Young People Access Music-Making Activities

Published: 28 Jul 2016

Young hands on piano. Credit: Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy 
Young people across Scotland will enjoy access to high-quality music-making opportunities thanks to £275,545 funding from the Youth Music Initiative (YMI).

Fourteen projects have been supported to give young people across the country access to tutoring in guitar, drums, keyboard, performing, singing, song writing, mentoring sessions, traditional fiddle classesand folk music academies out-with school time.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “No one’s background should ever be a barrier to taking part and enjoying the arts. The Youth Music Initiative makes a real difference and has engaged with over 225,000 young people, in and out of school, over the last year. We want to see access and participation in the arts grow and grow in Scotland, and that’s why we pledged a further £10 million for the Youth Music Initiative.

“It’s important that we, along with the sector, develop new partnerships to seek fresh and creative ways to engage and reach. It’s great to see the YMI widening access for young people, from traditional fiddle classes in Argyll and Bute to music therapy workshops in Dundee. The YMI enables young people across Scotland to get involved and enjoy music: something that has been in the fabric of Scotland for centuries.”

Raymond Black, Youth Music Initiative Manager at Creative Scotland, commented: “Taking part in music-making activities not only enhances young people’s creative development, it also fosters a range of skills for life, learning and work, building communication skills, confidence and self-esteem.  These awards will provide enjoyable high quality opportunities for young people from a range of backgrounds across Scotland to achieve their potential in or through music-making.”

Band of young musicians perform on stage. Credit: Soundbase, Dundee Leisure and Culture  

A range of projects have been funded across the country from Aberdeen to the Highlands.  Glasgow Music Studios will deliver The Jam Project – a six-month music-making project for young people with additional support needs. In Renfrewshire, Kibble Education and Care Centre will deliver weekly music sessions, Music Marvels, for pupils at Garnock Primary School: a specialist school for young people who are unable to participate in mainstream education; and regional folk music academies dedicated to collecting, learning and sharing the traditional music that exists locally in South Lanarkshire, Argyll and Bute and Aberdeen will be delivered by delivered by Gael Music.

Lynne Howard, Director, Glasgow Music Studios,commented: “The Jam Project allows young people to access music and work with industry professionals to create their own songs and experience music making first hand. Young people will benefit from working with positive role models through mentoring sessions, working within a professional music recording studio environment, will build their confidence, make new friends and access positive creative experiences. We have designed a project to allow for access to music at all levels for young people from jam sessions to mentoring of bands.”

Gavin Sinclair, Kibble’s Arts Development Officer, said: “The Music Marvels project is all about getting our pupils involved in music and storytelling, and for a lot of them it will be their first opportunity to take part in music-making. We’re a non-mainstream school for looked-after children, and our pupils often come from quite chaotic backgrounds.

“Creative projects like this have the potential to really engage the kids we work with, and are great for building their confidence and communication skills. We’re delighted that the Youth Music Initiative has made this possible.”

Colin Jones, Chair, Gael Music,said:"This is an exciting project aimed at involving a range of young musicians in our traditional music sector at the local, regional and national level and a great opportunity for Gael Music to develop its unique approach to traditional music tuition."


The YMI programme is administered by Creative Scotland on behalf of Scottish Government to create access to high-quality music-making opportunities for young people aged 0-25 years out-with school time. Awards have been made to the following organisations:




Fersands and Fountain Community Project / Fersands Music Making Project


Aberdeen City

 Station House Media Unit / Young Artist’s Music Project


Aberdeen City

Gael Music / folk music academies


South Lanarkshire / Glasgow City / Aberdeen City

Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop / Traditional Fiddle Classes


Argyll and Bute

Kibble Education and Care Centre / Music Marvels



Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland


Dundee City

Leisure and Culture Dundee / music workshops


Dundee City

Tinderbox Project / The Frontiers Music Collective


City of Edinburgh

Heavy Sound C.I.C.


City of Edinburgh

Children's Classic Concerts / Magic and Monsters


Glasgow City

Glasgow Music Studios/ The Jam Project


Glasgow City

Doghouse Studios / Behind The Noise



The Green Door Studio Community Interest Company / Sonic Youths 2


Glasgow City

Artsplay Highland / Music Matters



About the Youth Music Initiative

The YMI is a Scottish Government music education programme with a vision to put music at the heart of young peoples’ lives and learning, contributing to Scotland becoming an international leader in youth arts.  It was established in response to What’s Going On?,a national audit of youth music in Scotland. It currently supports in excess of 300 projects each year covering all musical genres, age groups and teaching methods. A recent retrospective and 2014-15 evaluation of the YMI can be found on Creative Scotland’s website.

Creative Scotland has three main aims for the YMI. It should:

  • Create access to high-quality music-making opportunities for young people aged 0-25 years, particularly for those that would not normally have the chance to participate
  • Enable young people to achieve their potential in or through music-making
  • Support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of young people.

The YMI has two distinct strands:

  • School-based music-making – activities planned and delivered by Local Authorities. Local Authorities apply to the YMI Formula Fund for this activity
  • The Informal Sector – activities planned and delivered out-with school time. There are two informal sector funding routes: Access to Music-Making and Strengthening Youth Music

View the 2016-17 YMI Annual Programme Plan and further info about all YMI funding routes.


Media Contact

Sophie Bambrough
Media Relations & PR Officer
Creative Scotland
T: +44 (0) 131 523 0015
M: +44 (0) 774 760 6146
Switch Board: +44 (0) 330 333 2000