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Your Space Music

An online music school based in North Uist.

Striking the right note in the Outer Hebrides

Olwen Macleod founded Your Space Music Lessons in 2013, from her island home in Lochmaddy, North Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

A professional music teacher, Olwen found that the opportunities for teaching music on the island could not sustain a full-time career. At a crossroads, Olwen decided to stay put in the place she loved – and create a business venture entirely supported by Skype.

Your Space Music Lessons is an online music school, with 16 tutors and around 400 pupils worldwide. The school teaches traditional instruments such as bagpipes and accordion, as well as many others such as the piano, guitar, violin, saxophone and flute. To take lessons pupils need a laptop or large screen tablet, and a broadband speed of at least 2MB.

 

Our pupil roll has doubled, and we’ve added more full-time tutors. We’re now able to grow the business unrestricted, and expand at a rate that suits us.”
Abigail Steele, Your Space Music

Abigail Steele is Olwen’s sister, and she helps manage the business from her home in Huddersfield. She said: “The arrival of superfast broadband in early 2017 marked a major step forward for the business, as we’d been previously dependent on expensive satellite internet."

The music school has around 50 pupils based in remote parts of the Highlands and Islands, and even some based in North Uist itself. There are pupils throughout the UK, as well as in the USA, Canada, Belgium, France, Iraq, Oman, and Russia. The virtual music lesson format suits lots of different people: families with busy schedules, elderly people who don’t want to travel, home-schooled children, and those who simply prefer to learn an instrument in their own home.

Olwen explained: “We’ve managed to create a tight-knit community feel among colleagues and students, despite being dispersed around the globe. For example, every three months we hold a Skype concert, where pupils play together in a virtual orchestra. It’s a lot of fun – and an impressive feat of technology!” 

 

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