Welcome to our website of new writing from Johnshaven.

Christine and Ewan and Andy of  Ceilidhmakers are working with Johnshaven Primary to write songs and learn about Scottish music and old songs.

NEWS!! Ceilidhmakers were nominated for Scots Trad Awards Community Project of the Year in 2018! Congratulations to Care for a Ceilidh who won the award! When myself and ethnochoreologist Mats Melin set Ceilidhmakers up towards the start of the new millennium, we didn’t know where it would take us. Mats lectures in Limerick now, but takes a keen interest still.

This year our colleague Andy Shanks joins us. Andy, like Christine trained with New Makers Trust. A retired English teacher with a weather of knowledge on all matters Scots, Andy is a highly regarded songwriter who creates beautiful songs about many subjects including the North East coast.

I’m delighted to be working with both Ewan, Hamish Henderson Award recipient, and Andy, an educator of some note. Both highly skilled and steeped in the tradition. We will continue to mentor and train, and create shadowing opportunities for young and emerging practitioners when possible. Other young, emerging and skilled practitioners we have worked with have included Ciaran Ryan, Jackie Buckham, Megan Watson and Amy Lord.


The Johnshaven Primary songmaking project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative through Creative Scotland. The YMI creates access to high quality music-making opportunities, enables young people to achieve their potential in or through music and supports the development of the sector for the benefit of young people.

We hope you enjoy these songs! For more information please contact Christine Kydd at Ceilidhmakers 

[email protected].

Christine is one of Scotland's best-known singers, an experienced practitioner and curator of educational projects. She graduated in 1991 with an ADVS in Voice Studies from RCSSD in London and in 2014 with a Masters (Ethnology and Folklore) Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen. She sits on the board of the Traditional Music Forum. 

Christine has twice been a Scots Singer of the Year Nominee in 2012 and 2018 (well done, Iona Fyfe this year) and entered the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2018. 


Ewan has written several books on aspects of traditional Scots song, and is one of Scotland’s best-known storytellers. He has created several resource websites and projects around Scotland and in Africa and Russia, including Songmaker in Schools, and The Great Scots Song Treasure Hunt. In 2015 he was given the Hamish Henderson Award for Services to Scottish Traditional Music.


Johnny's jolly Johnner boat