Member: Kenneth McColl

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I’m a composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a background in acting and directing. I am getting in touch with key figures in Scotland’s community sector to let you know what I have done in the past and to explore whether or not I may be useful for you. Having experienced some mental health issues myself over the years, I am very much in favour of anything that helps to develop better mental first aid habits. With music being such a huge part of our culture in Scotland, I believe it can be key to creating an environment for self-expression, relieving stress, human connection and, above all, having fun!

I can run workshops in general music, composition, songwriting or in individual instrument technique. Interestingly, songwriting can be extremely beneficial to our mental health and is actually now used in the therapeutic sector. Most importantly though, making up some tunes or words can be a lot of fun which happens to bring other benefits as well. And does not require any previous experience or training. I have worked with groups with no musical training, right up to professional musicians and at all levels we were able to create something and have fun.

I have worked extensively in community. Some projects to date include running songwriting workshops with Carol Laula (BBC Scotland, STV) for North Ayrshire Leisure and at Universal Connections for South Lanarkshire. I am currently working with Creative Change Collective with Mark McNicol (BBC Radio Scotland, Federation of Writers Scotland), delivering Anonymous Drama workshops in prisons and rehab centres across Scotland, including HMP Shotts, Barlinnnie and Low Moss.

I play many instruments (guitar, voice, piano, bass, hand percussion) which gives me a lot of options in creating community projects. Also, I grew up in a multi-lingual household and have travelled extensively so I also have a good knowledge of many music cultures and styles.

Since completing my HND in 2004, I have worked on many projects at home in Scotland and as far afield as Beijing in China, using my skills in both music and drama. I find that having skills in both disciplines gives me a good understanding of how creative practices feed into each other. Of course, it also gives me a lot of flexibility in a session, as I am able to easily switch between teaching music and drama.

One such project was in 2016, when I spent 8 months teaching and directing musical theatre in China under Artistic Director Ian Kellgren (Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse) and as assistant to Musical Director Ross Leadbeater (Only Men Aloud, Classical Brit Awards, Gay’s the Word).
When I returned I decided I need further training so in 2018, I enrolled in the Masters course at UWS, studying under David Scott (The Pearlfishers, BBC Scotland, BMX Bandits) and Paul McGeechan (Love and Money, Starless).

Since graduation in 2020, I have completed various projects including Shift and Spin (, Sharmountain Lullaby (Pavlina Ltd, NYC) and The Merchant’s Play (Glasgow Narrative Drama). Indeed, songwriter Ewan McVicar described our version of Shift and Spin as ‘very fine’ and his wife’s favourite version of his song!



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