Over £660,000 enables young people to access music

Published: 23 Nov 2016

Announcement of funding coincides with publication of new report revealing positive impact of Youth Music Initiative
YMI Big Drum Adventure, Denholm Primary, by Alan MacAteer

Over £660,000 has been awarded to 16 organisations across Scotland for young people to access music making.

From the Scottish Music Centre’s Scotland-wide Music Plus mentoring project for independent music-makers aged 14-19yrs, to Edinburgh’s Canongate Youth MusicWorks programme providing music making activities to young people regardless of experience, cultural, ethnic or socio economic background, and Dundee’s hugely popular  Hot Chocolate Trust Music Project tutored music making‘drop in’ sessions, individual awards of between £5,000 and £100,000 are helping 0-25 yrs olds who wouldn’t ordinarily have the chance to take part in music-making activities, develop music skills for life, learning and work, and benefit their happiness and well-being.

Vicki Ridley, Manager, Canongate Youth said: “Canongate Youth has worked with young people in the City Centre and Southside areas of the city since the late 70s. For most of that time, music has been an important tool in nurturing creativity and community.  It has been good to witness the more recent flourishing of this work over the past few years, with young people becoming engaged in writing, performing, and recording their own music.  With funding secured now from YMI’s Access to Music Making we can grow the provision to be even more inclusive and have a huge reach to young people who would otherwise not be able to access music making opportunities and all the positive benefits that music imparts. Music is a powerful force for good in all our lives, but especially in the formative years.”

Dave Close, Executive Director, Hot Chocolate Trust said: “We are delighted at the award from the Youth Music Initiative.  Having built our music project from the voluntary leadership of a former Hot Chocolate young person, two years investment from YMI means we can create a stable platform for young people to experiment, innovate and grow in their music making.  As the work has grown, with YMI’s support, over the last two years we have seen just how big an impact that can have for young people in the rest of their lives.”

The funding announced today coincides with the publication of a new report revealing the positive and wide reaching impact on young people, of the nationwide, Youth Music Initiative (YMI) during 2015-16.

Funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Creative Scotland, YMI was established in 2003 in response to the What’s Going On? report - a national audit of youth music in Scotland – to “put music at the heart of young people’s lives and learning.”

Red Planet Suite 6, photo Anne Binckebanck & Drake Music Scotland

Key findings from the recent impact report show that over the past year:

  • Approximately 265,500 young people took part in YMI activity in 2015/16.
  • At least 215,000 took part in school based activity and at least 50,000 in out of school activity.
  • All 32 local authorities (and Jordanhill School) had achieved the P6 target of offering all pupils a year’s free music tuition by the end of primary six.
  • The breakdown of participants in out of school projects was broadly split between young men (49%) and young women (50%). A high number of out of school projects proactively targeted young people living in deprived areas and young people with additional support needs.
  • The YMI supported more than 1,000 jobs in 2015/16, most of which were temporary, part time jobs.
  • The YMI provided 300 volunteering opportunities and 120 traineeships.
  • Over 3,700 individuals were involved in continuing professional development activity over the year.

Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland is committed to creative learning and ensuring that everyone can access and enjoy creative experiences. This new report reaffirms the real positive difference YMI makes every day in supporting young people to develop their music making and skills for life, learning and work.

“By working together with our valued partners in local authorities, third sector organisations and the expert and committed practitioners across Scotland YMI contributes to ensuring that children in all parts of Scotland and from a range of backgrounds have a fair chance to develop and achieve their potential.

“We look forward to sharing this new learning and working with the sector to reflect on the findings to implement future improvements for the benefit of young people.”

The report, commissioned by Creative Scotland to explore the impact of the YMI programme over 2015/16, was undertaken by Research Scotland. This research ran alongside a project to create, test and implement an improved monitoring and evaluation system. This involved developing and testing a logic model and evaluation framework to capture YMI inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes and impact.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:“The Scottish Government is a keen supporter of the Youth Music Initiative (YMI) which has made a huge impact helping young people across Scotland access music making opportunities and developing their wider skills and learning.  This report shows that the YMI has engaged with over 265,000 young people in and out of school over the last year and is targeting young people who would otherwise have limited opportunities to get involved in music making.

“The YMI has also boosted young people’s confidence, self-esteem and personal skills and helped the development of skills for wider learning, including literacy, language and numeracy skills and development. The YMI is supporting a number of work opportunities and potential career pathways supporting over 1,000 jobs, 300 volunteering opportunities and 120 traineeships with over 3,700 involved in continuing professional development activity.”

The full 2015-16 Impact Report can be viewed here: https://www.creativescotland.com/ymi-impact


For media enquiries please contact:

Eilidh Walker
Media Relations and PR Assistant
Creative Scotland
T: 0131 523 0019
M: 07535 402 064

Notes to Editors

Organisation Access to Music Making Award

Achievement Bute


The National Piping Centre


Foundry Music Lab


Music for Youth


National Youth Orchestras of Scotland


Scottish Music Centre


Scottish Music Centre


Software Training Scotland


Feis Rois


Glasgow East Arts Company


Glad Foundation


Hot Chocolate Trust


Canongate Youth




Youth Music Initiative
YMI was established in 2003 to put music at the heart of young people’s lives and learning, in response to the ‘What’s Going On?’ evaluation, a national audit of youth music in Scotland. Creative Scotland administers the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) programme which works to: Create access to high quality music making opportunities for young people aged 0 – 25, 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.


Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Research Scotland
Research Scotland provides robust, practical and innovative research and support to public, third and voluntary sector organisations in Scotland.  Its two Directors, Katy MacMillan and Tara McGregor bring expertise in social research, impact focused evaluation, coaching, mentoring and equalities focused research.  Find out more at www.researchscotland.org