Spotlight - Back to School

A girl in a school uniform sits in front of a piano looking excited

The YMI Formula Fund sees funding distributed directly to all local authorities in Scotland to support in-school delivery of music making activities. As well as having a focus on providing pupils with their first experiences music making, the fund also supports music making in non-mainstream settings, such as special schools, and with groups of young people who would not normally have the opportunity to participate in meaningful, quality music making opportunities.

YMI Formula Fund programmes vary across local authorities, offering a rich range of music experiences, from samba to Kodaly, environmental recording to hip hop.

With pupils getting back to school, we asked a few of the YMI Lead Officers from local authorities some highlights of their YMI Formula Fund programmes for the coming year.

Aberdeen City Council will be continuing elements of online delivery and alongside resuming face-to-face workshops:

This year in Aberdeen City we are looking to develop and expand our early years provision. We formed a partnership with the FitLike Wellbeing Hubs last year in order to use the combined expertise of local professionals from multiple agencies to identify participants for this provision and ensure that the work was targeted towards those who would benefit from it most. 

Due to the restrictions in place as a result of the pandemic this work was delivered online to a regular group of participants. We are looking to continue this online provision this year due to the positive response it received, but we will also add ‘in person’ provision which will help families make in-person connections with those in their communities.

Beth Edwards, Music Coordinator

The Angus YMI Team are looking forward to rolling out a new collaborative approach to selecting projects this year:

We are excited to be launching our first Angus YMI Small Projects as part of our programme this year! We are inviting local musicians to submit proposals to deliver musical experiences with our young people. We will fund a total of 3 projects, each with a focus on a different priority area: Rurality, Outdoor or Secondary School. 

Another key focus for these YMI Small Projects is involving learners’ participation in the selecting and reviewing of proposals. We will have a young person on the review panel. Successful projects will collaborate with our learners, engaging them in the design and delivery of the projects.

Amy Hall-Gibson, YMI Coordinator 

Orkney YMI have introduced a new project to their programme and are opening their doors to visiting organisations:

Junior Camerata, a youth branch of Orkney Camerata chamber orchestra, is a new project included in our programme this year. Membership is open to young people aged 12 – 21 at a standard of Grade 4-8 on violin, viola, cello or double bass. Tuition will be provided by members of Orkney Camerata who are all highly qualified and/or experienced string players, and many of whom are private music teachers or instrumental instructors. The project establishes a pathway for string pupils between school and further/higher education.

Postponed from September 2020, Children's Classic Concerts will hopefully visit Orkney for a day of workshops in schools and screenings of an ‘Essential Orchestra Concert’ which features a semi-staged version of the Peter and the Wolf, Montagues and Capulet, Sabre Dance and medley of songs from the musicals. It will be very exciting for the young people of Orkney to attend a live concert.

Lynn Procter, Principal Teacher of Expressive Arts

Glasgow City Council are getting ready for COP26!:

Glasgow City council’s YMI team are excited to launch their ambitious whole city COP26 – Learning for Sustainability music project, which involves children singing and playing instruments together again and raising awareness around climate change and the precious resource of life and the earth.

The YMI team have created amazing ‘COP26- LfS resource packs’ for teachers which include lesson plans, backing tracks, along with the delivery of CLPL sessions for non-music specialists. 

The project will culminate in the creation of a movie made up of recordings gathered from all schools and all stages citywide, which will then be broadcast at the start of COP26, along with special live performances from schools at high profile events during COP26.

The prospect of children and young people singing and performing again is so exciting and will bring a real sense of renaissance and recovery in our schools while delivering a powerful message through music.

Pamela Black, Educational Support Worker – Instrumental Music

We look forward to hearing and sharing news about these and other projects supported through the YMI Formula Fund over the course of the academic year. Many thanks to the contributors, Beth, Amy, Lynn, Pam and their teams.

This article was published on 07 Sep 2021