Youth Music Initiative

About the Programme

In 2003, the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) was launched to put music at the heart of children and young people’s lives and learning. It currently operates with an annual budget of £9 million and supports all musical genres, age groups and teaching methods.

On this page you can learn more about the programme by reading the annual plan as well as recent impact reports and evaluations. You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter.


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 by individuals and organisations who primarily work outwith school settings. There are two informal sector funding routes: Access to Music Making and Strengthening Youth Music, as well as the YMI CPD and Training Fund which is managed by the Scottish Music Centre.

Discover more about the funds that are part of the YMI in our Funding section.

YMI 20th Anniversary Celebrations

This year, we’re celebrating 20 incredible years of the Youth Music Initiative (YMI). Visit this page to find out more and download the promo pack so you can join in with the celebrations!

Youth Music Initiative 20th Anniversary Celebration

In 2022 we're celebrating a wonderful 20 years of the Youth Music Initiative.


About the Youth Music Initiative

Download our introduction to the Youth Music Initiative in PDF format.

YMI Annual Plan 2021-22

Read the Youth Music Initiative 2021-22 Annual Plan.

Youth Music Initiative 2019-2020 Evaluation

Download the latest YMI evaluation in PDF format.

YMI Evaluation Infographic 2019-20

Download this colourful and insightful infographic highlighting the key points of the Youth Music Initiative evaluation.

YMI Impact Report 2018/19

Download the full 2018/19 YMI Impact report in PDF format.

Stay up to date

Stay up to date with the programme by signing up to the YMI mailing list below. You can also keep up to date with all things YMI by following the hashtag #YMIScotland and following us at @CreativeScots.

Sign up to the Youth Music Initiative mailing list

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Latest Stories from YMI

Spotlight - How YMI funding helps Scotland's brass musicians make some noise

In June's Spotlight we hear about how YMI funding has supported Scotland's young musicians to develop their skills in music - and more!

Published: 07 Jun 2022

Youth Music Initiative celebrates 20 years and incredible achievements from the past 2 decades

Launched in 2003 with the aim to break down barriers to encourage children’s talents flourish, Youth Music Initiative (YMI) funding has given children and young people across Scotland access to free music education, growing yearly participation to over 270,000 during a span of 20 years.

Published: 19 May 2022

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.

Published: 09 May 2022

Spotlight - Music and maternal mental health

This month we hear from freelance musician Yvonne Wyroslawska, who was awarded Creative Scotland Open Funding to run music sessions for new mums and babies.

Published: 01 Apr 2022

Spotlight - Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion at the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland

Every month, the Youth Music Initiative (YMI) puts the spotlight on an activity or strand of work that is important to them. This month we hear from the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and its Director Steven Blake, on the organisation’s progress with their Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion goals. (...)

Published: 07 Mar 2022