Spotlight - Share your YMI stories

In May's Spotlight, we hear from YMI Manager Morag McDonald about how you can help us celebrate 20 years of the Youth Music Initiative by sharing your stories.

Help celebrate 20 years of the Youth Music Initiative by sharing your stories

The most recent Youth Music Initiative report stated that the programme had reached 278,726 participants – but what does this tell us?

Not very much.

It’s only when you hear the stories from some of these projects that the impact and importance of this work hits you.

Through working in YMI I’ve had the opportunity to witness some magical moments. I remember heading along to Livingston Football Club on a glorious sunny day to witness nearly 500 pupils, from 21 primary schools across West Lothian set a new world record for the largest djembe drum ensemble.

The atmosphere was electric, and you could hear squeals of joy and excitement from the sea of pupils in colourful caps as they prepared for the big performance, waving at family and friends sitting in the stands. The cheers of celebration as the world record was confirmed will stay with me forever.

In complete contrast, I remember attending a final showcase performance in HMP Polmont where a young person stood up and performed a song they’d written to a small silent audience in the prison's theatre space. The song touched on some challenging experiences, but it was clear that the project had created a safe space for the participant to share their story.

As they walked off the stage, you could sense the feeling of personal achievement as the other participants surrounded them, offering congratulations and words of support.

In both these examples it wasn’t just about music, but the personal development, feeling of community and the memories the projects created.

We want to share more stories about why music matters during this year of celebration, and this is where we need your support.

Find out how you can help us by sharing your stories.

This article was published on 10 May 2022