Media release: Stobo Castle sponsors scholarship enabling disabled people to enjoy making music

Breaking Sound Barriers 2 landscape All Media

PEEBLES-based music charity, Nomad Beat, has announced a new scholarship funded by Stobo Castle, recently named the UK’s ‘Best Destination Spa‘.

The £750 scholarship is for the 2019/2020 session of Breaking Sound Barriers, an exciting project which enables people with disabilities to enjoy making music using new-style instruments, resources and innovative technology.

Breaking Sound Barriers was developed by Nomad Beat in 2014 with the ethos that anyone can make music and enjoy the creativity and inclusion it brings.

Dr Ruth Kirby is the service manager and she explained that Breaking Sound Barriers offers individual and group tuition in an inclusive and supportive environment.

“Music is a wonderful way for people to express themselves regardless of their age and ability and Breaking Sound Barriers enhances lives through music, helps to develop new skills and means that people participate on an equal basis,” said Ruth.

The specially-trained course tutors and volunteers work with award-winning Special Educational Needs (SEN) instruments and resources, such as Figurenotes, which is used on traditional guitars and keyboards and uses colours to make it easier for people to read and play music.

The Soundbeam Kit translates movement into sound and the Skoog is a soft cube that produces the sound of a chosen instrument in response to touch and gesture.

Galina Macneacail attends Nomad Beat’s Breaking Sound Barriers and she loves the sessions.

“I’ve met lots of people and the sounds we make are great,” said Galina.

Jenni Watts, marketing director of Stobo Castle Health Spa, said: “We are delighted to support the Breaking Sound Barriers programme and enable someone to enhance their life through music and enjoy developing new skills and experiences.

More information about Breaking Sound Barriers and application forms to apply for the Stobo Castle Scholarship or more information on the project can be found on the Nomad Beat website or from the music school at 10/11 Cherry Court, Cavalry Park, Peebles (opening times).

The closing date for applications is 8 September 2019.


For further information contact Ruth Kirby on 01721 722472 or by email at or Doreen Graham on 0759000 9953 or

Caption for picture

L to R: Tutor, Clare Dempster, enjoys a jamming session with Jenni Watts from Stobo Castle Health Spa and Galina Macneacail who has already signed up for Breaking Sound Barriers.

Notes for editors:

Stobo Castle Health Spa

Following on from their success at the Scottish Borders Business Excellence Awards – where they were presented with the Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year Award – Stobo was crowned the ‘Best Luxury Countryside Spa in the World’ and the ‘Best Destination Spa in the UK’ at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2019.

Nomad Beat

Music can touch and change the lives of people and this was just one aspect of the vision of the late Alison Cameron, whose passion led to the creation of the charity, Nomad Beat.

​The music school opened in 2010 and early in 2015, Alison had just received the school’s first  significant grant when she died very suddenly. Since then, many people have worked and volunteered to keep Alison’s dream alive and the music school has provided music tuition to hundreds of people in Tweeddale.

Nomad Beat strives to offer accessible music making and tuition to everyone who wants it and to benefit members of our local community, especially those directly affected by poverty, ill-health and social isolation.

We provide music tuition to people of all ages and abilities across a variety of instruments. We also run regular music groups, hire out instruments and equipment and provide rehearsal space for local bands and musicians.

​Our ambition is simple. Nomad Beat strives to offer accessible music making and tuition to everyone who wants it and to benefit members of our local community, especially those directly affected by poverty, ill-health and social isolation.

​Our pupils and tutors have also enjoyed performing at many community events such as the Peebles Creative Festival, Tweedlove and the Innerleithen Music Festival.

We also hold our own showcase concerts with over seventy students taking to the stage to entertain parents, friends and supporters.

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Nomad Beat contact details…

Contact: Doreen Graham
Phone: 07590009953