & Thu 11 Oct

Wed 7, Thu 8, Wed 14 & Thu 15 Nov

Maximum 30 pupils per tour

Booking: Via the booking request form

Introduce your pupils to Scottish popular music in this immersive day uncovering the range of social and cultural influences on artists, songs and musical genres.

Pupils will:

  • Discover the history of Scottish pop music from the 1950s to present day in the lively Rip It Up exhibition. Download Teachers' Notes here.
  • Edinburgh Music Tours' walk around the Old Town traces the artists, venues and gigs that have shaped the sound of the city. Led by journalists and musicians with long experience of Edinburgh’s music scene.
  • Explore the University of Edinburgh's world-class displays of musical instruments at St Cecilia’s Hall, Scotland’s oldest concert venue. Meet the curator to find out about this unique collection.

Please note:

The music tour will take place outdoors. Duration is 90 minutes (1.36 miles/2.2 km). Unless the Met Office has issued a warning of severe gales and advised against travel, tours will take place. Guides are good at finding sheltered spots en route. Comfortable shoes plus warm and waterproof clothing (and an umbrella) are recommended.

Visiting the Exhibition

For more information on visiting the exhibition itself, visit our page dedicated to this. Once you have booked a visit with us, you can also request a free pre-visit to help you plan your day, or attend our Teachers' Private View.

Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop – Teachers' Private View

Thursday 6 September
National Museum of Scotland

Discover the story of Scottish pop music at the National Museum of Scotland as we take you on a musical journey from the 1950s to the present day, from Lonnie Donegan to Young Fathers. In this Private View for teachers, you'll hear from Stephen Allen, Head of Learning & Programmes and the exhibition's curator, about some of the behind-the-scenes moments of putting the exhibition together and more about the social and cultural influences displayed by songs, bands and genres in the exhibition. Staff from City Music Tours and St Cecilia's Hall will share their knowledge and insights on Scottish music, and you'll find more about our Scottish Popular Music study days for secondary music pupils. You'll also get the chance to explore the exhibition after hours.

Spaces are limited and we do expect this event to be fully booked. Book your free place now online.

University of Edinburgh  St Cecilia's Hall

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