Young People across Scotland get musical thanks to Scottish Government YMI Funding

Published: 24 Jan 2022

Image shows a classroom in a primary school, where children are gathered round a teacher giving a lesson on harps

Fèis Rois. Image credit - Christian Gamauf

£1.2 million for Youth Music Activities

Young people across Scotland are set to access a wide range of music making activities and opportunities thanks to £1.2m funding to 44 community projects across the country.

Online concerts, virtual tuition sessions, networking and development opportunities, as well as tailored mentoring programmes are among the activities being supported by Creative Scotland with backing from the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI).

With latest figures evidencing the significant and positive impact of the Youth Music Initiative - reaching over 278,000 young people in 2019/20, supporting more than 300 Scottish based projects, creating nearly 1,000 jobs and over 3,400 professional development opportunities - the £1.2m funds will ensure continuing access to activities covering all musical genres.

Two men are playing instruments, standing opposite each other outside in a street. One of the men stands on the left and is playing a guitar, and on the right the other man is playing the Double Bass.

Scottish Music Centre - Hit the Road and Music Plus

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: "The successful projects awarded Scottish Government funds through the Youth Music Initiative will offer young people across the country more opportunities to take part in music activities outside of school.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that 38 of the 44 projects will provide more access to music making for young people from economically deprived areas, disabled young people and young people with additional support needs.

“Culture has a key role to play in our recovery from the pandemic and Youth Music Initiative projects like this can make a significant impact on the lives of our young people, as evidenced in the latest Impact Report.”

A young woman stands on a stage in front of a microphone, lit by bright green lights and holding a guitar

Scottish Music Centre - Hit the Road and Music Plus. Image: Elina Lin Photography.

Morag MacDonald, Youth Music Manager at Creative Scotland commented: "From car park instrument drop offs to weekly zoom jam sessions and online singing events, the sector has found imaginative ways to keep the music playing despite the ongoing pandemic and, in doing so, supported the health and wellbeing of children and young people at a time when they need it most.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Youth Music Initiative and an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the young people, pay tribute to those who make it all happen, and raise awareness of the value of access to music making for all young people into the future.”

A selection of the funded projects include: 

The Lullaby Project delivered by Feis Rois pairs musicians and isolated new mothers in the Highlands to write lullabies for their wee ones.

Diversify! Scotland in Colour Project delivered by Drake Music Scotland with Intercultural Youth Scotland will see the creation of new pieces of music to be performed at Scotland in Colour Festival October 2022.

Island Ukuleles will see young people from the islands of Yell, Fetlar, and Unst perform a repertoire of island music from around the world.

Young Roma musicians will develop their music-making skills and experiment with various styles of Gypsy music through ZOR - Young Roma Cultural Ambassadors programme.

The Aberdeen Youth Music Partnership delivered by Station House Media Unit will bring together organisations, practitioners and young people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to work together to further the area’s Youth Music Action Plan; and Music Education Partnership Group will continue their work to advocate for music education in Scotland.

National programmes will see the continuation of Hit the Road and Music Plus from Scottish Music Centre; and the music making activities through the Scottish Books Trust’s Bookbug programme sharing stories, songs and rhymes with babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers.


Youth Music Initiative (YMI) fund guidance and application forms can be accessed on the Creative Scotland website.

  • The Access to Music-Making Fund is all about creating access to music-making opportunities outwith school time for organisations and individuals, applicants can apply for funding between £1k - £30k for projects lasting up to 12 months.
  • The Strengthening Youth Music Fund provides grants of between £1k - £20k for projects lasting up to 12 months which aim to improve Scotland’s youth music infrastructure and services
Organisation Project NameFunding Programme Funding AmountLocal Authority
Ando Glaso ZOR - Young Roma Cultural Ambassadors Access to Music-Making Fund £30,000Glasgow
ARTs Afternoons Re-Starting The Pulse Access to Music-Making Fund £30,000Edinburgh, East Lothian
Artsplay Highland Wee Music Matters Access to Music-Making Fund £13,551Highland
Artsplay Highland Music Matters Access to Music-Making Fund £29,950Highland
Canongate Youth CY Music Café Access to Music-Making Fund £28,796Edinburgh
Children 1stMake Us Music – North Ayrshire (Bourtreehill)Access to Music-Making Fund£30,000North Ayrshire
City of Edinburgh CouncilReel Youth MediaAccess to Music-Making Fund£29,882Edinburgh
Drake Music ScotlandDiversify! Scotland in Colour Project with Drake Music Scotland and Intercultural Youth ScotlandAccess to Music-Making Fund£37,092Edinburgh
East Kilbride Universal ConnectionsMobilize Music ProjectAccess to Music-Making Fund£8,144South Lanarkshire
Feis RoisHighland Youth Music ForumStrengthening Youth Music Fund£4,500Highland
Feis RoisThe Lullaby ProjectAccess to Music-Making Fund£37,822Highland
Gardyne TheatreGardyne YMIAccess to Music-Making Fund£25,000Dundee
Horsecross ArtsFairview School Musicians in ResidenceAccess to Music-Making Fund£28,841Perth and Kinross
Impact ArtsCOCO Music ProjectAccess to Music-Making Fund£30,000Falkirk
Jenny SturgeonSongwriting ClubAccess to Music-Making Fund£9,885Aberdeenshire
Jess AbramsThe EC Sessions; Take 2Access to Music-Making Fund£19,414Edinburgh
Lanark Universal ConnectionsSoundz Music ProjectAccess to Music-Making Fund£6,876South Lanarkshire
Lyth Arts CentreLAC Young Music MakersAccess to Music-Making Fund£14,138Highland
Music BrothMoving On Through MusicAccess to Music-Making Fund£29,967Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow
Music Education Partnership GroupMusic Education Partnership Group (MEPG)Strengthening Youth Music Fund£20,000National
musicALL ScotlandAccess for ALLAccess to Music-Making Fund£25,000Glasgow
National Youth Orchestras of ScotlandNYOS Pathway Access Programme 2022Access to Music-Making Fund£70,000Glasgow, Aberdeen, Stirling, Perth and Kinross, Highland and East Ayrshire
North Edinburgh ArtsMobile MusicAccess to Music-Making Fund£14,730Edinburgh
Patrick FaganBubble ProductionsStrengthening Youth Music Fund£10,090Falkirk
Paul MooreIsland UkulelesAccess to Music-Making Fund£14,652Shetland Islands
Reeltime MusicCreative Young CarersAccess to Music-Making Fund£15,000North Lanarkshire
Scottish Book TrustBookbug Community EngagementAccess to Music-Making Fund£60,000National
Scottish Brass Band AssociationYouth Arts Targeted FundAccess to Music-Making Fund£70,000National
Scottish Instrumental Music Teaching NetworkScottish Instrumental Music Teachers' Conference, 2022Strengthening Youth Music Fund£20,000National
Scottish Music CentreHit The RoadAccess to Music-Making Fund£30,000National and Glasgow
Scottish Music CentreMusic PlusAccess to Music-Making Fund£65,000National
Sistema ScotlandBig Noise: access to out-of-school music-making for children in disadvantaged communitiesAccess to Music-Making Fund£69,842Stirling, Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen
SoundwavesMull Music MakersAccess to Music-Making Fund£20,000Argyll & Bute
Spartans Community Football AcademySpartans Turn the Tables Music ProjectAccess to Music-Making Fund£5,093Edinburgh
Station House Media UnitAberdeen Youth Music PartnershipStrengthening Youth Music Fund£10,000Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Station House Media UnitPitching UpAccess to Music-Making Fund£29,920Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
The National Piping CentreNational Youth Pipe Band of ScotlandAccess to Music-Making Fund£70,000Glasgow, Argyll & Bute
The Nurture NurseryNurturing Music - A Year of StoriesAccess to Music-Making Fund£6,000West Lothian
Tinderbox CollectiveTinderbox Youth & Community ProgrammeAccess to Music-Making Fund£70,000Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian, Dundee, Scottish Borders, Fife and Dumfries and Galloway
Tynecastle Youth Community Pipe BandTynecastle Youth Community Pipe BandAccess to Music-Making Fund£15,000Edinburgh
Where's the One?Music Activities for Scottish Borders CHIMES ServiceAccess to Music-Making Fund£13,500Scottish Borders
Youth ConnectionsTune InAccess to Music-Making Fund£13,480Inverclyde
Yvonne WyroslawskaSinging Stirling: Strengthening Early Years Music in StirlingStrengthening Youth Music Fund£19,698Stirling

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 outwith school time. There are two informal sector funding routes: Access to Music-Making and Strengthening Youth Music. Organisations and individuals can apply to these funding routes.

The 2021-22 YMI Annual Plan sets out plans for the programme including a programme of work, funding and development priorities, budgets and how we will report on impact.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at

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