Nordoff Robbins Tartan Clef Award

December 05, 2016

Nordoff Robbins Tartan Clef Award

Nordoff Robbins Tartan Clef

Almost 18 years ago Paul Hodgkiss was asked by a dear friend if he would design an award for him. Paul came up with an idea there and then on the back of a cigarette packet. That quick sketch would then go on to become the first of many awards that Paul Hodgkiss Designs would produce for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Scotland. 

Nordoff Robbins Logo

As Scotland’s only Music Therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins work with people who have a range of health challenges including learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, dementia, mental health problems, and life limiting illnesses. They take great pride in being inspiring, effective, empowering and innovative

The charity founded in 1996, only operates in Scotland and is a separate charity to Nordoff Robbins England & Wales although they do have a close working relationship with each other. The name Nordoff Robbins originates from its founders Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins. Thousands of children and adults have been helped by Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy across Scotland over the years since its conception. Paul Hodgkiss Designs has been involved in providing hand crafted wood & silver awards and support since 1998.

The original concept was to design an award to be presented at the Tartan Cleft Awards. The night which went on to become an annual event on the Scottish music calendar, was at the time billed as "The Brits with a kilt". Organised by Nordoff Robbins the proceeds of the night would go towards the organisation to help with its funding. 

Tartan Clef newspaper Tartan Clef Quaich 

The original design took the form of a Burr Elm and silver Quaich. It was quite a challenge to try and embody the spirit of Nordoff Robbins and all they represent in the Quaich, but as you can see Paul Hodgkiss Designs was able to do just that. The techniques employed to design and produce the hand made wooden Quaich are still used today by Paul Hodgkiss Designs. Our range of Quaichs are hand made in our workshop right here in Glasgow and are available online and in our shop.

Nicola Bernedetti Elm clef elm clef 2

Paul Hodgkiss Designs also designed three 8ft tall wooden Elm clefs that would stand out side the Glasgow city chambers that night of the event. Two of the clefs were placed on the balcony whilst one was placed inside on the red carpet.

After many years it was decided to update the design of the award. That same design is still being used for the awards to this day. The simple elegant shape and form of the wooden elm clef combines with the wave of the glass and natural edge of the Burr Elm base.

 router crop 2 router crop 3 router crop 4 router crop 5 router6 router6 finished award

These Scottish Music Awards have been the main fundraising event for Nordoff Robbins Scotland since 1996. It has raised thousands of pounds and changed the lives of hundreds of people in Scotland. Each year the event has gone from strength to strength and is a major celebration of Scotland’s rich diverse musical heritage.

Sharleen Award Fish Fratellies Award Awards Awards2 

SSE is the headline sponsor and this year the Awards were extra special as it was the charity’s 20th Birthday. The event took place at the Old Fruit market last Saturday Saturday 26th November. Performances from the fantastic Amy MacDonald, KT Tunstall, The Bluebells, Middle of the Road and Travis made it a fantastic night to remember full of Scottish musical talent.

It was also an opportunity for Paul himself to dust off the old kilt and get a photograph taken on the red carpet.

It has been an honour for Paul Hodgkiss Designs to be part of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Scotland. The relationship that exists is a very special one and will continue for many years to come. 

Christmas is just a round the corner and so are we, pop in to see us at
Paul Hodgkiss Designs  31 Gavinton Street Glasgow G44 3EF
Tel: 0141 637 9470
Or find us online at