Riverside Primary School

Composers and Singers

Image courtesy of the school

  • CLASS Primary 5, 6 & 7g
  • SCHOOL Riverside Primary, Stirling, Scotland
  • HONOURS  We love singing, half of us sing in the choir with other classes, 5-7g, and we do this national Gaelic singing competition called the Mòd. We have come 2nd twice and 3rd about 4 times!
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Echoes from the Engine Shed, September 3rd – 18th, 2018

Scientific Connections

Performing at the Engine Shed

Echoes from the Engine Shed

  • The best thing about the project was learning about the lady scientists
  • Because of the project I love science and music.
  • I learnt a bit about science. Because I never knew a lot
  • Mary Somerville is the first non queen on a £10 note!

We learnt about:

Conservation Science:-

Sarah Hamilton talking about decay in buildings at Riverside Primary

We visited the Engine Shed and met the scientists who do Engine Shedology! Sarah came to our school too.

  • We learnt about the materials to build the shed, and about sandstone and wall decay
  • We looked at materials that they used to build the engine shed under the microscope
  • In Sarah’s session we watched how long it took for sandstone, stone and slate to gather up water (the sandstone gathered up the water first)
  • Aurelie assessed the walls for any decay and we learned what types of decay there is

Physics: – The strangest thing is that the higher your voice is the faster it vibrates

Biology: – We learnt that lung fish actually have lungs on their back

Palaeontology: – We saw fossils and I thought the Devil’s Toenails were special


Title: The Secrets of the Engine Shed

Part 1 “The rise of the Engine Shed”

  1. ‘Materials’
  2. ‘Tools’
  3. ‘Life in the Shed’

Part 2 “The Fall of the Engine Shed”

  1. ‘The Natural Fall of the Engine Shed’
  2. ‘Mankind Made it Crumble’
  3. ‘The Empty Shed’

Part 3 “The Rise of the Engine Shed”

Composed by: Frances M Lynch and children from Raploch Primary (Part 1 “The rise of the Engine Shed) and Part 2- “The Fall of the Engine Shed”  – by Riverside Primary  including:

1. ‘The Natural Fall of the Engine Shed’

P7 – Euan Crossan, Coll Butler Fraser, Donnacha Carmichael, Lucie Thomson,  Niamh Reid, Ciara MacFarlane, Jack MacKenzie

(score – click to expand)2. ‘Mankind Made it Crumble’

P6 – James Douglas, Harry MacIver, Sam Buckley, Ryven Perry, Islay Buchanan,  Abbie Heads, Callum Thomson, Igraine Fettes, Katy McKenzie

(score – click to expand)3. ‘The Empty Shed’

P5 – Beatha Fraser, Murrin Stewart-Haire, Jacob Simpson, Harris Hope,  Ben Carmichael, Isaac Lansdowne, Austin Rennie, Jack Crossan

(score – click to expand)Written in: September 2018
For: Mixed Voices
Performed by: the composers
First Performed: The Engine Shed, Stirling , 18th September, 2018

This soundscape piece was a collaboration with the scientists from the Engine Shed Stirling (Historic Environment Scotland), and our team on the “Echoes from the Engine Shed” Project, including Margaret Cameron and Eleanor Logan, and with Raploch and Riverside Primary Schools.

We set out to learn about the history of the Engine Shed in the context of the conservation science which now takes place within its walls. We started with how it was built, what kind of things it was used for, how it decayed and how Historic Environment Scotland brought it back to life.

Experiments with salt

Riverside concentrated on the decay of the building, investigating the processes of decay in the natural world (eg. water & salt), the destruction by people  (eg. vandalism) and how they came to abandon the Engine Shed leaving it derelict before the final restoration.

Using vocal sounds, and pattern techniques they created scores with images and words, which they then rehearsed and added actions to for a very lively performance.

We acknowledge support from Creative Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Foundation Scotland  towards the writing and first performance of this music. The composition was also supported by Hope Scott Trust. Frances M Lynch is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Music Creators. The performance was also supported by the Ambache Charitable Trust.

Scores for ‘The Natural Fall of the Engine Shed’, ‘The Empty Shed’ and ‘Mankind Made it Crumble’

The fall of the Engine Shed



Our teachers are Miss Ferguson and Mrs Thomson. We are a Scottish Gaelic speaking class, so our lessons are not in English!

Most of us play an instrument – mostly the chanter and piano and guitar but we have one trumpet player too. About half sing in the school choir. Our whole class has music once a week, but not every term.


A lot of us are wondering now if we could be scientists and composers. Some will be singers too.

I want to study physics and the periodic table of elements.

Microscope madness

Musical Highlights

Echoes from the Engine Shed

  • I like about the music we wrote that they tell us about the history of the Engine Shed
  • It was fun to make actions for our song.
  • I liked “The Sea Of Life” because it changes from normal to the fun part. I find making the water noises funny!
  • The Marion Ross song was quite funny and strange but I loved it! I absolutely loved the warm up.

Did You Know?

  • The funniest thing in Echoes from the Engine Shed performance was getting sweeped off the stage by Frances!
  • The most unusual thing was singing at the Engine Shed.
  • I learned that just because I am a girl I should be treated the same as a boy or anyone else would.

An Inspiring Woman

Music: Frances!

Science: Nora MillerThe best thing I learned was that someone from Stirling studied Lungfish

Marion Ross was a teacher at 13 years old

The best thing I learned was all the women of science and the different things about them

The scientists we met at the Engine Shed