TMSA Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland

Homecoming Scotland Homecoming Sessions

Organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) – the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Sessions are a programme of Scottish traditional music sessions across Scotland from late Summer to Winter 2014, supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland.

Homecoming 2014 Sessions -
great traditional music & song on your doorstep

Information for Musicians

Organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) – the Homecoming 2014 Traditional Music Sessions are a programme of 250-300 Scottish traditional music sessions across Scotland from late Spring to Winter 2014, supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland.

The TMSA Homecoming 2014 Music Sessions will -

  • showcase the diverse regional music and song traditions of Scotland.
  • cultivate widespread awareness and interest in traditional music and song.
  • extend the number of venues hosting traditional music sessions and events.
  • provide opportunities for visitors and local people to take part in traditional music and song events.

What is a session?
There is no strict definition of a "session", but they could be described as essentially dynamic, organic informal music and social events. They provide an opportunity for traditional musicians and singers to swap ideas, to learn new tunes and songs, to blether, to play and sing together, and to welcome other musicians, singers and all into the fold. Sessions are inclusive – they do not have artists and audience – everyone is a participant.

Sessions are so good that people very often come specifically to participate in them, whether they are held. Sessions are not concerts or "gigs", which are usually formal and amplified performances. A session is not a performance; it is a social event with music and song in which everyone can participate. Sessions give visitors to Scotland an authentic experience of Scotland’s indigenous musical culture as well as local people an opportunity to come together in music, song and sometimes, dance!

Information for Musicians

Even if you have led one of the TMSA-run National Sessions Programme events before, we will need you to fill in a registration form as some of the terms and conditions as described below have been altered a bit and we also want to make sure we have the most up to date details for everyone to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunities!

Sessions are acoustic (unamplified) and participatory. The contracted musicians should encourage other musicians, singers, story-tellers etc. to join in. The object is to expose as many people as possible to traditional music and song and related art-forms.

Each session will have two musicians contracted to lead the session.

Each session lasts 3 hours and the musicians are entitled to a 10 minute break every hour.

Contracted musicians should turn up at the venue at least 20 minutes before a session is due to begin to ensure everything is ready for it and you have the relevant feedback forms etc.

Session work offers will depend on where the venues are who want to work with the TMSA as part of the programme and how often they want the sessions to occur. So we appreciate the time you take to register as a musician, though registration does not mean you will be guaranteed session work.

As part of the contract, each musician will be expected to help gather feedback information on the sessions. This will enable the TMSA to evaluate the project as a whole and previous feedback has helped us secure funding so that the sessions have been able to run every so often. Hopefully we will be able secure more continuous funding at some point to properly develop the programme!

Each contracted musician at each session will be responsible for completing a Musician Feedback Form.

The musicians will also be responsible for the Participant Feedback Forms. For each session, each venue will be supplied with Participant Feedback Forms. The musicians will collect them from the venue on the night and be responsible for as many as is practicable being completed and returned to the TMSA National Office in the stamped self-addressed envelope (SAE) provided.

The usual arrangement is payment for each musician for each session will be £30 on the night from the venue and £30 from the TMSA National Office (£60 in total per musician per session).

Participating venues will have already agreed to pay musicians on the night and the TMSA will contact them in the week preceding the session to remind them of this undertaking. Musicians must sign a Receipt Form for the Venue Payment. (Venue will have this.)

The TMSA National Office will pay the remaining £30 on receipt of Musician Invoice and completed Musician Feedback Form.

Please send the Invoice and Musician Feedback Form to TMSA National Office, 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7EH or email to with the email Subject ‘2014 Musician Invoice’.

Payment will usually be made by direct banking within 10 working days of receipt of Invoice and the completed Musician Evaluation Form. Cheques can be issued instead of direct banking if necessary. No payment from the TMSA will be made in cash.

In some cases, the venue will pay the full amount owing to the musicians on the night – again Musicians must sign a Receipt Form for the Venue Payment. (Venue will have this.) The venue will then invoice the TMSA for the relevant portion of the payment.

At the discretion of the TMSA, Musicians travelling over 20 miles from their home base to a session may be entitled to travelling expenses. However this must be agreed in advance and will be paid at the equivalent lowest cost public transport rate. Musicians are expected to travel in the most cost effective manner, e.g. bus, car share. We would therefore ask that if musicians are travelling from the same place they share transport. Invoices must provide mileage details of where travelled from and to and all tickets/receipts must be included for payment of travel expenses on public transport. The mileage rate is 25p per mile.

If after final confirmation of a session booking, you find that you are unable to play the session, you should immediately inform the TMSA National Office and then liaise with the TMSA to find a replacement musician*.

Other opportunities
There is the possibility we may receive further funding to run taster sessions or ‘classes’ based around the Session Programme to encourage more people to take part in the events. In the registration form, please indicate your interest in being considered to do this work and what level/nature of teaching/tutoring you have done or are currently doing.

Thanks and we look forward to working with you in 2014 and hopefully beyond!

*Please note if this happens on a regular basis, the TMSA will reserve the right to withdraw the offer of the allocated and further session work from you and assign it to someone else, so we can ensure the run of sessions does not need constant attention!

Click here to register as a musician who is interested and available to take part in the Sessions Programme.